Looking at the past, it does help to prevent some (common) design errors in the future and it sure is good to keep them in mind (regardless of how many times you hear them..)
KISS. Keep it (the design) simple and stupid. Complex systems tend to fail. They are hard to tune. They tend not to scale as well. They require smarter people to keep the wheels on the road. In short, they are a pain in the you-know-what. Conversely, simple systems tend to be easy to tune and debug and tend to fail less and scale better and are usually easier to operate. This isn’t news. As I’ve argued before, spreadsheets and SQL and PHP all succeeded precisely because they are simple and stupid—and forgiving. Interestingly, standards bodies tend to keep working on standards long after they should have been frozen. They forget these lessons and add a million bells and whistles that would, if adopted, undoubtedly cause the systems to fail. Luckily this doesn’t happen because by then there is a large body of installed code (and even hardware) out there that assumes the simpler spec and cannot handle the new bells and whistles. Therefore, no one uses them and we are all protected.
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