An ISP of their own (was RE: [rescue] Being jobless)

Jonathan C. Patschke jp at
Thu Jul 31 14:45:05 CDT 2003

On Thu, 31 Jul 2003, N.Miller wrote:

> Showing my developer ignorance--what exactly is meant by "second-
> system effect"--I could hazard a guess, but rather ask the
> experts.

The canonical definition:

   "(sometimes, more euphoniously, second-system syndrome) When one is
   designing the successor to a relatively small, elegant, and
   successful system, there is a tendency to become grandiose in one's
   success and design an elephantine feature-laden monstrosity. The term
   was first used by Fred Brooks in his classic The Mythical Man-Month:
   Essays on Software Engineering (Addison-Wesley, 1975; ISBN
   0-201-00650-2). It described the jump from a set of nice, simple
   operating systems on the IBM 70xx series to OS/360 on the 360 series.
   A similar effect can also happen in an evolving system; see Brooks's
   Law, creeping elegance, creeping featurism. See also Multics, OS/2,
   X, software bloat."

Basically, they tried to convert it from a modest email-based ticket
tracker with a DB backend into the GNU Emacs of helldesk software,
complete with time-tracking, asset-tracking, todo lists, contact lists,
employee task-tracking, and all sorts of other nonsense.

Jonathan Patschke   )  "We're Texans.  We figure out ways to do these
Elgin, TX          (    things..."                    --Bill Bradford

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