Talk from Bryan Hughes, Staff Software Engineer, Patreon at OpenJS World 2023 in Vancouver, Canada, May 10-12.
We all know those OSS codebases; old, brittle, and getting in the way of adding new features and onboarding new collaborators. “I know!” you think, “Let’s rewrite this using shiny new tech! It’ll solve all our problems!” Sometimes rewriting is the best option, and sometimes it’s not. Even when it is, successfully rewriting a codebase is quite difficult in practice. Based on personal experience, in his talk, Bryan walks through the planning and implementation process to actually finish that long-desired rewrite.
Bryan covers key topics such as decomposing the codebase, different types of rewrites (full rewrite, partial rewrite, heavy refactor, light refactor), project planning, implementation, and the broader impact of rewriting code to benefit others. The presentation concludes with a gratitude message and a Q&A session.
Bryan’s slide deck is available here.
1:38 Decomposing in December 2014
3:47 A taxonomy of rewrites
5:35 Full rewrite
7:17 Partial rewrite
8:17 Heavy refactor
9:12 Light refactor
9:49 Define the problem
13:05 Determine constraints
17:16 Project planning
33:05 The big picture
36:35 Rewrite to serve others
37:15 Thank you and Q&A
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