Software development is a collaborative process and developers often struggle with the duplication of code.
Duplication occurs when multiple developers are working on a software project simultaneously but on different tasks or modules, and hence they are not aware if similar code is already written by other developer and then they end up writing the same code again. Another big reason is copy paste of the code by the developers resulting in either basic or parametric literal duplication. Developers often reuse the already available content under pressure of time and want to avoid intellectual strain on them. They often clone the code and then adopt the same either unintentionally or they are not aware of how to avert or get rid of it. At times, renaming of variables, changing values, inserting or deleting code fragments are followed with intention and then detailed design is not modified resulting in duplication of code.
Taking everything into account, there are three simple kinds of duplication that we can remove from our code that productively shape up on each other.
- Data Duplication
This one is the most basic type and is easily identifiable. This type of duplication can be eliminated by generating a way that parameterizes the alterations characterized by that data.
- Algorithm Duplication
To not repeat this type of duplication, it is mandatory to have a thorough knowledge of delegates and functional programming, as using delegates builds a much simpler method and casts the problem in the same light as refactoring any other kind of data.
- Type Duplication
A lot of times, the two methods that do pretty much the same thing, however, they just vary on the kind they operate on results in type duplication. Just like data, this duplication can be eliminated using generics to refactor out that type info.
For instance, imagine a functionality is tweaked a bit and that code is used 50 times in the project, now you will be required to go and make that small change 50 times to ensure the change is reflected at all places. Another classic example is bug fixing, developer may not be aware of duplicate code available in the project and might go and fix the bug at one instance as reported.
How to get rid of duplication?
Code duplication is important factor for high maintenance cost, and this problem is present in all medium to large software projects. Usage of Code duplication detection tools, Open source and Proprietary, can help to identify and fix the problem.
Duplication has become a norm and you may get it in the code, and like we use various tools to test the performance of the project, it has become essential to get rid of duplication using the available tools. This will make your code shorter, easier to understand, and can be maintained without any hassle.