2006 is try the stuff people keep bugging me about year. So… I was getting nowhere speeding up the variable width conversions, and decided to have a go at colouring the output.
Good news: Easy to do, and creating the array of Colors is fast.
Bad news: Displaying it in a Rich textbox is really slow. It’s looping through the text, selecting each character and setting the SelectionColor and it’s so slow you can see it work on each character.
The output is also not particularly great. The whole reason the normal black and white conversions work is that each character represents a grayscale value. In a colour conversion, every character needs to represent a solid pixel and then be coloured to the Color value. Basically the ramp, brightness/contrast and levels of the output image do not matter.
Even if this gets sorted out, I think this is something that I won’t be able to implement until I’ve written a control to replace the textbox, and that’s going to be difficult. The save as an image code will also need to be totally rewritten.
In other news, I really want to add some extra content about the program to this website (features, manual, output gallery etc), so I’m thinking about moving from this blog into a CMS. I’m also trying out some google adverts for a few weeks to see if they can help pay for the site. It sucks, but that donation button was just wasting space.