Cover image for Law of Least Astonishment

Law of Least Astonishment

genejams profile image {Gene} ・1 min read

A program should be light and agile, its subroutines connected like a string of pearls. The spirit and intent of the program should be retained throughout. There should be neither too little nor too much. Neither needless loops nor useless variables; neither lack of structure nor overwhelming rigidity.

A program should follow the "Law of Least Astonishment". What is this law? It is simply that the program should always respond to the users in the way that least astonishes them.

A program, no matter how complex, should act as a single unit. The program should be directed by the logic within rather than by outward appearances.

If the program fails in these requirements, it will be in a state of disorder and confusion. The only way to correct this is to rewrite the program.

Book 4 - "Coding", Ch.1

Posted on Aug 31 '18 by:

genejams profile



Yet another programmer =) accidentally creator of HomeGenie (open source smart-home server) and zUIx.js (component-based web development library).


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