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Thread: What's coming up...

  1. #1
    AutoTouch Creator Gremlin's Avatar
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    What's coming up...

    In case you've not seen the various threads I thought I'd related what has happened and what's going to happen with AutoTouch.

    1) I did finally get around to adding the ability to any button to have a notication of the button being pressed. So that's there now
    2) I've changed it so that each form will resize to the size of the background image given to it, giving the ability to effectively make a skin for any size screen

    What I'm planning on doing.

    1) I'm messing about with the architecture so that anyone can write a new form. The whole thing is .Net based so you'll create a new form by subclassing of my type and then just putting the DLL in the directory with AutoTouch, Then you can reference the DLL in your skin file and it'll load up and work just great. This means that someone could easily add a DLL to navigate with another program for example. You'll also be able to call back into the main autotouch to do things like pause the currently playing audio (as the nav system does when it announces an upcoming turn) and call back to put up a keyboard or a choice screen as I have now, if you don't want to write your own. There are also several callbacks that will be available to you to help parsing skin files.

    2) As part of #1 I'm going to pull out the MapPoint Navigation and make it's own DLL That can either be used or not, this will serve two items, one is to make it possible to use other nav systems, and 2) is to make it possible to maybe do an open source release of the core AutoTouch System. The thing preventing that release now is that I'm using a purchased GPS Decoder for the mapping stuff and I can't release the source code that uses that library because it's lisensced to me.

    Does this jive with what people are expecting from this project now?

    -G

  2. #2
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    the items added are great, I am loving them so far... I have about 3000 to 4000 miles of testing - mixed between city, interstate, etc...

    questions about your upcoming additions first...
    about #1... does this mean that if I make an 800x480 screen and run my computer at 800x600 it will stretch properly... (i assume this to work on upscale and downscale...) but when I make my skin refer to the 400,240 position will this be the middle of the skin or of the screen res putting it only ~1/3 the way down??
    about #2... being a separate dll, will this make it easier to integrate this navigation front end into other softwares?? I am thinking that Frodo users would love to use the Mappoint interface that you have created... Frodo has XM control and video playback as of now, but they are stuck on using the standard Destinator, iGuidance, etc... I love your interface, it is easy, quick, legible... is this impossible??

    I am definitely not a programmer, so I do not comprehend the difficulties faced when you do fulfill user requests, so just ignore me if I am off base, but here's a quick list of things I would LOVE to see incorporated...
    1 - last ten addresses... so when you do "go to address" it would leave the last few options in there... I don't bookmark all things, but might go there twice...
    2 - some sort of quick menu when using the "go to address" option that allows for an automatic city/state to be entered... for me I live in denver and we have a dozen or more suburbs, so I have to type in the address and then city, state (just two letters for the state)... I don't know how to incoroporate this, but it seems like a second drop down below the entry blank to allow you to have 10 or 20 cities and states already typed in and then just have the city/state just added to the end of the address search string...
    3 - compass... either numerical or text (N, NW, W, SW, etc)... since Mappoint doesn't use the directional arrow as the location icon it would make it a bit quicker to glance at the map and determine the upcoming terrain... I know this sounds trivial, but today I was on highway 40 near WinterPark and the extremely hilly terrain makes the road have switchbacks so you literally cover the compass a dozen times an hour...
    4 - elevation?? I know that most mapping softwares have this type of info, it seems to be fairly low precision, but if I could just get the closest 100ft... today I traveled from a minimum of 5000 to a maximum of around 9800... it would be nice... definitely not a mainstream request, but seems like the SDK would allow for this feature to be implemented fairly easily...
    5 - My Places Deletion?? this would cancel out request #1, because it would make it easier to add/delete favorite destinations... just a thought...
    6 - Ctrl-D... a user had mentioned using his Griffin Powermate to enter the keystrokes, it brings up the nearby places, to find chinese food or a particular gas station/atm, etc... seems like another easy implementation, not sure... I have my powermate setup this way, but I think users would be excited to see this feature...
    7 - a speed based zoom feature... say once I hit 60mph, zoom out once... once I slow down to 50mph... zooom in once... maybe again at 20/30?? so city streets can have more names on the screen, but I can see the next exit on the interstate?? just a thought... this seems more difficult to implement...
    8 - okay, this might sound zany, but maybe an optional "location alert"... by this I mean something to serve as a reminder when you get to a specific location, it could just put a flashing image on screen... purpose being to let people remind them of important things to remember that might be slightly out of the ordinary... today I had the mountain bikes on the roof rack and I didn't want to drive into the covered parking, so it would be super cool if about 30 seconds prior to arrival to have the screen flash in bright colors - MOUNTAIN BIKES ON ROOF RACK!! (the imporantance of this can easily be understood)
    9 - which reminds me that I would love to see "minutes to location" and/or "minutes to turn"... I know the software uses that mentality, but I think the AGPS app might limit ya here... not sure, but this could just be a skinning option...

