Friday, 19 September 2003, 0:35:42 EDT
If you are a programmer, or an aspiring programmer, you should read this. It is an essay about rewriting existing code from the ground up and why programmers have a tendency to want to do such a thing.
I do agree with this essay for the most part. I am sure my supervisor is tired of hearing me say stuff like "I want to get this project done so I never have to look at this nasty ass code ever again." I have written the same piece of calendar software for my place of employment twice now. The second version is a helluva lot better than the first though (and soon I will *sigh* begin work on the third version). I did not, however, rewrite this application from scratch. I took what worked from the first version, cleaned it up, and then wrote a second version around that. I intend to do the same thing for the third, and hopefully last, version.
The difference between what the essay is talking about and what I have done is that I wrote the original code with no outside assistance. I did not decide to rewrite the code because it was a pain to learn. I rewrote it because it was impossible to update and add in new features. The second version is much easier to work with but it is still fairly rigid. I attribute this to the fact that I wrote the application in a new language for me. Since the start of the project I have learned a great deal about the language and am writing, in my opinion, much better applications with it now.
Anyway, go read the essay. It is hilarious.