Ultimate Webshots Converter

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is behind Ultimate Webshots Converter ?

UWC has been created by Hervé "setaou" BRY.
You can find more information about me on my website http://www.setaou.net

A little History of UWC

Around august 2002, in order to bypass the use of Webshots Desktop to manage my wallpapers, I tried to understand WBZ files. I found out that they were simply JPEG files with an additional header, but the beginning of the JPEG picture was ciphered. I made a little program to extract the picture and recreate the JPEG header. Because it could not be deciphered, the JPEG header was an approximation, and the color and contrast of the final picture could be affected. In the end of october, I decided to do a deep reverse engineering of Webshots file formats. With some help from several developers on the Internet (mainly Abdulkader Hajjar), and using the deciphering algorithm found by Carl B. Constantine, I completly reversed the file formats. With this knowledge, I decided to create Ultimate Webshots Converter.

UWC was first released on www.vbfrance.com (versions prior to 2.0 are written using Visual Basic 6). Its popularity rapidly grew because no program existed that could convert Webshots files so well and so easily. Several month later, I created the website uwc.apinc.org as a home for UWC. The program has quite changed since the first version, the most noticeable changes being its internationalisation and the enhancement of the batch conversion feature. Now, several major commercial converters can read Webshots files, and I suspect that they used my work for this. Despite that competition, UWC is still the only program to fully read (and write, as of v2.0) Webshots file formats.

How can I translate UWC in my own language ?

In the folder where UWC was installed, you will find .lng files. Each file contains all the texts used in the program for a given language.
To translate UWC, choose the file of a language you can translate, and open it with a raw text editor (Windows notepad should be good).
You will see several types of lines :

  • Comment lines. They begin with //. You can place them anywhere in the file, they are used to help understanding the file. You cannot place a comment at the end of a line.
  • Metadata, in the form identifier = value. Usually located on the top of the file, they allow the program to identify the language of the file, the name of the translator, the version of UWC which has been translated and the date of the translation. Identifiers are language, translator, version and date respectively.
  • Texts to translate, in the form number = text, usually located after metadata. In these texts, you will find some reserved characters, like \r, \n, %s, %d... These are characters which allows line breaks (\r\n) or text insertion (%s, %d). You have to respect this in your translation.

When your translation is done, save the file with a new name (the name of the language, for instance).

In batch conversion, some .wb1 files are not renamed, although I checked "Give the file the name of the picture".

The name of a .wb1 picture is stored in a file called photo.txt or album.txt. If this file is not present in the same folder as the .wb1 file, or if the picture is not referenced in it, UWC will not be able to find the name of the picture, and the .wb1 file will not be renamed.

Why are some of the converted photos very small ?

UWC does not resize pictures during the conversion process. If a converted file is tiny, so is the original file. Note that each photo added to Webshots Desktop is split in two files in your "Webshots Data" folder :

  • the first, whose name begins with "th" is the thumbnail;
  • the other, whose name usually begins with "ph" is the photo itself.

Therefore, if you convert all files in your "Webshots Data" folder using the Batch Conversion tool, it is normal that you get two files for a photo, a tiny one and a normal one. Another important point is that photos from Webshots Community usually are in JPEG format and thus do not need to be converted. If you try to convert a collection which contains only photos from Community, you will only get the thumbnails converted in your destination folder.

How to run UWC on Linux ?

There are two options :

  • Use kUWC, a version of UWC written in Python/Qt by Serge Weinstock
  • Run UWC with Wine

The first is better if you do not want to install Wine and prefer a native Linux program, the last is less integrated with the Linux environment but allows to use the advanced features of the latest version of UWC. Both have been tested and run smoothly on Ubuntu and Debian (and I suppose it also works on any decent Linux distribution).

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