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- When is a BIG Rewrite the answer? 25 answers
I understand the reasoning behind Joel Spolsky's article "Things You Should Never Do, Part I", but I always see it referenced in regards in situations where the end goal is the production of software. What if I'm a developer who maintains an ecommerce site? My job isn't writing a retail platform, but instead putting it to use. In fact, this wouldn't even be a re-write, as such, but a big database and web design transition.
The software our site is based on is written in classic ASP, and is fundamentally missing many features that customers expect from a current shopping site. Rather than continue to add these features in piecemeal, my gut feeling is that I should start to transition to a more modern platform. We would lose the customizations that we've made over the years, but frankly, many of this features already exist (and have have almost certainly been implemented better!) in the package that I'd like to switch to.
Am I falling victim to the spirit of Netscape, or am I right in thinking my time is better spent in places besides making our tools do what we need?
To clarify, this is the equivalent of switching blogging platforms for us. Any "development" that I do is essentially rewriting the front end of our website, while the back end is out of my control.
Suppose WordPress development had stopped years ago, and was missing "modern" features like commenting, static pages, clean permalinks, etc. Sure, I could write a plug-in to add those things, but after a while, wouldn't it be better to switch platforms to something that had all those (needed) features built in from the beginning?