…is more software. At least, that’s what I have to tell myself, since I am theoretically a software developer. I’m not sure that I really believe it though.
I have so… much… crap… installed on my machine, and yet almost none of it makes me happier or more productive. This depresses me, because I remember wondering [not so] long ago about the amazing things we’d be doing when we had computers with 100MHz processors and 32MB of RAM… And what a surprise, after reaching and greatly exceeding that level, we still do the same ol’ crap by and large. We just do bigger, more complicated crap.
I have 1.94 GB of said crap in my "Program Files" folder, including 2,004 executable files! There are 3,001 DLL files [consuming 483 MB] in my system folder! Now, I realize that I probably have more junk on my machine than most people, but come on… I install a new bit of software about once a fortnight if that, so how did I end up with so much crap?
As a developer, I am greatly disheartened by what I encounter when I browse my hard drive, or when I open the task manager and see the copious number of unfamiliar programs eating memory and processor time. It’s all just so damned messy.
And so I ask myself: Do I really want to contribute to all this mess? Do I really want people to fill their hard drives up just a little bit more with my software, and to end up with yet more shortcuts cluttering their desktops and start menus?
And then I realize, that of the little software that I do use on a regular basis, a bunch of it is actually mine. Of course this is no great revelation, since I wrote most of it based upon my own needs… but at least I do use my own software!
I would not for a moment consider it a worthwhile HTML editor that did not support WYSIWYG editing. Expecting a user to edit raw HTML source code is simply handing them the power to make any number of an infinite variety of mistakes.
I generally don’t use a word processor, I just use my HTML Editor, since it seems unnecessary to me to use a word processor format when one of the easiest and most useful ways to format information these days is as HTML. Unfortunately I currently rely on the Microsoft DHTML ActiveX component to provide WYSIWYG editability, which was not really designed as a full-blown word processor.
I don’t use Notepad, I use my own Text Editor, often exploiting its binary modes to explore the contents of unknown files. Also I use it as a source viewer for IE, since it has nice syntax hilighting and such.
Poor old Fragt, my first windows app, still gets a look in, running permanently on my server managing 90% of my file downloads (I have a dialup connection). To be honest this is probably more out of habit than anything. It must be over 3 years old now.
JujuTool gives me extra functionality which I feel naked without. An extended Run dialog and an Open Container option in the shell context menu for a start.
This site is uploaded using a simple command line tool I created, and all my data is backed up using another command line tool.
The calculator I use is written in JujuScript, and supports complex symbolic expressions.
I guess this is really what being a programmer is all about for me: being able to make my own tools. I’d still be doing it even if I was wealthy. [Pity I'm not, I could buy a nice new computer...]
From the perspective of a prospective enterprise, what I’m really counting on is that the same need which inspires me to spend hundreds of hours writing a piece of software, might also inspire other people to spend just an hour’s wages to buy a copy for themselves. Maybe if some of my software were both available and for sale, I might get some idea of the validity of this idea. Otherwise it’s all just hypothetical.