= S =
second-system effect n.
(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.
This version of the jargon lexicon has been described (with
altogether too much truth for comfort) as an example of
second-system effect run amok on jargon-1....
--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.