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Article:
  Myths Open Source Developers Tell Ourselves
Subject:   Perhaps I'm biassed by my project size...
Date:   2003-12-14 02:44:09
From:   anonymous2
...since most of the stuff I kick out into the world is pretty bite-sized, but most of my contributors do actually go ahead and read the code to get started.


I did the same when I kicked in the initial PostgreSQL compatibility for TWIG (does this thing do HTML? Let's find out: http://twig.screwdriver.net/) I read the code (not all of it, just the core stuff, main includes and the few modules I needed to deal with) in order to pick up enough context to do what I needed, which was make the PostgreSQL interface actually work so I didn't have to run two SQL databases on one already-busy server.


Most of the other contributing I do to other projects is "surface" enough to not need much reading, since these days I'm usually too busy being a technician to have time to program (dammit!).

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  • The other thing is +++ redo from start +++
    2003-12-14 02:53:48  anonymous2 [View]

    The decision to scrap and rewrite is a case-by-case call. Sometimes the design is so flawed, outdated or shortsighted that scrap-and-rewrite is clearly the best option. Sometimes scrapping just one or a few layers or modules will achieve the desired effect.

    I've seen two extremes in one project (Macavl, he says as he waves to Bruce Cook, Major and the ghost of Dean Elsner), one where the boss refused to rewrite the original program until the overlay tree became so banyan that it broke STB ("Slow Task Breaker", although the official DEC acronym was different) completely and left him with no choice, followed a little later by a period in which the wheel was repeatedly reinvented in slightly different ways because it wasn't quite right.

    Implying as Chromatic does here that rewrites are always superfluous is wrong, as would be the person who constantly rewrote the program, striving for perfection Zeno's-tortoise style until all of their followers make the Achilles decision. Let common sense prevail!