bikeshedding

The futile investment of time and energy in marginal technical issues, it implies that technical disputes over minor, marginal issues are conducted while more serious ones are being overlooked.

The term originated in BSD culture and is an example of "Parkinson's law of triviality," a 1957 argument from British historian C. Northcote Parkinson which says that organizations give disproportionate weight to trivial issues. The word "bikeshedding" comes from the idea of people arguing over what color to paint the bicycle shed while the house is not finished.

NetLingo Classification: Online Jargon

Updates