Anybody else want to commission a open source Wordpress type tester?

I’m redesigning my online store. It will probably be Wordpress, and I might commission a developer to create a type tester plugin. Is anybody else interested in splitting development fees to make this into an open source Wordpress plugin?


  • Sounds interesting, but very niche indeed. That said, I was in touch with a small type foundry owner earlier this year about the very same issue. He, too, has a Wordpress site that would need a more revamped type tester interface and asked for my input as interface designer and web developer (who also happens to have an interest in type design).
    So far the project has been on hold mostly because my main job currently keeps me too busy, but there might be some synergies here. Let's see if anybody else responds here, maybe the community could combine efforts.
  • Stephen ColesStephen Coles Posts: 992
    edited July 2016
    Does it need to have any specific integration with WordPress? You can have any html page in a WP site, so it seems the technology doesn't have to be restricted to those foundries using WP and you'll have a wider pool for collaboration. 

    BTW, Typotheque's Type Applications has a testing tool available for licensing, though I get the appeal of developing something new that meets specific needs.

  • ...thank you @PabloImpallari, TypeTester_TDF looks quite interesting!
  • TinyMCE can do this in WordPress.
  • James PuckettJames Puckett Posts: 1,957
    Oooh, that IS nice. I’ll give it a try.

    TinyMCE can do this in WordPress.
    Interesting idea! I’ll have to see if it can be stripped down some. It’s probably too complex for my needs.
  • Hey James! We got TypeTester to work successfully on my new Font Diner site:

    It's not a full featured as some other sites that can show OT features or kerning for that matter, but indeed I'd be game for chipping in to update it with these features.

    The other option is of course using a straight up web font but like you, I really do prefer the fonts are only shown as images in this scenario.
  • Why do you use Wordpress for your website? I would suggest some proper, modern CMS solutions. Like or
  • Why do you use Wordpress for your website? I would suggest some proper, modern CMS solutions. Like or

    Because WordPress has more Users, Developers, Add-ons, Extensions, Plugins, Templates than all other CMS solutions put together. If you can't do it in WordPress you probably will not be able to do it in any other CMS.
  • Malcolm is 100% correct however that doesn't make WordPress any easier to use OR make the code it produces any cleaner. Also as James mentioned, there aren't really easy tools that exist for font sellers specifically.

    There is the issue of using the same download to support dynamic multi-user pricing when the quantity of the product remains one yet the variable that controls pricing isn't fixed.

    There is no way to easily offer all the types of licenses one would want to sell or web font and desktop font downloads without setting up a different product for each package.

    We're perhaps too small of an industry to have our own specific suite of WordPress tools, but I do like James idea that we could chip in and share costs to have a WordPress plugin developer create these tools so it's one-click easy to get a really nice testdriver or licensing modifier, etc . . .
  • Any info on what the overall cost might be?
  • I'm redesigning my site in WordPress and am interested in adding a type tester. As Malcolm pointed out, something like TypeTester_TDF can be added using the WP editor in source code mode. But a plug-in could make it more friendly to implement, minimizing additions to my code fatigue.

    At this preliminary stage I know it'd be difficult to estimate the final cost. And how much it would fall to each person/foundry involved would depend on how many people would come on board. I don't have deep pockets, but this is something I could consider backing.
  • From the other side of this potential deal—it's worth noting that making a solution that's open source and generally applicable may increase the cost by an order of magnitude or more because: 1) open source means writing comprehensive documentation and/or providing support and 2) and generic solution will always be more complex than the specialized one.
  • James PuckettJames Puckett Posts: 1,957
    edited July 2016
    Figuring out the cost would depend on the requirements and where the work is done. If we just wanted TypeTester_TDF wrapped up as a plugin by a programmer in Bangladesh it might be under $1,000 US. Starting from scratch with something complicated programmed in California could easily go over $5,000. 
  • If you did want to make this a join effort, it would be useful to define a spec that enumerates all of the features that would be needed to satisfy the use-case of all involved. "Type Tester" in practice is the culmination of many small but not insignificant implementation details—what exactly are the business requirements in this case?
  • Dave CrosslandDave Crossland Posts: 1,356
    open source means writing comprehensive documentation and/or providing support
    I don't think either of those things are required; you can put out code with no documentation and ask people who use it to write it, and you are under no obligation to provide support to anyone :) 
  • While that may be true, no documentation or support kind of makes the OSS component fairly useless. You might as well not release it at all to be quite honest.
  • Dave CrosslandDave Crossland Posts: 1,356
    While that may be true, no documentation or support kind of makes the OSS component fairly useless. You might as well not release it at all to be quite honest.
    By respecting users' freedom, you incentivise them to take care of the project, because it then belongs to each user; no documentation or support from the initial author but a libre license enables anyone to write that documentation or provide that support. WordPress is the most famous case study of this kind of succession. 
  • Will and can are two vastly different things. I don't want to hijack this thread with this tangent, but it's important to realize what the additional burden of open source is when deciding to commission something as such.
  • Lars SchwarzLars Schwarz Posts: 114
    edited July 2016
    Thoughts: Make that an online/cloud service that allows embedding in a modern way and that takes care of obfuscating your fonts automatically and that has the option to render as web font or image, not just a solution for one specific CMS.

    Afterwards such a service could be easily integrated into WP (via shortcodes or a plugin/widget) but any other CMS (or static site), too.

  • Dave CrosslandDave Crossland Posts: 1,356
    Thanks Jack :) I filed to ask about the license and indeed they decided to keep it proprietary. 

    Lars, I doubt such a service would be what independent minded foundries would want, because if it goes down, so does their business ;)
  • This sounds like it could be a very nice project, and something I and the company I work for would love to do. I suppose you folks might already have developers in mind, but if you don't, ping this front-end developer/type nut from the Netherlands.
  • Lars SchwarzLars Schwarz Posts: 114
    Dave: Probably not, but making a plugin for just one CMS doesn't help much if you use a different CMS, cloud based CMS, a static website or want to embed that type tester tool in an app or someplace else. Both have pros and cons of course. From my point of view only a handful of people/foundries would use it anyway, so you could spent some money on a plugin limited to WP only or probably the same amount of money on a cloud based service that offers multiple ways to embed it. 
  • Hi Roel! As you can see we're exploring the concept which means your client in this case is a committee. I may suggest you start a more private discussion thread solely for those who are committed financially to participating instead of trying to distill feedback from those who aren't.

    Beyond that, it would be great to learn more about your organization and similar projects you've done to what we're discussion.
  • Has this idea died?
  • Simon CozensSimon Cozens Posts: 710
    If it hasn't, someone needs to be spec'ing out requirements as Jack suggested.
  • James PuckettJames Puckett Posts: 1,957
    Ok, so everybody who is interested just say so without moving the conversation back to other stuff. Lets see if there are enough interested parties to justify a requirements doc.
  • I am interested.
  • Count me in too please, thanks.
  • I am interested
Sign In or Register to comment.