Follow

When you design software, aim more for "ballpoint pen" and less for "Saturn V"

To extend this metaphor a bit more

A ballpoint pen is something that literally everyone finds useful. It does its job and does it very well, and you hardly even think about it. It is universal.

The Saturn V is super cool but it is not useful for anything outside of one very specific problem and that is a nation state sending people to another world.

Basically every software designed for the daily user should take its cues from the ballpoint pen. There's a place for Saturn V software, but that place is, like, CERN, not your webshit thing.

Also in case it's not clear web browsers are the Saturn-V of software and that is not a compliment

I don't want to drive a fucking Saturn-V to the grocery store

@sir I like how this metaphor works in the context of the #Gemini protocol's name. /cc @solderpunk

@rysiek
I think gemini takes things too far. Just some form of HTML with bits of CSS that don't fingerprint on top of alternative to HTTP(S) would be fine.
Line based markup seems strange to me, gemimi requires TLS, so why not allow tag-based structure derived from some dialect of SML?

@yoshir I would be fine with this but in practice if you give people an engine that supports HTML+CSS+JS then the features will creep in.

People are incapable of not adding "just that one" feature they need, and before you know it, everyone has a slightly different feature set that on the whole amount to the entire mess.

A subset would be fine, no one agrees on the exact same subset and you will end up having to support the entire ecosystem again.

@kline
One can just as arbitrarily decide which features are supported in a subset as in a new standart.

@kline
Besides, it doesn't work when there is rationale behind decisions.

@sir I love opening a newspaper to read an article and having said newspaper stalk me and obsess over every detail of my personal life 😅

@MadestMadness @sir Actually, about 5 years ago my mom read a cake recipe on a random blog. Ads from that baking blog still coat her Windows 10 notification menu to this day.

@sir Couldn't the same be said of compilers? However, compilers and browsers are basically the two most useful programs...

@sir
Sure that on foot or if a little far, on bicycle is really faster :).

The slowest thing in this is probably javascript. And in most big fiems sites, lot of dependencies using javascript. NoScript help a lot to make browsing lighter.

@sir And yet I can't help myself. I love old school fountain pens. Not the cartridge ones, the really old fashioned ones you dip in the ink well or bottle.

@vandys totally agree! I would relate this to computing by comparing it to my fondness for older hardware, like floppy discs, hardware terminals, teletypes, etc.

@sir Oh, I didn’t see this second post. If I had I wouldn’t have even commented in the first place.

@sir
Apps for proprietary services are ballpoint pens that leak if you point the tip upwards.

Netflix doesn't have tags for programs' personnel and topics that you can explore.

I just installed Hoopla on a shitphone so I can access my city library's subscription to their catalog. I can copy and paste my email address (a random proxy adsress) or password into the login form, but not both. Unfocusing clears the login form.

I hate all of IT most of the time.

@sir Feels like the true way to take this is don't write any software, really. The ballpoint pen is software free, after all.

@sir A ballpoint pen will allow you to write, but it won’t get you to the moon.

@lucky when was the last time you went to the moon

@sir Actually I don’t think I have ever visited.

@sir If anything it means I desperately need one because I wanna visit the moon and can’t because I don’t have a Saturn V.

@lucky okay, I can relate to this

but I wouldn't use a Saturn V for anything else

@lucky @sir

The obvious joke I really want to make is "neither will a Saturn V" but I believe we went to the moon.

So I am going to allude to the joke instead of make it.
@sir Actually reminds me of a story (not sure if true) of the ballpoint pen having to be over re-engineered to work in low-gravity on the USA side of things while the СССР side of things they used a regular pencil.

@lanodan this is a fake story

Pencils caused problems with fine particles in the spacecraft's atmosphere

Both agencies ultimately switched to pressurized pens.

@sir Well yeah graphite would sure cause issues with this but one more like colored pens seemed like it could work.
Sign in to participate in the conversation
Mastodon

The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!