While the benefit of the wooden spoon may not be immediately obvious to the novice user, the concept is now hailed the ‘next big thing’ in software development. Early adopters have been tinkering with some creative use-cases.
Most users first realize it’s power when it comes to selectively blocking unwanted pop-ups. This works much better than any browser plug-in (e.g. ad-block+) and with surprising accuracy. Although not as fast, it does so entirely without false positives! The spoon even works on all browsers and is both backward and “forward-compatible“ (a term which has been coined by the spoon community)!
The system may one day be used to view poorly programmed websites like Google+ on large screens. Already now it completely eliminates the annoying border in the news-feed on large monitors (>22″/1080p res). G+ is just one example, of course.
The user-base, albeit still tiny, is extremely dedicated and faithful (almost religious some say). Open Source community pioneers and bigwigs like Richard Stallman or Eric S. Raymond are also big fans and backing the movement.
Eric S. Raymond recently admitted in an email to us:
When I first stumbled over the concept, I failed to come up with some valid use-cases and almost dismissed it as another fad. But then realized, it wasn’t that simple! Over time, I better understood it’s *real* power. Now I would no longer want to program without it.
People ask me about it’s advantages quite often lately. It’s a bit like answering the question “why anyone today should bother learning languages like LISP/Scheme”. Because using it will ultimately open your mind to different solutions, and make you a better programmer! The same can be said for the spoon.
How one applies the idea isn’t set in stone. There is no rulebook to follow. But this is exactly what makes it so powerful! It’s a ‘mindest’! Nobody will tell you HOW you should use it. For newbies who expect some more concrete answers this can be frustrating, sure!
New usage scenarios are being invented constantly. Some people have even “forked” the idea and are now experimenting with ladles. Whatever works for you!
While several funding requests have popped up on kickstarter, not everyone is as cheerful: The most critical concerns are aired by the UX community. They feel that the spoon may impact their relevance, because users will no longer care about poor design or flaws in a GUI layout. Also companies behind ad-blockers probably have a lot to lose.
While it is too early to talk about the long-term effects of the spoon, one thing is certain: We have hit critical mass and the spoon is bound to disrupt our relationship with technology as we know it.
I’d love to hear about your experiences (positive or negative) when it comes to using the spoon creatively. Please share your ideas.
EDIT 06/06/2014: added more graphics to illustrate adoption curve, etc … if you don’t like those, please use the spoon to block.