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Acts of Volition: The Rise of Interface Elegance in Open Source Software

Apr 30, 2004, 01:00 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Steven Garrity)

"Open Source software is regularly criticized, often fairly, for lacking in ease-of-use and polish. When a developer wants a new feature--he can add it to the software, and if it gets checked-in by the project owners, it will be there for all to use. The obvious fault with this model is the now well known scourge of 'creeping featuritis'--when too many features and options begin to overwhelm and overshadow the core functionality of the software.

"The Mozilla browser and suite were a high-profile example of the ills of featuritis. While the software did everything you could possibly want it to, people still seemed to prefer other software packages that did less..."

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