Bulkheads of Abstraction

Introducing a new abstraction is like closing the bulkheads on a leaking submarine.

I tweeted this a few days ago (in German), and I think it was one of my better tweets. I wasn’t entirely sure what I meant by it when I wrote it, but after some thinking it appears that the metaphor is a really good one. Here are some of the reasons why:

  1. You better be quick. If you wait too long closing the bulkhead, you’ve got the water everywhere and you might as well leave it.
  2. There’s gonna be some spillage on your side of the bulkhead as well. That’s just inevitable. Gotta mop that up afterwards.
  3. There may be some people on the other side of the bulkhead who don’t like so much what you’re doing.
  4. You’d rather hope there is not another leak somewhere else.

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