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Cover image for Code Smell 04 - String Abusers
Maxi Contieri
Maxi Contieri

Posted on • Updated on • Originally published at maximilianocontieri.com

Code Smell 04 - String Abusers

Too many parsing, exploding, regex, strcomp, strpos and string manipulation functions.

TL;DR: Use real abstractions and real objects instead of string accidental manipulation.

Problems

  • Complexity
  • Readability
  • Maintainability
  • Lack of Abstractions

Solutions

1) Work with objects instead.

2) Replace strings with data structures dealing with object relations.

3) Go back to Perl :)

4) Find Bijection problems between real objects and the strings.

Examples

-Serializers

-Parsers

Sample Code

Wrong

<?

$schoolDescription = 'College of Springfield';

preg_match('/[^ ]*$/', $schoolDescription, $results);
$location = $results[0]; // $location = 'Springfield'.

$school = preg_split('/[\s,]+/', $schoolDescription, 3)[0]; //'College'
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Right

<?

class School {

    private $name;
    private $location;

    function description() {
        return $this->name . ' of ' . $this->location->name;
    }

}
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Detection

Automated detection is not easy. If code uses too many string functions, it can trigger a warning.

Relations

  • Primitive Obsession

More info

Tags

  • Mapping

Conclusion

Don't abuse strings. Favor real objects. Find absent protocol to distinguish them from strings.

Credits

Photo by Nathaniel Shuman on Unsplash


This article is part of the CodeSmell Series.

Last update: 2021/06/03

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