Thursday, February 01, 2007

Static Considered Harmfull

Let's imagine the following situation:

static class Service {
static void DoSomething(...)

class Client {
Client() {}

void Action() {

We have the following smells:

1. Tight-Coupling
- The client object is tight-coupled with the Service class.
- We cannot exchange, polymorphically, the Service.DoSomething(...)
with another service FunkyService?.DoSomething.

2. "Lying" Constructor
- The client's constructor doesn't declare all the dependecies.

3. Tight-Coupling Propagation
- If the class Service has dependencies to other static classes
(methods, instances, properties), than these dependencies propagate into
the client. The "inoffensive" Service.DoSomething(...) is just the tip of an iceberg of singletons.

Proposed Solution:
In an OO world, responsabilities are realized by objects.
Unfortunately in static-typed langugages classes ARE NOT objects.
(in smalltalk/ruby they are, we don't have this problem)

So let's do it right from the beginning:

interface IService {
void DoSomething(...)

class Service {
void DoSomething(...)

class Client {
Client(IService service) { _service = service }
void Action(service.DoSomething(...));

- we are unattached from the implementation of the IService.DoSomething
- we have explicitely defined the responsability of the client to delegate/ask a
query to the IService implementor
- We can provide different implementations to the IService
- UnitTesting is easier: if the implementation of the IService has been tested,
then in the Client's unit-tests we are only interested in the call to IService,
which we can mock.
- Instance creation is handled by dependency injection container
(if you need only one, create just only one)

An example in ruby (classes are factory objects):

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