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What is the Zero-One-Infinity Rule?

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Zero One Infinity is a rule of thumb that suggests that arbitrary limits are an indication of a poor design. It states that limits of zero, one or infinity are usually an optimal solution.

Example: Business Rules

An email website that restricts each user to 3 accounts may not consider special cases whereby individuals need more accounts for purposes such as security and special duties related to volunteering and other activities.

Example: User Interface

A website that restricts the first name field to 12 characters may block those with unusually long names.

Example: Technical Limits

An operating system that restricts file sizes and the number of files in a folder may fail to account for the growth rate of data.
Overview: Zero One Infinity
Software Design
Definition (1)
The observation that arbitrary limits are often an indication of a poor design.
Definition (2)
A design principle that states that limits of zero, one or infinity are often optimal choices.
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