Really sad news, Dr John has always been my favourite piano player and a hero to me. RIP Doc, you will be missed :( - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/entertainment-arts-48551452
in the GNU manifesto, he talks about how he's going to add a window system, a CL compiler, a spreadsheet, and "an Empire game" like ... here's this operating system we're making; it's going to have exactly one game. when anyone gets bored, they will play Empire and that will be the thing that everyone plays.
It seems like it could be useful to do this kind of design work outside of the context of individual software implementations. We could put together recommendations of complete hardware and software combinations that meet the needs of specific types of users and specific workflows, and direct efforts and funding to improving those stories.
Harlow, a barista at a worker-owned coffee shop, needs a new phone. The screen broke on her old one, and she couldn’t get any new apps to install anymore anyways. She wants something secure enough to use for organizing direct actions, but she doesn’t want to support exploitative capitalist monopolies, and doesn’t have piles of cash laying around anyways. All the cheap Androids she’s ever had seemed full of adware. Is there anything cheap that isn’t crap? Maybe she needs two phones to be safe?
We also have Dan, the owner of the local antique store, who (begrudgingly) knows that he needs to get a new website and hopes that getting a computer for the store might help with some basic bookkeeping, too. His paper system has worked for him so far, but now that he has some part-time staff helping out, he needs something they can both use. He has a website already, or had one, but that was 15 years ago, and the family of the whiz kid who built it moved away after he left for college. Geocity?
Then there’s Mona, a freelance photographer who would like to edit her photos, have a way to back them up securely, and also needs a new website where she can coordinate event bookings with customers. She’s lost many hours of work to hardware and software failures before and can’t afford to be burned again. She needs to be able to trust whatever system she sets up.
I don’t think Tomahawk is under active development anymore, but I really liked the ideas of XSPF and Playdar, and it’d be cool to see someone pick those up again soon.
Here’s an old Wired article about Playdar for inspiration: