fabulous /

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Version: 0.1
Date: 2009-12-07
Copyright: Copyright (c) 2009 Lobstertech, Inc.
Manual section:3
Manual group:Library Calls

Getting Started

Download and extract the latest version:

sudo apt-get install gcc python-imaging python-setuptools
sudo python install

Run the demo to see what's available:

python -m fabulous.demo

Basic Examples


4-bit color. These colors and styles are standard and work almost everywhere. They are useful in helping make your program output easier to read:

from fabulous import bold, magenta, highlight_red

print bold(magenta('hello kitty'))
print highlight_red('DANGER DANGER!')

print bold('hello') + ' ' + magenta( kitty')

assert len(bold('test')) == 4

8-bit color. If you want to spice things up a bit, Fabulous supports xterm256 colors:

from fabulous import fg256, bg256
print fg256('#F0F', 'hello kitty')
print fg256('magenta', 'hello kitty')

Fancy Text

Way cool text. This is something neat you can use when you program starts up to display its name with style:

from fabulous import text
print text.Text("Fabulous", color='#0099ff', shadow=True, scew=5)


Fabulous lets you print images, which is more fun than useful. Fabulous' unique method of printing images really shines when used with semi-transparent PNG files. When blending backgrounds, Fabulous assumes by default that your terminal has a black background. Don't worry if your image is huge, it'll be resized by default to fit your terminal:

from fabulous import utils, image
print image.Image("balls.png")

# adjust for a white background
utils.term.bgcolor = 'white'
print image.Image("balls.png")

It's scriptable too (like img2txt)

python -m fabulous.image balls.png >balls.txt
cat balls.txt

Transient Logging

This is very useful tool for monitoring what your Python scripts are doing. It allows you to have full verbosity without drowning out important error messages:

import time, logging
from fabulous import logs

for n in range(20):
    logging.debug("verbose stuff you don't care about")
logging.warning("something bad happened!")
for n in range(20):
    logging.debug("verbose stuff you don't care about")

Why Fabulous?

Here's how Fabulous compares to other similar libraries:

  • fabulous: Licensed MIT. Focuses on delivering useful features in the simplest, most user-friendly way possible (without a repulsive name.) Written in pure-python but will attempt to auto-magically compile/link a speedup library. ~1,000 lines of code.
  • libcaca: WTFPL. This is the established and respected standard for doing totally insane things with ascii art (ever wanted to watch a movie on the command line?) Weighing in at ~72k lines of C, this project is a monster. It uses an older, more complex text/dithering-based rendering method. Compared to fabulous, some images look better, some worse. I found the docs somewhat difficult to follow and couldn't find support for transparency or 256-colors.
  • asciiporn: GPL. Similar to libcaca but has an interesting feature for drawing math graphs to the terminal... Needs to compile C code, requires numpy/python2.6, and I couldn't get the darn thing to work. Aprox 17k lines of code.
  • pygments: BSD. Has excellent support for terminal syntax highlighting.
  • termcolor: GPL. Only supports 4-bit ANSI colors.