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"Final Solution" is not the optimal phrase to use because it has a negative historical reference.

When working on a project, I'd like to find a phrase that describes the process of evolving solutions (see, for example, Agile software development).

Additionally, the phrase should fit well with phrases like initial solution, intermediate solution, etc.

Update: Doesn't necessarily have to be a 'solution.'

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I added an update. The phrase doesn't necessarily have to be a 'solution' – philshem Feb 22 '14 at 3:31
Forget solution and call it an "iteration"? Our "most recent iteration" has features X, Y and Z and fixes bugs 1, 2 and 3. Or "version". Nothing in software is ever final unless you're out of business, so the word "final" here seems to be the most problematic. – Michael Hampton Feb 22 '14 at 16:25
It's not actually for software, I just wanted to take the concept of an evolving solution. – philshem Feb 23 '14 at 19:34
In the context of evolving solutions, the word "final" has no place - it states that there will be no more versions, and that this has no bugs and it has everything anyone will ever want. This is never the case. You would really call it "V 1.0" meaning "the first version which was released to the public". – Max Williams Jun 6 at 9:40

12 Answers 12

Optimal solution gets tossed around a lot these days when one is iterating one's way towards the best possible answer.

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probably the best so far. – philshem Feb 22 '14 at 3:32
This implies that you actually found the best possible solution. Pretty different from "the solution I ended up using". – CodesInChaos Feb 22 '14 at 11:44
@CodesInChaos In solution space, there are local optima and global optima. It's not uncommon, or even wrong, to use the term optimal solution on what is in fact merely a local optima. In part, that's true because whatever solution you implement must lie within the region of the feasible en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feasible_region, which is often far smaller than the entire solution space. – Wayfaring Stranger Feb 22 '14 at 13:21
One issue with 'optimal solution' is that it doesn't guarantee it's the last. – philshem Feb 22 '14 at 19:47

"Logical Conclusion" is similar to "Final Solution" and virtually devoid of connotation.

Also you may consider coining a neologism, perhaps something seemingly-contradictory, paradoxical or oxymoronic -- perhaps everconclusion or endorand (poor example practically, but interesting - combines the words "end" "or" and "and" as to suggest the (end) implies the inevitable connection of (or) the next thing (and)).

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Have a vote for creativity! – philshem Feb 22 '14 at 3:32
You had me at Logical Conclusion – David M Feb 22 '14 at 3:34
Don't make up words where perfectly good words already exist. – David Richerby Feb 22 '14 at 11:32
thank you, @DavidRicherby gives really important advice here. My suggesting making up a word resulted from that I took the original question to possibly involve an attempt to come up with a name for a company/project. But if that's not the case, there is probably not a single good reason to make up words as in alternative to seeking out and using those already in existence. – miercoledi Feb 22 '14 at 23:13
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Let me self-answer with final product. Even though the solution may not be a product, the phrase best describes the iterative and evolving process.

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or "final version" – CodesInChaos Feb 22 '14 at 11:45
In the end, 'final' product' is the most useful and is my replacement for 'final solution'. Thanks for all the great answers! – philshem Mar 6 '14 at 7:49

How about final result? This is also used in other contexts, but I think it also fits into your software development example.

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or "end result." – Potatoswatter Feb 22 '14 at 12:06

I have no canonical answers, nothing much to back me, but in the situation I would say:

the solution,

which I'm sure will speak a lot without much ado.

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How about complete solution or end solution?

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Ironically, end solution comes even closer to a literal translation of the German Endlösung. – Wrzlprmft Feb 22 '14 at 9:16

You say the answer doesn't have to be of the form "       solution" but why not go the other way around?

At the moment, you have a series of solutions: solution 1, solution 2, ..., solution n. You could refer to solution n as just "the solution" and solutions 1 through n-1 as "intermediate stages", "solution stages", "intermediate solutions" or something like that.

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I think "ultimate solution" fits in well with your series of solutions.

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Eventual solution. I think this phrase fits in well with the idea of a process working towards something, but doesn't necessarily imply perfection.

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Although in connection with Agile software development the term: "eventual iteration" describes the best way what's going on, I would propose "definitive" as emphasizing the result and not the process how to obtain it.

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I realize an answer has already been selected, but consider

finalized (TFD)

Put into final form; complete

as in Finalized Product.

This has the connotation that a conscious decision was made to call this iteration the final form.

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How about:

Final Solution*

*No negative historical reference intended

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It's not a matter of whether negative references are intended, but whether the reader infers them anyway. It is one thing to accidentally say something that people might find uncomfortable (for want of a better word); to acknowledge the discomfort and say it anyway is quite a different thing. – David Richerby Feb 22 '14 at 11:31
It's a bad solution, because it's an immediate reminder of precisely what one does not want to remind others of. It's roughly like the following the groom is single* -- *recently divorced leaving behind his ex-wife of six years and three young children. It's not what you want on your wedding invitations. – virmaior Feb 22 '14 at 13:33
@virmaior ex-wife of six years? – evil999man Feb 22 '14 at 13:49
I think you generally just don't talk about it in your wedding invitations if that's the case. Including it automatically adds a bad light that needn't be mentioned. – virmaior Feb 22 '14 at 22:40
@virmaior In all seriousness, Do you think I was being serious while answering that? – evil999man Feb 23 '14 at 7:12

protected by Rathony Jun 7 at 18:50

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