This is a card in Dave's Virtual Box of Cards.

Utopian Software

Created: 2022-10-03 Updated: 2022-10-12

I don’t know if anyone else has a term for this, but I’ve written some of this stuff and I love it and I think it needs a name:

Utopian software: Software that does not have to defend against misuse and contains precisely and only the features its user requires.

Other properties of utopian software: it is typically small. Often written either by the user themselves or someone they know in real life.

Writing and using utopian software can be extremely satisfaction because you can get it working right away and then just keep using it! "Real software" is much, much harder to write and maintain because so much of it is out of your control: how it’s used, software versions and compatibility, features you can’t remove because somebody depends on them, etc.

I believe utopian software describes a much larger proportion of software written for home computers in the earliest days of computing than it does now. But we can still write it! It’s not even illegal yet!

"Hello World" is utopian software!

Personal examples:

I might flesh this card out into more of a full-blown article and call-to-action: everyone should experience the joy of writing utopian software!

I think another thing that needs to be addressed here is fun-vs-accomplishment.

Just saw this today: