Iceberg Classes and Inheritance
November 11, 2015
Better developers than I have written about iceberg classes and why they are a code smell. I’d like to talk about a specific kind of iceberg class I’ve recently come across. This type involves inheritance. Here’s an example of what I mean.
class Job def perform # do some setup execute # do some cleanup end private def execute raise NotImplementedError end end class SomeJob private def execute # do some stuff end end class AnotherJob private def execute # do other stuff end end
My gut reaction to this code is that there is a design smell here. I’m wondering if my reaction is not because of the “iceberg” nature of the subclasses, but because of the use of inheritance. I’m curious what others think and if you agree that there is a problem with the code.