Puttin' the eek back in geek

Dev diary #001: Hello world, Wakamai Fondue?

June 30, 2020

Today’s the day! My little nugget of news about Wakamai Fondue went public. I’m still walking on clouds over this. I get to work on my favorite project, improving it and making it open source!

Apart from some minor touch-ups right after its release in April 2018, I hadn’t touched the codebase. Since then I had collected great feedback, found some bugs – but nothing urgent. With Real Life™ containtly in the way, I never got round to it.

Then I got to talk to Dave Crossland at Google Fonts, who saw the value that Wakamai Fondue brings to font folks and web devs as it is used in the QA workflow when adding and updating fonts in the Google Fonts library. He secured a budget for me to work on Wakamai Fondue through my employer, Kabisa. Long story short, this means Real Life™ now means working on Wakamai Fondue at work!

Also, I’ve always wanted to keep a dev diary, so here that is.

So, a quick intro to the old dev stack: when I built Wakamai Fondue, it was an experiment in both Fontkit and Vue.js. As things go with experimental prototype mock-ups, it ended up as the basis for the entire finished product and went straight to production. Warts and all. I wanted to Ship It™, so I cut some corners here and there or went for a few hacky solutions, all to prevent another project stranding on the last 5%. That worked, and v0.9 got out there and got plenty of use.

The new stack will be a fresh Vue.js project, with all of the old components manually cleaned up and ported over. This’ll be rather straightforward. The thing that’ll get a big overhaul is the “engine”. This is the thing that analyses the font, and makes the report possible. Fontkit does a great job, but is a little bloated for WF’s purpose. So we’re likely moving to Font.js which looks to be a perfect fit for a tool like Wakamai Fondue. I’ll go into more detail in upcoming posts.

The new site is still in a very early stage, and not functional, but you can check it out on Github. We’ll soon hook up the engine soon so you can actually try out the new site. Because of my awesome Github skills, issues are in a different repo for now, but will be consolidated. Please have a look and add issues, questions or suggestions!

Really excited and curious to see if there’s any participation while working on V1.0!