At work, I’ve suggested code changes such as not hard-coding any strings at
all (making them config items or string constants), and I’ve been indirectly
accused of being a purist. Not really knowing whether that is a good or bad
thing (if that actually means leaning to an extreme), I looked it up. Dictionary.com says:
“One who practices or urges strict correctness, especially in the use of
“someone who insists on great precision and correctness.”
Search google for “purist” and c#, and you’ll find more than 2000 results.
That tells me that this is a well-used word in the .Net world. The question
is: Is being a purist a good or bad thing?
I believe that urging strict correctness is a good thing. Obviously, my
application of this would be in writing code for the .Net framework. If I don’t
use strict correctness, then I may be coding incorrectly, and that would be bad;
therefore, I would say that it is a good thing to be a .Net purist: urging
strict correctness: wanting all code to be completely correct. Then we have to
define correct because that is really where the debate is. What is the correct
way to code. After we define that, I think everyone would want to be correct,
but people bicker over what method is “correct” *Sigh*.
To be a purist, I would think that I would have to be very knowledgable in my
field to be able to demonstrate and prove a correct method against an incorrect
I could go further by saying that if you aren’t a purist and don’t insist on
precision and correctness, then there is another continuum toward the other
extreme of completely sloppy.
At this point in this written conversation with myself, I have identified a
range of coding methods with one extreme being totally correct and the other
extreme being totally sloppy. I ask myself, can I be totally correct all the
time? Obviously I look at code written last year and can see mistakes or parts
that could be made better, or more correct. So, then, I can conclude that given
my present knowledge of my chosen platform, I must strive to be as correct as
possible with my goal of having 100% correct code. I don’t think I’ll ever
achieve it, but to be a coding purist is a good thing, and I will strive always
to think as one.