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Posts: 642 | Thanked: 2,342 times | Joined on Jun 2014
Originally Posted by juiceme View Post
Well, read back what I wrote and think about it a bit.

Those countless projects you mention, that were abandoned; if the code exists they are not dead, someone could continue if she deemed it useful. You could do it yourself if you really needed the said application but it seems to me you don't need it badly enough...

So it seems to be those can be classified to the category "projects that deserve to die"
I'd compare abandoned software projects to a little plant called Selaginella lepidophylla, known by so many different common names I'm just using the scientific name. It can survive without water for a very, very long time and curls up into a ball (like a tumbleweed, in fact I think it actually is one), and when it gets some water, it uncurls again to continue growing. However, without water, it does eventually die. It can still uncurl and recurl when dead, but it is no phoenix.
Software projects are very similar in that once they're abandoned, for a certain amount of time they're just waiting to get worked on once more. Wait too long, though, and they're gone, never to return, no matter how hard you might try to revive them. Did they really deserve to die? Like the plant, they held out for as long as they possibly could, it just didn't rain in time.

The problem with saying 'anyone can continue the projects' is that 'anyone' is used in a sense that is really as far as it could possibly be from its actual meaning. The only people who are able to continue those projects are the ones who have a great amount of expertise in the field, who have the time to work on them and who have such a thorough interest in the project they're willing to put in a lot of work to remove all the accumulated cruft and dust. All three conditions must be fulfilled simultaneously, otherwise it won't work. Anyone, as such, is really no one in particular.
See it as a community garden, where the person(s) responsible for keeping it all in good shape for any reason cease(s) work on the garden. In a year, there will be only untouched nature. Volunteers with the best intentions and lots of spare time may express their grief over the loss of the nice garden as much as they want, and they may even try their best to keep everything alive and pretty, but without the experts to guide their efforts, nothing fundamentally changes and they only delay the inevitable decay and death. But the experts? They already have their own garden to take care of...

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