Why minimalism?

So since this is one of the first blogs on my site, I decided to cover some fundemental things that I believe in. Minimalism is one of those topics.

Now let's ask ourselves a question: we've gotten a lot of new computing power. Other than games, what is that new computing power used for in day to day life?

The answer is that it's either wasted because people think they can get away with not optimizing their code, or it's put into ui design - something that shouldn't be our first priority, and something that can be done without bloating programs.

In a world where computers are supposed to get faster and faster, programs are running slower and slower. This is simply unacceptable.

You may have noticed that this website doesn't have any javascript and this website uses only one plain css file, which is under 100 lines of code as of writing this.

In my opinion, reducing the amount of javascript to a minimum is ideal. However, many people think that the more javascript the better because it makes their website look good. However, an overuse of javascript or a reliance on javascript frameworks actually make the website more opaque to people who want to know how it works - and it makes websites slower and less functional.

The principle of minimalism is simple. Make things more functional, not less. Make things more understandable, not opaque. Make things faster, not slower. Together, let's use less harmful software.

"You think you're morally superior for using minimal software?"

I've had this question rhetorically asked to me in some form or another at least once. The short answer: yes, I absolutely do think I'm doing a good for society for not supporting bloated software, and no, that doesn't mean you have to do the same, although I do think i'd be to your benefit if you did, since you would gain a lot more independence over what you run on your computer, and you would encourage developers to make minimal software.

Of course, if you were to ask me if i thought i was being morally superior, I would have to answer yes, because if I answered no I would be lying to you. Minimal software does, by all metrics, make the world better. At least, that's what I observe.

But it doesn't just have to be about the world. It makes you, dear reader, more independent also. It gives you assurance that no nasties are running on your computer without your knowledge. It also makes software run faster, more functional, and frankly, it makes software suck less.

"I don't have time for minimal software."

I often also get this, because sometimes minimal software such as the software from suckless, for example, has a little bit of a setup attached to it. In my opinion, it's worth setting up something once and then using it for the rest of your time using linux and having software that is personally customized to suit you. It runs very fast compared to alternatives, and it's keyboard oriented, which means you save time by not having to switch to your mouse every time you want to do something.

Often times, minimal software can even save you time upfront. You don't have to spend time uninstalling or removing the functionality of the parts of the software you don't like, and sometimes, you can't even do that because it's built into the software. Minimal software also obviously runs faster and uses less resources.

Conclusion

If you're not using a minimal distribution of GNU+Linux or you're not using GNU+Linux at all, consider doing that. Do whatever you can to minimize the amount of programs you use, and if you're a programmer, consider taking my heavily opinionated advice.