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As an experienced programmer, I'd like to point out you never need to "throw out" old code. You can instead do a "major refactoring". Throwing out code and starting over usually results in code with a whole new set of legacy problems while throwing out all that was good.
For example, take my 'rdpscan' tool I wrote last month, based upon an existing patch to 'rdesktop' code for Linux. I stripped out a lot of stuff, fixed some things, and ported it to run even on WinXP.
Development was fast because I started with a test suite with a set of vulnerable/invulnerable targets, so I could make huge changes and rely upon testing to find things that break.
The same could be true with OpenPGP. As you go in an refactor parts, make a test suite, then slash and burn making enormous changes. Sure, you'll still introduce bugs, but you'll find and fix this over time and fix the testing suite.
If you are doing a rewrite-from-scratch, at least carry over the test suite. For many code bases, a good regression/unit test suite developed over the decades is in fact more important than the code.
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