Gnome Font Manager

Published 11 May, 2008 in Linux , Programming - 0 Comments

One thing I miss on Linux Gnome is font manager. Not just a font viewer but a proper manager like the old Adobe Type Manager. So I thought: Well, lets create one then! It might be that it already exist some font managers for Linux/Gnome but as always; this will be a good project for learning new stuff so I really don’t care if there are 1000 font managers out there ;)

Font parsing

The first thing to do, and that I have done, is porting my font parser from PLib to C#. That was no major head ache. There are at least to different font classes available in C# Mono (`System.Drawing.Font` and `Pango.Font`) but they don’t give all information about the font that I want.

Worth mentioning is that I heavily used the Mono DataConverter class to unpack the binary strings in the fonts. The unpack() function in PHP is just tremendous and there doesn’t seem to be a native alike in C#. But thanks to Miguel de Icasa’s DataConverter it went quite alright.

Font preview

The next thing to do was figuring out how to create the font previews. And I figured it out ;) First I though of using the console program gnome-thumbnail-font to create the previews but I had to throw that one into the bin since it doesn’t seem to handle multi line text. Since I’ve never used the graphics functions in C# before I came to the conclusion that I had to create the previews all by my self. It was quite easy finding good examples on the net of how to create text images with C#. A couple of hours later that problem was also solved (as you can see in the screen shot below). And man the graphics stuff in C# is fast. The preview images are generated instantly!

Next step

I have a lot left to do before this is a useful program but we’re heading there. One feature I’m planning on implementing is the ability to create your own font sets that you can activate/deactivate.

And I will probably come up with some more stuff to add, but that will be a later head ache!

Screen shot: Gnome Font Manager
Gnome Font Manager