Free Projects Part 1: a Screen Capture Uploader

Screen Capture Uploader

The Screen Capture Uploader, released under the ominous name of Big Brother, is a simple program that runs on your desktop taking screenshots every few seconds, then uploading them to a server. The server then allows you to embed the screenshot, or a thumbnail, in your homepage.

I originally wrote this application and posted it on my weblog about a year and a half ago. It showed some promise but had some security issues (namely that it had no security). The idea behind this app was to demonstrate the sorts of things you could do with Desktop Java that you can't do with AJAX. It also showed how web services and desktop apps can work together to do something interesting.

The code contains the JNLP launched desktop application written in Swing, plus a servlet for receiving uploaded images and a servlet for viewing those images in a webpage. The application itself runs and works, though undoubtedly with many bugs. I built Big Brother on top of an early proprietary application framework called GAF (Grand Application Framework). I don't work on this framework anymore now that we have JSR 296, so the first order of business is to rewrite those parts of it. The framework only provided a prefab Application class and an (very bad) XML layout language, both of which would be quite easy to replace.

This application would be quite good for learning about screen capturing, Swing -> server communication, and how to work with images in a servlet.

If this is something you are interested in, let me know.

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Posted November 20th, 2006