Why should the owner of Tesla and SpaceX worry about rewriting twitter API ?

His tweet read: “A small API change had massive ramifications. The code stack is extremely brittle for no good reason. Will ultimately need a complete rewrite.”

Musk’s tweet highlights a common problem that many companies face: the quality of their codebase. The API change that Musk referred to had unintended consequences, which could have been avoided if the code was more robust.

The problem with brittle code is that it’s fragile and prone to breaking. Even small changes can have a ripple effect throughout the entire system, leading to unforeseen consequences. This is why it’s important to have a codebase that is flexible and can handle changes without breaking.

Now if we were talking about rewriting a code in any other context, the story could be very different. But in the case of twitter, when you fire your engineers that were responsible on different pieces in the business, when you don’t know where you should start from, the obvious solution is to rewrite of course.

Should Twitter rewrite its API ? Technically I don’t think there is any need to rewrite the whole API, or even a small part of it. Unless there are other issues that the plateform is actually facing that are unknown to public.

Here is few suggestion to fix the issue :

Rewriting an API is a significant undertaking that should not be taken lightly. It should only be done when there is a clear need to do so, such as when the codebase is brittle and prone to breaking. Following best practices like versioning, thorough testing, and backwards compatibility, companies can avoid the need to rewrite their APIs and maintain a stable and flexible codebase. Ultimately, this will lead to a better user experience and more reliable software, but seems this is not the case of Twitter. What do you think ?


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