Pasta Code

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Transcribed from the November-December 1992 issue of the Lawrence
Livermore National Laboratory Software Engineering Newsletter.

The mention of ``a feast of spaghetti code'' [``Computer Collectives,''
CrossTalk, April/May 1992]
prompted this response by Raymond J. Rubey
SofTech, Inc., Fairborn, OH.

"Nearly every software professional has heard of the term spaghetti code
as a pejorative description for complicated, difficult-to-understand, and
impossible-to-maintain, software. However, many people may not know the
other two elements of the complete Pasta Theory of Software.

Lasagna code is used to describe software that has a simple,
understandable, and layered structure. Lasagna code, although
structured, is unfortunately monolithic and not easy to modify. An
attempt to change one layer, while conceptually simple, is often
difficult in actual practice.

The ideal software structure is one having components that are small
and loosely coupled; this ideal structure is called ravioli code. In
ravioli code, each of the components, or objects, is a package containing
some meat or other nourishment for the system; any component can be
modified or replaced without significantly affecting other components.

We need to go beyond the condemnation of spaghetti code and to the
active encouragement of ravioli code."

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