Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Prowling the ruins of ancient software

Link: Prowling the ruins of ancient software

Sam Williams recently interviewed Grady Booch, Ward Cunningham, and myself about software archaeology; the issues surrounding preserving and understanding existing software. Grady focused on the preservation aspects, keeping archives of worthy software in museums. Ward and I concentrated on the issues on understanding the code that you come across (not just in a historical sense; this stuff is useful when maintaining code that’s six months old). The resulting article in Salon is fairly high level, but the underlying message is an important one.

Friday, July 4, 2003

experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

On the Fourth of July, I went over to the archives to read a transcription of the Declaration of Independence. In a way it seems cheap to draw project-team lessons from such a document, but there is a wonderful quote in the middle that I hadn’t noticed before:

Are we currently putting up with things “to which we have become accustomed” rather than fighting to right them?