Opinion – 1,000,000 lines of code


Disclaimer: I’m no programmer; so I don’t have much more than a cursory understanding of the development behind software like Moodle.  But this isn’t so much of an opinion post as it is (I hope) a few thought provoking questions.

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A quote from Sean Behan‘s recent review of “Moodle 1.9 Extension Development” struck me.

Moodle is nearly 1 million lines of source code! (source: http://www.ohloh.net/p/moodle) Plowing through this on your own is not an easy task, even for experienced developers.

Personally I’m a huge fan of WordPress (that’s what this site is), which is about 10% of the Moodle code base (albeit the core is much less complex).  That being said, when is too much code…too much?

I think that Sean raises an important idea: that the size of the Moodle code base may be prohibitive to programmers diving in and/or making changes.

  • What if Moodle’s code base were smaller?
  • What if the Moodle core was more narrowly focused?
  • Does it matter?