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Quick-and-dirty is a term used in reference to anything that is an easy way to implement a workaround or "kludge". Its usage is popular among programmers, who use it to describe a crude solution or programming implementation that is imperfect but which solves or masks the problem at hand, and is generally faster and easier to put in place than a proper solution. It is also used in cognitive science to describe first-pass cognitive processes that might attempt to quickly process information in a simple way before resorting to more heavy resource-consuming processes.[citation needed]

Recognizing the attractiveness of implementing changes speedily, there was a general move to formalize this as rapid application development.

Quick-and-dirty solutions often attend to a specific instance of a problem rather than fixing the cause of the more general problem. As such, they are sometimes used to keep an item of software or hardware working temporarily until a proper fix can be made.

The phrase is also frequently used in describing any document or tutorial that gives a brief overview about how to do something, without going into too much detail about why or how it works.

Microsoft's first operating system, MS-DOS, was originally called Quick and Dirty Operating System (QDOS),[1] prior to being marketed as 86-DOS by Seattle Computer Products and subsequently purchased from them by "Micro Soft", as the company co-founded by Bill Gates was originally named. QDOS had been written as a stop-gap operating system for customers to run on the 8086 processor card for S-100 bus systems that SCP had developed and was selling, after the operating system that SCP had planned for customers to use, CP/M-86 from Digital Research, was many months late in development with its future release date still uncertain.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ DOS history by its original creator