Things I Learnt The Hard Way - Create Libraries

1 minute read Published: 2019-07-15

One thing you must learn is how to break your project into smaller libraries, to avoid doing rounds to deal with "the same, but a bit different".

I've seen a lot of projects that use things like branches for different things. Say, you have an e-commerce page. But you also have different clients, and they all have different colours and logo. Some people would take this scenario and, using the VCS properties, use the main branch for the main code and a branch for each client, merge from main branch from time to time -- and, thus, the branches are never merged back.

This is suboptimal, 'cause that's not how VCS are supposed to be used.

But you can, for example, break the main code into a library/framework and have one project for each client, with their assets and you just reference the library/framework in each.

Simple and clean.

But stop there for a second. Although this makes the code cleaner, avoids duplication and uses a VCS in the way it was supposed to be used, you can't start this way.

Remember that future thinking is future trashing. What you can do is actually break your project by functionality, making modules related to their data and then, when you get a reasonable number of clients, you'll notice what can be reused in each, what modules make sense for one client and not for another. And then you'll have a good way to deal with those.

One project that may appear when creating libraries is "How do I create my own library repository?" 'Cause all modern languages today have support for importing external libraries and, even if your libraries will never be out of your control, they are external to the project. So you may need to learn how to deal with this before creating the libraries. And, unfortunately, each language and build tool has its own way to manage this.

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