Philosophy

We are the home of quality software such as dwm, dmenu, st and plenty of other tools, with a focus on simplicity, clarity and frugality. Our philosophy is about keeping things simple, minimal and usable. We believe this should become the mainstream philosophy in the IT sector. Unfortunately, the tendency for complex, error-prone and slow software seems to be prevalent in the present-day software industry. We intend to prove the opposite with our software projects.

Our project focuses on advanced and experienced computer users. In contrast with the usual proprietary software world or many mainstream open source projects that focus more on average and non-technical end users, we think that experienced users are mostly ignored. This is particularly true for user interfaces, such as graphical environments on desktop computers, on mobile devices, and in so-called Web applications. We believe that the market of experienced users is growing continuously, with each user looking for more appropriate solutions for his/her work style.

Designing simple and elegant software is far more difficult than letting ad-hoc or over-ambitious features obscure the code over time. However one has to pay this price to achieve reliability and maintainability. Furthermore, minimalism results in reasonable and attainable goals. We strive to maintain minimalism and clarity to drive development to completion.

Manifest

Many (open source) hackers are proud if they achieve large amounts of code, because they believe the more lines of code they’ve written, the more progress they have made. The more progress they have made, the more skilled they are. This is simply a delusion.

Most hackers actually don’t care much about code quality. Thus, if they get something working which seems to solve a problem, they stick with it. If this kind of software development is applied to the same source code throughout its entire life-cycle, we’re left with large amounts of code, a totally screwed code structure, and a flawed system design. This is because of a lack of conceptual clarity and integrity in the development process.

Code complexity is the mother of bloated, hard to use, and totally inconsistent software. With complex code, problems are solved in suboptimal ways, valuable resources are endlessly tied up, performance slows to a halt, and vulnerabilities become a commonplace. The only solution is to scrap the entire project and rewrite it from scratch.

The bad news: quality rewrites rarely happen, because hackers are proud of large amounts of code. They think they understand the complexity in the code, thus there’s no need to rewrite it. They think of themselves as masterminds, understanding what others can never hope to grasp. To these types, complex software is the ideal.

Ingenious ideas are simple. Ingenious software is simple. Simplicity is the heart of the Unix philosophy. The more code lines you have removed, the more progress you have made. As the number of lines of code in your software shrinks, the more skilled you have become and the less your software sucks.

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