I just realized that I only tweeted about this a couple of months ago, but never blogged about it. Shame on me!
I wrote an article, Legacy Systems as Old Cities, for The Recompiler magazine. Is GNOME, now at 20 years old, legacy software? Is it different from mainframe software because "everyone" can change it? Does long-lived software have the same patterns of change as cities and physical artifacts? Can we learn from the building trades and urbanism for maintaining software in the long term? Could we turn legacy software into a good legacy?
You can read the article here.
Update 2017/06/10 - Spanish version of the article, Los Sistemas Heredados como Ciudades Viejas