Alex Papadimoulis

Founder, The Daily WTF

Sep 2016

Classic WTF: The Big Ball of Yarn

by in Feature Articles on
It's Labor Day in the US, so we're taking the day off to grill something before the weather turns horrid. While I was finding legacy articles to support the Your Code Might Be Unmaintainable… article, I noticed this classic, and knew that I wanted to re-run it again soon. - Remy

Not too long ago, I posted The Enterprise Dependency. Essentially, it was a visual depiction of a good ole' enterprise framework that was "several dozen megabytes chock full of helper classes like IEnterpriseAuthenticationProviderFactoryManagementFactory." Inspired by the diagram, commenter "LieutenantFrost" shared his own "enterprise-ness and despair" with a dependency diagram that looks somewhat like an anglerfish.

But that got me thinking: like a Representative Line, perhaps dependency diagrams can help provide some insight into the pain that large applications' maintainers face each day. And just then, Jan-Hendrik sent in such a diagram. Note that each little box represents a class, and a line is its dependency to another class.