On 6/9/06, James B. firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Question (maybe a bit off-topic):
The example may be quick, but in what way is it dirty?
It is “quick and dirty” in that it is an incomplete solution in-so-far
as converting between the two formats in the most general sense. That
is, if one were to stick that line into a file, chmod +x mp32ogg, it
wouldn’t be very featureful (setting bit rates, meta information, et
Then again, the whole point is the flexibility of using two or more
programs in all sorts of original and interesting ways. If all I want
is to change the encoding, the above suffices admirably. There’s no
reason that extra options couldn’t be specified either.
More generally, why do those two words get used as if they were joined
at the hip? Is there a bias against being quick, a belief quick only
comes at the cost of clean code?
I think I used that phrase because for as much as I hate them, I am
weak and easily fall into the temptation of using cliches smirks.
This “quick and dirty” dismissal comes up fairly often when describing
Ruby to the skeptical (“Well, Ruby may be good for quickandirty scripts,
but …” ).
My usual response is that I prefer quick and dirty to slow and dirty;
Java or C# (the usual suggested alternatives for “real” programming)
offer no more assurance of clean code than using Ruby; indeed, the
opposite is likely more the case.
I totally agree; don’t get me wrong. I gave the example as a positive
one. When presented with a problem, the first thing I often try is to
see if I can’t pull a solution right on the command line.