PHP

px2svg: convert raster images to SVG

Turning raster images into SVG files, one pixel at a time. Yes, really.

What?

The PHP accepts a raster image (GIF, PNG, JPEG, that sort of thing) and creates an SVG image that recreates the raster image. It does this by drawing filled rectangles to recreate the pixels in the image. In many cases, this is literally a 1-by-1 rectangle, but it will check for runs of similar color (similar to GIF compression) and create one rectangle per run. It checks both horizontal and vertical runs to see which approach is more efficient, and returns the better option.

The script requires GD.

Why?

There are situations where people want to take small bitmaps—think primary-color buttons or badges—and make them scalable while still preserving their 8-bit appearance. See, for example, Joe Crawford’s post about upscaling a minitag. For those cases, this script will enable a quick conversion to SVG with at least some minimal attempts at optimization.

This all originally started as a one-off experiment and a bit of a jape. You can see the original at flaming-shame, if you fancy a laugh.

Print QR Codes For Easy URL References

Often regarded as an advertising eyesore, QR codes have their place in certain circumstances. One obvious example is providing an easily-scanned sigil on a printed Web page that enables the user to return to the live version without having to type the URL.

Image

To create the matching QR code, we’ll use Google’s Chart API, which has four required components:

  • The kind of chart information we want Google to deliver (qr, in our case);
  • The rendered size of the QR sigil, in pixels;
  • The URL to encode;
  • The form of character encoding to use.

We’d typically associate the URL with a heading element at the top of the page:

Code language: HTML

<header>
<h1>Lizabeth’s Salon</h1>
<h2>Providing Intellectual Stimulation Online Since 2001</h1>
</header>

To create the printed result, we’ll provide a margin on the right side of the h1 that is large enough for the heading, and then position a QR code in that area:

Code language: CSS

header h1 {
   margin-right: 200px;
   margin-bottom: 2rem;
   line-height: 1.5;
}

Because the QR code will be unique to each page, this would be added as an embedded style sheet:

Code language: CSS

@media print {
   header h1:after {
      content: url(https://chart.googleapis.com/chart?cht=qr&chs=150x150&chl=http://yourdomain.com&choe=UTF-8);
      position: absolute;
      right: 0;
      top: 0;
   }
}

This approach has the downside of forcing the developer to enter a URL individually for each page into the API code. If your Web host is running PHP, you can provide the URL of the current page automatically:

Code language: CSS

@media print {
   h1:after {
      content: url(https://chart.googleapis.com/chart?cht=qr&chs=150x150
&chl=http://<?=$_SERVER["SERVER_NAME"].$_SERVER["REQUEST_URI"];?>
&choe=UTF-8);
      position: absolute;
      right: 0;
      top: 0;
   }
}