I'm definitely a bigger fan of making it possible to use the VM for this,
even if some of us choose to install the libraries and run the commands on
their machine. We can express (in the VM configuration) the dependencies
that are required in a clear way that can be tested. There should
definitely be something in the docs as well, but IMO the testing part is
key. We can add the font building to our CI, know that the build
succeeded, and have the fonts available as an artefact associated with a
I'd suggest setting up an npm script that we can run locally, and another
that runs that script in the VM, as we've done with our "test:vagrant" and
other script definitions.
On 1 February 2018 at 18:50, Justin Obara <obara.jus...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Tony,
> I was thinking about this more today and I’m not sure it will work in the
> same repo. Basically the issue is that it uses a grunt task to do the font
> generation while relying on fontforge and ttfautohint installed separately
> on the machine. The issue of course is the npm install required and
> bridging across a host and vm. We use grunt for other build tasks that have
> been run on the host machine and probably won’t want to force anyone to
> have to use the vm.
> I’m wondering now if we just add something to the Infusion-Icons repo for
> building fonts. We could require that fontforge and ttfautohint are
> installed, or setup a vm option. Any thoughts?
> On January 26, 2018 at 8:13:45 AM, Justin Obara (obara.jus...@gmail.com)
> Hi Tony,
> Thanks for this suggestion. The VM approach seems like a good option. I
> don’t think it will be something that we run that frequently, so the
> overhead of the VM shouldn’t be too much to worry about.
> Regarding location, I think I’d prefer having it in the main repo. I feel
> like it will be easier to update the icons if the build process is
> colocated, and it should be fine to version the icons alongside Infusion. I
> suppose if we break Infusion out into a monorepo we could explore
> separating the icons into their own package(s) (there will likely be
> separate fonts for each component that uses icons in order to keep file
> sizes to a minimum). I’m open to other ideas though.
> On January 26, 2018 at 3:38:36 AM, Tony Atkins (t...@raisingthefloor.org)
> Thanks for the writeup, Justin.
> I think the obvious solution here is to use our existing VM infrastructure
> to make it easy to build the font regardless of the host platform. There
> are fontforge packages for Linux, we just need to have a Vagrant VM that
> installs fontforge as part of its setup steps. I'd suggest using the Linux
> VM because it's more amenable to using vagrant ssh commands as part of npm
> script definitions. We could add a vagrant:buildFont script or the like
> that runs the build within the VM. Just like coverage reports and other
> artefacts created from within the VM, the final icon font would be
> available from the host machine at the end of the build process.
> I can't imagine us writing a tool to verify whether an icon looks
> reasonable or not, so manual intervention is still required whatever we
> do. To assist in the review, we could create a page that displays all
> icons, ideally with something like the UIOptions component so we can test
> high contrast. I would imagine that whomever is running the build would
> review this, and then we have a decision about how to publish it.
> To me, it makes sense to move the icon font to a small repo (or small part
> of a monorepo) and then manually publish a versioned release of the icon
> font. As we don't want to get in the business of managing constant
> releases, I'd imagine us making use of fluid-publish, and creating dev
> releases to test with work in progress.
> I understand this might be a bit of a reach, I could also see us setting
> up additional commands that run against the linux VM we use to test
> infusion itself and leaving it in the main repo. In that scenario, the
> font can be updated by any commit, and the version is simply pinned to
> whichever dev or standard release other packages pull in.
> Happy to discuss here or in a future meeting, if we agreed that the VM
> approach is worth doing somewhere, and then define "somewhere", I'd imagine
> this being a pretty easy thing to set up.
> On 25 January 2018 at 20:35, Justin Obara <obara.jus...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Recently we’ve been working on a couple of tasks to add new preferences
>> to the prefs framework: letter-spacing (FLUID-6204
>> <https://issues.fluidproject.org/browse/FLUID-6204>) and syllabification
>> (FLUID-6240 <https://issues.fluidproject.org/browse/FLUID-6240>). For
>> both of these new preferences we’ll need to provide a new icon for the
>> Icons for the preferences framework are added using an icon font. The
>> current icon font was pre-generated with the required icons included.
>> However, we found that it was hard to maintain when new icons are needed.
>> To that end, work was done to implement a repository of icons (
>> Infusion-Icons <https://github.com/fluid-project/infusion-icons>) from
>> which we could run a build step to generate the icon font. (see:
>> FLUID-5555 <https://issues.fluidproject.org/browse/FLUID-5555>).
>> As part of my recent work, I’ve been looking at incorporating a build
>> step in Infusion to generate the icon fonts using icons from the
>> Infusion-Icons repo. We’re taking this opportunity to update and unify the
>> icons as well, and along the way have learned a lot about how icons should
>> be constructed. (see: Standard workflow in maintaining and creating icon
>> and Infusion Icons Visual Style Guide
>> However, it seems that the build system we were hoping for lacks the
>> robustness required for it to be a build step in Infusion.
>> The original hope and expectation was to use grunt-webfont
>> <https://github.com/sapegin/grunt-webfont> and it’s node engine based
>> off of svgicons2svgfont <https://github.com/nfroidure/svgicons2svgfont> to
>> generate the icon font. With much research and trial and error we have yet
>> to be able to produce an acceptable icon font, in particular when complex
>> glyphs are required some of the glyphs become distorted and jumbled. See
>> “icon output.png” attached for an example of a distorted icon. To
>> experiment with this directly you can run the attached “size.svg” through
>> http://nfroidure.github.io/svgiconfont/ with “Font height” set to 512.
>> Fortunately grunt-webfont provides the option to use an alternative
>> engine, fontforge <https://fontforge.github.io/en-US/> In experimenting
>> with our new icon set, I’ve found that fontforge actually produces a proper
>> icon font. However, there is a trade off. Although fontforge is available
>> for macOS, Linux, and Windows, it is a manual process to install it because
>> it isn’t an NPM module. Unless there is a straightforward way to install
>> the platform specific versions of fontforge as part of the "npm install"
>> for Infusion, I don’t think it is safe to add font generation as a build
>> step. It would be very unfortunate if the icons were broken in a release
>> because the fontforge dependency was missing. (NOTE: It seems that if
>> fontforge is missing it will fall back to using the node engine).
>> Barring any suggestions for ensuring that fontforge is installed, I think
>> we should continue to manually updated the icon font(s) used in Infusion.
>> However, we should start generating the font using the Infusion-Icons repo
>> and grunt-webfont with the fontforge engine. We may also want to commit a
>> file <https://github.com/sapegin/grunt-webfont#codepointsfile> to the
>> Infusion repo alongside the generated font to help keep track of which
>> icons are included and what codepoint refers to them. I believe this will
>> help make the icon fonts easier to generate, consistent and stable. It’s
>> not quite as convenient as having it part of the Infusion build, but it
>> should mean that the icons are always valid.
>> Let us know what you think.
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