Absolute Advantage is the leading FileMaker® Pro developer in the Los Angeles area
Manage Digital Photos with Absolute Photo & FileMaker Pro version 6!
What can Absolute Photo Do?
This software is licensed under “Open Source” protocols. This means that you may use it for free, give it away, modify, in fact do anything (legal) you want to do with it except charge anyone any money for it, eliminate the opening screen, and it may not be bundled with a commercial package except as part of a bundle of other free or open source software. Any modifications you make in the software become part of the open source licensing agreement and cannot be sold either.
Why are we doing this? In the words of our fearless leader:
"I wrote this because I got tired of my daughter complaining about not being able to find, access and print her digital photos the way she wanted with the commercial program(s) that came with her camera and printers. It occurred to me that with the new photo import capabilities of FMP V6 it would be easy to create a simple solution. This is it.
"It’s pretty simple, but does the job for her. There is obviously a lot more that can be done with it, so help us (and everyone else) out."
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This was so easy to do I couldn’t imagine it as a big money maker for our company. But I think it may address a real need so I thought we’d put it out here. I don’t know if open source has been tried with FMP before, but if other developers want to help create a really dynamite piece of software, I’ll spend some time coordinating it. Maybe FMI will take note and we can start something that will grow.
Absolute Advantage will act as a repository for the “Gold” version of the software. Any developers that contribute will be credited on the opening screen. Email your contributions to email@example.com and I’ll incorporate them into the gold and post it here. Frankly I don’t know exactly how I’m going to do it yet and will cross that bridge when I come to it. If there aren’t a lot of versions coming in I may just “bless” a new one. If a lot come in with different layouts and scripts I’ll see about coping/pasting the layouts and importing the scripts. Please do what you can to make it easy for me - basically don’t intermingle your scripts and layouts with the originals so I can easily see what is new.
Programming conventions I used:
Printing - Perhaps the biggest issue. I set all of the print layouts to “zero” headers and .5 inch side margins. I don’t know if this is the best choice or not, but I figured that .5 on the sides would work for most printers, and zero on the top and bottom would help us get the most use out of the page. I thought that inexperienced users could easily move the header and footer parts to control the top and bottom spaces, but would easily mess up the label layouts if they had space problems on the sides. A lot more printing options obviously need to be done. I know some printers can print all the way to the edges. Cross platform issues and a wide variety of printer drivers have not bee extensively tested. If you want to contribute to the “Gold” version please keep in mind that it must easily accommodate a wide variety of printers and OS combinations.
Page Setups - I have the page setups record only “this record/found set” and “orientation” choices. These two settings seem to apply cross platform; scaling does not. For the gold please keep everything a 100% unless you clearly label the page setup (ie “Mac Epson Stylus 800 80%”).
Since there could easily be a lot of layouts, I did some “Dynamic Scripting” on the script that chooses the page setup (nods to John Mark Osborne). There is a global that determines whether to print the current record or the found set, and if the layout has “Horizontal” in the layout name, the script will automatically use that orientation. This way new layouts can be created and use the same script (Preview/Print w/Choice). If the original photos are at high resolution, the preview screens can take forever to display, therefore the preview option is also controlled with a global, which is set to “Off” (don’t preview) on startup.
General - I’ve kept this pretty “Open”. Scripts are abortable (except when entering preview mode - my habit is to lock this out so the user doesn’t get stuck there). I haven’t made buttons for everything, figuring the users will use the FMP menus to delete records, etc. It could easily be programmed to a much greater extent; I just haven’t done it yet.
A final note: If you don’t like what I did, please don’t yell at me, deluge me with emails, make snide comments, or otherwise ruin my day. Just fix it and email the solution to firstname.lastname@example.org.