KISS principle

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The KISS principle ( English Keep it simple, stupid ) encouraged to seek the simplest possible solution to a problem.

In its basic statement, the KISS principle is very similar to the statement made by Ockham's straight razor : If there are several explanations for a certain situation, then the explanation that is the simplest, that is, that uses the fewest assumptions and variables, is to be preferred. It is also a principle of clean code .


The abbreviation KISS is now resolved differently (however, "simple" is always included), for example:

Keep it simple, stupid Keep it simple, super simple! ; Basically: Make it as easy as possible.
Keep it simple [and] stupid Keep it simple and stupid / limited ; in essence: understandable and manageable with the simplest means.
Keep it short and simple Make it short and simple ; from the field of marketing
Keep it simple and smart Make it easy and smart
Keep it simple and straightforward Make it simple and manageable
Keep it simply stupid Just make it foolproof

Since the acronym KISS itself is a word ( English kiss , German kiss ), it is also known as an apronym .

Origin and Distribution

The apronym was supposedly coined by Clarence Johnson , who was a senior engineer at Lockheed Martin Skunk Works , a company that manufactured the Lockheed U-2 and SR-71 Blackbird spy planes, among others .

While it was resolved by the general public for decades as "Keep it simple [,] stupid", Johnson himself resolved it as "Keep it simple [and] stupid", and this variant is now used by many authors. An anecdote from Johnson's life is intended to illustrate his attitude towards simple problem-solving: he gave a group of engineers the task of designing a jet engine and handed over some tools. The jet engine to be designed should also be able to be repaired by an average mechanic who is on a war mission. No tools other than those provided may be used for repairs. The KISS principle is particularly widespread in the United States Air Force and the field of software development . As a design principle, in contrast to a problem solution in the form of a workaround , it describes the simplest, minimalist and easily understandable solution to a problem .

Another example is the Internet , which is based on the TCP / IP - protocol family based. The simple structure of these protocols has ensured that this network has withstood the very rapid growth since the advent of the World Wide Web without major problems, although the TCP / IP protocols were originally developed for a much smaller network system (for the research centers of DARPA ) were.

Furthermore, the "Keep It Short and Simple" version is (together with PEE P oint, E vidence, E Xplain: Claiming, receipts, Explain ) to English schools and universities in connection with the writing of essays taught contents and interpretations.

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Heinz-Hermann Meyer: KISS principle . In: Lexicon of film terms . Institute for Modern German Literature and Media, Christian Albrechts University in Kiel. November 18, 2013. Retrieved July 3, 2016.
  2. a b Keep it Simple Stupid . The Jargon File, version 4.4.7. Retrieved February 29, 2012.
  3. Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS) . Principles Wiki. April 7, 2016. Retrieved July 3, 2016.
  4. Klaus D. Niemann: From enterprise architecture to IT governance . Vieweg + Teubner Verlag, 2005, doi : 10.1007 / 978-3-8348-9066-5 ( limited preview in the Google book search).
  5. Kiss principle definition by MONASH Marketing Dictionary . Archived from the original on January 30, 2016. Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Retrieved June 28, 2016. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  6. Ben R. Rich: Clarence Leonard (Kelly) Johnson 1910-1990: A Biographical Memoir . (PDF; 179 kB) National Academies Press, Washington DC 1995, p. 231 (English); accessed January 30, 2016
  7. Ram B. Misra: Global IT Outsourcing: Metrics for Success of All Parties . In: Journal of Information Technology Cases and Applications , Volume 6, 2004, Issue 3, p. 21, ( Memento from January 29, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 2.0 MB); Retrieved December 19, 2012.
  8. Stefano Albrecht: Hardware review: Network technology TCP / IP