key question

Robert J. Hansen rjh at
Sun Feb 28 22:59:17 CET 2010

>> The perfect is the enemy of the good.

It's a pretty common engineering maxim.  It's not a statement about morality -- or, at least, it wasn't my intent for it to be taken as such.

For an excellent engineering example of the difference between perfect and good, compare Project Xanadu to the World Wide Web.  Project Xanadu's obsession with getting everything right has massively impaired its adoption.  The Web's willingness to say, "this is a problem and we don't know how to fix it but we're going to go ahead regardless" has been instrumental in its widespread adoption.

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