The Reuse/Release Equivalence Principle


When we group classes into components we strive towards making some of them reusable so that we can potentially use them for other purposes and also other teams in the organization may use them if they want to. The Reuse/Release Equivalence Principle (REP) states that ”The granule of reuse is the granule of release”. In other words, if a component should be considered reusable it must be a releasable unit.


The reasons for why we should group classes into releasable components are mostly political. It has to do with the expectations other people have on the components and the support they require if they are going to reuse the code.

The users will expect the components to have version numbers, good documentation and support, etc


When grouping classes into components, reuse should be considered. Either all the classes in a component are reusable, or none of them are. Do not put classes that should be reused and classes that should not be reused into the same component.

The reusable components should also ”target the same audience” i.e. they should have a common theme or use case. Think of it this way: If the component is reused, all of the classes in the component should be reused. Do not put classes that have nothing in common into the same reusable component.

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