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Nostalgia for Kugar

Posted by Alexander Dymo on October 10, 2007

It's been a long time since I last used Kugar. It's been even longer time since I last developed Kugar. But today was the Kugar day...

Yes, today I had to address 95 envelopes (I'm about to send printed abstracts of my PhD thesis). I had addresses written in the text file and I had to print them on envelopes. What was my solution? Of course to use the report generator and of course Kugar was that report generator ;)

2 minutes I spent writing a simple 10 line awk script that transformed text to Kugar xml format. 5 minutes were necessary to design the template in Kudesigner. And finally 10 more minutes I was figuring out how to properly insert the envelope to my printer ;) Overall, about 20 minutes for the task.

I remember my colleague telling me recently that he went to bed at about 5am because he was printing addresses. I can imagine him copying and pasting from one Word document with the list to another Word document with the envelope :) The fact is that it's only midnight here and I've already printed everything I wanted and can go to bed!

Anyway, I'd like to say that Kugar is pretty cool despite being unmaintained for 3 years. Yes, the software (especially Kudesigner) has now lots of bugs that weren't in the code 3 years ago, but it still remains highly usable.

Kugar's biggest problem is still actual though - nobody knows when to use it. So remember: If you have any data in the format translatable to xml and you want to print it using the template, Kugar is your tool. That simple! No databases (they are supported but completely optional), just two xml files - one with the data generated by you or your program and another one with the template generated by Kudesigner.

PS: if you would like to contribute to Kugar, kick me hard and ask for the recent sources. I've ported portions of the source code to Qt4 already. Also my own copies are more stable and usable than ones in KDE svn. I never committed them because they don't have dependency on KDE libs (they just depend on Qt)

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