Dec 13th, 2002 by Tony in Questioning XP

Many projects have gotten into trouble in the past because the developers have tried to build a completely general, optimal solution. Indeed, a common joke is that some programmers would rather build an application generator (and use it to build the application) rather than simply build the application. Most of the time this is an obvious case of what Kent Beck called false feature rich, and the obvious solution is to ask the developer to do the simplest thing that could probably work.

The real problem is that the idea of build generic, optimal solutions is really seductive. After all, what could be more effective that writing a simple report generator and using it to produce the reports? It will obviously be much faster than having to develop 20 different reports.

Unfortunately, it is never that simple. All too many projects have wasted lots of time and money building a simple bit of generic infrastructure, so to address this risk Extreme Programming has an explicitly saying to warn against this mistake.

— Pete McBreen, Questioning Extreme Programming, Chapter 19

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