Improve Drawshield

Help Wanted!

I am grateful for any offers of help to improve the Drawshield suite of programs. If you have any general thoughts or ideas please post them on the Drawshield Forum. Other ways that you can help are below.

Creating Charge Images

This is the most time consuming part of development, especially for a vector artist of limited talents such as myself!
The open source tool Inkscape seems to be the easiest way to create suitable images and I have written some
PHP tools to help convert Inkscape files into the form needed by Drawshield. I’m intending to put detailed instructions
on the Drawshield Wiki eventually, but essentially the image needs to be created as follows:

  • Dimensions in the range of a few hundred by a few hundred (e.g. 400 by 500 "units"). It can be any size or shape, this range avoids problems with excessive decimal points and rounding errors.
  • The main charge in a layer called ‘body’ (or just in the root if there are no features)
  • Each feature in a layer named for that feature
  • The main areas should NOT have a fill set – this is done by Drawshield
  • Important! No use of references! (This is because browser SVG implementations do not appear to manage scaled pattern fills correctly – it is also difficult to ensure uniqueness of ID values when different charges are combined).

There is a page here into which an SVG file can be uploaded that is then transformed into the PHP structure needed for Drawshield.

Program Code

This is actually my favourite part, but if you think you can improve the code (not that difficult really!) it is freely
available from drawshield.googlecode.com, and I am starting to populate the associated wiki with program documentation.

Documentation and Translations

The bulk of the documentation is authored in the Google Code wiki (although some is generated automatically from
the program source code). If you can improve the documentation, or provide translations please go ahead!

Heraldic Knowledge

I am not a trained herald and often run into questions of interpretation that I cannot resolve by looking at my books
and on-line sources. If you are a herald and would like to point out any errors or offer to resolve some of the outstanding
ambiguities I would be very glad to hear from you! I’m posting any questions that I come across in
the Drawshield Forum.

Acknowledgements

Suggestions

Thanks are due to the many correspondents who have provided bug reports and suggestions. This includes
pkun80, Jim Burrows, Alex Feinman, Father Francois and Corwyn. Thanks folks, it is appreciated!

Images

Some of the images used in these shields are based on other sources, listed
below. Their use, and the work of the original artists is gratefully
acknowledged.