Less is More, Less is Clever

From 43Folders comes an amazing display of less is clever. What a cool note taking device. By not doing a zillion things it gains 700 hours of battery life.

I’ve tried to make our PDK project exemplify this. The underlying metaphor of PDK is source code. Can I manage an entire linux distribution as easily as I could manage the source code to an ordinary project? Can I collaborate with others just as easily? Can the distro build process just build quietly and tell me if there are errors? Can I change (refactor) the structure of my linux distribution to make it more succinct? Can I refactor components of my distribution so that they can be shared among multiple distributions?

Certainly there is a lot of complexity in the problem space left to attack. But by literally using the source code metaphor, adding a simple cache mechanism for holding packages, we get the foundation for version control for distributions. Furthermore, source code and version control have a well understood relaxed data consitency that is well understood by nearly every programmer and manager in our target market. Now instead of dealing with data management issues, I’m focusing my time on refactoring mechanisms, sane default behaviors, etc. These are much more salient problem spaces, so I deliver higher value sooner.

I’ve tried to use the “less is clever” pattern, and hopefully I’ve succeeded well enough. Time will tell. So far, even with its warts, PDK has addicted at least one user.

Explore posts in the same categories: General, Linux

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