I’ve blogged several times about great programming fonts. That includes the Consolas font, which ships with Windows Vista and is available as a download for Visual Studio 2005 users.
Today a reader pointed out to me that the Consolas font is also included with the ree PowerPoint Viewer 2007 from Microsoft. This works on any computer with Windows 2000 SP4 or Windows XP SP1 or later. In addition to the PowerPoint Viewer 2007 itself, the installer will install the following fonts: Calibri, Cambria, Candara, Consolas, Constantia and Corbel. Only the Consolas font is monospaced. These are all fonts that ship with Windows Vista but not with earlier versions of Windows. These are not all the new fonts in Vista, however. Notably absent is Segoe UI, the new default font for application interfaces.
Note that just like software, fonts are copyrighted. So you can’t just share them without a license to do so. That’s why you can only get Consolas as a download from Microsoft, or preinstalled with Vista.
If you want free monospaced fonts, try Envy Code R or Bitstream Vera Sans Mono. Vera Sans Mono is my personal favorite.
In the past I’ve blogged about the Consolas and Bitstream Vera Sans Mono fonts. Yesterday I found another great programming font: Envy Code R.
Like the two other fonts, this is a monospaced font, even when mixing plain and bold text. It’s a TrueType font optimized for ClearType. It is widely spaced like Consolas, but slightly taller. It supports more accented characters than Vera Sans Mono, but does not support Cyrillic like Consolas.
I’ve added a page to the EditPad Pro website explaining what to look for in a programming font. The second part of the page compares the three fonts I just mentioned.
Jeff Atwood blogs about screening programming job applicants. Essentially, by asking general questions about different aspects of programming, he’s trying to weed out the one-trick ponies.
I was a bit shocked that an article he links to mentioned that 25% to 35% of people applying for a programming job at Amazon couldn’t propose any solution at all how to do a relatively simple pattern search through a large set of text files.
It would only take two minutes to take the phone number regex from RegexBuddy’s library, and edit it to the exact specifications given. And another two minutes to have RegexBuddy search the server tree. Okay, give it 15 minutes to edit and test the regex if you’re rusty on regexes, and 3 minutes for the search if the local network connection to the Unix server is congested.
This isn’t about Java programmers vs. Perl programmers. This is about programmers with broad skills and a rich bag of tools, vs. programmers who crank out code from 9 to 5 trying to appear productive. It’s working smart vs. working hard.
Since JDK 1.4, which is like 3 major versions ago, Java’s regular expression support is just as comprehensive as Perl’s. Java needs a few more keystrokes to instantiate a few classes, while Perl supports literal regexes as a language feature. But that hardly matters. What matters is if the programmer knows what he’s doing, and all the available tools and technologies.
If you’re applying for a job and your interviewer is a Coding Horror fan, spending a little on RegexBuddy might just be the ticket to a better-paid job.
Regular expression enthusiast and RegexBuddy user forum resident Steven Levithan puts me in good company in his post Regex Legends: The People Behind the Magic.