Invented here syndrome

Musing Mortoray

Are you afraid to write code? Does the thought linger in your brain that somewhere out there somebody has already done this? Do you find yourself trapped in an analysis cycle where nothing is getting done? Is your product mutating to accommodate third party components? If yes, then perhaps you are suffering from invented-here syndrome.

Most of use are aware of not-invented-here syndrome, but the opposite problem is perhaps equally troublesome. We can get stuck in the mindset that there must be a product, library, or code sample, that already does what we want. Instead of just writing the code we need a lot of effort is spent testing out modules and trying to accommodate our own code. At some point we need to just say, “stop!”, and write the code ourselves.

Varying levels of quality

As a general rule it makes sense to not write code that already exists…

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2 thoughts on “Invented here syndrome

    • Hi Jay,

      I’m afraid to say, the AntiXSS module is now completely and hopelessly broken in this regard. I honestly haven’t found any good workarounds as long as AntiXSS is involved so we’ve built a module from scratch using HtmlAgilityPack and regex filtering attributes. The custom filtering takes place around lines 145 – 154 in my example.

      It’s not ideal, but it seems to work so far (our bit of code is tied up in licenses, but there are lots of examples out there of stripping unsafe chars).

      We’ve also moved on from the .Net framework lately. There were too many breaking changes, too many hurdles and, dare I say, too much bloat in lot of the web development tech Microsoft has put out to justify the time cost to developers. Our operation has since switched almost entirely to Python and PHP (yes, even PHP was more attractive here). These are just symptoms of a bigger cultural problem at Microsoft and I don’t know if things will ever change under new management.

      If you can at all move on from ASP.Net, I’d strongly recommend you do so. I already did.

      Good luck on your project!

      – e

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