The concept of “backward compatibility” requirement in the tech world is well known.
In the past, I haven’t made the connection, but recently I realized that this is very much present and an unavoidable requirement everywhere else.
Electric vehicles and self-driving cars have to be able to circulate on the same roads that were built for the internal combustion engine automobile. And of course, that was also true for when we first replaced the horse-and-buggy.
It is everywhere. In our kitchen, in the way we accessorize our clothes. A frying pan has to work on the existing stove, the belt has to fit the loops on the pants. The only difference in the technology realm is that innovation happens way faster and visibly.
It helps to think in terms of the so familiar model the technology industry has built.
And then, What’s a “dot” update and requires backward compatibility? and What’s a “complete rewrite”? or a “forklift upgrade”?
The latter is harder of course, but it also frees us from all the baggage.