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Discussion on: Why are developers still using this legacy framework?

rydogs profile image

The definition of "legacy" is tricky, especially in the front-end world. People usually use it to mean out-dated. As a developer, we want to use the latest tech that we just read about yesterday, because it looks so much better than what the company is using currently. However, this is often not what the company or the application needs. An older, well-used framework is often more stable and easier to find experienced dev to hire. The cost of changing the underlying framework for an existing application often greatly outweighs the benefits of that of a newfangled one. Is Angular.js really that bad if it gets the job done?

nprimak profile image
Nadya Primak Author • Edited

This is a good question and one I have definitely asked myself. Compared to the newer versions of Angular, AngularJS does feel pretty flawed. On the other hand, its easier to find solutions and libraries when you come across a problem. In the DC area there are especially a lot of companies and government contractors still supporting or even building apps with AngularJS because they don't have the resources to update everything.

ssimontis profile image
Scott Simontis

This just popped up in my side feed. The reason you see legacy technologies is often because they lack the requirements to rebuild the solution with more modern technologies. To do a complete rewrite, you need to perfectly understand the requirements, otherwise, how will you know that what gets written does its job? A lot of Agile teams probably have absolutely nothing describing system acceptance criteria or why design decisions were made because Agile de-prioritizes documentation. One guide I read ironically stated we should "treat documentation like a requirement"...I sure wouldn't want to be held responsible for the success of a project driven by half-assed user stories delivered by some consultant who is now selling snake oil somewhere else.

If I am offered legacy work, I tell recruiters I will only do so for $125/hr minimum. They think I am out of my mind, but I tell them they'll be paying that rate when they are forced to hire a local consulting firm to do the work. I have never had any of them take me up on that, but I guarantee you whatever number you name is more reasonable than the "expert" consultants they eventually hire who will turn around and let a junior analyst or overseas team perform the work.

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aminmansuri profile image

I think we spend too much time reinventing the wheel..

In my 20 years of web programming I've rarely found new languages/frameworks to be much better than the older ones. In fact, they tend to lack a lot of good features the more mature frameworks had (but we cannot use anymore because they are "out of date").

I think overall this tendency towards abandonware is not really a benefit for companies.

I'm not against innovation, but very few new things are true innovation. Most are just new ways of doing the same old thing.

Like fashion.

maciek134 profile image
Maciej Sopyło

Well, Angular.js devs are scarce. It's not outdated - it's ancient, not supported (literally deprecated) and just not good enough once you see the alternatives. jQuery would get the job done too, would you pick it for a new project now?

Also due to how the front end world looked back when Angular.js was good when you join a project now it's a Russian roulette as far as quality goes. Usually full of weird constructs and antipatterns written by people that don't want to let it go.