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Archive for January, 2014

Some people think software bloat is good. Here is this quote citing one reason.

[…] there are lots of great reasons for bloatware. For one, if programmers don’t have to worry about how large their code is, they can ship it sooner. […] If your software vendor stops, before shipping, and spends two months squeezing the code down to make it 50% smaller, the net benefit to you is going to be imperceptible. […] But the loss to you of waiting an extra two months for the new version is perceptible, and the loss to the software company that has to give up two months of sales is even worse.

A lot of software developers are seduced by the old “80/20” rule. It seems to make a lot of sense: 80% of the people use 20% of the features. So you convince yourself that you only need to implement 20% of the features, and you can still sell 80% as many copies.

Unfortunately, it’s never the same 20%. Everybody uses a different set of features. […]

When you start marketing your “lite” product, and you tell people, “hey, it’s lite, only 1MB,” they tend to be very happy, then they ask you if it has their crucial feature, and it doesn’t, so they don’t buy your product.

If you think software bloat is good I’d like to know other reasons for that. If there are lots of great reasons for bloatware then it is only a matter of listing those reasons.

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I think software bloat is not good.

Basically because of this comment I made on this answer to the causes of software bloat:

It is one thing “if programmers don’t have to worry about how large their code is” when writing only the necessary and right code, and a very different thing having programmers carelessly write and add code which will unnecessarily increase the size of a program just for the sake of shipping sooner. But code size is NOT really the problem; the problem is that most if not all bloated programs are inefficient, slow, buggy, unreliable, frequently crash, cause a lot of inconveniences and frustrations to users, or cause fatalities. Bloatware is bad. Want to ship sooner? Write lean programs.

Shipping sooner should not be a reason, much less a great reason, for bloatware; if shipping sooner causes bloatware, that doesn’t make bloatware a good thing to have.

I don’t think I’m far off with the reasons I gave but, I would like to know if more people think software bloat is not good and the reasons why is not good.

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