Posted on 12-06-2011
Filed Under (Computing, Just a Thought..., Random Musings) by Steve

It puzzles me

Why would a programmer want to lock his code?

From a compiling perspective it is more a matter of the programme could not be without first compiling which has the effect of locking the code as the end-user has no real means of opening the project but from a macro perspective; what could possibly be gained from preventing such access?

Granted, that by preventing access, a programmer can ensure that the programme may still run as intended without fear of accidental or malicious damage but this seems to be the only real reason for such an act.

In my experience however I believe in allowing full access code, doing so satisfies several goals:

  • Usually, should a user accidentally gain access to the editor window they either take a poke about mostly run away.
    But for those that stick around
  1. This is a golden opportunity for a key piece of knowledge sharing; maybe the user hasn’t encountered code before and being eager to learn [and providing you as the developer have left adequate notes (which I'm sure you shall)] they shall have the best possible chance of learning how to programme from you; how cool is that? Teaching by proxy!
  2. Perhaps the user has had some programming experience but your code is far more superior to their knowledge and sets out to perform a very complex task, one in which they may have attempted but could not succeed; by looking at your code, you shall have shown them the way without ever intending to (you may add another gold star to the teaching by proxy score-sheet).
  3. Maybe the end user is a seasoned developer and by looking at your code, they have identified areas for improvement; of course, it may only shave milliseconds off each sub but like pennies, they do add-up. Whilst you may not be available to see it, your code may one day turn-up on the net showing how the improvement was made.

For me, points 1 & 2 are the most important; I may not be the greatest developer, I still have far to go, but by allowing access to my code, I  believe I am providing something priceless – the gift of knowledge.

Though if you believe that I am wrong, please do enlighten me.

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