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Configuring Git for font projects: repository structure

As I’m fond of mentioning at every opportunity, my twin passions are web development and typeface design. It was curious though that until recently, for me, I never considered combining the two disciplines. Fonts are pieces of software after all. Software engineers are typically familiar with the following concepts: Source control. A source control system […]

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Amiga Bitmap Fonts Glyphs.app Python

Scripting in Glyphs.app: Converting Amiga Bitmap Fonts

Way back in the 1990s, I created a few bitmap fonts on the Commodore Amiga, notably Webcleaner, a set of fonts for early web browsers. Technology moves on, and I was concerned that my handiwork would be lost forever. Could they be revived to live another day? Thus began a deep dive into the Amiga […]

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Amiga Bitmap Fonts

Amiga Bitmap Fonts, Part 3: The Font Descriptor File

In Part 2 of our exploration of Amiga fonts we looked at the format of the font contents file and found… well not much of interest. Let’s now turn our attention to the other file type – the font descriptor file. The font descriptor filename is usually numeric – the number corresponding to the vertical […]

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Amiga Bitmap Fonts

Amiga Bitmap Fonts, Part 2: The Font Contents File

In Part 1 of our exploration of Amiga bitmap fonts, we identified the structure of a font on disk. We’ll now take a look at one of the files in more detail – the font contents file, suffixed .font. To identify the structure of this file we turn again to the Amiga ROM Kernel Reference […]

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Amiga Bitmap Fonts

Amiga Bitmap Fonts, Part 1: Introduction

Chances are you’re reading these words on a device with nice, crisp text. The typeface you’re looking at now is drawn from mathematical lines and curves, which means it can be scaled up and down to look good at large and small sizes. It wasn’t always this way. Early home computers such as the ZX […]

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Fontlab Python

Fixing pip installation errors in Fontlab 7

When trying to run “Install/Update Scripts” in Fontlab 7, you may experience one of the following issues: Installation fails with a “Cannot install pip” error message Installation of pip may appear to be successful but a restart of Fontlab prompts the user to install pip again These errors kept cropping up for me on Macs […]

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iOS SiriKit

Demystifying Siri, Part 7: Intents UI

At the end of Part 6 we finally reached our goal – our iOS device is finally able to solve a Countdown numbers game using voice alone. To round things off, let’s add a nice bit of UI that displays our calculation in NumberRace branding. In Part 5 we created an Intents extension. At the […]

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iOS SiriKit

Demystifying Siri, Part 6: Enums in Custom Intents

At the end of Part 5 we came tantalisingly close to our goal of implementing a Countdown numbers game solver in Siri. But we hit a snag. Siri recognises the user saying “three” but not “eight”. What is going on here? Let’s take a look at the screenshots: There’s a clue there. When I say […]

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iOS SiriKit

Demystifying Siri, Part 5: Intents Extensions

After a somewhat circuitous route we are now finally ready to implement our interactive voice-based interface to NumberRace. At the end of this part, Siri will ask us for a target number and six initial numbers and read out a solution. Mea culpa First, though, a confession. Is this really the best use of a […]

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iOS SiriKit

Demystifying Siri, Part 4: Suggestions

In Part 1 of this series we were resigned to the fact that a user wasn’t immediately able to make use of Siri to solve numbers games using NumberRace. Our user has to go through the rigmarole of creating a shortcut and adding a spoken phrase before Siri is even aware of this functionality. You’ll […]