Home / Google Fonts API - time to Drupal market - one day

Google Fonts API - time to Drupal market - one day

When Google announced their new Font API and Font Directory, they gave the web publishing world a great new tool that is ready to add real business value right now. The directory is a bid to close the gap between the rich visual possibilities of print media and the typographically impoverished World Wide Web. In Google's words:

"The Google Font API provides a simple, cross-browser method for using any font in the Google Font Directory on your web page. The fonts have all the advantages of normal text: in addition to being richer visually, text styled in web fonts is still searchable, scales crisply when zoomed, and is accessible to users using screen readers."

Google Fonts

Great! When can we have it? Google announced their API and directory on May 19, 2010. On Thursday, May 20, 2010, a Drupal module was released that gives you all the tools you need to display Google Fonts on your Drupal website. Time to market - one day. In the first week after its release, the module has already been installed on over 50 websites, kick-starting the virtuous cycle of testing and feedback that is the hallmark of open source software. Four tickets have been opened in the issue queue, including one bug report that has now been fixed, and a feature request. As people report problems and submit patches to improve the software, the astonishing time to market for the initial module will be followed with an ongoing agile product development cycle where anyone can fix or improve the existing code, and share it with the entire world.

This is a market advantage that is unique to open source software, and is one of the reasons that proprietary systems cannot hope to compete with open source in the long run. I'd be willing to bet that the leading proprietary CMS and social publishing systems don't have Google Fonts on their radar yet. At most they have a footnote in their weekly planning meetings to watch and see if it becomes a viable and interesting feature, and to check up on it in 3, 6, or 12 months time. They probably haven't decided yet to allocate programming resources to it. I challenge you to go search the sites of proprietary vendors - how fast are they able to support important changes on the web?

Acquia regularly takes advantage of the open source advantage, and takes part in contributing back where we can. For example, Drupal Gardens now comes with Typekit integration which allows you to choose beautiful fonts for your Gardens website. Of course there is a Typekit module on Drupal.org.

The lesson here is clear: you can move at web speed by using open source tools. Stop waiting for your proprietary vendor to add it to their product, Drupal lets you use tools like Google Fonts today.

UPDATE: The module author, Baris Wanschers, is Senior ECM Engineer at Sogeti, an Acquia partner. Great work, Baris!


Posted on by Greg Knaddison.

And there is also one font module to rule them all: Font Your Face which aims to provide a pluggable system to control Google Fonts, Typekit, and any other services that arise like this (since it seems likely that more of them will rise).

The story is no less exciting: Drupal has not just one but two great integration modules for Google's Font API within days of it being released. Amazing!

Posted on by Robert Douglass.

An interesting side effect of Drupal's excellent SEO and the first-mover advantage is that searching for Google Fonts brings up three distinct Drupal sites on the first page:
The Google Fonts Module on Drupal.org
A review of the Google Fonts Module
This article on Acquia.com

Robert Douglass
Senior Drupal Advisor, Acquia

Posted on by tim.nametaken (not verified).

Thanks for turning me on to this module and to the Google Fonts directory. I just produced a walkthrough and example for the Google Fonts Module @ http://baxwrds.com/drupa l_google_fonts.

Thanks again.

BTW- Your blog requires a fantastic amount of info to post a comment, most other drupal planet blogs allow anon comments - open is the future. PEACE.

Mollom always thinks I am a robot!! Because I never mess up me logic!

Posted on by Baris Wanschers.

Thanks Robert for the great article.
It makes me proud to be part of this ;)

Posted on by partner52025454... (not verified).

Thanks for the article. Watch your use of possessives though. In the last sentence, "let's" should not have an apostrophe.

Posted on by Robert Douglass.

Thanks. I corrected the typo.

Robert Douglass
Senior Drupal Advisor, Acquia