On Friday 04 January 2008, Jeremy McAnally wrote:
> Maintaining third party libraries becomes exponentially easier when
> you know and intimately understand how they work (usually by at least
> building a basic prototype of a similar solution).

I think both points of view -- use existings libs and write your own -- 
when applied responsibly boil down to the same principle: understand 
the code you're using.

Incidentally, that's the advice I tend to give (Rails) people when they 
ask if there's a plugin to do something. Be prepared to take over 
maintenance of the code yourself when something breaks; the original 
author might have abandoned it by then. In the case of Rails plugins 
that's not entirely unlikely.

Even given this caveat, if at all possible, I prefer using established 
existing code over DIY. Even more so when there already is a community 
of people using the existing lib, plugin, whatever. I like to have some 
common coding ground with others, instead of lots of one-off solutions.

Michael

-- 
Michael Schuerig
mailto:michael / schuerig.de
http://www.schuerig.de/michael/