law of triviality / bikeshed




Don’t hesitate to point out when you notice one.


This discussion fits under this topic. Many of the comments did not add any real value to the issue at hand. Even after the changes were pushed to the testers repo, the discussion still continued. Why? Quite often community members try to contribute even when they don’t have a good understanding of the topic. This is evident when users can’t let go of their idea even when they are shown its incorrect or irrelevant. Why? Perhaps their ego?

Just to be clear, all posts that I made past the “pushed to repo” post did not add any value either.

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Thanks for pointing it out. Unfortunately some users keep derailing threads with their strong opinions about the topic without adding value. I’ll have to clean things up if it continues.


Bike Shedding

This is a metaphor indicating that you need not argue about every little feature just because you know enough to do so. Some people have commented that the amount of noise generated by a change is inversely proportional to the complexity of the change."

Law a triviality

The concept was first presented as a corollary of his broader “Parkinson’s law” spoof of management. He dramatizes this “law of triviality” with the example of a committee’s deliberations on an atomic reactor, contrasting it to deliberations on a bicycle shed. As he put it: “The time spent on any item of the agenda will be in inverse proportion to the sum [of money] involved.” A reactor is so vastly expensive and complicated that an average person cannot understand it, so one assumes that those who work on it understand it. On the other hand, everyone can visualize a cheap, simple bicycle shed, so planning one can result in endless discussions because everyone involved wants to add a touch and show personal contribution.[4]

Problems arise after a suggestion of building something new for the community, like a bike shed, causes everyone involved to argue about the details. This is a metaphor indicating that it is not necessary to argue about every little feature based simply on the knowledge to do so. Some people have commented that the amount of noise generated by a change is inversely proportional to the complexity of the change


I think it’s time to put a fork in that thread. It has long run its course.


Bikeshedding illustrative image:

A good example on bikeshedding. An important news on security issues and 0 replies. This is by comparison the “atomic power plant” situation:

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Imagine if a new bikeshedding debate erupts around the choice of icons in the diagram… :smiley:

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