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Wed 30 Jul 2003
The brick only wants to get laid
Category : Commentary/brick.txt
I've always thought that that was the answer to the question posed by the American architect Louis Kahn, "What does the brick want?" But, of course, the studious will say that he merely meant that we should understand the nature of the material we're working with, as well as the situation we find ourselves. If we feel the brick straining to be an arch, we should build the arch.
That's the same way with software design. It's quite possible, if you care enough, to feel the way the design wants to be. So you keep whittling away at it, pruning away the things that are merely ornamental, until all you're left with are the things that really matter - in the case of the One-Click Sendmail Enabler, it's that single field and that single button.
If you zoom out a bit, you see the same thing happening around that product. I built this little thing for myself, but I thought I'd share it, source code and all. You know, Linus Torvalds and Linux. But the market is saying "we want support". "More documentation, please. Docs should be written as if the user is a complete newb, examples all the way", says one entry at versiontracker.
Now, how do you support that? But, you know Louie Kahn? Go with the flow. If that's what the brick wants, build it the way it wants. Build the support, answer the queries, improve the product, release frequently, and see what else people need. Will it pay? I don't know. We'll start with a PayPal donation button and see how it goes. Hang on for the ride.
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