JPEG Saver 4.18

Published

Version 4.18 of JPEG Saver does not contain many visible changes, but it does have a couple of updates that I have been promising for quite a long time.

But first, something I have removed from this version is support for Windows XP. Microsoft stopped supporting XP a couple of years ago, so writing software that supports it using Microsoft development tools is becoming more and more difficult. So I decided it was time to give up, and set the compiler to target Windows 7 as the minimum version supported. Checking the Goat 1000 web stats showed that I had even fewer visitors using Vista than XP, so Windows 7 it is.

The first of the promised changes is filtering by tag. The tags JPEG Saver uses are scanned from the EXIF and IPTC keywords fields in the image files at the same time as the width and height, then stored in the database. So if you intend to try filtering by tag, I recommend using the “File » Clear database” option to force a rescan beforehand.

The tags are stored in lowercase, so all searches are case insensitive. The filter editor dialog will display an autocomplete box when you start typing if the tags have already been stored in the database. I wouldn't say the tag filtering is fully-featured, so if you have any ideas for improvements I would be happy to consider them.

The other promised change in this version is to do with the folder lock mode enabled by pressing “a” from the screensaver. Folder lock mode now preserves the navigation history for the current folder instead of using a new random or shuffled sequence.

I've added a few more transitions in this version too: “Corner rotate” splits the screen into four and rotates the segments in or out; “Twist over” is a simple effect that I find impossible to explain here; “Wave push” slides the new and old screens about with a sine wave pattern; and “Funhouse” is a weird hall of mirrors effect that happened when I accidentally make the “Wave push” wave go in the same direction it was pushing.

Apart from these visible changes there have been a whole load of internal modifications. These should make things more efficient and make it harder for me to break things (I hope) but if you do spot anything that isn't working, please let me know.

A note about interactive options and newer Windows versions

Since Windows 8 the way that screensavers are run by the system has changed so that they are now run in isolation on their own desktop. What this means to JPEG Saver (and all other screensavers that want to interact with your system) is that a lot of the interactive features fail to work because they have no access to the main desktop and the programs running there.

These are the things that are not likely to work properly, or at all:

These options should all continue to work when JPEG Saver is run manually, either from the command line, or by double-clicking the JPEG Saver .scr file, or by double-clicking a .jscfg config file, or using the “JPEG Saver slideshow” Explorer menu option.

You're probably wondering if there is some kind of cunning workaround that would allow JPEG Saver to work with the desktop, bypassing the screensaver desktop somehow. Well... yes and no. If you visit this page: Bubbles screensaver has black background you will find some people have worked around the problem by disabling the Windows screensaver startup and using a utility to start the screensaver after a period of inactivity. I haven't tried it because it seems to me like reinventing the wheel with added corners, but it is a workable solution.

In any case, the new version of JPEG Saver is available from the downloads page.

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