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My collaborator, Harry Whitfield is like a Victorian steam-powered brass coding engine, you only have to feed him a good idea and a method of doing it then all of a sudden he's done it. The result is compact, perfectly ordered and logical code, beautifully done, no spaghetti, all created with years of experience and wisdom.

I had a simple magnifier widget that did nothing at all. I was disappointed with it as I could find no function for it other than to run a command to initiate a utility of some sort, a simple launcher, a big icon as it were. When I created the magnifying glass image I had intended to add code that would allow the widget to identify what was beneath it and give an enlarged version just as a real magnifying glass would do. However the widget engine does not give the widget the power to identify what is beneath it, it does not interact with the windows desktop in any way so that idea was gone. We cannot magnify the Windows desktop.

Another thought was to magnify the other widgets in the Konfabulator engine, However, the widget engine does not give the widget the power to identify any other widget above or below it so it cannot interact with or magnify any other widget in a graphical sense. There is some inter-widget communication allowed but it would not be fast enough to allow real-time magnification of another widget, it would also be horrendously complicated, so, that idea was gone too.

I sat on the idea and deliberated with Harry and he confirmed all the above, in fact he confirmed it several times but the idea would not leave my head. The magnifying glass sat there on my desk saying "use me, use me! but only for magnification purposes..." and I absorbed what it was saying but unable to do anything about it. It also said "Twiddle the basset pipes" - but I ignored that as it was rubbish.

So, the day before yesterday, a germ of a thought grew into an actual idea as to how to overcome this problem and then I had it. It could be done. Simply put, if the magnifying glass and the image it needs to magnify, sit within the same widget, they can find information about themselves, size, position &c and the therefore the magnification can be achieved. All that needs to be done is to drop an image into a window and then the magnifier can interact with it as they are all within the same widget.

This was the idea, I put it to Harry and a day later the widget was designed and coded and released for testing. Crikey he's fast. Using the graphics from my widget and the code from one of his previous image display widgets he banged in his new code and hey presto! we have a lightbox into which we can drag/drop any image. The magnifying glass is slidable and moves around the image by dragging the handle. The glass lens magnifies the image underneath! It is done, it works.

desktop-magnified-650.jpg


Testing it now. Adding some steampunk controls and completing the functionality. We have a new widget.

 

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 10 June 2015 )
 
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