Hypocritical Methods

I haven’t posted for a while, but I’ve just got to post about this.

I commented on a question on stackoverflow.com (“How to find the source of a request”, http://stackoverflow.com/questions/6551954/how-to-find-the-source-of-a-request):

Why do you want to do this? It sounds like a bad idea. What if you add another assembly? What if you move functionality from one assembly to another? Perhaps you should instead add a parameter to this method, and set it differently between the calls.

This promoted Dan Abramov (http://stackoverflow.com/users/458193/dan-abramov) to give the best answer I’ve ever seen to this class of question (http://stackoverflow.com/questions/6551954/how-to-find-the-source-of-a-request/6552237#6552237).

The question as asked was a specific case of a very general situation I see fairly frequently. You’ve got a method or other piece of code and you want it to behave differently in different contexts. You decide you need to understand the context of the call in order to decide how to behave. You ask about looking at the stack trace, or the calling web page or something like that.

The answer, as Dan puts it so eloquently, is to pass a parameter instead (in the case of wanting a UI control or other object to behave differently, the answer may be to set a property instead).

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