The Practice Viewer Upgrade

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The Practice Viewer Upgrade
Author Tom Harding
License Freeware

The Practice Viewer Upgrade is an upgrade to OS/2 Multimedia that makes the Multimedia Viewer provided with the Warp Bonus Pack faster and more useful.

Three components are included in version 1.1.0:

  • The Lightning Browser
  • JPEG Support
  • Light Table .JPG Patch

The JPEG support that comes with the Practice Viewer Upgrade is a new version of JPEGPROC, previously available separately from Practice Corporation. Future versions of JPEGPROC will be bundled with the Practice Viewer Upgrade.

Lightning Browser

The Lightning Browser is a much-improved image browser that can replace the one that comes with the Multimedia Viewer (IB.EXE).

  • Consistently loads images twice as fast as IB.
  • Is multithreaded and doesn't freeze the system while loading images.
  • Moves or resizes images virtually instantaneously.
  • Lets you grab the image anywhere for easier moving around the screen.
  • Can preserve the original aspect ratio.
  • Doesn't waste space in the image window.
  • Supports long file names.
  • Supports drag and drop.
  • Only files with valid multimedia image content are openable and drop-enabled. File names don't matter.
  • Doesn't unnecessarily dither 24-bit images (they appear as they do in Web Explorer, not IB).
  • Uses palette manager on 256-color systems.

The Lightning Browser is designed to let you handle pictures on the screen the way you would handle real-world snapshots. It is not an image editing application.

JPEG Support

The JPEG support component of the Practice Viewer Upgrade enables OS/2 Multimedia applications to read and write JPEG compressed image files.

Specifically, it:

  • Enables Light Tables to display thumbnail images of JPEG files.
  • Enables the Lightning Browser (LB.EXE) and the standard image browser (IB.EXE) to display JPEG files.
  • Enables the multimedia data converter (FFC.EXE) to convert other supported formats to and from JPEG.
  • Enables any multimedia application written for OS/2 to read and write JPEG files.

The JPEG support contained in this upgrade works with progressive JPEG files, which are becoming popular on the World Wide Web.

Although Light Tables, like any other multimedia application, are perfectly capable of creating thumbnail images for JPEG files once the JPEG support in this upgrade is installed, they have a hard-coded limitation based on the file extension. That is, although they will recognize JPEG files per se (OS/2 Multimedia uses the file content to identify the format) they won't recognize files with an extension of .JPG!

Light Table .JPG Patch

An additional component of this upgrade, "Light Table .JPG Patch", fixes this problem by patching the Light Table code. If you do not install the patch, Light Tables will not thumbnail JPEG files unless you rename them with a supported extension.

The Light Table .JPG Patch sacrifices support for .PYG files.