adj. Of a design, describes the valuable property that it
can all be apprehended at once in one's head. This generally means
the thing created from the design can be used with greater facility
and fewer errors than an equivalent tool that is not compact.
Compactness does not imply triviality or lack of power; for
example, C is compact and FORTRAN is not, but C is more powerful
than FORTRAN. Designs become non-compact through accreting
s and cruft
that don't merge cleanly into the
overall design scheme (thus, some fans of Classic C
that ANSI C is no longer compact).