Ben Crowder /blog


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Last year I posted a note about Curves, a Python type design library I was working on. At the time I’d given up on it, but I recently had some new ideas on how to make it more ergonomic. It now stands resurrected:


Since I don’t think I mentioned it in my earlier post: the idea is that programming language constructs (functions, variables, source control, etc.) may make it easier to design a typeface, given the parametric and repetitive nature of that work.

It’s still a work in progress and very much an experiment — placing points in code rather than in a GUI will always have some friction to it — but it seems promising enough now that it’s worth finishing it and trying to use it for some actual type design.

Scanbook 0.1.0

Scanbook is a Python script I wrote to take page image scans and turn them into a nice black-and-white PDF for reading on my phone. I used to use Scanner Pro for this, but I’d rather do the processing on my laptop, and Scanbook happens to produce smaller PDFs. I’ve used it to scan a dozen or so of my journals; it works well enough for me.

This is, by the way, my first time publishing anything on PyPI. (Which means people can install Scanbook with a simple pip install scanbook.)

Mozilla just announced their Pyodide project, built with WebAssembly and emscripten:

Pyodide gives you a full, standard Python interpreter that runs entirely in the browser, with full access to the browser’s Web APIs.

WebAssembly has a lot of potential. I’m excited to see where it goes.

Book of Mormon study edition 2.0

I’m pleased to announce version 2.0 of my Book of Mormon study edition.


This version now uses the licensed text of the scriptures from the Church, which means I’m finally able to make editions in other languages. To start out, we’ve got French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and of course Spanish.


To make it easier to create versions of the study edition in other languages, I started over from scratch, using a set of Python scripts to pull the text from the files the Church sent me, then generate a LaTeX document that gets turned into the PDF. It’s a really nice workflow.


Over the next month or so I’ll be revising several of my other scriptures projects (reader’s edition, Words of the Prophets, etc.) to use the licensed text, with a similar Python-based workflow to make updates easier.

Also, if you’re interested in a study edition in a new language, let me know.


Playing around:


I wrote the circle chording code on my phone in Pythonista, then ported it to PlotDevice, fleshed it out, and textured it in Photoshop.