re: What do you prefer: general all-in-one tools or focused single domain tools? VIEW POST


It depends on the specific situation, but that's partly because of the fact that how 'one thing done very well' a tool is depends on where you define domain boundaries.

pandoc is a good example of this. When viewed through the lens of markup conversion as your domain, it's trying to do everything, but when you look at data transformation tools as a whole, it's a tool that's just for markup conversion and does it very well. Similar arguments can be made for FFMPEG or almost any 'swiss-army knife' type tool.

Personally, I tend to look less at this aspect of a tool, and more at how well it actually does what I need it to do without being excessive. This tends to lead me more towards 'does one thing well' tools than 'does it all' tools, but this does lead to odd choices sometimes (for example, I carry a multi-tool designed for bomb-squads on a daily basis, because it just so happens that the exact mix of tools it has covers what I need with regularity perfectly and I rather prefer the pliers to not be spring loaded)

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