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Where to start for writing a graphics application?

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  • Where to start for writing a graphics application?

    This is kind of a strange request and not really part of the focus of this site, but we have so much knowledge among the members here I thought I'd ask. I'm wanting to write a specialized program that will manipulate photos in a variety of ways. But, I have no idea where to even start. I've got a computer science degree, but that was almost 20 years ago and I spent my software design career working on UNIX workstations. Things have advanced so much that I'm woefully behind in knowing what the current technology is, but I know I can learn it if I can figure out where to start.

    I think of programs like Neat Image, Bibble, Focus Magic, etc. Not that I want to do what those programs already do, but if I can figure out how those applications were done, then I think I could figure out how to implement the tiny idea that's been nagging at me.

    I went to Barnes & Noble today, but all I found were books on how to write games. I don't even know what language to use - or what (code) libraries might be useful/necessary.

    Can anyone give me a pointer on where to go to find more info - or what terms to search for in google?

    Thanks, Jeanie

  • #2
    Hi Jeanie,

    This might sound nuts, but have you written to the authors of Neat Image, Bibble, and Focus Magic -- and said exactly what you said here.

    Also, I remember the author of SharpControl mentioning some free libraries he uses. Maybe he can give you some pointers.


    • #3
      No, not nuts Andrew. I did think about it, but thought I'd post here first since I feel like I know you all.



      • #4
        Another question... is it easier or more difficult to write a plug-in for PS vs. a stand-alone application? Can PS plug-ins also be used in other programs like PSP and PS Elements? Are they automatically cross-platform (PC & Mac) that way?

        I think I'm in over my head and I haven't even started yet...



        • #5
          Jeanie, there are many languages you could use and for each language there are numerous "development environments"

          I was involved in an email list with the creator of RealBASIC
          but dropped out because of other commitments. IMHO RealBASIC might be a good place for you to start.

          It's crossplatform, etc. etc. and most important there is a very friendly and dedicated developer community who would be willing to help you get started.

          If you follow the link above, I'm sure you'll find a path to a discussion forum and pages where developers have posted their efforts. Usually they are wiling to make their code available so you can learn from it.

          It's a bit late in the day here, but I'll ponder and write some more in the morning.



          • #6
            quite a while ago I was searching for image manipulation source code that I could plug into - here is a few of the companies that I had kept in my favorites. I have two thoughts in mind;

            1) You might find a software development kit (SDK) that you could use for your vertical market - like generic accounting software that is modified for an industry.

            2) The people that write code for sale to the developer community might be the ones with the best contacts for you.

            GIMP - The GNU Image Manipulation Program: The Free and Open Source Image Editor

            Programming skills have become essential in our generation, where computers control almost all facets of life. Programming dictates machine connections,

            Efficient, up-to-date, flexible IT solutions for business, developed over 20 years. We implement IT solutions for customers all over the world.

            Some of these I just got from a google search and look like there might be some good leads



            • #7
              Great info. Thanks so much everyone! It's late, so I won't have a chance to look at the links until tomorrow but it's nice to have a starting point!

              Any other tips/pointers are still welcome!



              • #8
                Maybe there's something here that will help (halfway down the page)



                • #9
                  Doesn't Adobe (or somebody) provide a user-development thingy called "Filter Factory" for generating home grown plugins? Seems like that might be worth a look, if nothing else, for interface specifications.


                  • #10
                    Don hit the nail right on the head. It matters not what programming language you use, what matters is good, willing "help" from folks who know what they're doing.

                    When my computer "dummy" sister was buying her first computer and asked me what to buy, I told her to find the shop with people who could talk to her in language she could understand.

                    The same is true for programming. I've seen some lists where the chatter is so obscure I'm sure the participants didn't even know what was being discussed.

                    The Real BASIC folks I mentioned above could answer my questions in plain English while carrying on a separate conversation about "quantum, chaos, morphing theory with someone else. To them, helping new people was recreation.

                    The forum Don mentioned sounds like the same kind of place and I would recommend that as a place to start since they are already in photo mode.

                    Keep us posted, Margaret


                    • #11
                      Wow - these are all really great resources! Thanks for all of the help!

                      Have I told you all lately that you're the BEST?



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