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Pestle Docs Done (for now)


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I’m happy to say the second phase of my project to get better documentation around pestle, my home rolled command-line-framework/Magento 2 code generation tool, is done. I’ll probably give everything a final read through and make some more minor edits, but the shape of the thing is set. If something seems off please let us know.

Inner Critic

These five documents (originally seven) took a bit more effort than the documentation for the Magento 2 code generation commands. The Magento commands were battle tested — they came out of the (paid) work I did after Magento 2’s launch. The documentation was just “describe how the command does its useful thing”.

The pestle docs were trickier because pestle is far less obviously practical, and that can make the scope of the work — vague. The theory of operation document where I describe how pestle_import actually works was probably the trickiest. That inner critic in my head was constantly yelling

You know, this seems like a lot of work to save a single line of code

The article that voice wanted was one that took a shot at what pestle did/does. It’s not even a wrong voice — pestle is the sort of thing I’d never do on a paid project.

And yet.

As much as implementing language features in userland/runtime code seems like a waste of time, I still don’t know any better way to quickly explore/prototype the domain of an advanced system concept like module loading or linking. Finding time for this sort of thing — whether it’s on of off the clock — is an important part of a long term career as a working programmer.

Clearing the Trail

The other tricky part of this project was resisting the urge to fix things as I found them. I did end up doing some code cleanup for the aforementioned pestle_import document, but otherwise I created a someday/maybe milestone bucket to dump all the improvements in. I can’t pretend to know what the right balance for this stuff is — but if you stop and fix every little thing that annoys or shames you during a project you’ll never get to the end.

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Originally Posted: 26th August 2019