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Fast Software, the Best Software

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Posted by Amontillado
Jul 27, 2019 at 09:53 PM


Now that I’ve been flippant, there is something I’ve been thinking about sort of along this topic.

I wrote the outline for a short story I think I’ll write, and instead of my usual hierarchy, I made myself stick to just three entries in the outline - Beginning, Middle, and End.

A couple of comments and ideas went in subtopics below those, but they were intended to be temporary. I wanted to stick to the three phases of the story.

I generally outline in OmniOutliner. The notes style is set to full black, 14 point,

Debloating my outlining style helped quite a bit.

One of the Devonthink support folks once said in an email that it’s OK to use complex tools for simple solutions. For instance, a lot of my use for DT is as a sync bucket, or as analog for Scrivener.

He said that kind of use was like what he thinks of Corvettes. They are great for standing start dashes to 180 in a few seconds, but they are also just fine at 20 in a school zone.


Posted by yosemite
Jul 28, 2019 at 01:38 AM


Yes!!!  Indeed fast software is the best software.  Thanks for the link.

I’m happy anytime anyone recognizes this, writes about it, talks about it.  I’m sad that almost everything out there is so slow.  Almost all software, all apps, all websites… slow.  It’s sad that computers a billion times faster do stuff slower…  in the movies

Video games are fast.  Can regular software be made in a video game engine so that it’s faster?

The “photos” app on most phones is pretty impressive - fast scrolling of hundreds/thousands of thumbnails, and snappy filtering.




Posted by Hugh
Jul 28, 2019 at 09:25 AM


Amontillado wrote:
“Performant” was new to me, too. Also new to Merriam-Webster, but I see
>it has some traction as jargon.
> >Unbloat or debloat both convey meaning very performantly, I think.
> >
>Hugh wrote:
>“Unbloat” - a word new to me, but one which promises to be useful (and
>>which also led me to discover another word with potential: “debloat”).
>>Thank you.



Posted by Andy Brice
Jul 28, 2019 at 01:42 PM


As a professional software developer for over 30 years, it shocks me how bloated a lot of modern software is. I would be ashamed to write bloatware like that. Do these developers know what a profiler is? Maybe their bosses don’t care?

The Hyper Plan executable is about 2 MB. With various third party libraries and the Visual C++ redistributable, it compressed to about 20MB (less on Mac).

I once bought an HP Colour printer and it proceeded to load a staggering amount of software onto my PC. This software was using almost all the CPU. God knows what it was doing. It totally bought the PC its knees and I had to uninstall to make the PC usable. I’ve never bought any HP stuff since.

Andy Brice


Posted by Simon
Jul 30, 2019 at 08:30 AM


The link was great, really enjoyed reading the article.

The fact that speed is important is attested to everyone who purchases a new computer/device, because it has become to “slow” (a relative term). I also wonder whether the increase of higher level languages and frameworks invariably require more processing power in what they produce. The article linked to an interesting debate on Electron apps. It did make me think wider about software in general. The faster, cleaner, and more secure you want your software the more it’s going to cost you. You only need to look at embedded systems in a camera as opposed to an airplane. It could be the reason why people are buying software that does one thing well and ditching software that is feature rich, but slowed by that richness. To make an app do one thing well with speed is less of a problem than to make a feature rich app that does everything well. I can easily see that the cost could be prohibitive. How much would it cost evernote to totally rewrite their app for every platform rather than patch it up. I can also see why Java is so popular as its code once run everywhere, but the experience tends to be less than pleasant in my experience.

In the end software; as in every other area of life; is driven by cost and profit. We no longer live in a world where people in general are proud of their work.


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