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Ask HN: What fast software would you recommend?
2 points by secondo 48 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 4 comments
I recently read Fabian Sanglard’s blogpost “These are called opportunities”[1] where he writes about how the startup time of Chrome made him switch and never look back. There’s also a related discussion[2] on the front page right now about input latency degradation from 1977 to 2017.

Don’t get me wrong. I truly enjoy and would argue I get a sense of satisfaction of using fast and responsive software. However these opportunities are getting rare, and frankly I’m just bothering less to look now days. I remember this, for me personally, being such an important factor in chosing software. Less so now. Maybe it’s a sign of age, or perhaps it’s the prevalance of proprietary applications where there are few or no options. Think Slack or your favorite web based collaboration tool either only avaiable in the browser or kindly packaged - with webkit - as a standalone app.

I miss fast software. Software you’re excited to use simply because it’s refreshingly fast.

I’m trying to find two things here, what are example of fast software you use on a recurring basis that you would recommend, and how important performance really is now days. Especially when it comes at the expense of features or investment of time.

[1] https://fabiensanglard.net/silicone/

[2] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=25290118




joe - Joe's Own Editor

Keystrokes are like WordStar and Borland Turbo Pascal. Instead of the hidden cut-and-paste or copy-and-paste buffer, it gets highlighted where it stands, right there in the document. You don't need Esc, Alt, Meta, arrow keys (supported though), or any function keys.

I do think performance is really important. Slow performance changes the way you work. With a slow editor, you have to find ways to keep it running, because the bad performance is a punishment and distraction if you restart. With a fast editor I can kill and restart it just to check some minor thing on the command line.

For collaboration tools, IRC still works fine. For an overall desktop experience, XFCE is the fastest I've found that isn't bare-bones.


Notepad++, vim , winmerge, WhatsApp,


Lots of terminal based stuff but particularly fzf.

Also Mimestream, a Gmail client.


Anaconda! (sarcasm)




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