Excerpts from midrange-l: 24-Mar-99 RE: Re[2]: IBM pushing Java Colin
Williams@technocra (3240*) 


> They [the decision makers] simply want you  
> to make the patch, test it, and get the code out 
> there in the shortest time possible. In a situation like that, if you 
> decide to rewrite the code and turn a (for example) 1 week task into a 1 
> month task, your very likely asking to get your butt kicked.  

On the short term, I absolutely agree; it seems indefensible to propose
a month of work instead of a week of work.  And *if* the current patch
could be the 'last patch,' then the show's over for defending a rewrite.


Of course, that's a BIG "if"... 

OTOH, *if* the decision makers could be convinced that a month-long
rewrite would: 
        a) greatly reduce the likelihood of more patches ever being required, 
or 
        b) reduce the next N patches from a week's work to a day's work each; 
then they might see the benefit. 

Of course, that's a BIG "if," too...  *8-) 

You're sure right on that this would be an uphill battle, and I'm afraid
that the less technical the decision-maker is, the less likely they are
to buy the "futures" argument... 

> I'm sure that most companies would love to rewrite their entire systems, 
> but at the end of the day, whose gonna pay for it. 

You try to put a price on love?  *8-) 

But you're right -- starting over on a stable system that's working
"acceptably" just doesn't make economic sense.  And, again, in a
perfectly stable system it could *never* make sense.   

However, in 'typical' systems--which do require maintenance from time to
time (tennis-shoes or an occasional python boot)--I think it's
reasonable to guide the decision-makers to look a little further out... 
Instead of asking "who'll pay at the end of the day," ask "will it have
paid at the end of the decade."   

Obviously, the long view is a tough, tough sell in "next quarter or die"
corporate America... 

-blair 

P.S. Thanks for the stimulating discussion. 
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