How many times have you seen or written code like this (in any language):
someFlag = false;
someFlag = true;
I’ve written code myself like this many times, and seen it in many places too. Usually for toggling display of some content: “if it’s hidden, show it; otherwise, hide it”.
Recently I’ve been spending a lot of time learning and coding an app using AngularJS and I keep seeing this pattern repeatedly in many code examples:
someFlag = !someFlag;
When I first saw a statement like this it took me a couple of seconds to understand the purpose, but then when it clicked I laughed out loud in one of those ‘ahah!’ moments, as the outcome of this code is exactly the same as the code above.
When we translate design to code, sometimes thinking in logical, procedural steps hurts the ability to translate to code that best uses the features of the language or platform that you are running on. Sometimes the simplest solutions really are the best solutions, although maybe it takes a different thought process to get there.