February 2017

A software disaster happened to me recently that made me question if I should be writing software at all.

Years ago I wrote some powerful software that I checked in version control. When I checkout the software now, the version control software won't give me back the files. The software ate my software.

To get the files back I need to run now the same version I was running then. So I tried to recompile the version control software from the same older versions of its dependencies. After several tries I can't get the whole thing to compile with today's software.

And this is software that's supposed to excel in keeping older versions. It's software for version control.

If the passage of time alone is enough to destroy the software you've written, what's the point of writing software?

I knew some reasons software gets abandoned. Solving the wrong problem; using a bad programming language; letting the code get large. Now I know of another reason. Software that can't run in the past has a grim future.