Proven to do what?

I read an e-mail thread recently on the sweng-gamedev mailing list which jogged my memory about one of my most hated development clichés — “proven technology.” Why do I hate this phrase so much?

The phrase implies a certain obvious correctness — nobody ever got fired for buying IBM, right? It conveniently ignores any facts or questions about the current proposed usage, in favor of simply aping another project (whose circumstances may have been completely different). It’s an argument that’s easily “defensible” by other straw man arguments — “are you trying to say that XYZ isn’t successful?”

The only thing proven by “proven technology” is that it isn’t completely terrible, because somebody managed to ship something with it. That’s it. If you’re ever trying to convince me to use something, you better come with something better than this. 😉

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