[A picture of private offices at Fog Creek Software] Alert! This ancient trifle retrieved from the Joel on Software archive is well-past its expiration date. Proceed with care.

Joel on Software

2002/04/07

by Joel Spolsky
Sunday, April 07, 2002

Whenever I start to read a review for a new "bloat-free" MS Office competitor, I know what the script is going to be:

  1. Office is overpriced and "bloated" with too many features that you "don't need"
  2. Luckily, <company X> made a smaller leaner one without all the bloat
  3. But I'm never going to use it, because it doesn't have <insert my favorite feature> or word count.

It's actually quite amusing how often this exact script, including the "word count" gripe, recurs.  Here's one from 2001. And another from 1997.  Oh, look, it happened again.

Remember, kids, the trouble with the "everyone only uses 20% of the features" myth is that everybody uses a slightly different 20%, and the journalist who has to review your exciting new BloatFreeWrite has been told to write a 250 word story.

(For review: Bloatware and the 80/20 myth. No matter how much it bothers you neat freaks, the market always votes for bloatware.)


Have you been wondering about Distributed Version Control? It has been a huge productivity boon for us, so I wrote Hg Init, a Mercurial tutorial—check it out!

Want to know more?

You’re reading Joel on Software, stuffed with years and years of completely raving mad articles about software development, managing software teams, designing user interfaces, running successful software companies, and rubber duckies.



About the author.

I’m Joel Spolsky, co-founder of Fog Creek Software, a New York company that proves that you can treat programmers well and still be highly profitable. Programmers get private offices, free lunch, and work 40 hours a week. Customers only pay for software if they’re delighted. We make Trello, which lets you organize anything, together, FogBugz, enlightened issue tracking software for bug tracking, and Kiln, which provides distributed version control and code reviews. I’m also the co-founder and CEO of Stack Exchange. More about me.

© 2000-2014 Joel Spolsky