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Exploring your interest in this plugin ...

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Exploring your interest in this plugin ...

Postby Gaev » Sun Apr 15, 2007 9:10 am

I am posting this to explore your interest in sharing the cost of acquiring a (one command plugin) that I am commissioning.

In the last few months, I have deployed a freeware dll in my applications ... that allowed me to capture specified regions of the screen ... straight to a jpeg/bmp file ... slilently via script.

However, I was not comfortable depending on a freeware (read no assured future support) component in a commercial application ... so I decided to acquire the same functionality in the form of a NeoBook plug-in ... one that gave me a high degree of assurance of future support ... under changing operating and authoring platforms.

Try as I might, I could not convince (uber-plugin-maker) Hans-Peter ... who has the best record of prompt support over the last 3+ years ... to budge from his "free but no guaranteed future support" model ... so, I approached the other plug-in supplier with an equally exemplary record ... Dave ... who has agreed to "supervise the development" of such a plugin ... and hold the source code in escrow ... in case of a need to fix it under a future changed environment.

I have since approached a few of the NeoBook developers privately to gauge their interest in sharing the cost of deploying such a plugin in their applications built with NeoBook ... and hopefully reap similar benefits.

Their response was mostly positive ... and so I am now posting this to explore the interest of forum members to do the same ... I am expecting the shared cost to be in the $25 to $40 range.

Using the current freeware component, I have been able to ...

- make screen shots of all the games offered on my website ... simply by typing the shortcut keystroke of a (hidden) button

- enable users of applications to snap/email shots of problem situations encountered when running ANY application ... simply by invoking my stand alone utility via a shortcut on the user's desktop

- develop a Batch Image Resizer utility ... that makes thumbnails of all *.jpg files in a folder

- demonstrate (proof of concept stage) a utility I call Fancy Text ... that enables people to make images of (large) Text ... whose innards are filled with parts of a specified photo ... kind of like gradient fills ... only with photos

I also envisage other uses of such a (plugin) facility ... like doing simple image editing ... crop, stitch, add borders, stamp text etc.

The plugin command will look something like ...

gkSnapThis "left" "top" "width" "height" "file name" "jpeg quality" "result variable"

left and top - number of pixels from the top/left corner of the screen where the capture region would start
width and height - number of pixels for the capture region
file name - file to store the captured image (e.g. c:\path\to\abc.bmp or d:\path\to\xyz.jpg)
jpeg quality - a number between 1 and 100 to indicate level of compression to be used for jpeg file (not applicable for bmp files)
result variable - to indicate success or errors encountered

If you ...

a) have any questions about this plug-in

b) are interested in sharing the costs (and benefits) of such a plug-in

... please email me (
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Postby datadon » Tue Apr 17, 2007 7:27 am

Per our discussion, count me in. I think it will be a good one.

'If you want to get a brontosaurus from 'a' to 'b' then you ride the dinosaur - you don't carry it!'
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Postby David de Argentina » Fri Apr 20, 2007 8:53 am

Hi Gaev,

Check Hans-Peter Function:

hpwImageSaveToFile "Rectangle1" "[tempdir]temp.jpg" "[x1]" "[y1]" "[x2]" "[y2]"

Perhaps is enough for you...

My devaluated cent,
David de Argentina
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Postby Gaev » Fri Apr 20, 2007 9:11 am


Thanks for the info ... but as I mentioned in my post, my requirement was for "an assured level of future support" ... and while Hans-Peter has a 3+ year record of exemplary support ... try as I might, he would not consider offering a "commercial product" .. i.e. support that we pay for ... and as I like to tell him, my worst nightmare would be "him winning the lottery ... and retiring to an island in the Pacific ... with no internet access".

For the record, you are building up a good record of "endurance" amongst Plug-In/utility suppliers ... unfortunately, you came on the scene after I got "burned" by about 3 other suppliers ... and I just don't have the will to spend "months of development" effort again ... only to risk having the rug pulled from under my feet ... so, getting "a high level of assurance of future support" was a primary objective here ... especially as I see myself building several applications wrapped around this facility.

Thanks again.
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Postby dpayer » Sat Apr 21, 2007 7:02 am

Gaev wrote: my worst nightmare would be "him winning the lottery ... and retiring to an island in the Pacific ... with no internet access".

Hmmm..... I think the odds of this new developer winning the lottery are about as good as Hans-Peters.

Any developer can sign a contract in the name of his company and then his company can go out of business or he could sell his company to someone who has different proficiencies (neobook plugin development is not a high demand skill set at the moment and other things may take precedence).

Still I understand your thinking. We all buy insurance for various reasons. Insurance companies could go out of business but we don't put those things into the accounting when we are seeking protections.

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Postby Gaev » Sat Apr 21, 2007 7:31 am


a) I was trying to describe my nightmare in less morbid terms ... :-)

b) My objective was not to eliminate risk (which would be prohibitively expensive) ... but to minimize it ... yes, any developer/company can renege on their commitments ... but getting support for NeoBook and the plugin from the same source eliminates any Additional risk to the application ... a chain is as weak as the weakest link ... an application is as weak as its weakest component/plugin.

c) Availablity (even Escrow) of source code would eliminate any additional risk ... but I haven't found any plugin suppliers making such an option available so far.

d) developing under other platforms ... like c, delphi, java, php, asp etc. ... this risk is somewhat minimized by the sheer number of consumers ... which in turn attracts significant number of suppliers ... but with a specialized platform like NeoBook, one has to be cognizant of the realities on the ground.
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