creeping featurism: /kree'ping fee'chr-izm/ n. [common] 1.
Describes a systematic tendency to load more chrome and features
onto systems at the expense of whatever elegance they may have
possessed when originally designed. See also feeping creaturism.
"You know, the main problem with BSD Unix has always been creeping
featurism." 2. More generally, the tendency for anything
complicated to become even more complicated because people keep
saying "Gee, it would be even better if it had this feature too".
(See feature.) The result is usually a patchwork because it grew
one ad-hoc step at a time, rather than being planned. Planning is a
lot of work, but it's easy to add just one extra little feature to
help someone ... and then another ... and another.... When
creeping featurism gets out of hand, it's like a cancer. Usually
this term is used to describe computer programs, but it could also
be said of the federal government, the IRS 1040 form, and new cars.
A similar phenomenon sometimes afflicts conscious redesigns; see
second-system effect. See also creeping elegance.