Niklaus Wirth about complexity

On both sides of this fence, complexity has and will maintain a strong fascination for many people. It is true that we live in a complex world and strive to solve inherently complex problems, which often do require complex mechanisms. However, this should not diminish our desire for elegant solutions, which convince by their clarity and effectiveness. Simple, elegant solutions are more effective, but they are harder to find than complex ones, and they require more time, which we too often believe to be unaffordable.

Rejecting pressures to include all kinds of facilities that “might also be nice to have” is sometimes hard. The danger that one’s desire to please will interfere with the goal of consistent design is very real. I have always tried to weigh the gains against the cost.

Niklaus Wirth, From programming language design to computer construction, Communications of the ACM, Feb. 1985