Itinerary extraction in Nextcloud Hub
Nextcloud announced their latest release and among the many new features is itinerary extraction from emails. That’s using KDE’s extraction engine, the same that powers similar features in KMail as well.
Yesterday Nextcloud turned 10 years, so that was a good date to announce a big new release, Nextcloud Hub (which I erroneously called Nextcloud 18 on Twitter). Nextcloud Hub now has email support built-in, and with it support for extracting booking information from train, bus or flight tickets as well as hotel and event reservations. Besides an easy to read summary of the booking data on top of the mail, there’s also the ability to add corresponding calendar entries.
Those are very nice and useful features of course, but obviously I’m particularly happy about this using the same technology we implemented over the past two years for KMail and KDE Itinerary, thanks to a collaboration started at FOSDEM 2019.
How to get a C++ extraction library and a PHP web application together isn’t entirely straightforward though. We ended up doing this via a separate command line extractor tool, similar to how the Plasma Browser Integration interfaces with the extractor as well.
During the Nextcloud Hackweek last week we also extend the command line tool to produce iCal output, to avoid some code duplication for the calendar integration and ensure compatibility with the KDE Itinerary app. These changes didn’t make it into the current release packages, but should become available with the next update.
That leaves the question of deployment, for PHP applications that’s usually just unpacking an archive, but for native executables things are a bit more complicated. The installation packages therefore contain a full static build of the extractor. As a side-effect of this itinerary extraction is currently only supported on 64bit x86 platforms.
Using the same technology everywhere of course also means improvements benefit everyone. So I’m very much looking forward to the increased user base resulting in more data sample donations and contributions in general :)
If you are visiting FOSDEM in two weeks, there will be plenty of opportunity to learn more about all this, for example by visiting Jos’ Nextcloud talk, my KDE Itinerary talk, or by dropping by the KDE stand in building K and the Nextcloud stand in building H. See you in Brussels!