> much of the previous software has been a hodgepodge of code snippets written by different scientists, run in stepwise fashion during every monthly update, some of it over 25 years old

Just how many world's top scientific research projects are loosely hold together with a set of random routines and scripts...

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@niconiconi don't forget about poorly-documented fortran/matlab, or random libraries that render the entire thing non-reproducible

@theruran Spencer & Christy (2015), in the v6 beta release note of the UAH satellite temperature dataset analysis. These two guys are famous/infamous for rejecting man-made climate change, but the dataset they maintained was historically a fairly important one.

And here's a blog post on the horrendous legacy code of UAH v5. Apparently they wanted to fix that with a full rewrite and reanalysis in UAH v6, but the final version never saw the light of the day.

Many; scientists consider computers to be tools for a specific scientific question to pursue/answer.

It should be the responsibility of the tool-maker to maintain, archive documentation.
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