In my daily reading these two articles came fairly close together, and I have a strong feeling they are describing exactly the same project. *
From one side of the fence: A total rewrite: costly, time-consuming, but worth it?
“Our CMS was developed using Active Server Pages, and consisted of around 80,000 lines of VBScript code.”
“as we continued to develop the rest of the framework, we saw that it took a lot longer than anticipated”
From the other side: The Homegrown CMS
“If one were to create a list of adjectives to describe this monstrosity, “stable,” “reliable,” and “accurate” would be strikingly absent.”
“…nearly 200 tables (mostly imported from Microsoft Access) and not a single stored procedure. Boolean-type values were represented as a CHAR(5) field, holding possible values of ‘true’, ‘false’, or NULL…
“There were also no indexes. Nor any primary key columns… For inserts, an ID was assigned via in-line SQL by requesting the Max(ID) field of any particular table and adding 1.”
My point of view: this sounds like a good counter-example to the (very good, but general) advice offered by Joel Spolsky: don’t rewrite from scratch.
* EDIT: Vidar Langberget has advised that these are not the same project, proving that I’m not such a great prognosticator :|