Upcoming: Barcode shape for Calligra

More and more signs and papers seem to get covered with QR code pictures these days, to allow people with camera-equipped devices to copy some text by taking a picture, helping around the error-prone and cumbersome copying by typing letter by letter. Those code tags are not really aesthetically pleasing (yet), but if you ask your search engine for “QR” and “art” you will see that people are trying to do something about that.

Trying to do something about any support for 2D and 1D bar codes in Calligra, now I have been doing that the last days. With the prison library around there is some code already to do the encoding of text data into the code pictures, and with Inge Wallin having added up-to-date template code for a shape last week, doing a shape for barcodes was to a large degree simply filling in template code and wiring things up.

So for Calligra 2.5, the release after the next, you will hopefully be able to e.g. add a QR code to the last of your slides, if the code passes review and testing. So people can get your contact data as vcard or a link to a website with more info, by you dropping a barcode shape and entering the text like this:

This could also be a useful for someone wanting to write a program for mass-production of labels, similar to KBarcode, but based on Calligra modules, to be more powerful e.g. thanks to all the shapes.

Calligra is really getting somewhere finally. Check out the sources and see yourself. Those people have done amazing work. Time for everyone to start and join polishing, to help on the breakthrough from a dream to reality, which has never been closer.

Reading other files from the past…

While being stuck in text layouting problems during my work on writing an import filter for CDRv4 files for Calligra, I discovered that the import filter for the xfig format is currently disabled from built and needed some porting.

So for some change and a break and the old files I have around in the xfig format I gave it a try, should be just a few hours… Well, of course that became a few days, but now the import filter works at least somehow comparable good as it might have done before.

E.g. this old file

is now imported as

You see that text and arrows still need some work, and so do pattern fills, but otherwise it looks good. Except for:

??? How to translate x-splines to quadratic/cubic Bézier curves ???
XFig was used to be the reference implementation for that special type of splines. But so far I have not seen an explanation how to translate those to the kind of curves which are supported in ODG/SVG. Any help welcome! Currently those curves are imported as simple polylines.

If you want to give the filter a look, it currently lives only in an own branch in the Calligra repo, named filters-karbon-xfig-recreate2012.