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I’m going to smuggle in some hyperbole, but Ledger fundamentally changed the way I view software. Other than programming languages and excel, there’s not much other software I’ve used where the actual solution is consistently such a short gap from my desire for a solution to exist. Good software should make you feel more powerful every time you use it.

Ledger compelled me to see progressively structured but minimally verbose “plain text”, as an input, as a large advantage with regards to barrier to entry, provided you have excellent documentation, intelligent design that’s close to the domain at hand, and copious examples for that structure.

Power users can dive deep into the syntax at will, and evolve a simple file into a complex one at their own pace over time. Feature discovery is like discovering a language, which makes sense, because you’re discovering how the plain text you’re typing matches a parser, and how that parsed representation maps to higher level concepts.

Meanwhile, my nontechnical friends are totally capable of keeping a ledger, and reading the results with minimal assistance.

Learning software that’s been built this way is like learning a language; it’s a challenge that’s tackled in stages and allows you to progress at your own speed.






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