Designer Today Product Review Archive

 

 

GL PRO

 

GL PRO

Vikki Dawson

Our Writer's Rating:

 Great
June 3, 1999

GL PRO is a multimedia engine. It is not for the faint of heart. There is a fair amount of learning that goes along with using GL Pro to create multimedia applications. One of the most powerful features is its scripting language. For most applications you will probably only need to learn a few of the commands, but you will also need some understanding of how these commands work within different operating environments.

The manual that comes with GL PRO is amazing! In the first 8 pages it gives detailed instructions on how to install the software, and then extensively covers all the places you can go for any help you might need. I found the manual to be a great reference, but thought I needed just a bit more help. There is a book available from Pallas Press written by Conrad R. Brandt titled "GL PRO for Windows FOUNDATIONS" that comes with a special version of GL PRO on CD. I found this book to be well worth the $38.00 US price. Conrad Brandt goes into great tutorial detail in this book and had me understanding commands and principles quickly.

This is not software that will create an application that will run on the Internet. However, it does provide accurate control of HTTP, FTP, and E-MAIL services. It is software that will allow you to create a multimedia portfolio that can be distributed to prospective clients. The engine is small enough that, depending on what you include in your application, you may be able to distribute your application on a floppy disk. The engine uses about 325K of disk space and you don't need external DLL's, drivers, or other files.

With GL PRO aren't limited to the standard rectangular window, you can create unique shapes for your interfaces.

Above is the main GL PRO script editor interface. This is where you will be doing all your scripting. The GL PRO Player allows you to preview your work as you write your script. This means you don't have to write the whole application before testing to see if it is doing what you expect.

In the beginning of the GL PRO manual you get a hands on introduction on how to start building scripts and your application. The manual gives you the script to type in and then you can test it. The manual also explains, step by step, what each command you have used in the examples does. If you follow through the manual, by the time you get to the end you should have a good understanding of the GL PRO scripting language. If you have done programming of some type before, GL PRO is going to be a snap. If you have never done any programming before, a little patience goes a long way. Either way, if you take the time, I know you'll be happy with the results. I am.

I mentioned above about the manual and a book to help with learning GL PRO. The above screenshot shows the online help available from the software.  This is a very extensive help file and there shouldn't be any reason for most not to quickly and easily learn from these help files, or find just exactly what you are looking for in the way of help. If GL PRO can do it, it will be in the help file.  I really liked the way the help is set up.  It was extremely easy to navigate to find just what I was looking for.

On the GL PRO site are many commercial examples of what has been created with the GL PRO engine.

GL PRO comes in four different editions: Lite, ScreenSaver, Standard, and Advanced. It is also available in a DOS version to create DOS applications.

Major Features of GL PRO Advanced Version: (as listed on the GL PRO site)

  • The GLPRO engine is less than 325Kb (the Modular Compiler can bring the engine down as low as 143Kb!)
  • Totally royalty-free (you don't need to display a Made with GLPRO sticker - unlike other 'tools'!)
  • Fastest image load and display available anywhere!
  • Creates single EXEs and SCRs with no external DLLs, VBXs, OCXs, drivers or other requirements!
  • Requires just 480Kb of free RAM to operate in!
  • Built-in native support for .DFF, .FLI and .FLC animation formats (no external drivers or clumsy DLLs required!)
  • Support for JPEG, GIF, BMP, PCX, TGA, TIFF, PIC and CLP file formats
  • Native MP3 audio support - embed your compressed audio INSIDE your applications!
  • Over 650 commands, variables and other settings for TOTAL application control and flexibility!
  • Full MCI interface (AVI, WAV, MPEG, MIDI, Laserdisc etc.)
  • Full palette control, manipulation and cycling
  • Automatic palette management and palette optimization
  • Full Internet support (HTTP, FTP and MAIL)
  • Full access to the Win16 and Win32 API and 16-bit and 32-bit DLLs
  • Runs on all Windows platforms - 3.1, 3.11, 95, 98, OS/2 Windows and Windows NT 3.51 and higher
  • Provides total control over application position, size and operation
  • 16, 256, 15-bit, 16-bit and 24-bit color playback support (on ALL Windows platforms!)

Head on over to the GL PRO site to order your free evaluation CD to see just how powerful GL PRO is. The free evaluation copy includes the commercial demos on it so you can see what others have done with GL PRO.

There is easier software out there to create multimedia applications with, but you won't find one that gives you as much control over your multimedia application as GL PRO.


GL PRO Web Site

Macintosh System Requirements
Mac version due end of 1999
Windows System Requirements
Windows 3.1, 3.11, 95, 98, NT 3.51, NT 4.0, Windows 2000
480K Free RAM
Estimated Street Price
Lite - $99.00 (US)
ScreenSaver - $163.00 (US)
Standard - $576.00 (US)
Advanced - $988.00 (US)

Copyright 1999 Vikki Dawson, All Rights Reserved








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