Questions about legacy languages, code, or applications.

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31
votes
5answers
7k views

What are the key points of Working Effectively with Legacy Code?

I've seen the book Working Effectively with Legacy Code recommended a few times. What are the key points of this book? Is there much more to dealing with legacy code than adding unit/integration ...
2
votes
5answers
862 views

Why should you document code? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Comments are a code smell” I am a graduate software developer for an insurance company that uses an old COBOL-like language/flat-file record storage system. ...
60
votes
11answers
2k views

Best Practices for Handing over Legacy Code

In a couple of months a colleague will be moving on to a new project and I will be inheriting one of his projects. To prepare, I have already ordered Michael Feathers' Working Effectively with Legacy ...
10
votes
5answers
448 views

Starting a coherent architecture in a legacy application

I have responsibility for a large Asp.Net based website. It is currently a website (not web application), some windows services and a number of class libraries. The data layer uses a mixture of ...
14
votes
8answers
843 views

How to handle management pushing legacy systems?

I am currently on a paid internship, and have been tasked with maintaining an obsolete system that has been developed by multiple developers (at different times) over the course of the past 5 years. ...
18
votes
6answers
786 views

Does adding unit tests make sense for well-known legacy code?

I'm talking about unit tests in the TDD sense. (Not automated "integration", or what you like to call it tests.) Legacy code as in: (C++) code without tests. (see: Michael Feathers' Working ...
9
votes
3answers
685 views

Ramping Up On Legacy Code

When starting to work on a project with an existing code base, the first thing that needs to be done is usually to understand the application & existing code. Let's assume that the existing code ...
18
votes
7answers
1k views

How can a large, Fortran-based number crunching codebase be modernized?

A friend in academia asked me for advice (I'm a C# business application developer). He has a legacy codebase which he wrote in Fortran in the medical imaging field. It does a huge amount of number ...
12
votes
5answers
392 views

Resolving merge conflicts due to refactoring

I got involved in a discussion recently on how to handle refactoring in general (which is an interesting topic in itself). Eventually the following question was brought up: How does one handle merge ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

How do I get myself out of a dead-end programming job? [duplicate]

I have almost 9 years of IT experience of which 7 years was worked in an IT company. For past 2 years I have been stuck in a non-IT based company using outdated technology and methodologies. We ...
3
votes
2answers
244 views

How do you approach a new project where the code has already been written? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do you dive into large code bases? I'm about to take on maintenance and enhancements of a fairly large and complex Java EE project with a Javascript front end. I'm ...
4
votes
3answers
141 views

Creating a Performance Model for a Legacy product

I've been given the task for creating a performance model for a legacy product. The product is about 10 years old and has never had any performance requirements or performance models before. Generally ...
11
votes
2answers
730 views

Adding unit tests to a legacy, plain C project

The title says it all. My company is reusing a legacy firmware project for a microcontroller device, written completely in plain C. There are parts which are obviously wrong and need changing, and ...
2
votes
1answer
209 views

What does it mean to drop support for Internet Explorer 6? [closed]

When Facebook, Youtube, and even Microsoft themselves say that they've "dropped support for IE6", what do they really mean? Youtube still functionally works fine in IE6. If they mean that they've ...
6
votes
5answers
3k views

is Ada really gone?

Do people still use Ada -- (it was mostly used in the Defense Department) Are all applications written in Ada "Legacy"? Does Ada knowledge still sell
1
vote
2answers
128 views

What steps can I take to ensure that I successfully integrate new functionality to an existing app?

I may potentially have some work to implement new features to a client's existing web application. (I didn't write the original app). I've never made an app that wasn't written from scratch, and I'm ...
3
votes
3answers
238 views

Tips on develop further on a legacy system? [closed]

I was assigned to extend (and eventually maintain) a legacy system (mostly procedural, semi-ball of mud) without MVC. Any tips or suggestions for me going forward? :S
51
votes
10answers
6k views

When is code “legacy”? [closed]

We've all done it, we've labelled some code (often stuff we've inherited) as "legacy"? But it's still used in the production systems - so is it really legacy? And what makes it legacy? Should we shy ...
4
votes
4answers
349 views

What is the best way to deal with legacy code not in version control?

What is the best way to develop and maintain legacy code not in version control? Adding it to version control is of course the obvious answer, but if you can't, for some reason, what would you do? A ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

What issues lead people to use Japanese-specific encodings rather than Unicode?

At work I come across a lot of Japanese text files in Shift-JIS and other encodings. It causes many mojibake (unreadable character) problems for all computer users. Unicode was intended to solve this ...
18
votes
6answers
682 views

Is there any hope for writing good code atop a horribly designed database?

Here's my predicament. One of several programs I've recently inherited is built with a horrible database on the backend. The esteemed creators of it apparently did not appreciate relational concepts. ...
4
votes
3answers
219 views

Small refactorings on a poor codebase?

In the last two years I have worked with a poorly written codebase of nearly 40K lines of code. Over that time I have made many small refactorings to improve it and made some bigger, as time permits. ...
14
votes
4answers
5k views

Classic ASP to ASP.net or ASP.net MVC

We have a web application which is developed in classic ASP and it evolved over 5 years to its current form which has 100's of pages, huge database and more than 10000 active users going through at ...
3
votes
5answers
192 views

New Customer Project - Use Legacy Application or Design Something New

We are starting a new project with a new customer. We have a legacy application circa 1997 that we are planning on using to satisfy the customer's business requirements. I have been on the fence as ...
42
votes
24answers
4k views

Most common “Y2K-style” bugs today? [closed]

I don't specifically mean date-related issues like 2038, but more generally, bugs that fit the pattern: A generation ago, programmers tended to write code that ass-u-me-d X, which was reasonable at ...
11
votes
6answers
1k views

Other than for legacy software, are there reasons for using COBOL?

COBOL is still (heavily?) used for financial computing. It is an old language, and AFAIK most programmers hate, or at least dislike, COBOL. This brings a question: is the only reason COBOL is still ...
14
votes
3answers
533 views

How to deal with “software end-of-life” situations?

When a vendor declares that they no longer intend to provide any support or services to a piece of software (and stated the intent to exit the business - offering no upgrade paths), what kind of ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

Best practices for retrofitting legacy code with automated tests

I'm about to take on the task of reimplementing an already defined interface (a set of C++ header files) in a relatively large and old code base. Before doing this, I would like to have as complete ...
10
votes
1answer
547 views

Have unit test generators helped you when working with legacy code?

I am looking at a small (~70kLOC including generated) C# (.NET 4.0, some Silverlight) code-base that has very low test coverage. The code itself works in that it has passed user acceptance testing, ...
6
votes
8answers
487 views

What are important things to remember when reengineering a legacy application?

About to embark on the initial phases of a project to rewrite a legacy application from the ground up (existing business rules will change somewhat, and be extended to incorporate a large number of ...