OPINION: Lets fight back against feature creep

Feature creep is death. Feature creep is worse than inertia. Feature creep promises you the world, but it is in fact a world you’ll never explore, a kiss you’ll never feel, a dream you’ll never share.

Feature creep is worse than ignorance. Feature creep is rotten. Feature creep is a jobless software engineer, or an engineer attempting to secure an unsteady job. We have to fight feature creep. Just say no.

You already see it, after you finally manage to get Photoshop or Word to load on your Mac you’ll find all those hundreds of features and commands – I’ll bet you only use half a dozen of the features provided (Photoshop users may employ slightly more).

Feature creep is/are those extra tools software developers lay into already veteran products whenever they clean up the code to make the application more effective and in tune with current operating systems, platforms and devices. They call the most significant of these “version upgrades”, pack them into a box, and try to get you to hand across the cash to license the new version. All on the promise of these extra features.

I’m sick of extra features. Look at Word – I just want a word processor that is fast, slick and doesn’t crash. (That’s why I haven’t used Word for a decade). If I want extra features, why can’t I purchase them as bolt-ons for the basic software package?

Why isn’t software sold on a modular model? Surely the initial cost of entry (the base application) could end up being sold at a good profit hike, with additional modules available and truly advanced modules costing more?

I mean, I don’t need Photoshop to make lamp posts disappear, as I’m into news, I do photo veritee. Why can’t I pay for that extra feature as and when I want to use it?

Surely selling software on a modular basis could end up meaning software developers make less money, but that’s the way of things – there’s less to go round right now – but software performance would improve.

Please, I don’t want bells and whistles. I just want software that works, doesn’t cost the earth and I don’t want to pay for features which sound insanely sexy but turn out not to be anything I actually need. I value performance above promise.

Am I alone in this?

Keep. It. Simple. Stupid.
Saving software, one module at a time.

2 thoughts on “OPINION: Lets fight back against feature creep

  1. Ralph Pollock

    Good Idea! Upgrades and such are so old hat; like about 20 years worth. Software companies should make the MINOR UPGRADES free or else group them together with about 100 of same for a major upgrade. I’m still using Photoshop 5.5 and quite happily and productively.

    Too many of the companies are seeing value for them rather than their customers – eventually they will lose the customers…

  2. AdamC

    My belief is one day the iPhone apps will kill these feature creep and the day of Adobe going downhill is not far away.

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