Be Specific; The Inner Platform Effect

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Here are some choice words about seemingly perpetual problems that emerge in software development.

The Inner-Platform Effect is the tendency of software architects to create a system so customizable as to become a poor replica of the software development platform they are using.

...In the database world, developers are sometimes tempted to bypass the RDBMS, for example by storing everything in one big table with two columns labeled key and value. While this allows the developer to break out from the rigid structure imposed by a relational database, it loses out on all the benefits, since all of the work that could be done efficiently by the RDBMS is forced onto the application instead.

In computing, the second-system effect or sometimes the second-system syndrome refers to the tendency to design the successor to a relatively small, elegant, and successful system as an elephantine, feature-laden monstrosity.