Building incrementally

As soon as I finished the Open Journal Matcher and released it to the world, I wanted to rewrite it from the ground up. When I looked at the code, it was clear that so much could be improved: from better variable names, to clearer flow, and more concise functionality. I had to resist the strong urge to tear it all down and start again.

I did completely rewrite a project once before, and it was a good experience. My code got better, and I was happier with my work. It’s often said that a programming project is never finished, and I definitely agree.

I did, however, not rewrite the OJM, at least not yet. I decided it would be better to make incremental improvements, slowly molding the project into the shape that I want it. Over the past few weeks, I’ve added features and improved security, accessibility, and more. The code is already a lot better, with no big rewrite required.

On the upside, this incremental approach has kept the project more stable, as I’m not breaking everything at once. It also allows me to build the improvements on my own timeframe, which is nice. Lastly, I’m gaining a deeper understanding of the code I’ve written, rather than going looking for newer, shinier solutions. This focused attention on a specific implementation seems valuable and constructive.

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