The official release of XL Share Board is right around the corner. The beta has been a huge success and I’ve been surprised with how easy it’s been to develop the application in RealBasic. I started to wonder how feasible it would be to port one of my existing applications to Mac OS X using RealBasic so I decided to try and port XL Screen Streamer. I knew the two hardest pieces would be taking and compressing screenshots and the web server.
I already had a basic web server in XL Share Board that I could extend so I took a couple of hours improving the file delivery functions and adding features to track users and amount of data transferred. I wanted the server capabilities to be comparable to the Windows version. I was able to get about 80% of the features the web server in the Windows version has which was enough to let me move forward.
RealBasic does not have support for taking screenshots out of the box and most of the examples I found seemed like little hacks. Luckily I had been looking at the MBS Plugins which have several functions for taking screenshots so I decided to give that plug-in suite a try. The MBS Plugins were a life saver, the screenshot functions worked great and offered both full screen and region based screenshots. They also included the ability to create overlay windows which is what the Windows version currently uses to allow you to select a region to capture and to draw the selection highlight border. The other big thing they provide are several image manipulation functions which include image compression. So I was able to quickly implement the screenshot routines with compression and the ability to choose a region to capture using the overlay window.
In just one Saturday I had a working port of XL Screen Streamer with most of the major features fully working using the same viewer clients as the Windows version. I need to add some polish and implement a couple of other features but XL Screen Streamer for Mac will be coming to the Apple App Store soon. 🙂