Gold-plating the code
Posted by robkraft on September 7, 2009
Developer society has given the phrase “Gold-plating” a stigma similar to “socialized” in the political world.
Some things that appear to be gold plating may not really be gold plating. Recently, while developing a web site, we decided to incorporate support for WCAG even though it was not part of the requirements. That sure screams “Gold-plating”, doesn’t it. At first I thought so, but on second thought I realized that it does not. The only support we really added for WCAG was to use PNG images instead of JPG images. It didn’t really take us extra time to implement, other than the time taken to be aware of WCAG compliance.
Sometimes it is good to think about future possible requirements because they can alter a decision that you make today. Without considering future possible requirements, some decisions appear completely arbitrary, such as PNG or JPG, but when you consider likely future requirements, you see that one choice will work better than the other.