Glyphfriend Updated to 1.3 then 1.4; 70k+ Downloads Reached

The thought of creating a Visual Studio extension really had never crossed my mind until attending the annual Microsoft MVP Summit in 2014 and listening to Mads Kristensen give a talk on developing them, which was just the amount of inspiration that I needed at the time apparently.

I'm a full-stack developer. I spend quite a bit of time architecting the back-ends, the APIs and all of the other unseen jazz, but the other half of my time is spent on the front-end. Building user-experiences, waging endless wars with Javascript quirks and cross-browser issues and generally making things "prettier" and easy to use.

Glyphfriend is primarily targeted to people like that (full-stack and front-end devs). Glyphs commonly find their place when I'm working on UX and Glyphfriend certainly saves me quite a few search engine queries when doing so, and based on the following <h4> tag that you are about to read, I'm not the only one.

Glyphfriend reaches 70k+ Downloads

At the time of this writing, the extension has been downloaded over 70,000 times!

Glyphfriend Downloads Since Release

That's bonkers! The downloads were fairly steady during the RC phase of Visual Studio 2015 and after release, it really blew up. Visual Studio Update 1 actually included an extension recommendation system that would suggest popular extensions for developers to use and Glyphfriend was included in that group. You can take a guess by reviewing over the chart above exactly when Update 1 was released...

Thanks to all of the folks that continue to use Glyphfriend, those that post any issues they run into within the GitHub repository, and others that e-mail me with feature requests. It makes maintaining the project much easier to do and more enjoyable.

What's Changed in 1.3 and 1.4?

Since the last post detailing what was going on in Glyphfriend, quite a few things have been happening :

  • Added Entypo Library Support
    • Glyphfriend now supports the Entypo set of glyphs.
  • Added Material Design Library Support
  • Updated Font Awesome Glyphs to 4.5.0
    • Updated Font Awesome to the latest version and added all of the glyphs that were included within the 4.5.0 release.
  • Updated Octicons to 3.5.0
    • Updated Octicons to the latest version and added all of the glyphs that were included within the 3.5.0 release.
  • Overhauled Internal Dictionary to Support Redundant Prefixes
    • Updated how the internal dictionary within the extension is structured to allow for multiple glyph libraries to use the same prefix (e.g. icon-alert in IcoMoon and icon-alert in Entypo).

But wait. There's more.

In addition to the above changes, there's one other thing that I would like to let everyone in on. Glyphfriend is now available as a Resharper Extension.

One of the common issues that I have heard (but cannot consistently reproduce) is that Glyphfriend often doesn't work as well as it should when a user is working with Resharper installed. Creating an extension for it had been on my back-log for some time and apparently Kelby Hunt aka Huntk23 decided to do something about it.

ResharperGlyphfriend is an open-source version of Glyphfriend built as a Resharper extension that should ensure that Glyphfriend's autocompletion events aren't brushed under the rug of JetBrains powerhouse extension.

You can find it by simply searching for "Glyphfriend" within the Resharper plug-ins area.

Note : If you use Resharper and don't want to download the plug-in, several users have reported explicitly disabling R#'s HTML autocompletion events, which should allow Visual Studio (and subsequently Glyphfriend) to take over.

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