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Introducing TypeCatcher

with 11 comments

After helping to review applications for the Ubuntu App Showdown, I had the urge to take another look at the state of quickly, Ubuntu’s quick starter for app development. So here we have TypeCatcher. It allows you to search, browse, and download Google webfonts for off-line use. You can preview fonts with adjustable size and text.

It was mostly written in one Sunday afternoon a few months back. Though I put it aside for awhile, mostly out of my inability to come up with a name for it. The delay did allow me to flesh it out a bit. For the most part I was quite happy with quickly. The templates really do get you up and running fast. Though as I’m extremely comfortable with both bzr and Debian packaging, I didn’t really employ its ability to hide those parts from users.

(As a side note, on place where quickly fell a bit short for me was renaming the project. Sometimes you just want to start hacking and then think about naming later, but quickly uses your project name in file names and classes all over the place. It would be nice to bake project renaming into its UI. There is already a bug report about this on Launchpad including a renaming script in the comments.)

After dogfooding the app writing tools, I think I’ll probably test the submission process for the Ubuntu Extras repository as well. For now though, you can install it for Ubuntu 12.10 from my PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:andrewsomething/typecatcher
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install typecatcher

You can also grab the source from bzr on Launchpad:

bzr branch lp:typecatcher


Bugs and feature requests welcome there as well.

And of course, who doesn’t love screenshots:



Written by andrewsomething

November 11, 2012 at 11:00 pm

Posted in Ubuntu

Tagged with , ,

11 Responses

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  1. Oh yes, I love these kind of apps, simple and useful. Great start, Andrew!


    November 12, 2012 at 6:52 am

  2. Looks nice. Can you also provide precise builds for LTS users? Does it support OpenType features?

    Raphaël Pinson

    November 12, 2012 at 9:48 am

    • There is a package currently building in the PPA for precise. I’m only running quantal, so I haven’t tested it there. Let me know how it goes. There shouldn’t really be any thing that is incompatible.


      November 13, 2012 at 8:54 pm

  3. Is there anything you think is missing from the GWF Developer API?


    November 12, 2012 at 10:22 am

    • The API was pretty straight forward, and since the display is done in a webkit frame I was able to use the WebFont Loader to get the clean fade-in animations.

      The one little hickup is that it is obviously not designed to directly download the font. So I have to parse the CSS that is returned to grab the actual location of the font, but that’s simple enough.


      November 13, 2012 at 8:51 pm

  4. […] Source | Andrewsomething […]

  5. This is excellent! I’m going to add it to Dream Studio ( right away!

    Dick MacInnis

    November 26, 2012 at 5:47 pm

  6. […] Introducing TypeCatcher « andrewsomething@ubuntu:~$ – A nifty little app written with Ubuntu's Quickly RAD tool to install Google Web Fonts for offline use. […]

  7. I am looking for Ubuntu blog and i find this in google. Thank you…

    Ade Malsasa Akbar

    December 25, 2012 at 3:59 am

  8. […] never heard of TypeCatcher until I came across Jack’s post at TechRepublic. Installed it on Xubuntu 13.10 and fell in […]

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