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Saturday, July 30, 2005
Single Source Information: An Agile Practice

Good stuff!

Locality Of Reference Documentation The LoRD Principle -- Locality breeds Maintainability.

The LoRD Principle -- Locality breeds Maintainability

A few years back, I coined a principle that I call LoRD: LocalityOfReferenceDocumentation. It tries to address the problem of keeping code and documentation consistent with one another and up-to-date. The principle may be stated formally as if it were a Newtonian Law of sorts:

The likelihood of keeping all or part of a software artifact consistent with any corresponding text that describes it, is inversely proportional to the square of the cognitive distance between them.

A less verbose, less pompous description would be simply: Out of sight; out of mind!

Therefore, it is desirable for us to try and minimize the cognitive distance between artifacts and their descriptions! This is not without its presumptions and caveats (which are described later).


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