Evergreen 2.9: now with fewer zombies

While looking to see what made it into the upcoming 2.9 beta release of Evergreen, I had a suspicion that something unprecedented had happened. I ran some numbers, and it turns out I was right.

Evergreen 2.9 will feature fewer zombies.

Considering that I’m sitting in a hotel room taking a break from Sasquan, the 2015 World Science Fiction Convention, zombies may be an appropriate theme.

But to put it more mundanely, and to reveal the unprecedented bit: more files were deleted in the course of developing Evergreen 2.9 (as compared to the previous stable version) than entirely new files were added.

To reiterate: Evergreen 2.9 will ship with fewer files, even though it includes numerous improvements, including a big chunk of the cataloging section of the web staff client.

Here’s a table counting the number of new files, deleted files, and files that were renamed or moved from the last release in a stable series to the first release in the next series.

Between release… … and release Entirely new files Files deleted Files renamed
rel_1_6_2_3 rel_2_0_0 1159 75 145
rel_2_0_12 rel_2_1_0 201 75 176
rel_2_1_6 rel_2_2_0 519 61 120
rel_2_2_9 rel_2_3_0 215 137 2
rel_2_3_12 rel_2_4_0 125 30 8
rel_2_4_6 rel_2_5_0 143 14 1
rel_2_5_9 rel_2_6_0 83 31 4
rel_2_6_7 rel_2_7_0 239 51 4
rel_2_7_7 rel_2_8_0 84 30 15
rel_2_8_2 master 99 277 0

The counts were made using git diff --summary --find-rename FROM..TO | awk '{print $1}' | sort | uniq -c and ignoring file mode changes. For example, to get the counts between release 2.8.2 and the master branch as of this post, I did:

Why am I so excited about this? It means that we’ve made significant progress in getting rid of old code that used to serve a purpose, but no longer does. Dead code may not seem so bad — it just sits there, right? — but like a zombie, it has a way of going after developers’ brains. Want to add a feature or fix a bug? Zombies in the code base can sometimes look like they’re still alive — but time spent fixing bugs in dead code is, of course, wasted. For that matter, time spent double-checking whether a section of code is a zombie or not is time wasted.

Best for the zombies to go away — and kudos to Bill Erickson, Jeff Godin, and Jason Stephenson in particular for removing the remnants of Craftsman, script-based circulation rules, and JSPac from Evergreen 2.9.

CC BY-SA 4.0 Evergreen 2.9: now with fewer zombies by Galen Charlton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.