Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The Cat ate my source code

This post is related to my previous post

This one is from 'The Pragmatic Programmer - From Journeyman to Master' :

Time for a little quantum mechanics with Schrödinger's cat.
Suppose you have a cat in a closed box, along with a radioactive particle. The particle has exactly a 50% chance of fissioning into two. If it does, the cat will be killed. If it doesn't, the cat will be okay. So, is the cat dead or alive? According to Schrödinger, the correct answer is both. Every time a sub-nuclear reaction takes place that has two possible outcomes, the universe is cloned. In one, the event occurred, in the other it didn't. The cat's alive in one universe, dead in another.
Only when you open the box do you know which universe you are in.

No wonder coding for the future is difficult.

But think of code evolution along the same lines as a box full of Schrödinger's cats: every decision results in a different version of the future. How many possible futures can your code support? Which ones are more likely? How hard will it be to support them when the time comes?

Dare you open the box?

2 comments:

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Vinay said...

Interesting theories..