image provider

Image Cacher


This essay does not describe an existing computer program, just one that should exist. This essay is about a suggested student project in Java programming. This essay gives a rough overview of how it might work. I have no source, object, specifications, file layouts or anything else useful to implementing this project. Everything I have prepared to help you is right here.

This project outline is not like the artificial, tidy little problems you are spoon-fed in school, when all the facts you need are included, nothing extraneous is mentioned, the answer is fully specified, along with hints to nudge you toward a single expected canonical solution. This project is much more like the real world of messy problems where it is up to you to fully the define the end point, or a series of ever more difficult versions of this project and research the information yourself to solve them.

Everything I have to say to help you with this project is written below. I am not prepared to help you implement it; or give you any additional materials. I have too many other projects of my own.

Though I am a programmer by profession, I don’t do people’s homework for them. That just robs them of an education.

You have my full permission to implement this project in any way you please and to keep all the profits from your endeavour.

Please do not email me about this project without reading the disclaimer above.

Pickled images are stored in a platform-dependent format. You can’t use them on other platforms even via RMI (Remote Method Invocation). To save Images, you need proprietary software. See Image in the Java & Internet Glossary for details. However, presumably, reconstituting a pickled image already in native format, should be much faster than loading a *.gif or *.jpg which requires taking apart the platform-independent image bit by bit.

So here is my idea. You write an image cacher that saves a copy of any *.gif or *.jpg loaded in pickled format and in future uses that in preference to loading the original *.gif or *.jpg. It would work much like the FontSaver or ColorSaver classes, except the cache would be preserved between sessions. I would hope this would greatly speed up Image loading. However, I can’t guarantee there would be any noticeable difference.

Now for level 2. You import pickled Image files from a few other platforms and convert them to the native platform Image format. For level 3, you export. This would let RMI blithely share images between a limited set of platforms, as if the Image format were platform-independent.

Alternatively you might enlist the services of Jimi, RasterMaster or Acme, to create your RMI pickled Image-exchange objects in platform-independent format and cache the native forms at either end.

In Java 1.4.1 there are GifEncoders and JPEGEncoders so this project is no longer needed.

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