How do auto makers deal with problems where a parts on a car vibrate noisily? In some cases, they just add some weight to the part that vibrates. This is sort of a sneak preview of a post I’m working on about good hacks versus bad hacks, and how to tell them apart. And maybe another post on what a pain it is to lay out HTML forms using semantic markup in a fashion that works in all of the popular browsers.

One of the biggest challenges for software developers, I think, is figuring out which hacks are good, and which hacks are bad. In the meantime, I put adding weight to car parts to keep them from shaking in the same category as rebooting your application server every night to dampen the effects of a memory link in your code. It may be a necessary hack for the short term, but it doesn’t really cut it as a long term solution.

Update: Be sure to read the comments. What seemed to me to be a hack is actually a pretty elegant solution.