At North Road we believe that crowdfunding is a sustainable way to maintain and enhance open source software, like the QGIS open source GIS package. We’ve run a number of successful crowdfunding campaigns in the past, including support in QGIS for live layer effects, a point cluster renderer, and a unique value renderer for raster layers.
Now, we’re proud to announce our latest crowd funding endeavour, and our biggest to date, the QGIS Layout and Reporting Engine Campaign.
This campaign covers stage 1 of a large, ongoing project to modernise and expand on QGIS’ print composer and layout facilities. Over time QGIS’ composer functionality has grown extensively and now is capable of creating flexible, high quality cartographic outputs. However, we’ve now hit a limit where the current code architecture is prohibiting further improvements and important fixes. In order to add a reporting framework to QGIS, it is necessary for us to refactor and improve large sections of the composer code.
If this campaign is successful, we’ll be adding flexible report generation features to QGIS and cleaning up all the existing composer code. As part of these clean up, we’ll be taking the opportunity to tackle a number of current limitations which cannot be addressed in the current composition code:
- Layouts will become unit aware, allowing for item placement and properties using millimetres, inches, pixels, centimetres, points, etc.
- Layouts will have the ability to include mixed page sizes and orientations.
- Plugins will be able to create custom composer item types (eg allow utilisation of 3rd party graphing and visualisation libraries!).
- Individual layout items can be rasterised without affecting the rest of the layout. For instance, a map which requires rasterisation due to its use of blend modes will not require all other layout items (such as headings, legends, etc) to be rasterised. This will greatly benefit PDF outputs for complex map layouts.
- The code refresh will allow more extensive use of data defined layout item properties.
- A render caching system will be implemented for items, speeding up use of the layout designer and also paving the way for use of live paint effects on layout items (eg dynamic drop shadows).
Full details on what we have planned are available here: QGIS Layout and Reporting Engine Campaign.
To make it possible we need 30,000€ pledged before 31 May 2017. You can help make this a reality by supporting the campaign or by sharing the campaign page and increasing exposure to the campaign. Updates to follow!