Brick by Brick, the FontStruct Blog

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FontStruct goes HTML5

News | | September 30th, 2016

html5fs

Dear FontStructors,

Today we’re very happy to announce the launch of a new, HTML5 version of our font editor, the FontStructor.

Superficially it’s very similar to the old one and we’ve retained all the simplicity and ease of use which are the hallmarks of FontStruct; but under the hood the new FontStructor uses standard HTML5 technology for the first time, and no longer relies on the Flash plugin.

This change will help us to continue to improve the editor and add new features in the future. It will also allow users to edit FontStructions on tablets, or even – for those of you with sharp eyes and very slender fingers – on smart phones, for the first time. Note that support for mobile devices is quite basic so far, but we hope to improve that in the coming months.

In this first release of the new FontStructor we’ve added a few small, but significant features.

More complex composites

In “Expert Mode” you can now make composites bricks from selections of up to 16 contiguous grid squares. This should allow designers to create more complex custom bricks.

Finer control over nudging and letter width

The nudging feature, also available in Expert Mode, now allows you to nudge bricks off the grid in ⅛ grid square increments. (Previously it was ¼ grid square increments).

The letter-width control has also been greatly refined. Instead of full grid square steps, you can now set the letter width in ⅛ grid square increments.

fontstruct-finer

New Bricks

Finally we’ve added three new sets of bricks. There are 2 thinner versions of the quarter rings, AKA the macaroni bricks. The new sets have line widths of ⅛ and ⅟₁₆ grid squares. There’s also a new version of the ring shapes. The size of the holes inside the rings match the subdivisions of the grid.

new-bricks

Thanks!

Many thanks to those who’ve helped to thoroughly test the new FontStructor, finding bugs and suggesting changes.

Other Changes

We’ve also taken the opportunity to overhaul some other parts of FontStruct.com. Again, most of these changes are technical and shouldn’t greatly effect how FontStruct.com works or looks but if you do come across any problems, please let us know.

Happy FontStructing!

 

 


33 Comments

  1. four

    Congratulations Rob, a huge step for FontStruct! Looking forward to seeing lots of creations making use of the new features and bricks.

    four — September 30, 2016 #

  2. MadSheep3

    Minimalistic design. New bricks that I waited. Now it is convenient to choose Unicode blocks. In general, FontStruct is developing further and further.

    MadSheep3 — September 30, 2016 #

  3. time.peace

    Wonderful job. Looking forward to exploring the new system!

    time.peace — September 30, 2016 #

  4. architaraz

    Thank you mr. Meek and staff for your continuous development of this wonderful tool. Already published a test fontstruction using new but long awaited bricks, and they work really well! The other changes are also legendary!

    architaraz — September 30, 2016 #

  5. Sychoff

    Great news! Thank you very much for the work done. I hope the new fonts will show that it is worth it.

    Sychoff — September 30, 2016 #

  6. Frodo7

    Great job. Fontstruct is now future proof. Thank you.

    Frodo7 — October 1, 2016 #

  7. cirque traumaccord

    Very impressive evolution and thanks for added features. But it seems that the old VERY USEFUL possibility allowing to copy one glyph from one of your fontstruction  to another one just by clicking “copy” on one and “paste” on the other after having opened it does not work anymore now. Am I right ?

    cirque traumaccord — October 1, 2016 #

  8. meek

    @cirque_traumaccord the plan is that copying from on FontStruction to another should work. I will check – but there a few general issues with the site I need to fix first.

    meek — October 1, 2016 #

  9. Goatmeal

    @Rob – Thank you, as always, for the continuing improvements!

    Goatmeal — October 1, 2016 #

  10. cirque traumaccord

    Good news ! Concerning general issues, the “save” button often refuse to work. Lost some glyphs and updates today

    cirque traumaccord — October 1, 2016 #

  11. meek

    Yes the main problem is the performance of the site as a whole – in particular the gallery. If the whole site is slow – saving is slow or may fail. I think this issue should be a lot better now. I’m continuing to work on it.

    meek — October 2, 2016 #

  12. Neoqueto

    Frankly, the “save” button doesn’t seem to work for me at all. I’m stuck at “Fontstructing Name*” at the bottom of the page. Neither previewed nor downloaded fonts have any changes to them. I guess that font complexity and recent server issues have something to do with that. Other than that great work guys, stellar performance and fantastic new additions. It’s about time to stop using that ancient technology. 

