Roadmap to Version 1

Even though Glyphr Studio is close to 5 years old, it’s only been in the past year or so that things have really started to pick up.  Learning about all the tools and concepts that go into designing a font, then creating them and shipping them as a web app has been a fantastic learning experience.

But we’ve always had one little feature that was a “must have” before we felt comfortable moving Glyphr Studio from Beta to a fully-fledged Version 1.  And that feature is being able to import and export a font.  No-duh, right?  It turns out that this is pretty complicated to do using only JavaScript and a web browser.  We had so much on our plate that we barreled forward with the huge list of other features first… before we knew if import/export was even possible.  Even though Glyphr Studio has a bunch of awesome features right now, it’s always seemed awkward to have a tool that helps you design a font, but isn’t able to save a font.  We’re right there with you.

That’s why I’m excited to announce that there will be no Beta 6.  Before we work on anything else, we’re going to integrate with OpenType.js – a fantastic open source project that uses JavaScript to import and export OpenType and TrueType font files.  Once that happens, we’ll move Glyphr Studio to Version 1… and it will be time for some party hats, confetti, and champagne.

Time to move faster…

Up until now, we’ve had a model where we choose roughly 3 large features, and a handful of smaller features, and bundle them up and ship them as a Beta.  Doing this usually took a few months.  From what we’ve learned through Beta 5, we’re also going to change this shipping cadence.  After v1 we’ll simply ‘publish’ new features right as we finish them – reducing time between updates from months to weeks or days.

In order to accomplish this much faster pace (and get y’all features faster and fix bugs sooner) we have to make some tweaks to our process.  We’re removing some of the cumbersome stuff from the code base – namely the example Glyphr Studio project (aka the Sandbox feature on the website), and the Help Documentation.

The Help Documentation will get it’s own GitHub repository, so you can suggest changes or file issues against help documents that aren’t so helpful.  It will then be published to whenver it’s updated.

We used to have two build processes that resulted in the /online and /sandbox pages.  We’re going to remove the built-in example project from the code base, and also remove the /sandbox page on the website.  Instead, we’ll make it easy to open example projects from the start screen.  Having quick access to some example fonts is good to have for people just starting to use the tools… but having to ship two versions of each Beta was kind of a pain.

These two changes, plus some other backend stuff we’re working on right now, will ultimately help us ship as fast as we want to.

Lastly, THANK YOU!

We owe so much to the community of font designers and developers that has sprung up around Glyphr Studio.  User feedback is the primary way we prioritize what our next steps will be.  Keep the emails and tweets coming, we thrive on interacting with people.  Hopefully the changes that we roll out for Version 1 will be the beginning of an awesome new chapter in Glyphr Studio history!