QRate - encoding


Encoding an input file in a PDF full of QR images.

We already took a sneak peek at the encode() sub:

sub encode ($input, $output) {
   my $data = compress(path($input)->slurp_raw, 9) or die "compress()\n";
   return 0;

The first part is just leveraging compress from Compress::Zlib and path from Path::Tiny, so nothing to add for them.

Function assemble_pdf() is supposed to receive an iterator providing images and return a PDF::API2 object that can then be used to save the whole generated PDF onto $output:

use constant PAGE_SIZE => 'A4';
use constant X_PAGE_SIZE => 595;
use constant Y_PAGE_SIZE => 842;
use constant MIN_MARGIN => 30;

sub assemble_pdf ($it) {
   my $x_margin = MIN_MARGIN;
   my $size = X_PAGE_SIZE - 2 * MIN_MARGIN;
   my $y_margin = int((Y_PAGE_SIZE - $size) / 2);
   my $pdf = PDF::API2->new;
   while (my $png = $it->()) {
      print {*STDERR} '.';
      open my $fh, '<:raw', \$png or die "open(): $!\n";
      my $image = $pdf->image($fh);
      $pdf->page->object($image, $x_margin, $y_margin, $size, $size);
   print {*STDERR} "\n";
   return $pdf;

As we can see, there’s a bit of fiddling to find out the right margins so that our QR code image is centered in the page and has sufficient margins to avoid being cut during the printing process.

The while loop takes care to iterate over $it, taking all generated PNG images and fitting them into a new page of the PDF. As this might take some time, there’s a very basic visual feedback in the form of dots that are printed in the terminal.

So there we go, using PDF::API2 really made this a breeze! One thing to note is that there’s a specific conversion from A4 dimensions in millimiter and the units used by a PDF by default, which have been encapsulated into constants. In particular, the values set are an integer rounding of the actual values, calculated on the assumption that there are 72 dots per inch, which means that:

\[72 [dpi] \cdot \frac{21 [cm]}{2.54 [cm/inch]} = 595.2756 [dots] \approx 595 [dots] \\ 72 [dpi] \cdot \frac{29.7 [cm]}{2.54 [cm/inch]} = 841.8898 [dots] \approx 842 [dots]\]

Next time we’ll look into these iterators, stay safe in the meantime!

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