Archive for June 15, 2020

Monday, June 15, 2020


Josh Centers:

There are all sorts of apps that add various capabilities to your Mac’s menu bar, but I’ve stumbled across one that can add literally anything to the menu bar through a plug-in system. It’s called BitBar, and it’s both free and open source. I’ve tested and confirmed that it works in both macOS 10.14 Mojave and 10.15 Catalina.


The beauty of BitBar is that any script that works in Terminal can be a BitBar plug-in. It could be a simple shell script, a Python script, a Ruby script, or even an AppleScript if you put the right hooks in. It also means that you can easily modify all the available plug-ins in any text editor, and you may be able to figure out how to make small changes just by following the script’s example, even if you don’t know the scripting language well. In fact, that’s a common situation.

Fontcase 2.0

Craig Hockenberry:

But we quickly realized that getting custom fonts onto iOS is much harder than on the Mac. There is no Font Book app and our initial research indicated that an Adobe CC subscription was required to download fonts. But even with a subscription, we couldn’t see new fonts in Tot. More research led to font installers on the App Store that were loaded with ads and required a passcode to install a configuration profile.


Apple’s full documentation about configuration profiles is a real eye opener. It’s designed to allow businesses to control the content and settings of their employee’s devices. It can also be abused by a malicious developer to do the exact same thing with your device.


The xFonts source code put my fears to rest because I could see exactly what it was doing with the profile. And while looking at the code, I had some ideas for improvements. […] xFonts is now Fontcase.

John Gruber:

Computer platforms where it was hard or simply impossible to install custom fonts were something Mac users spent the entire decade of the 1990s mercilessly mocking. The balance between “custom fonts are a potential security/privacy issue” and “custom fonts should be easy to install and manage” is just completely out of whack on iOS.

It’s kind of like saying that fonts are potentially dangerous, therefore you must give every font installer root access. I’m more worried about the installer than the font.