Your Bloat is My Feature

I had to laugh when I saw a comment on software bloat over at the SubEthaEdit site:

While being a full fledged editor, we promise that SubEthaEdit will never become a bloated piece of software like other text editors.

I love the sentiment, even agree with it, but in reality this is very hard to do.

Why? Because any feature I don’t use is software bloat – especially if it hits the user interface significantly. And the same is true, in reverse, of you.

And so Word gets a Mail Merge, and completely inadequate image editing tools, and a paper clip feature … because a certain percentage of its users find it useful.