Incling Screencasting App

Converting a Screen Recording Java Applet

into a Standalone Java Application

InclingIncling

Incling specializes in building online communities to solve marketing, innovation and communication challenges.

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Legacy codebase

Incling came to us with a developed Java applet for screencast recording, which needed to be upgraded to a cross-platform standalone app.

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Startups & Innovation

Besides Incling, Redwerk has helped many
innovative companies develop and improve their products.

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Project

Incling helps brands test their products and adapt them to real-world use. This process involves allowing users to test their products and share their thoughts and experiences. Originally, a Java applet was used to record a screencast with the user’s actions and comments, but when browsers started to deprecate support for the Java plugin, Redwerk was hired to come up with a solution.

Challenges

  • Short project time span – we had only 2-3 weeks to deliver the solution, so we had to work quickly.
  • Solution needed to have minimal impact on user experience (user opens the web page, clicks the button, and starts the screen recording). We could not introduce any additional hassles such as manually installing Java, downloading updates, rebooting, etc.
  • App needed to work on Windows, Mac, and Linux (both DEB and RPM distros).
  • We also had to fix localization issues to make the application fully translatable.

Solution

Our first course of action was to perform a detailed code review of the existing applet. Some issues made themselves evident almost immediately: the code base had a number of legacy components, and there were no build systems or dependency managers in place. At Redwerk, we like to keep our builds automated and our code clean and minimalistic – fewer lines means fewer bugs. Therefore, our obvious next step was to implement Gradle-based build scripts and use Maven repos to fetch dependencies. With just a few hours’ cleanup, we were able to shrink the code base by almost 15,000 lines. This also allowed us to execute the entire build process with a single console command.

After the initial setup, our Java developers began work on creating the application, writing installation scripts, and fixing the translation infrastructure, all simultaneously. As the applet was already written in Java, it took almost no time at all to retool the existing code into a standalone application. We wrote our package and installer scripts using NSIS, launch4j, fpm, pkgbuild, and packr. Our solution automatically installs Java on the user’s machine if necessary and registers a custom URI handler which lets users launch the application by clicking a link on the web page.

We also implemented a way to seamlessly deliver version updates to users: whenever a user starts a new screencast, the app communicates with the backend to check if there are any updates available and updates itself in the background if necessary.

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2

developers worked on the project

1

QA engineer

3

weeks to deliver

116,552

lines of code

100%

deadlines met

Results

The application was delivered on time, fully tested and ready for real-world use.

The build process was automated and fully documented so that future programmers can join the development process in as little as 10 minutes.

Redwerk developers upgraded Incling Java creencasting app

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Redwerk team comments
Ilya

Ilya
Developer

It was exciting to implement the logic from Java applet in desktop Java application. With the help of Gradle + Bash, we’ve designed convenient and flexible tool for creating installers for any operating system. The UI based on Swing was a good challenge to improve too.

Incling screencasting app: Capture your screen / Redwerk company
Incling screencasting app: Create a screencast / Redwerk company
Incling screencasting app: initialising / Redwerk company
Incling screencasting app: getting started / Redwerk company

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