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Consider that in a language with more lazy value support (such as Haskell or Clojure), the solution becomes even more elegant, the equivalent of: def padded_take ary, n ary.then( end where Repeat is an Enumerable which lazily produces an infinite list of some value (in this case, 0), and where #then returns not a lazy Enumerable which will first enumerate the receiver and then, if it runs out of values, enumerate the argument. You can implement this in Ruby without too much trouble, but in another language these would be part of the standard library, and this idiom would be simple and recognizable enough that defining #padded_take would be silly.
Toggle Commented Nov 7, 2013 on Unconditional Programming at Michael Feathers
Here's another, equivalent way to think about it: A build is a formal definition of "done". It's not the same "done" that you might otherwise have. Your default "done" might mean "fully functional and free of defects". But that's not very useful. A build gives us a more useful definition for "done". It's only an illusion with respect to the original meaning of "done". And that meaning of "done" was an illusion to begin with.
Toggle Commented May 21, 2012 on The Goal of a Build at Michael Feathers
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May 21, 2012