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Web page screenshot previews


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As you've probably seen lately, getting a preview image of a remote web page is becoming popular in web applications these days (e.g., Google search results and Opera speed dial). How could I build an application that does this on its own (provided with a valid url)?

Edited by Fmdpa
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Build your own rendering engine with a server-side language and then store the result in an image format.Google has the time and money to do that, and Opera already comes with a built in rendering engine.

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If you have a Windows server and can afford to spend additional money on SnagIt, you can use it's COM API from PHP to capture screenshots from an arbitrary program, Opera included. I believe in the case of Google, they actually use an approach similar to that one... but they use their own imaging software (I'm guessing compatible with Linux) instead of SnagIt.

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So in short, even if I got my hands on a rendering engine, it would still be a huge project to create a web page screenshot service?
Yes.Otherwise, everybody would be offering such service.If you want to offer services that few people can, then you have to do things that few people want to do.
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So in short, even if I got my hands on a rendering engine, it would still be a huge project to create a web page screenshot service?
SnagIt seems easy enough IMHO... if you require a free software that would be Linux compatible... yes, it would be a huge project.
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My goal was not to simply get the screenshots. I'm interested in knowing how it works. If I ever wanted to start an open-source project, this would be definitely be an idea!

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