First I'd like CF to initialize with this screen:
Does not look like a desktop really, but I don't mean you need a taskbar or mimic win7 or Xp or whatever. I mean the emphasis is clearly on the background, with a transparent left menu bar and a play button to start things going.
Then, if you hit play, something on the default playlist would be loaded and played. When you can hear something, that's when you need music info.
The above is supposed to be highly readable in sunlight conditions, and also very minimal and stealth, thank to the chosen background. Any white background around the shaded areas will be seen through completely. Note the play button is not that visible thanks to this particular background, but as I said, I assume remote/voice control is available. Note the FF/RWD buttons on each side of the song name being displayed.
Note the absence of any frame around the icons. I hate those frames. Some skins are completely addicted to framing (dates, clock) some use even double frames...of course the clickable area is much larger than the icon, so if you touch around the icon area a larger shaded area will light up and will give you a general idea that it's a bigger button out there.
However, as I explained above this is not possible. I can't selective display part of a skin section/screen. CML does not allow this AFAIK. There should be a flag like this: playlist loaded = true display xxx.xml code with the extra header info. So far, no success. I'd have to turn the hole song display into a dialog, and then I'd lose the transparency effect.
So for now, this is how the main screen looks like:
Note the 4 menu button arrangement, since the most used menu items would be on the left bar anyway, I figure this would look better. It works fine, but I still can't get the animation quite right. Even defining a smaller menu area to be scrolled, the .dll aparently still has to work with the whole menu_off.png file, which includes the left menu bar, which should be off bounds.
That is, if the above section is the main menu section, I would HAVE TO display the dynamic menu buttons. Or I'd have to make the above the media playing section or some other, but then the menu screen would have to load in an entirely different screen.
I really don't like this, but will see what I can do with it.
Finally, the last working dialog so far, the track info dialog.
There you go, after a quick click on the song title info on the header, you open the much enlarged dialog track info bar. Now you can check BT, Wifi signal strenght, internet connection AND adjust mute and volume. And clock and date. All volume buttons are working buttons, which shows that you can open dialogs within dialogs...hummm interesting. I just wish I could add album art to this, but so far I can't figure out why not.
So what do you guys think? Would be easier to work with RideRunner or even OpenMobile? Would any of these FE solve the above problems I'm facing? I heard a lot of good stuff about CF 3.X CML skinning language, but I have to say I'm not impressed. Lots of things are hard coded there, the restrictions are driving me crazy.