J

WORKBENCH

I try not to do too much.

But that never works, so I juggle a dozen projects instead. This page is mostly dedicated to the ones that involve fighting the computer.

Philosophy

People have told me that can spot a Judah-made app/site from a mile away (unsure if this is a good thing), but that’s usually because of the particular way I use whitespace and borders. Apart from just visual design, here are some other things that I have begun to care about:

1. Users are not stupid. Don’t infantalise them, or you’re doomed to making boring stuff. Help them do things that they want to do.

2. The web is the best platform we have. It is not as “close” to users as phones are, nor is it as powerful as native apps. But it’s the one that’s open to the most people, at the cheapest price, and it has standards.

3. Speed is the feature. I want to make tools that feel light, both in design and usage. I refuse to use things that have serious lag. This has often lead me to offline-first designs.

4. It’s hard to keep things simple, but almost always worth it. Serious companies can’t really to do this, they have to deal with the necessary bloat of enterprise customers. I can afford to keep things clean, and should therefore choose to. Simple things are often cold-blooded, and cheaper to run/maintain.

5. Companies will die. They always do. What happens to your stuff once they disappear? Do they even offer an export? Try to choose data models that allow for ease of export/actual portability.

CONCEPTS

Calendars, but for long-term planning and recording history instead of day-to-day schedules.

PIPELINE

I have no deadlines, I just ship as much as I can in order to stave off the unrelenting ennui. This list is for personal reference more than anything else.

tiny tools

Vigil – Simple analytics for hobby websites. [tldraw]

Three Pages – Local-first daily writing.

Queuests – iykyk.

Down n' Across – Prettier skin over fast-grid.

"platforms"

Streams v3 – Focused on web editing, and a better API.

Papertown – Blogging in 2D, maybe.

Blogdown – I want to fix static sites. [whitepaper]

Plain – lists-of-lists

minisites

Mezzanine – Centralised Spring '83 for mutuals.

Where Should I Host– Comparing hosting and storage providers.

Typed Out – Font recommendations

Pro Tips – A guest-authored blog.

STACK

Static site builder: index.html | Hugo

JS Framework: Sveltekit | Express.js

ORM: Drizzle

Hosting: Cloudflare | Digital Ocean | Netlify

DAW: Garageband

Design: This sketchbook | tldraw

IDEAS

A new web publishing platform?

We need a Wordpress competitor that's made for static sites.

Think about formats. Think about "posts", and "collections", and "updates". Think about creative freedom and power alongside simplicity.

Maps for the Internet

This is not a complicated idea. I will solve part of it with Papertown, but I want to see more creativity thrown at this one.

Truly personal timetables

A plan that sync to your actual waking hours. Starts when you wake up, not at arbitary hour marks.

rotime claims to be a version of this. See also: Superlocal

Human-scale maps

Use accelerometers and motion sensors to get highly accurate positional data, and use it to record the paths a person has taken.

The hard part will probably be combining this with GPS to place it on an actual map.

A Digital Workbench

This makes more sense in AR, but I would like one in 2D too. Let me arrange folders on a canvas, with icons that open the folder in Finder when clicked on. Let me place things over or under other things, let me stack trash in a corner.

Preserving the Web

Preserving the web is still an unsolved problem. You can't trust Internet Archive. Most pages are not Designed to Last