This page will eventually have a helpful, comprehensive list of various pieces of software that I use, and the rationale for using them.

General tools

git

I love having extensive, well timestamped repositories of creative projects. git is a tool that can make that happen.

You might assume that git is just a programming tool. Sure, it’s used for versioning and syncing source code, but it can version and sync and merge anything, which makes it an invaluable tool for all kinds of creative projects, particularly anything to do with writing. For example, this website (managed using Jekyll) lives in a git repository – if the website is just a bunch of text files, throwing it in a git repository adds versioning and syncing with zero extra effort, which means that Jekyll folks didn’t have to implement it.

The only downside of git is that it doesn’t really play well with binary files, so I don’t use it for visual arts or music.

Illustration software

  • GIMP
  • Clip Studio Paint
  • ArtRage

Photography software

  • digiKam
  • exiftool
  • Custom import/backup scripts
  • DxO PhotoLab
  • Affinity Photo
  • Nik Tools

Writing software

  • Scrivener
  • Plottr
  • LibreOffice

Programming

Visual Studio Code

As much as Emacs rocks, as a programming text editor it’s best at small projects or editing individual files. It theoretically supports everything under the heaven, but if you want to do something massive on it, it’s going to be a bit janky. On the other hand, big IDEs are often overkill, and you just don’t bother to boot them up for small projects. And there’s always the period of stalling when the project turns from a tiny little project to a big project and you don’t want to migrate to the big IDE just yet.

Visual Studio Code actually fills a very interesting niche: it works just fine as an editor for small files and tiny projects, and kind of goes way beyond that at managing larger projects, too. As far as Microsoft software goes, this is one of their best releases ever. The community support is good, too, so people have made plugins for unbelievably obscure things.