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Copernicus's Avatar
Posts: 1,987 | Thanked: 7,692 times | Joined on Dec 2010 @ Dayton, Ohio
#1
Lasagne is a small app that mainly involves a spreadsheet hooked up to a barcode reader, the intention being that this should make it easy to create and manage lists of items that are tagged with barcodes. This could be a collection of books, CDs, DVDs, or BDs; but it could also be the UPC codes off of grocery-store items (to create a shopping list), or even your own set of barcodes made to manage your own items.

This app uses the ZBar bar code library, which is the same library used by MBarcode; this provides quick and easy retrieval of barcodes in many different conditions. To some extent, the only significant advantage Lasagne has over MBarcode is the close integration with spreadsheet functionality, allowing easier collection and manipulation of large sets of barcodes.

Spreadsheet data is stored in Comma Separated Values (CSV) format, which should allow for fairly easy import into standard desktop spreadsheet apps.

Please note that this version (0.1.0) is at this point still a work-in-progress; I basically just ripped the barcode scanner out of another project I've been working on, and welded it to a miniature spreadsheet example I'd seen some time ago. The app is more-or-less working right now, so I figured I should go ahead and see what folks think about it; but there is still a lot of work left to do!

The current system has a number of limitations. For example, the columns of the spreadsheet are fixed at "Barcode", "Name", "Description", "Quantity", and "Location"; I expect it'll take a bit of work to generalize Lasagne to allow for user-defined fields.

One item of particular note: I'm still using Qt's default file dialogs in this version. These dialogs leave a lot to be desired; and in particular, there is no usable dialog for creating a new file. For now, if you want to create a new spreadsheet file, the best solution is probably to use the "Save As" button for your current spreadsheet, and then delete all the rows by hand.

Another item of note: the standard Camera app does not play nice with Lasagne. (Actually, I don't think the Camera app plays nice with anybody.) In order to get Lasagne to work, I have it kill the Camera app when it starts, and restart it upon exiting. Trying to start the Camera app while Lasagne is running can cause confusion in both of them (at the least!), so please be advised.

Given all that, I do hope you find this app fun and useful!

Also, I made a pretty awful video of me using Lasagna in its current form, which you can find at:

https://youtu.be/j_WChlrJ3pk

My only excuse is that I was pretty tired when I filmed that. I'll try to make a better video some time in the future...
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Last edited by Copernicus; 2015-06-24 at 03:45.
 

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#2
looks like a promising start from what I can see in the video. maybe just needs a few preset table designs for different types of collections (eg Format in Media for CD/DVD etc or paperback/hardcover for books) and a way of autocompleting the fields to make it easier for processing large collections.

At some stage I need to start cataloging my movie and cd collections so this could be really handy. Especially if the output can easily be imported into a cross platform desktop manager as well.
 

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#3
i always wanted to do this and what a coincidence as i saw barcode stickers on sale somewhere ;
guess what i ll buy em !
 

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Posts: 275 | Thanked: 379 times | Joined on Jan 2010 @ NYC
#4
Cool app Copernicus!

I would love to see at some point a plugin architecture to query online data bases like Musicbrainz, imdv or comic book databases as this would make it even more useful by propagating fields with info for you.

Thanks for taking the time to start this, looking forward to seeing were you take your Lasagne

x
 

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Posts: 141 | Thanked: 190 times | Joined on Feb 2012 @ Barcelona - Spain
#5
Another great app by Copernicus!

I just saw the video and the app scans barcodes quickly regardless of their position.

For the description of the app I thought that this must be the application related to the camera that you sometimes commented until I've read "I basically just ripped the barcode scanner out of another project I've been working on".
 

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Copernicus's Avatar
Posts: 1,987 | Thanked: 7,692 times | Joined on Dec 2010 @ Dayton, Ohio
#6
Originally Posted by Fatalist View Post
For the description of the app I thought that this must be the application related to the camera that you sometimes commented until I've read "I basically just ripped the barcode scanner out of another project I've been working on".
Yeah, Lasagne is effectively a piece of this larger app I've been wanting to create. I've kind of fallen in love with the concept of the Amazon app, where you point your portable device at a random object, hit a button, and "poof!" lots of useful information appears about it. The problem for me is that you have to get that info over the net, which requires (a) a decent internet connection, and (b) revealing your interest in that object to Amazon (or whoever may be reading your network). I'm hoping that bundling a barcode scanner and a local database of information about a particular class of items together into a single app would be something that I could sell.

