The essence of proprietary software, and, theoretically, antithesis of open source software, reinventing the wheel involves creating something that is already created, wasting effort that could be spent for improving the product instead. Very counter-productive, and very human; sometimes the code sucks because it isn't made by me, and therefore, an excuse to reinvent the wheel has to be found.


  • 4. I don't like other people's indentation style (CLAUSE-LINEFEED-BRACE DAMMIT!)
  • 5. I want to develop the project to my own direction, not in the direction project's owner wants it
  • 6. It is less effort to reinvent the wheel than it is to try to understand someone else's code
reincarnation, cycle of = R = relay rape

reinvent the wheel v.

To design or implement a tool equivalent to an existing one or part of one, with the implication that doing so is silly or a waste of time. This is often a valid criticism. On the other hand, automobiles don't use wooden rollers, and some kinds of wheel have to be reinvented many times before you get them right. On the third hand, people reinventing the wheel do tend to come up with the moral equivalent of a trapezoid with an offset axle.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

In programming, (or coding) this is very embarrassing and annoying. Picture this: You're writing a routine to do something that you're sure hasn't been done before. You go on deja.com and do a search - nothing. Okay, time for Google - nothing. Yahoo, AltaVista, Excite, and every single one of your bookmarked programmers' info sites - nothing. Okay, it's time to code! You've been up all night, powered by caffeine, and are just about to put the finishing touches on this routine. All of the sudden an instant message pops up from a friend, also pulling an all-nighter. You tell him about the amazing feat of programming skill you've spent the last few hours on... and to your horror he replies: "Hey, I saw something that does the same thing in half the code at www..." Congratulations - you've just reinvented the wheel.

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