Monday, April 02, 2012

LibreOffice CorelDraw Import filter - the best file-format coverage in the FOSS world

I just realized that has been a long long time since I last blogged about libcdr and the CorelDraw import filter in LibreOffice. Those that know me well can imagine that it is much more fun to write code then to write blogs. Nonetheless, one serious breakthrough happened this weekend and I cannot prevent myself from climbing on the roofs and shout.

On 20th of March 2012, Corel released a new version of CorelDraw Graphics Suite X6. We got the information from this Wikipedia page and downloaded the evaluation version on Friday. Although it was usual to see the file-format mutate a bit with every released version, this release changed the file-format substantially in what concerns the RIFF chunks. To cut the long story short, we managed to get the last pieces reverse-engineered today and we released libcdr-0.0.6 with support of all 32-bit CorelDraw formats, from version 6 to 16.

The new release tarball was integrated in LibreOffice which became the first and only FOSS application that supports versions 6, 15 and 16 of the CorelDraw file-format. This goodness will be part of our 3.6 release later this year. For those that do not know fear, the feature can be tested in daily builds that will start to appear tomorrow morning here.

I know that the distinguished readership prefers pictures to words. Here is this simple document in CorelDraw X6 format:

Terra in Corel 1  Terra in Corel 2

Here is the same document opened by LibreOffice Draw:

Terra in LibreOffice Draw

And here is the libcdr-generated SVG opened in Inkscape:

Terra in converted to SVG

If you are tempted and think that it might be fun to participate in a reverse-engineering endavour, we have with Valek two project proposals for Google Summer of Code 2012. The first is the implementation of MS Publisher import filter for LibreOffice and the second is to help to improve and extend the Corel Draw import filter I am currently blogging about. Try to apply with LibreOffice and your life will never be the same again.

Be aware though that the application deadline is the 6th of April and you will need to accomplish a simple programing task in order to be eligible. More details in this blog.