Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Android 2.0 aka Eclair is Here

Waow, Android 2.0 SDK is just released. It now supports RFCOMM Bluetooth, which is great for peer to peer communication. WIFI is great but it does not work when you want to establish communication with other devices in WIFI-less environment. I also could not depend too much on 3G, in some areas, it is very slow and sometimes it does not even exist.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Automating inDesign for Repeating Content and QR Code

Our church is going to hold Bible Camp this coming week. We are all getting busy preparing for this event. I am responsible for creating publication materials, such as event booklet, brochure, name tag, etc.

Creating name tag might sound easy, but how about creating name tags for 50 persons. It will be painful to do it manually, copy and paste the layout plus typing names fifty times. So, I did some reading on Adobe inDesign documentation and found out that it's possible to create placeholders for repeating content using XML. Here is the article that I used. I just need to design the name tag, generate XML data for all attendees using Perl script, import XML to inDesign, and inDesign will do the rest of the work.

Generated Output by inDesign

Notice above figure, there is small box on the right of each name. It is QR Code containing information for each person. I was thinking that since I am going to automate the name tag creation process, why not adding some extra information. I decided to add QR Code and our team decided to add color coded group information (i.e. person with the same color belong to the same group).

Bible Camp GII 2009 Name Tag

I wrote a PERL script for grabbing contact information of each Bible Camp 2009 attendees from our church database and use GD-Barcode module to generate the QR Code associated to each individual.

Most people nowadays have phone with built-in camera, and most of them can decode QR Code. So, I think this as a good way for letting people to exchange their information with each other easily during our Bible Camp event. That's it for now. Following QR Code contains our church contact information.

Decoded Message on Android