Re: browser screen capture with java applet

"Andrew Thompson" <>
30 Sep 2006 23:53:01 -0700
<> wrote:

All that could be done from within a webstarted application*,
and it will be easier to deploy, and lower maintenance.

Just read about webstart and that sounds like the right way to go.

You could do a single-pixel applet without greatly affecting the layout of
the page. I think that would be the easiest approach.

Im envisioning the applet would be run within a separate frame or
window (Im starting to favor the window approach since then its less
complex (for example, sites which disallow frame sourcing via
javascript, plus the issues of rendering the browser interface around
the actual page design). This "piggyback" window would not only run the
applet but also have information about requests coming in (updated with

Aahh.. someone might correct me if I'm wrong, but a need
to use JS rules out WebStart, no access to JS (at least, not
before Java 1.6 and ..Rhino) .

Have you seen a webstarted applet?
E.G. <>

I am sure an application (or webstarted applet) might have
access to the same basic functionalities, but there would be
different (and I imagine more efficient and robust) API's for it.

....from those wanting to view pages on the "host" machine.

I must admit I am still not entirely clear - where are these browsers?

If the client or end user can
- go to an HTML form
- enter the URL of a page,
- post the form off to a server that ..
- contacts further machines (not the client's) for the actual
  process of the screenshots*,
- then deliver the screenshots back to the client in a web page.
...where is the need for the client to either have Java, or assign
any trust?

In this scenario, the browsers are on machines directly
'owned and controlled' by the provider of the service, so
it stands to reason that they can be 'configured as required'
(no tricky anti-spam plug-ins etc.), also, the providor can
do whatever is needed (launch each browser using JNI..?)
to interact with the target browsers in a programmatic way.

* To be useful, we want the rendering in as many browsers
(make and version) on many OS's (make and version) as

About the potential for this to make money, Im not sure at this point
either, its just an idea I had (among others) that Im evaluating. seems to be having fairly good demand at this point
(new requests coming in by the minute, and they just celebrated their
one millionth screenshot since earlier last year). This is surprising
in itself considering you have to wait "up to 30 minutes" to get all
your screenshots back.

That paragraph indicates to me that you know more
about it than I do. I was largely extrapolating from
personal experiences of 12 months ago or more
(an eternity, in 'computer years').

...I also dont think it would necessarily need to
be a pay site to make money (there are other ways I can think of).

That's a good point - get a major sponsor, and the site is set.

Andrew T.

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