<jargon> /kree'ping fee'chr-izm/ (Or "feature creep") A systematic
tendency to load more chrome and features onto systems at the expense of
whatever elegance they may have possessed when originally designed. "The main
problem with BSD Unix has always been creeping featurism."
More generally, creeping featurism is the tendency for anything to become more
complicated because people keep saying "Gee, it would be even better if it had
this feature too". The result is usually a patchwork because it grew one ad-hoc
step at a time, rather than being planned. Planning is a lot of work, but it's
easy to add just one extra little feature to help someone, and then another, and
another, .... When creeping featurism gets out of hand, it's like a cancer.
Usually this term is used to describe computer programs, but it could also be
said of the federal government, the IRS 1040 form, and new cars. A similar
phenomenon sometimes afflicts conscious redesigns; see second-system effect. See
also creeping elegance.
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