Using UML to Analyze Legacy Code...

For every programmer out there creating brand new code and working on the latest technology, there are many of us who are cutting our way through the code maintenance jungle.
Maintaining code is not for everyone. Some programmers love creating brand new code and introducing new technologies. We need those programmers in order to move companies and coding technologies forward. At the same time all projects eventually require maintenance. That’s where we need programmers that will do the dirty work of maintaining code and if they love it it’s even better.
Maintenance can mean a lot of different things. Maintenance can sometimes mean fixing defects. Other times it can mean enhancements. Sometimes it can mean refactoring and paying off technical debt. Or as in my latest case modifying the code to meet new technical requirements. Maintenance is not totally exclusive from creating brand new code. Maintenance sometimes means moving from the old to the new.
The Problem
In my latest case we are faced with a challenge of replacing a Java Applet with HTML and JavaScript. The Applet in question was put in place many years long before I came on board in the project, probably when Applets were still and adequate approach for rich controls web applications. For the last year or so the applet has becoming quite a hassle to deal with. The applet itself requires no changes, it works as designed. However, applets are a high security vulnerability. One of the first things we had to do was have the applet signed (it was a really painful and non-straightforward process). It required a signature because it would stop running with each Java update. Moving forward, as of January of this year Oracle has announced its plans to remove the Java plug-in for browsers. Its decision is based mostly on the fact that browser vendors have announced their timeline for dropping support for plug ins.
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Using UML to Analyze Legacy Code

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