But that's been taking a lot of time for me to work out. In the meantime, I just wanted to get folks using the Zbar library a bit more. In particular, to use it without bothering with the autofocus; everyone (Amazon, MBarcode, practically every other app I've tried) wants you to put the phone in front of a barcode and then wait for the autofocus to do its magic. This takes way too much time! Most of the time, you can easily just put the camera at an adequate distance by yourself, and Zbar will pick up the code almost immediately.

My plan is to flesh out this app and get it working well, and use what I've learned to finally get the original app up and running.
 

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#7
Hmm, lasagne does not segfault anymore, after rebooting the device... Just calmly explains that camera lens cover is closed.

One point: I prefer apps written in native Gtk+Hildon, not Qt. Just personal taste.

What about making a barcode plugin for default camera? And barcode-plugin-for-camera would in turn be extendable by plugins (like mbarcode is)? It would resolve nicely the conflict between camera and barcode-reader. Though, to avoid bloat, it could be nice to have camera-lens-cover opening choice-of-apps, instead of default-camera. Choices, choices....

Thank you. Best wishes.
 

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#8
About GUI: I would delegate clear-cell and delete-row somewhere closer to the table, not in a menu (what if user wants to do lots of clearning-deleting?), and move load-save-spreadsheet to standard top-menu. Then, the button to the right of the textbox would no longer be needed.

And, '+' button could switch to 'open lens cover to scan' screen which would save the trouble of clicking the button yet-again after opening lens cover (it should be possible to catch lens-cover-being-opened event and hence start scanning). Optionally, lens-cover-being-closed could switch back to spreadsheet.

Thank you. Best wishes.
 

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Copernicus's Avatar
Posts: 1,987 | Thanked: 7,692 times | Joined on Dec 2010 @ Dayton, Ohio
#9
Originally Posted by Wikiwide View Post
Hmm, lasagne does not segfault anymore, after rebooting the device... Just calmly explains that camera lens cover is closed.
Ah, my apologies, I really haven't gotten back to working on Lasagne in a while. I really only spent a few days throwing it together, it needs a lot more work!

One point: I prefer apps written in native Gtk+Hildon, not Qt. Just personal taste.
Ah, well, I've never really done much Gtk work. And, since Qt is supporting pretty much every target device that I have an interest in (Maemo, Sailfish, Android, even iOS), I've been concentrating mostly on it. I suppose I could give Gtk a look, though...

What about making a barcode plugin for default camera?
That would be an excellent idea! But, does the default camera even support plugins? I could try to integrate with one of the camera replacement apps...

And barcode-plugin-for-camera would in turn be extendable by plugins (like mbarcode is)?
Ah, but you can already use mbarcode if you want an extendable bar code reader. But yeah, there are a lot of ways that Lasagne can be improved...

About GUI: I would delegate clear-cell and delete-row somewhere closer to the table, not in a menu (what if user wants to do lots of clearning-deleting?), and move load-save-spreadsheet to standard top-menu. Then, the button to the right of the textbox would no longer be needed.
Hmm. Yeah, I think that would make the spreadsheet more usable. I guess my original intent was mainly to just get data into the spreadsheet on the N900, then copy it to a desktop (or at least a machine with a larger screen) to perform more serious editing work.

(Actually, this app probably makes more sense with a tablet-form-factor device. I was actually expecting to have such a device a few months ago... )

And, '+' button could switch to 'open lens cover to scan' screen which would save the trouble of clicking the button yet-again after opening lens cover (it should be possible to catch lens-cover-being-opened event and hence start scanning). Optionally, lens-cover-being-closed could switch back to spreadsheet.
Ah! That makes a lot of sense. Let me see if I can implement that. Thanks!
 

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