Making your Android application barcode aware should be easy! Luckily it is using Google Play services and the Mobile Vision APIs. It allows you to scan barcodes (e.g. QR codes) quickly and locally (making it really fast!) with very little effort on you the developer. All the classes you need are available through the namespace
com.google.android.gms.vision.barcode and this blog post will showcase through an example how to implement Google’s barcode reader.
The use case we will solve is “From this activity I’d like to scan a QR code and instantly get the scanned data back to this activity”.
I’m one of those developers that finds excuses for not setting up my own production environments, advocating services such as Heroku where I don’t need to know the details about what’s actually running my code. I blame this in some degree to Rails’ myriad of hosting technologies. When I started fcgi was the thing, then some new app server would appear every year with new requirements, benefits and drawbacks. On top of that you had to set up a proxy web server, and of course have the correct version of Ruby installed.
Lately at Varvet we’ve started building API backends in Elixir as an alternative to Ruby. It was Elixir’s functional elegance and its strong concurrency capabilities that made us pick it up. The fact that Elixir applications also are super convenient to host came as a bonus. Phoenix uses cowboy to handle what Ruby require two separate moving parts to do (app and web server). Not only that, it allows it to be bundled with your application into one single binary with no run-time dependencies!
2016 has been a crazy year so far. It started with a love letter, when Varvet and Elabs joined forces and two teams became one. Ever since then we’ve been super busy working with some amazing clients, refreshing our brand identity, and hiring. At the end of last year the old Varvet was 6 people, and Elabs was 8. Now there are 18 of us, with two more joining after the summer!
After this hectic winter and spring, we could use a short break. A chance to relax, recharge, and get to know each-other a bit better outside of the office. So the timing of Nordic Ruby, the conference we’ve been organizing since 2010, couldn’t be better. Right now we’re on a train from Gothenburg to Stockholm, but pretty soon we’ll be relaxing in the hot tubs at our beautiful venue Yasuragi.