Frequently Asked Questions on PiXCL 10

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1. Who can use PiXCL 10?

Anyone who needs a powerful, easy-to-learn but affordable graphics / image acquistion, display and image processing toolkit. This includes ...

2. Is PiXCL 10 also a tool for the experienced Windows programmer?

Certainly! While PiXCL can be quickly learned and used by anyone, an experienced programmer will usually find PiXCL a useful tool to do fast prototypes and short use utilities, when the greater flexibility and speed but longer development time of VB/C/C++/C#.NET is not appropriate.

3. How do I get images into PiXCL 10?

PiXCL supports Still Image, WIA and TWAIN-compatible scanners, digital cameras and USB video cameras. There's a generic Firewire camera command set that links with custom OEM support DLLs. PiXCL also reads and writes fifteen of the most commonly used image file formats.

4. Does PiXCL 10 support ActiveX controls? What about database access !

Support for Active X Automation Servers is in PiXCL 10. If your database is an Automation server, eg MS-Access, PiXCL applications can work with them. Consult the Automation client programming documentation that comes with your database. You can generally use scriptable ActiveX controls using the HTML Control command.

5. Does PiXCL 10 have a visual dialog edit toolkit.

Yes. The PiXCL Code Editor can be extended with helper applications to make code development more automated. Two code writing Helper applications are included with the PiXCL sources so they can be extended as desired.

6. Who is the distributor?

For Canada and the USA, we are. If you are international, we are open to proposals.

7. We want to include PiXCL 10 in a CD-ROM product. What is required?

Permission to include the PiXCL 10 version on CD-ROM products is usually granted. Please contact us with details of the proposed product.

8. Can we duplicate the registered version on a disk or CD-ROM?

No, not without an appropriate contract. Unauthorised duplication of the registered version is a breach of international copyright law, and carries severe criminal and financial penalties.

9. We want to include PiXCL 10 in a book. What is required?

There are various copyright issues to be addressed. Please contact us with a proposal and details of the book. In general we would provide a variant of the release version, but we are also open to proposals.

10. We would like to bundle PiXCL 10 with other hardware/software products. What is required?

Please contact us with a detailed proposal. In general, this requires an up front single licence payment for unlimited distribution, based on the forecasted sales volumes.

11. We would like an OEM version with our name and contact information. What is required?

We are prepared to consider doing "badge engineered" versions on a case-by-case basis. We can add support for custom commands, support other libraries and DLL's, and provide complete custom development of a named product for your company. A contract is required for licensing, plus a contract for the extra development. Please contact us with a detailed proposal and we will respond with pricing details.

12. Are user training courses available? How long are they?

Yes, they are if required, contact us for details. We have standard daily rates plus expenses for training courses for a minimum number of students. However, an experienced programming instructor will be able to pick up the methods quickly from the Help files, and the Overview in the Help files is the basis for a training course. Teaching users with some programming background to write useful programs in PiXCL takes 2 - 3 days. With no programming background this would take 4 - 7 days, as the basics of good programming practice needs to be instructed first.

13. What about JAVA - wouldn't this do just as well?

No. JAVA is a Web tool for experienced programmers, with a quite complex syntax. PiXCL is a designed for the imaging professional who needs / wants to program occasionally, or develop prototypes quickly.

14. What about JavaScript, VB script, and the Windows Scripting Host (WSH). Can't I do what PiXCL does with these?

No. JavaScript and VB script are embedded languages, have a quite complex syntax compared to PiXCL, can't be used to create a stand-alone EXE files directly, don't directly support all the bitmap formats, can't be used to access the Registry, have no file i/o, and cannot do any of the image processing functions. PiXCL does not need WSH, as it can create its own executables. You can also set the file association for .PXL files to invoke PiXCL and run the PXL file directly.

15. Could PiXCL be used to make Web applets?

Yes, it could with a little extra work. However, PiXCL is a powerful language, and is not secure like JAVA, that is, it could quite easily be used by unscrupulous persons to create Trojan Horse programs that delete data or worse. That is also why it is not practical to use Visual Basic sources for Web page applets, and why VBscript was developed by Microsoft. Besides, JAVAScript is the default Web applet language.

16. Can we develop and sell extension libraries for PiXCL 10?

Yes. You have to acquire the PiXCL Extension Command Library API. This API provides all the necessary information to access PiXCL internals, and includes a Visual C/C++ 2008 or later sample project. Once you have the API, you can develop and sell any additional functionality that is required.

28. What is the development history of PiXCL?

PiXCL was originally developed as a scripting language for Windows 3.1. In 1993 the first commercial version 2.1 which had 82 commands was released, and supported BMP and RLE bitmap formats only.

In 1994 there was a Windows NT 3.51 version 3.0 with 112 commands and operators. An imaging DLL to support many more bitmap formats to produce was added in 1995, version 4.0 with 160 commands. With the release of Windows 95 in August 1995,v4.00 was extended to include over 200 commands and operators. The PiXCL product component source code in C/C++ is over 100,000 lines, plus the 460 page equivalent Help file.

Development is ongoing with new commands added on a monthly basis.

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