I recently asked the question, “Why do you write your own software rather than only use existing software tools?” on Twitter. These answers came back:
@sansumbrella (David Wicks)
writing is the most direct interface for describing systems and interactions.
code is a medium; many tools constrain you to narrow subgenres. Knowing the fabric and pigments of the medium permits exploring more.
@voxels (Michael Edgcumbe)
so I can understand why the choices underlying the design seem like the most elegant solution
@barrythrew (Barry Threw)
Because the tools don’t exist to accomplish what I want to do. There is nothing more I would like than not to have to write software.
@robmyers (Rob Myers)
to learn, to gain understanding, to not be limited by affordances, and to be able to share all of this
@simonski (Simon Gauld)
why? because programming is a creative expression itself
@vormplus (Jan Vantomme)
because it’s easier to iterate through ideas and compositions. “Industry standard” tools don’t allow me to do this.
@brainSteen (Christopher Warnow)
When code goes through my hands, it has my gesture in it. Else it would be like painting with another cold dead hand holding a brush.
@eskimobloood (Andreas Köberle)
With other peoples software I can replicate other peoples dreams, with my own software I can dream my own.
@manovich (Lev Manovich)
Because writing software is a form of thinking and making theory; its a big part of cultural analytics strategy
@AlexKarasev (Alex Karasev)
Somebody has to write those tools! Not me; I just write “glue pieces” filling the functionality gaps. Some folks write to stay current
@miskaknapek (Miska Knapek)
1. it’s much more fun 2. existing software doesn’t conform to my way of working/desires 3. i want to be free :)
@admsyn (Adam Carlucci)
I use existing tools to make things that don’t exist yet (or I hope they don’t, anyway)
Why do you write rather than just reading words other people have written?
That’s the beauty of Processing for me: coding as exploration/research. Also, then the product can be concise & elegant without bloat.
@lennyjpg (Leander Herzog)
adobe is a cheeseburger, processing is like crack. it should have a warning on it. i gave it my hand and it ate my arm.