Is it better for software to be simple or consistent? Richard P. Gabriel suggested that simplicity was the most important aspect of software design, more than consistency, correctness, or completeness. He called it “worse is better.”I use a lot of software in my job, so I think I get where this is coming from. Many programmes try so hard to be consistent and complete that they end up being a bit of a mess. Sure, it follows a standard structure, but you have to dig through a complex and nested interface to find even the most basic repetitive functions. (I hope I’m not making a mess of explaining this. Meh, if I am, “worse is better,” right?)
The “worse is better” approach ranks these four aspects: simplicity, consistency, correctness, and completeness. Simplicity comes out at the top, and completeness is only a worthwhile target if it doesn’t affect the other three aspects. According to Gabriel, software created in this way will be more successful with its users, and therefore in the market.
I live in Auckland, New Zealand, and am curious about most things.