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/mis-fee'chr/ or /mis'fee"chr/ A feature that eventually
causes lossage, possibly because it is not adequate for a new
situation that has evolved. Since it results from a
deliberate and properly implemented feature, a misfeature is
not a bug. Nor is it a simple unforeseen side effect; the
term implies that the feature in question was carefully
planned, but its long-term consequences were not accurately or
adequately predicted (which is quite different from not having
thought ahead at all). A misfeature can be a particularly
stubborn problem to resolve, because fixing it usually
involves a substantial philosophical change to the structure
of the system involved.
Many misfeatures (especially in user-interface design) arise
because the designers/implementors mistake their personal
tastes for laws of nature. Often a former feature becomes a
misfeature because trade-offs were made whose parameters
subsequently change (possibly only in the judgment of the
implementors). "Well, yeah, it is kind of a misfeature that
file names are limited to six characters, but the original
implementors wanted to save directory space and we"re stuck
with it for now."
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