Linked by snydeq on Sun 11th Dec 2011 01:35 UTC
General Development Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister writes in favor of new programming languages given the difficulty of upgrading existing, popular languages. 'Whenever a new programming language is announced, a certain segment of the developer population always rolls its eyes and groans that we have quite enough to choose from already,' McAllister writes. 'But once a language reaches a certain tipping point of popularity, overhauling it to include support for new features, paradigms, and patterns is easier said than done.' PHP 6, Perl 6, Python 3, ECMAScript 4 -- 'the lesson from all of these examples is clear: Programming languages move slowly, and the more popular a language is, the slower it moves. It is far, far easier to create a new language from whole cloth than it is to convince the existing user base of a popular language to accept radical changes.'
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RE[4]: "Better" vs. Better
by ilovebeer on Mon 12th Dec 2011 04:19 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: "Better" vs. Better"
ilovebeer
Member since:
2011-08-08

Even so, rewrites kill companies. No matter how painful it is to stick with the existing version, that's the version that's paying the bills.

It's all very well assigning developers to do the complete rewrite that in five years time will make everything better. But if you're spending all the effort on the rewrite instead of on keeping the old product going, well... you probably won't still be around in five years time.

That makes some big assumptions:

-that the software actually is paying the bills
-that it will take substantial time to do a working rewrite
-that the current troubled version is still usable and meeting the required needs

If all of that is true, I would tend to agree. If any of them are false, I can't say the same.

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