    I know it sounds like I am being anal or picky, but I really just want to help make this the ultimate front end... I'm an idea guy, this is my forte... so please please do not take this as insult. I stared at your screen today for about 4 hours of driving... so I have some thought/study time behind me now...

    jeez, I rambled on... sorry... I really do love the software, none of these are complaints - just merely ideas... I'm full of them...

  3. #3
    Constant Bitrate ApoloV's Avatar
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    Great work Gremlin I do love your work..

    As far as what your planning, i dont think any of us will complain there... Also with makin MapPoint Modular w/ its own dll will that cut back on performance a bit? If so are there plans to increase performance elsewhere? Although I donbt it should have any effect...

    And all that ^^ Some could be useful, but we love AutoTouch anyway...

    Random thought... If i were to boot windows w/ AutoTouch as the shell instead of explorer.exe... You think everything would still work? Maybe run smoother?

    Thoughts or opinions on that Gremlin?
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  4. #4
    AutoTouch Creator Gremlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mgithens
    about #1... does this mean that if I make an 800x480 screen and run my computer at 800x600 it will stretch properly... (i assume this to work on upscale and downscale...) but when I make my skin refer to the 400,240 position will this be the middle of the skin or of the screen res putting it only ~1/3 the way down??
    What this means is if you resize one of the current skins backgrounds to another res (say 1024x768) by using an app like photoshop or something then it'll go full screen at that res. But you're correct you would then have to go in and update the "regions" for the buttons so that the clicks would happen in the correct place. An unfortunate side effect of the way I've put skinds together. Maybe someone who knows VB or C# or Java or something could whip up a little skin editor that could automate this. I could do it but I'd rather spend my time making the core app stronger!

    -G

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    forward progress?? it is been almost a week since even a post was made... just curious...

  6. #6
    AutoTouch Creator Gremlin's Avatar
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    Progress

    I made quite a bit of progess earlier on in the week and then got stalled. I got the new project setup with everything in the correct DLLs and mostly it's building now I need to write the engine which loads the DLLs and queries them for form involvement and get the correct base form made with the functions it needs to have and change all the other codes' dependencies.

    I've had a grand total of maybe two hours to work on it in the past week, but as I get time i do the work. Unfortuantely my real job has been sort of hellacious as of late, and since it also involves programming when I spend a lot of time at my office heads down I don't often feel like doing it again when I Get home.

    I'll keep you posted though! It's all happening.

    -G

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    cool, thanks for the heads up... hope you still have free time to play and not just code your life away...

  8. #8
    AutoTouch Creator Gremlin's Avatar
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    Fast Status!

    Still working away. Work is hell at the moment and I've got very little time. but I'm working on it so it'll be coming!

  9. #9
    AutoTouch Creator Gremlin's Avatar
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    More Status!

    I actually got a few hours in last night, the whole system is now compiling again after splitting it apart. I have a reasonable base form to inherit from when anyone wants to make new modules, and now I'm in the process of getting the system back up and running again so that it works like it did before. The main difference being that everything is running under the new modular framework. This is going to be really nice.

    One question though. Any .Net programmers out there that want to take a shot at writing modules that want to work with me to "Beta test" that ability?

    -G

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