Evolution of a script

Posted by Jim Jagielski on Tuesday, March 25. 2008 in Programming

Two of the more useful pages on my http://people.apache.org/~jim/ site are my ASF Projects and ASF Committers pages. These are autogenerated pages which look at various resources and files to determine the "current" list (and status) of the ASF projects and their committers. The script that generates these pages actually has a pretty interesting heritage. The initial version was written by Sam Ruby in Python. I decided to take that as a starting point and ported it to Perl since, at the time, I didn't like Python all that much (that, of course, has changed greatly). Along the way, people started using and referring to the pages more and more, and so the script itself gained some increased functionality. After awhile though, I tired of doing the script in Perl and decided to rewrite it in Ruby, resulting in the current version. What is interesting, I think, in reviewing all 3 "main" versions is that the original heritage of the script still is apparent in certain sections. If instead of simply "porting" to a new language, if I instead had "rewritten" it, I think the structure would be different, maybe even vastly different in some areas. Also note that in some sections I do things very Ruby-like, and in others, take a more "traditional" approach... This is something I tend to do in all my coding, to reinforce the fact that there are always different ways to code things, and to keep myself, and my code readers, on our toes.

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