Two hours

Daniel Jalkut just wrote about a desktop bookmarking app called Pukka, which despite being apparently nice enough to warrant a positive review, was simple enough that Leo Laporte wasn't comfortable just saying it cost $15. I felt like adding to the discussion after a few commenters described the app as trivial - in one case saying that any good programmer could write it in two hours.

This bothered me, so I downloaded Pukka and gave it a try. I was curious to see if it was indeed trivial.

While it definitely doesn't seem like the most feature-rich program up front, there's a lot of stuff in there - it works with more than one bookmarking site, it integrates with RSS readers, uses the OS X keychain, includes Bonjour discovery of nearby users, and has AppleScript support.

Further, it shows attention to detail. Although I may not agree with some of Justin's UI design choices, it's clear that he spent time thinking about bookmarking workflow. I know in some of my projects, just pondering design choices takes hours - drawing mockups, and trying things out.

End-user app development isn't just programming, and programming isn't just typing.

I think it's fair to say that that although you might be able to retype the code by hand in a few hours, Pukka represents a good chunk of serious work. I'm sure the mac developers in the audience will agree - Applescript support alone is almost guaranteed to be more than two hours of work.

I'm glad that there's a market for small apps and small developers, and I hope downwards price pressure from large subsidized or bundled apps doesn't kill that off.


Comments powered by Disqus