Sunday, February 10, 2008

Comand of the day: kig

Each task has a tool. With graphics and figures too. If i want to edit a photograph or to perform some nice effects on an existing image, that's a task for Gimp. If I need some cute artwork for icons, banners, web... I prefer to vector with my so loved Inkscape. When such drawings are not so artistical and need some related and formal figures and diagrams, i normally consider dia, limited but correct. If i want to plot a complex graph i let the task to graphviz's dot and i just declare the vertexs. If I want to plot some program data output, python plus matplotlib is the faster way to process and render it. Automating execution to visualization process is very convenient. Some time ago I used gnuplot for that but python is more flexible towards data formats. Often what you need is to explore such data, interactive visualization can be revealing with tools such as qtiplot.

But my problem today wasn't none of the above but drawing some geometric diagrams (angles, vectors, tangents...) to illustrate some trigonometric equations. I was thinking on QCad but Kig did perfectly. Kig is about doing geometrical manipulation: intersections, angle transportation, angle mesurements, solidarized elements, python scripting...

I was to integrate kig png exporting into WiKo figure generation but i found two show-stoper problems: Command line options for batch exporting seems not to work and there is no way to control the viewport but by resizing the windows and controlling the zoom. While the concept of limited size canvas exists, I didn't find a way to resize it :-( Anyway is worth to dig in such a tool even doing patches to have batch exporting working.