    Neoqueto — October 2, 2016 #

  13. cirque traumaccord

    Another weirdness i noticed : fontstructions made after the HTML5 update indicate “0” glyph while they actually have more than 100 which hopefully are there after download

    cirque traumaccord — October 2, 2016 #

  14. time.peace

    Is anyone else have trouble accessing their older fonstructions, creations that’d normally be on a second page? I assume this is simply because of the switch to HTML5, and will be fixed as time progresses, but I thought I’d ask around.

    time.peace — October 3, 2016 #

  15. meek

    @time.peace I haven’t noticed that. It may have been a temporary issue. Most issues resulting from Friday’s update have been resolved. We’re still working on some things but generally the site should be usable now.

    meek — October 4, 2016 #

  16. meek

    We found what seems to have been the last significant gremlin. Site seems to be performing better than ever now!

    meek — October 4, 2016 #

  17. Yautja

    Thanks for these updates! I’m especially excited by the new bricks.

    By the way, I noticed that all fontstructions have the favorite button colored, as if I’ve favorited everything.

    Yautja — October 5, 2016 #

  18. meek

    Yes, I noticed that too. ‘Twill be fixed.

    meek — October 5, 2016 #

  19. ETHproductions

    Thank you, Mr. Meek and staff, for all the hard work you have put into the FontStructor. The higher resolutions of composites, nudging, and letter-widths, combined with the lovely new bricks, give FontStruct a whole new world of possibilities just waiting to be explored. And now that it’s written in HTML5, FontStruct is also much more flexible and ready for the future.

    An issue I’ve noticed is that each gallery page (including private user pages) only shows 16 fonts instead of 32, and the other 16 seem to be hidden (my list of 65 published fonts still only has 3 pages).

    ETHproductions — October 5, 2016 #

  20. cirque traumaccord

    Great, yes site is much more usable now, and much faster! But copying a glyph from a fontstruction to another one still does not work. 

    cirque traumaccord — October 5, 2016 #

  21. meek

    @eth thanks! I’ll look into the gallery issue. 

    @cirque yes the site is much, much faster – I found the magic switch on Monday. I will look at the copying thing but no promises on when. 

    meek — October 5, 2016 #

  22. laynecom

    Great! Now I’ll have to rework all my fontstructions… :-D

    Honestly, the fact that the letter width became more flexible is enough to give meek the Nobel price in typography next year…

    laynecom — October 6, 2016 #

  23. Aeolien

    I love the new quarter circles and hope to use them soon, I just need some inspiration … The site is running smoothly now and ‘searching’ is working again. Occasionally the save takes some time (mainly in the afternoons) but I assume that is my connection to the server.

    I have 2 observations though: when erasing parts of a composite brick I find the enlarged view panel (after right click on a composite in MyBricks) hides too much of the actual brick to allow seeing in real time the result of the erase on the brick; also I’d like to see a kind of line/division between the different bricks used in the composite when viewing it in MyBricks prior to erasing one of the composing units. ( I hope I described that in a comprehensible way).

    Generally I find the HTML5 Fontstructor pleasant to use now, you must have worked hard to create it, speed it up and to remove those problems we encountered. With increased speed and no lag when displaying a mouse movement I find the HTML5 version a real pleasure to use.

    Thank you for all this work, I feel inspired and ‘fontstructatious’ :D

    Aeolien — October 6, 2016 #

  24. Luan (argh!)

    PLEASE UPDATE UNICODE!

    Please update unicode to 9.0!

    Luan (argh!) — October 7, 2016 #

  25. macurious

    I really appreciate the improvement of the nudging feature and other useful changes. Keep up the great work!
    But editing is very laggy now and therefore not as fluent as before.
    I had no problems with saving like others so far but i’ve noticed that the position of the brick palette doesn’t get saved.

    macurious — October 8, 2016 #

  26. Rob Meek (meek)

    @macurious Thanks for your kind words! I’m sorry to hear you’re finding editing laggy. Trying a different browser might help. Let us know if any particular aspects of editing are laggy.

    Rob Meek (meek) — October 10, 2016 #

  27. kix

    Yay! I waited so long for this. Fontstructor on ipad! I think i’ll cry 😊

    kix — October 13, 2016 #

  28. brynda1231

    Update unicode, please

    brynda1231 — October 13, 2016 #

  29. Aeolien

    Today I noticed that the ‘search’ in the gallery and my own FontStructions didn’t work; almost every search I did I saw “The server returned a “500 Internal Server Error”  “

    Aeolien — October 15, 2016 #

  30. Rob Meek (meek)

    @Aoelien. We’re looking into it.

    Rob Meek (meek) — October 16, 2016 #

  31. laynecom

    There’s a stray brick in the download that I can’t get rid of… Here’s a screenshot: http://alexandersperl.de/temp/download-bug.jpg

    laynecom — November 7, 2016 #

  32. meek

    @laynecom – I’ll take a look – please mail me the id of the fontstruction in question. 

    meek — November 8, 2016 #

  33. brynda1231

    Can you make it so we can make composites of up to 25,000 grid squares and stacks up to 32 bricks, and add 1/4, 1/8, and 1/16 bricks, letter, number, and symbol bricks

    brynda1231 — November 20, 2016 #