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Communications of the ACM

Kode vicious

Lazarus Code

Lazarus Code, illustrative photo

Credit: Julenochek

back to top  Dear KV,

I have been asked to look into the possibility of taking a 15-year-old piece of open source software and updating it to work on a current system used by my company. The code itself does not seem to be too bad, at least no worse than the code I am used to reading, but I suspect it might be easier to write a new version from scratch than to try to understand code I did not write and which no one has actively maintained for several years. What is the point at which I should decide to ignore this old code and write something new?



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