in reply to Re: A Porting Horror Story
in thread A Porting Horror Story


I also love Java, and didn't mean to make an attack on the language. Java has its good points and bad points, like any other language.

In their defense, the folks at this company were all pretty bright people. They made some bad decisions, but the decisions looked good at the time. Hindsight is easy.

Also, the decision to refactor is a really tough sell. Imagine going to upper management and saying, "Hey, I've got a great idea-- the Engineering department is going to spend about half of its time making changes to the code which have no effect whatsoever visible to the outside world. But after we do that, the code will be mysteriously better!" Porting, although it is really the same thing in a much bigger chunk, gives upper management something they can point to. "See? We're moving forward! We've moved this from Language A to Language B!"

The disaster described here could have happened just as easily porting from Java to Perl as from Perl to Java... or even doing a rewrite-from-scratch on a project in any language.