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Font "package manager"

I've been thinking about creating a font management service similar to traditional software package managers (e.g. Debian Aptitude, NPM, etc.)

The basic idea is this:

  1. There's a main repository of fonts that are free (as in free to distribute) that the working group hosts
  2. There's a small program that serves as the "manager", to be used or installed on client systems
  3. The "manager" can be configured to operate with multiple repositories
  4. The "manager" provides the following functionality:
    1. Memorizing the user's preference of fonts and any versions limitations (e.g. "Roboto = 2.1")
    2. Keeps font files up to date according to the user's preference and availability in configured repositories, by
    3. communicating with repositories over HTTP+TLS
    4. Ability for font authors to publish versions of their fonts to writeable repositories

Goal is to make operation and usage easy for designers. Should be able to operate without user intervention (e.g. via scheduled invocation or as a service.)

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ChristopherBiscardi commented Jan 14, 2018

Couple thoughts:

  • Is the core use case for using said fonts in Sketch/Photoshop/etc?
  • Said font-package-manager could be built as a specialized system on top of npm registry (or something else)
    • Means you don't have to host a full registry at first (dealing with security, etc concerns)
    • Could enable an ecosystem of integrations with a standard font packaging layout
    • yarn and npm clients can use git repos instead of the registry, the "desktop client" for the font manager could piggyback on that and a github org to manage which fonts are installable. (can imagine using github releases for version info, etc as well)

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studioetc commented Aug 10, 2018

I would kill for this. I spend a lot of time on a lot of machines and need all sorts of different fonts at different times. Damned if I'm going to go back to one of those terrible old school font managers from my print days.

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