Apparently when you build a Visual Studio extension that is based on third-party libraries, it's quite important to remember that things like these change a lot. So I took an hour or so this week and decided to bring Glyphfriend up to speed.
What is Glyphfriend (again)?
Glyphfriend is an open-source Visual Studio 2015 extension to enhance the existing Intellisense to display preview glyphs for many of the common glyph-based font libraries like Font Awesome, Foundation, IonIcons, Bootstrap Glyphicons and more.
What's New In Glyphfriend
Honestly, not at ton.
This latest release simply updating all of the existing supported libraries to their latest versions, as follows :
- Bootstrap Glyphicons - Supported up to v3.3.5.
- Font Awesome - Supported up to v4.4.0.
- Foundation - Supported up to v3.0.0.
- Ionicons - Supported up to v2.0.1.
- IcoMoon - Support for latest release.
- Octicons - Support for v3.1.0.
Now for some of these, very little if anything changed, but some of the others introduced quite a few new glyphs that were added.
How to Use GlyphFriend
Simply download the Glyphfriend extension and install it on any edition of Visual Studio 2015 from the Visual Studio Gallery. After doing this, you'll just need to include the appropriate CSS files for the library that you want to activate Intellisense for within your project (via direct inclusion or a NuGet package).
After you have added your libraries, Glyphfriend will handle detecting any classes that are present within them and pair them up with existing glyphs within the extension when you begin typing.
What's Next for Glyphfriend?
A few of the ideas that I have mulled around for the extension and that some users have requested are as follows :
Dynamic Glyph Generation - This was an idea that I played around with for some time, but it seemed far too fragile. The basic idea is that you would read in the CSS files that are within the current project and dynamically generate and store the Glyphs for these on the fly. This would essentially make Glyphfriend "future-proof".
Configurable File Names - A feature that has been requested by several users would be the ability to not use the existing pre-built file names like
bootstrap.cssand allow the user to define the files that they want to use for specific Glyph libraries.
Visual Studio 2013 Support - While this was an idea that I had prior to the release of Visual Studio 2015, I don't know if the demand for it would even be there. The API for handling this type of extension changed quite a bit from 2013 to 2015 and frankly, I'm not sure if enough people would use 2013 enough to make it worth the effort of targeting it.
If any of these features sound like something that you would want to work on, then read on...
Want to contribute?
Glyphfriend is completely open-source you can find the repository here on GitHub.
Many of the Glyph libraries that were chosen were just some of the most commonly used ones that I had come across, but I am sure there are plenty of those that may have been left out. If you find that one of your favorites is missing you can do one of the following :
- Create an Issue / Request within Issues area of the GitHub repository
- Fork the Glyphfriend project on GitHub
- Clone the repository on your local machine
- Install the Visual Studio 2015 SDK (required in order to extend Visual Studio 2015)
- Open the solution within Visual Studio 2015 and make your changes
- Submit a pull request when you have completed your changes
I’ll try to address any major issues as they arise (and update this release accordingly), but pull requests are openly accepted and encouraged.