David Parnas: Most of the software we see or buy is ugly

Nevertheless, in spite of such helpful articles and many textbooks on software design, software jewels remain rare. Most of the software we see or buy is ugly, unreliable, hard to change, and certainly not something that [Niklaus] Wirth or [Edsger] Dijkstra would admire. If published papers contain the secret of success for software, shouldn’t we see more jewels?

David Lorge Parnas, Why Software Jewels Are Rare, IEEE Computer, February 1996