Comfy Software: A software aesthetic for hackers with depression
There's still software out here that makes me feel happy to use, software that embodies an aesthetic that, for lack of a better word, I call cozy software. I've definitely been thinking about it a lot: what makes software a joy to use, both practically and ideologically? In order for software to be comfy, the people who have the final say over what does and doesn't go into it shouldn't be beholden to a for-profit entity. Documentation should be available, and if the software is meant to run on a Unix machine, both -help and manpages should show you the help. Of course, there are a lot of differences: tutorial sections are culturally accepted in games, but considered annoying in software. A lot of software doesn't even have an interface at all; imagine trying to run find(1) for the first time only for it to open a curses-based tutorial! But it's something to think about. Most software written professionally will fail the 'non-corporate governance' test, and it's harder to get that 'cute' feeling going for something that isn't something you're working on because you're getting paid.