What’s Ian doing this winter break?

My last final is tomorrow morning at 7:30 a.m., and I’ll be damned if I don’t find a way to procrastinate. This is my way of procrastinating.

Apart from my day-to-day stuff at Red Hat (making sure servers don’t catch fire, cleaning out spam traps, the like), I’m going to be working on a couple of projects over winter break.

FUDCon Blacksburg Booklet

Here’s the booklet pages from Tempe last year. We’re doing the same thing this year. It’s pretty much that simple.

What needs to be done:

  • Map needs rendered. I’m going to try to use mapnik instead of osmarender this year because mapnik looks a gazillion times better.
  • Recreate the schedule pages, possibly expanding the section to three pages (and moving the map into 1 page since we just don’t have that many things to label).
  • Find a bunch of local vendors close to campus, their contact information and when they’re open.
  • Figure out deets on a hack room and some other details that should go in the booklet.

The more things above that get done by volunteers, the less I have to do, and the more likely this booklet will be awesome. So please help if you’re bored! :)


I have a new pet project, and hopefully something will come out of it this time.

There are a lot of freely-usable fonts in Fedora that you can install with yum/PackageKit. But the problem is, it’s very difficult to figure out what the fonts look like without installing them all and trying them out. You can’t easily tell what fonts have serifs, have support for the language you’re trying to write in, or actually looks good.

fonts.fedoraproject.org is a proposed website that does the following:

  • Searches the yum repositories for a list of packages that provide font(*).
  • From that list, determine which packages have TTF or OTF files.
  • For each package, if the package is not cached, download the package and extract the fonts.
  • Write web frontend to put it all together, using @font-face technologies. The frontend would be static HTML that is rendered once nightly if there are updates.

I’ve discussed the idea above with a few folks in Infrastructure and it seems to have fallen on good ears, so I’ll be continuing on with this project when I’ve got some spare time over winter break. If you’ve got questions or just want to discuss fonts.fp.o, shoot me a message on IRC, since I’d love to get new ideas or figure things out that I haven’t quite figured out yet :)

Oh, and also:

2 thoughts on “What’s Ian doing this winter break?

  1. Great idea! Providing a service to help figure out the capabilities of all the libre/open fonts in Fedora would be really useful !

    You may want to look at the (crude) service we run in Debian:

    Every week for each font file in the repository we generate static webpages exposing name, filename, specimen, complete metadata including authorship and licensing information, unicode coverage, smart font features if any, fontaine and fontlint output, embedding status and provide links to the relevant package tracking entries. We also provide ways to help flag up duplicates.

    (the script is called debfontreview and is in our team repository but git.fedorahosted.org/fontpackages.git has review scripts too).

    Looking forward to what you will come up with :-D

    • That’s a neat service! Thanks for the link to that, I don’t think I found that in my quick crude search for things similar to my ideas.

      I’m hoping that what I come up with will be modular enough so that you can strip out the yum/rpm stuff and put in apt-get/deb stuff and do the same thing :)

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