Software Entropy

The tendency of software to become more disorganized the more it is modified over time. Ivar Jacobson, et. al., used this term in the book, Object-Oriented Software Engineering: A Use Case Driven Approach:

“The second law of thermodynamics, in principle, states that a closed system’s disorder cannot be reduced, it can only remain unchanged or increased. A measure of this disorder is entropy. This law also seems plausible for software systems; as a system is modified, its disorder, or entropy, always increases. This is known as software entropy.” 1)Jacobson, Ivar; Christerson, Magnus; Jonsson, Patrik; Övergaard, Gunnar (1992), Object-Oriented Software Engineering: A Use Case Driven Approach, ACM Press. Addison–Wesley, pp. 69–70, ISBN 0-201-54435-0

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