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'misfeature': true origin [was 'RE: FOLLOW-UP TO: SOLVED: Spell CheckerQuestion']


> Regarding "misfeature", Dictionary.com states:
> misfeature
> \Mis*fea"ture\, n. Ill feature. [R.] --Keats.
> Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary,  1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

> [and the definition that then followed ...]

Hackers will recognize this as a definition from the New Hackers Dictionary
(uncredited by Webster), compiled by Eric Raymond and a long line of
illustrious contributors before him.  Another gem:

marketroid /mar'k*-troyd/ /n./

alt. `marketing slime', `marketeer', `marketing droid', `marketdroid'. A
member of a company's marketing department, esp. one who promises users
that the next version of a product will have features that are not actually
scheduled for inclusion, are extremely difficult to implement, and/or are
in violation of the laws of physics; and/or one who describes existing
features (and misfeatures) in ebullient, buzzword-laden adspeak.
Derogatory. Compare droid.

Google for "+new +hacker's +dictionary +eric +raymond" or just go to <


Hedley Finger
Technical Communications Support Specialist
MYOB Australia <http://www.myob.com.au/>
P.O. box 371   Blackburn VIC 3130   Australia
12 Wesley Court   Tally Ho Business Park   East Burwood VIC 3151
<mailto:hedley_finger [at] myob [dot] com [dot] au>
Tel. +61 3 9222 9992 x 7421,   Mob. (cell) +61 412 461 558

(C) MYOB Limited 2003

                    "Sarah Clausen"                                                                                                         
                    <sclausen@etcconnect.com>               To:     framers@FrameUsers.com (Framers List)                                   
                    Sent by:                                cc:                                                                             
                    bounce-framers-123832@lists.Fram        Subject:     RE: FOLLOW-UP TO:  SOLVED: Spell Checker Question                  
                    31/10/2003 08:45 AM                                                                                                     
                    Please respond to "Sarah                                                                                                

Regarding "misfeature", Dictionary.com states:


\Mis*fea"ture\, n. Ill feature. [R.] --Keats.

Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary,  1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.


/mis-fee'chr/ or /mis'fee"chr/ A feature that eventually
causes lossage, possibly because it is not adequate for a new
situation that has evolved. Since it results from a
deliberate and properly implemented feature, a misfeature is
not a bug. Nor is it a simple unforeseen side effect; the
term implies that the feature in question was carefully
planned, but its long-term consequences were not accurately or
adequately predicted (which is quite different from not having
thought ahead at all). A misfeature can be a particularly
stubborn problem to resolve, because fixing it usually
involves a substantial philosophical change to the structure
of the system involved.

Many misfeatures (especially in user-interface design) arise
because the designers/implementors mistake their personal
tastes for laws of nature. Often a former feature becomes a
misfeature because trade-offs were made whose parameters
subsequently change (possibly only in the judgment of the
implementors). "Well, yeah, it is kind of a misfeature that
file names are limited to six characters, but the original
implementors wanted to save directory space and we"re stuck
with it for now."

Source: The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing,  1993-2003 Denis Howe

Sarah Clausen
Technical Communications
Electronic Theatre Controls, Inc.


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