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banana problem

(From the story of the little girl who said "I know how to spell "banana", but I don't know when to stop"). Not knowing where or when to bring a production to a close (compare fencepost error). One may say "there is a banana problem" of an algorithm with poorly defined or incorrect termination conditions, or in discussing the evolution of a design that may be succumbing to featuritis (see also creeping elegance, creeping featuritis). See item 176 under HAKMEM, which describes a banana problem in a Dissociated Press implementation. Also, see one-banana problem for a superficially similar but unrelated usage.

(1995-01-31)


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