|No such thing as a small change|
To take another example, while I view Perl 6 as a "rewrite" of Perl 5, I suspect many monks would disagree with that view; a couple of them have already made that plain in this thread. Note however that Larry Wall at least seems to view Perl 6 as a "rewrite" of Perl:
Sorry to be pedantic--it's not usually my thing--but I think you subtly reinterpreting Mr Wall's words in support of your argument.
The man himself will set me straight if it is of interest to him, but I think that "Perl 6 to be the ... rewrite of Perl" is considerably different from "Perl 6 as a "rewrite" of Perl 5".
'Perl', unadorned by the version number, is neither an implementation that can be re-written, nor a design evolution that can be reimplemented. It is a 'only'--and precisely completely--a concept; an ethos; an idea.
As such, Perl 5 wasn't a rewrite of the Perl 4 implementation; but rather a rewrite of the Perl design that was then implemented as Perl 5. Ditto for Perl 6 relative to Perl 5.
The (one; but a good one) definition of 'rewrite' in the context of software is:
A rewrite in computer programming is the act or result of re-implementing a large portion of existing functionality without re-use of its source code. When the rewrite is not using existing code at all, it is common to speak of a rewrite from scratch. ..
On the basis of both that definition, and my limited expereince of both, calling the feature rich Subversion a rewrite of the CVS, is like calling the Ford Focus a rewrite of the Ford Model-T. They serve a similar niche and target audience; but the way they go about achieving it is so utterly different.
The goal of re-implementing the same basic functionality is present; but the provision of so much additional functionality makes the term 'rewrite' an inadequate description of the reality.
Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
"Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.