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backpedal

In politics as usual the term:backpedal is used to describe a change of direction that does not meet the constraints set by the observer's ideology. The point of view of this term in politics itself is entirely up to the faction making the accusation. For instance, to cut corporate tax of any kind for any reason or permit private health care facilities at all, is to backpedal from the perspective of the NDP. But not even European social democrats agree with that view.

in software


Software is evaluated by more objective criteria than policy. A URL and 404 problem for instance is a "problem" precisely because there is no viable argument that failing to find any page might be desirable. User privacy is actually regulated by law in some respects, and certainly by custom and by expectation and rulesets like "open politics in force". And, rendering it difficult or ambiguous where one can find the latest version of a printed web page has absolutely no rational justifications.

fail to meet or even recognize constraints


Thus, in software engineer jargon, to backpedal is to permit a newer version of a program to fail to satisfy key design constraints that prior versions already met, and to fail consistently to require that the next version continue to satisfy any constraints known to be fragile in the past.

To backpedal is inevitable when there is no effort made to discipline design and coding to set and meet constraints in some strong priority order.

typical failures


Typical such failures from version to version may:

Patterns of such failures radically reduce trust and are prima facie proof of incompetent web design.

backpedaling in the design of openpolitics.ca itself


For instance openpolitics.ca itself seemed to backpedal often:

See talk:link, OP upgrades, user privacy, etc.

Hopefully the next openpolitics.ca will fix the various obvious problems.