Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Scan Tailor package

I didn't expect this to happen in the Karmic release cycle, and I'm very happy, that I actually managed to do it. Today is the day, when my first package has made its way into Ubuntu! Well, not exactly the first, since I have uploaded several sponsored bugfixes in the past, but this is my first real Ubuntu package made from scratch, that has passed all of the Ubuntu requirements. This would not be possible without people from #ubuntu-motu, who have been constantly helping out and correcting (sometimes really stupid) mistakes! Thank you, guys!

And now I'd like to introduce this little piece of software. It is quite a nice application, called Scan Tailor by Joseph Artsimovich et al. and it's purpose is to cleanup and arrange raw document scans into sets of pages, ready for OCR, assembling into a book or printing. For an idea of what it looks like, here's a couple of screenshots:

In short, if you've been looking for an application for cropping, deskewing and splitting your scans in Linux, well... There is one and a very good one! Also, besides being a very useful tool for anybody digitizing moderate to large amounts of text, Scan Tailor rocks, because it shows the essential signs of a true UNIX app:

  • It does one thing and does it well.
  • It is suitable for processing both tiny and massive amounts of data.
  • It does most of the work for you, yet still allows manual control over everything.
  • It is free and open source.
Last, but not least, it is very friendly and fun to use. And you can try out this amazing application by simply clicking an apturl link, if you have Karmic installed and there are builds for Jaunty in my Launchpad PPA as well. It's still got a picky FTBFS on armel, but I hope, that I shall be able to track it. This is where the things are starting to get really exciting!