I always try to follow the DRY principle strictly at work; every time I've repeated code out of laziness it bites back later when I need to maintain that code in two places.
But often I write small methods (maybe 10 - 15 lines of code) that need to be reused across two projects that can't reference each other. The method might be something to do with networking / strings / MVVM etc. and is a generally useful method not specific to the project it originally sits in.
The standard way to reuse this code would be to create an independent project for the reusable code and reference that project when you need it. The problem with this is we end up in one of two less-than-ideal scenarios:
- We end up with tens/hundreds of tiny projects - each to house the little classes/methods which we needed to reuse. Is it worth creating a whole new
.DLLjust for a tiny bit of code?
- We end up with a single project holding a growing collection of unrelated methods and classes. This approach is what a company I used to work for did; they had a project named
base.commonwhich had folders for things like I mentioned above: networking, string manipulation, MVVM etc. It was incredibly handy, but referencing it needlessly dragged with it all the irrelevant code you didn't need.
So my question is:
How does a software team best go about reusing small bits of code between projects?
I'm interested particularly if anyone has worked at a company that has policies in this area, or that has come across this dilemma personally as I have.
note: My use of the words "Project", "Solution" and "Reference" come from a background in .NET development in Visual Studio. But I'm sure this issue is language and platform independent.