Perfect Fit Software

After a few days of solid pushing, I’ve given birth to Debt Quencher version 1.2. This is an update I’ve been wanting to ship since last month, but MoneyWell consumed all my time. It’s a good thing I didn’t ship it before MoneyWell, because I ended up using much of the cool new MoneyWell code for Debt Quencher.

Debt Quencher is in some ways a perfect application. No, it doesn’t do everything that users have requested, but it does what it does in a very direct and simple manner that makes it friendly to use. I love applications that do what they are supposed to and don’t make you climb over a clumsy interface overloaded with half-baked features.

One such “perfect” application is Coda from Panic. It certainly doesn’t have all the web design tools of Dreamweaver, but it made my life so much easier yesterday because it just works so cleanly. The interface is pristine and well thought out. The features are ideal for hand-coding web sites—something that I never thought I’d enjoy as much as I do. After using Coda, I have no desire to subject myself to any other web tool. I don’t know if I could have updated both the Debt Quencher help file and the web site in half a day if it weren’t for Coda. Its $79 cost is also in my price range (actually I paid $69 because I already owned Transmit 3).

Another “perfect” application is MarsEdit from Red Sweater Software, which I’m using to write this blog entry. It too is priced right at just under $30 and fits a singular task wonderfully. I didn’t even know I needed this application. What’s wrong with editing blogs with a browser? It works just fine, right? It does, but MarsEdit makes it better. It took reading about several bloggers who depend on MarsEdit in order to get me to try it. Now I can’t imagine having to deal with the clunky browser-based editors. Just because you can do something without buying the right tool for the job, doesn’t mean you should subject yourself to that torture.

It’s like the time that this guy rated Debt Quencher poorly on MacUpdate because he said he could do the same calculations in a spreadsheet. Sure, you could do that, but the results aren’t close to being equal. First, you’d have to know how to calculate credit card interest, then create some fancy equations to evaluate the best method, plus format the worksheet nicely so it all is there on one page, and in the end you don’t even have the nice reporting. Why bother? Debt Quencher is $15. I just spent more than that feeding Chipotle burritos to my two boys.

MoneyWell’s a bit trickier to keep right-sized. There are plenty of features that go along with managing your finances and I can think of a good argument for including 80% of them. So the trick here is to make MoneyWell feel like these other applications, but give it more depth. Conceptually, this isn’t a problem for me. In my head, I have most everything worked out; but then again, in my head I’m still a 22-year old developer than can eat a whole pizza without gaining a pound. In reality, the burrito I inhaled last evening probably will keep me from donning my favorite jeans comfortably and if I’m 22, then Ronald Reagan just won his second term as president.

There are plenty of other applications that are perfect for tasks like LicenseKeeper and even larger apps like the iWork suite, but my point is that we need to be picky about our software choices. Demand tighter, more focused applications. Don’t put up with feature bloat! Find software that is a perfect fit for your task.

Speaking of bloat and perfect fit, I really need to jog or something. Seriously, the pants are way too tight after spending months sitting in front of this computer writing code. Maybe my next project should be a program to manage my eating and exercise. Hmmm… maybe after a few more releases of MoneyWell.

Peace.