Simon Willison’s Weblog

3 items tagged “rewrites”


When a rewrite isn’t: rebuilding Slack on the desktop. Slack appear to have pulled off the almost impossible: finishing a complete, incremental rewrite of their core product. They moved from jQuery to React over the course of two years, constantly shipping new features as they went along. The biggest gain was in rewriting their code to support multiple workspaces, which means desktop client users no longer have to run a separate copy of Electron for every workspace they are signed into. # 22nd July 2019, 6:30 pm

Lessons from 6 software rewrite stories (via) Herb Caudill takes on the classic idea that rewriting from scratch is “the single worst strategic mistake that any software company can make” and investigates it through the lens of six well-chosen examples: Netscape 6, Basecamp Classic/2/3, Visual Studio/VS Code, Gmail/Inbox, FogBugz/Wasabi/Trello, and finally FreshBooks/BillSpring. Each story has details I had never heard before, and the lessons and conclusions are deeply insightful. # 19th February 2019, 9:55 pm


7 reasons I switched back to PHP after 2 years on Rails. After two years working on a Rails rewrite of CD Baby, Derek Sivers scrapped it and instead rewrote the PHP version using Rails-inspired design principles. Derek would still use Rails for a greenfield project though. # 23rd September 2007, 8:49 am