Fresh on the heels of an email I got from a very well known technologist discussing how the avoidance of unnecessary features (bloat) was one of his highest project priorities, comes Ryan Tomayko’s (a friend of RedMonk if ever there was one) latest effort, lesscode.org. Like SWiK, reviewed yesterday, its ambitions seem to be as a destination site for developers with a certain interest. While SWiK’s aimed at open source developers, lesscode.org is oriented towards those whose make a virtue out of simplicity, who seek the least complicated solution to the problems they are presented with. It should come as a surprise to no one that I think such lesscode.org is an excellent idea. While I took this too far as a developer , I think there’s absolutely an opportunity for lesscode to be the first stop and rallying point for developers that value efficiency over elegance, simplicity over overdesign.
Whether or not its role should be as a repository for projects that espouse these values or merely point to them to them SWiK-style, remains to be seen, but is ultimately besides the point. The important news is that the “less code” approach has a venue of its own.
Immediate opportunities, I think, are the creation of a wiki, where a community might begin to accumulate:
- Suggestions for the “simplest” application in a variety of categories
- Examples or tutorials for devlopers on how to use less code
- Real world case studies and examples of less code
Maybe this is a role that SWiK can help play, who knows? Worth a chat, Alex and Ryan?
In addition to a wiki, it might be interesting to see a Planet Lesscode rollup of simplicity oriented bloggers like Adam Bosworth, Bill de hÃra, or Sam Ruby (as an alternative to them posting on lesscode.org directly).
Lesscode might also represent a good opportunity for some of the larger ISVs out there to demonstrate their affinity for simplicity (something many of them are not typically known for at the moment). Maybe a guest blogger spot? Or possibly featured case studies?
Anyway, that’s all I have time for now; I’ve got to head out to set up some new infrastructure at a colo here (more on that later), but I wanted to express both my support for Ryan’s project and the notion of less code. As I’ve said previously, “All Hail the New Simplicity.”
 One of the reasons that I got out of development was because I didn’t care enough about it. Unlike some of my fellow (better) developers who wanted to know how things work and build new applications, I was always hunting for someone who’d done it before. I went beyond less code to “no code if I can help it,” a sign that it was time for me to find another line of work.