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Wednesday 16 June 2021

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Hello Type.World

Roughly four years of development time, two of which I spent as part of my work with Google Fonts, come to their temporary conclusion.

Today I present to you the first stable version of the Type.Word App: Version 1.0. With it, I aim to improve both the user experience of frequent font users as well as the market position of independent font foundries alike.

There is lots to do still as the app is in a very simple state. It’s missing fundamental basics such as a search function. But everything is stable and usable, so I wanted to waste no more time and publish it officially, as I have a feeling that many interested parties were holding back their development to wait and see how everything plays out.

Most of the development was and probably always will be on the server side of things, hidden from the audience, in order to offer a polished experience.

I’m particularly happy that we can ship the app with Turkish and Spanish translations right from the start, thanks to Viviana Monsalve, Adolfo Jayme-Barrientos (initial Spanish contribution), and Ali Riza Esin, together with my own German translation. The effort that I invested in the translation interface paid off quickly. It’s a Google-Translate-assisted web-interface, so that translating the entire app into your language shouldn’t take more than two or three hours for languages that are well supported by Google Translate. Please get in touch if you want to contribute a translation into your own language.

Translations for Right-To-Left-written languages such as Arabic and Hebrew could theoretically already be contributed, but the app’s graphical user interface won’t be able to handle them yet until a later update. However, once I will work on supporting them, it would be great if I could already work with the real translation pairs.

The cards are all on the table now. It’s still an open source project, but turned partially commercial after I had to realize and accept that a business model needed to be in place in order to sustain the project long-term and gain the trust of professionals in the type industry.

A big thanks goes to Dave Crossland who let me develop the project part-time during my work for Google Fonts, as well as all Patrons of my Patreon page, as well as all other supporters and developers.

I will take a long summer off now as I have other obligations during summers with my brother. I will resume active development in October. In the meantime I will be available for supporting your API Endpoint implementation efforts, as well as fixing critical bugs in the app, should any surface.

Btw, the self-update functionality of the app appears to have been broken for a few versions now. So you may want to re-download the app rather than self-updating it.

Also, there’s no content really for you to try it out except for Jens Kutilek’s free font subscription which is linked on the download page below the app downloads. So for this thing to become really useful, we now need to wait for foundries to implement it. Sorry if it’s a bit anti-climactic ;)