Posted by editor
on November 23, 2007 at 2:37 AM PST
Will your code outlive you? Also:
java.net Poll: How old is your oldest code that's still in production?
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Will your code outlive you?
First off, if you didn't check the page yesterday, perhaps because of the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S., then go back to the archive and read up on the early draft of JSR-294 (superpackages) and a Java-compatible runtime running on the iPhone.
Now, as for today. Talking with some former colleagues, I was surprised to find that stuff I'd written years ago was still running in production, largely unmodified. That seems kind of funny if you think of all the times you work on code bases that never even make production, or on projects that get released but fail in the marketplace. And if they succeed, the constant march of progress often demands they be redone at some point, perhaps because of changes in the runtime environment or because your work was a quick first-cut that was never expected to last, or whatever. Perhaps there's a unique combination of factors -- quality, usefulness, and efficiency, for example -- that work together in a virtuous circle to keep a given code base viable over the years.
Or, maybe you just wrote a mission-critical system with bizarre metaphors, circular reasoning, and an absolute absence of comments, preventing it from ever being maintained or replaced. Don't laugh -- more than a few people have used this as a job-protection strategy. They can't lay you off if nobody else can read your crazy code... right?
With such thoughts of quality and viability in mind, the latest java.net Poll asks "how old is your oldest code that's still in production?" Cast your vote on the front page, then visit the results page for current tallies and discussion.
In today's Weblogs , Evan