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  1. #1
    mickyjune26 is offline Member
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    Default Can JAVA do this?

    Hi all!
    I was told that Java can be used to develop the following solution. If so, I'm trying to find resources that I can read to learn how this can be done. I want to learn how to fish, not have someone fish for me. :-)

    1. Client-installed app monitors a user's activity on a computer by "watching the screen"

    2. When a specific page appears, app displays a message that floats over the page

    3. If the user minimizes the screen, the app hides the floating message. Alternatively, the floating message moves if the screen is re-sized.

    The purpose of this is to provide text instructions that look like they are part of the webpage, but in reality are simply floating over the webpage.

    There are other capabilities I'm looking for, but for now, we can start simple.

    Thanks in advance, and please let me know if I need to clarify my post.
    Micky

  2. #2
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    quad64bit is offline Moderator
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    I think you're talking about javascript which is not java at all. This is a java forum - so, it probably won't be much help to you.

  3. #3
    mickyjune26 is offline Member
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    Thank you for the quick response.

    You bring up a common response, and I should have elaborated:

    We can't use javascript because we can't modify the webpages on the server, and we can't utilize a proxy server to insert javascript prior to delivering to the client. Either action would invalidate the support agreement with the vender. We also cannot rely on utilizing Firefox's script plug-in Greasemonkey.

    In short, we are considering developing an app that will watch the user's screen and display messages when it certain pages / applications are displayed. The message will float on top of the app and appear as if they were part of the application.

    Thanks again.

  4. #4
    quad64bit's Avatar
    quad64bit is offline Moderator
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    Ah ha! Well, there are a number of issues here. First off, when you say 'watch' do you mean graphically (looking for pixels) or via some kind of action listener (wait for a notification)? In either case, you have some issues to deal with. Now, if the application in question is an applet embedded in the page which the user is using, there are something things you can do - however, there are platform specific issues you might run into, including forcing the user to install a JRE if they don't have one (this might be impossible for government users). You mentioned that you cannot modify the pages on the server - so I have a feeling this isn't going to work out.

    If you are thinking of the first route (literally watching the screen), this app will be a hog in java. I'm not sure screen captures are possible without native code calls - making this solution platform dependent. If this is the case, then writing the app in java is kind of pointless - just develop a native solution. Either way, sounds tricky!

  5. #5
    mickyjune26 is offline Member
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    Thanks for the response! You do bring up some good points.

    I want the app to work with websites and installed apps. As a training department, we have to create training solutions for both types of products, that don't allow any editing to the vender's source code.

    That being said, (and knowing little about programming), I don't know if it would wait for a notification or watch the screen. Knowing that I want it to work with both installed and web-based apps, would screen captures work better?

    If anything, this is a fun project to help improve my programming skills. So far, all I've done is basic PHP and MySQL. Gotta start somewhere, right?

  6. #6
    quad64bit's Avatar
    quad64bit is offline Moderator
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    Well, goes to show you learn something every day. Check out the java.awt.Robot class. I just read about this in a different post. It lets you automate actions like mouse movements, but also screen captures!!!

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