Archive for December, 2008

RiordonFancy v3

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

This is RiordonFancy version 3. We’ve added all the accented letters she was asked for (in particular, there should be all the Polish, Czech, Spanish, and Portuguese characters) and some others, though there are still gaps and quite possibly a few errors. The licence is now OFL, which is DFSG-free, so you should be able to combine it with anything free you wish. Thanks for all your feedback so far! Let us know how you get on with it, if you like.

Nautilus and fonts

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

This will be quick because I’m doing something else, but I want to write this down and ask people about it. Why is it that Nautilus shows the same icon for all TTF files? Wouldn’t it be fairly simple to write a thumbnailer that showed two representative letters like “Ij” from each font (or some other letters if it didn’t contain the Latin alphabet)? And the same program would be the default application for TTF and would just show a sample from each font when you double-clicked a font’s icon in Nautilus. And there’d be an “install this font” button on the page, so you could download a font and install it without arsing around with dragging it to ~/.fonts. OS X has something like this and it’s dead useful. It would be simple to write in perl and I could do it in an evening. Has someone already done this and I haven’t found it and it’s just not shipped by default in Ubuntu so I’m not seeing it, or is there some reason it’d be a bad idea, or should I just do it?

RiordonFancy version 2

Saturday, December 27th, 2008

My ten-year-old daughter Riordon has been designing a font on paper and I’ve been building it in FontForge. RiordonFancy version 2 contains the whole ASCII set including all the numerals, and (by special request) an interrobang. This is the first time I’ve (helped) make a font. The licence is currently Creative Commons cc-by-nc, copyright Riordon Turner.


Thank you to everyone who tested version 1. Do you think we should place it on Open Font Library, or what do you think we should do next?

(Comments are welcome, as are suggestions for version 3. Rio is enjoying reading your feedback so far.)

Christmas present

Friday, December 26th, 2008

I’ve had an affinity for the card called The Fool for a long time.  This Christmas, Fin commissioned Joanna Barnum to paint me as the archetype, along with my late dog Jaspie:

Marnanel as The Fool, © Joanna Barnum 2008

© Joanna Barnum 2008.  Isn’t it wonderful?  You should all go and look at the gallery of her other work.


Thursday, December 25th, 2008

An idea which occurred to me just now:  What if there was a drop-in replacement for the gettext library which took the locale name from a GConf key rather than the environment?  Then when you chose a new locale, all the apps would know about it, and we could unmap and re-map all their windows and they’d all appear in the new language immediately.  There’s no reason you should have to restart an app just to change the language.

If you’re not reading the Metacity blog

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

…why not? :)

Posts around the solstice:

All the posts have embedded audio versions.  (Maybe we should get it on itunes.)

Your feedback is always welcome.

DJ Kitten

Saturday, December 20th, 2008


photo of Rothko the kitten by Alexmore

A weed

Friday, December 19th, 2008

Last night, I dreamed I was cleaning up the garden, and there was a violently living green weed I was trying to pull up. It was growing like knotweed, except tall and leafy, and the more I struggled with it (with a machete!) the less good it did. I began to be rather afraid of it as I fought it, and I jumped out of the way and flinched back when a branch came crashing down.

On closer inspection I then discovered that the weed was implemented as an s-expression, so I merely (reverse)d it and it became nothing more than a little sprout in the ground I picked and threw away.

In other news, Rio told me yesterday that GLaDOS would win in a GLaDOS vs HAL fightoff. I am not so sure.

Double-click to close

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

This issue has come up again. Would someone from the UI team please read this user’s comments and tell them whether they’ve made a case for double-clicking the menu button to close a window, and why or why not? Also, can people from anywhere downstream confirm there that downstream patch inclusion is not necessarily caused by upstream patch inclusion? (I know that sounds obvious, but I’m from upstream so it’s less believable if I say it.)

In other news , Launchpad bug 160311 might have persuaded me to make window borders resizable for accessibility separately from the theme. Any accessibility experts who’d like to weigh in on this one are welcome.

This is turning into the Metacity Journal, isn’t it? Sorry.

I forget whether I mentioned this before

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

but what I love is when you make something and someone comes along and makes something ten times as awesome out of it: Parchment.

Don’t miss Lists and Lists if you’d like to learn Scheme.