Simon Willison’s Weblog

Leaky abstractions

Joel Spolsky: The Law of Leaky Abstractions

Code generation tools which pretend to abstract out something, like all abstractions, leak, and the only way to deal with the leaks competently is to learn about how the abstractions work and what they are abstracting. So the abstractions save us time working, but they don’t save us time learning.

And all this means that paradoxically, even as we have higher and higher level programming tools with better and better abstractions, becoming a proficient programmer is getting harder and harder.

This is Leaky abstractions by Simon Willison, posted on 12th November 2002.

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Previously hosted at http://simon.incutio.com/archive/2002/11/12/leakyAbstractions