Definition: Kludge or Cludge (Computer programing)

Definition: Kludge or Cludge (Computer programing) | Glossary entry

“Kludge” or “Cludge”

The term kludge (or sometimes cludge) is a term dating back to the 1960s. It has special meaning in computing. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) defines a kludge as:

‘An ill-assorted collection of poorly-matching parts, forming a distressing whole’ (Granholm); esp. in Computing, a machine, system, or program that has been improvised or ‘bodged’ together; a hastily improvised and poorly thought-out solution to a fault or ‘bug’.

OED (Seen online 04/10/2013)  External link - opens new tab/page

In the first few years of the 2000’s the so-called “Dot.com Crash” occurred. Large numbers of expensive websites were built to meet the expected growth of the Internet. The sites were technically over-specified. They were also poorly targeted to customers needs. Huge amounts of money were lost when the sites were not used. Customers reported slow download speeds and lack of trust of the new technology. More critical was poor design of the online buying process and site layout. In hindsight it was found that many sites were designed by programmers and systems people. They had a poor understanding of customer trust and website usability. The navigation was poor and many of the sites were over-coded, slowing them down. The whole investment bubble was built on a kludge.

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Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photog and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photogs.
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