I spent an informative 51 minutes yesterday watching this InfoQ video presentation on Brownfield Software: Industrial Waste or Business Fertilizer by Josh Graham of Thoughtworks.
Josh describes an intensive, heroic effort to bring a large, festering, vintage 1997 legacy Java system under control.
Among the highlights: his admonition that, no matter how great the temptation may be, avoid the urge to rip out those homebrew frameworks and replace them with more modern, standard ones.
The testimonials from the theretofore downtrodden hackers who'd been pinned down in the trenches on this project were touching as well.Oh yeah, and they used AOP too. For logging, naturally....
They also spoke of the indispensability of engineers with superior textual skills in an environment like this, which, I gather, means the kinds of folks who for whatever reason are able to make some sense out of code most of us would find hopelessly inscrutable.