Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Flash Frontend

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Flash Frontend

    Hey, I recently started writing a Flash / Delphi (pascal) frontend and I was wondering if anybody had started such a project before. Unfortunately, searching didn't give many results for Flash or Delphi so maybe someone's got some code hidden away?

    Right now, I have the music being parsed by Delphi and sent off to flash, and a bit of a pretty interface but I'm no designer...
    if anybody has a flash design lying around, please let me know!

    [Picture moved to next post]
    2001 Mustang Convertible Worklog
    Indigo Custom Frontend (Flash/Delphi)
    Blog

    Qube v1.3 Now Available at the mp3Car Store!!!!!!
    The simplest IO controller you'll ever use!

  • #2
    Started a Flex based front end

    I've started a flex based front end, utilizing Adobe Flex2. The first app I have created, and is mostly complete with a rough front end, is an MP3 player designed completely around a 7 inch touch screen. It allows library browsing (large button base), playing song information, visualizations, and other standard features. Again, it is easy to use on a 7 inch screen.

    The second project I am working on is a front end to control a Yeasu FT-897 ham radio, that supports everything from UHF down to HF frequencies. The radio is currently mounted in the back seat, and the controls are really hard to use anyways, as they are small. This will give me the standard most used functions (and feedback information) on a format that is useable while driving.

    The third project on this that I have not started, is a standard ODI interface for car information.

    For serial I/O connectivity, I am using a simple Jetty based java application to allow I/O that flash/flex does not support. Flex/Flash comes with base support to do HTTP, and binary sockets as well (for async information).

    The best thing about Flex is it is very easy to change the whole look and feel of the application utilizing an MXML (read XML type file). Colors, positions, control types, etc. can all be changed. I am utilizing a code behind technology that allows for changing the GUI without messing with any actualy actionscript code.

    It is a definite work in progress, but I am really happy with the concept and ease of implementation. I have been using a laptop, but just purchased a car computer from this site to better withstand my off road driving. I have a 2004 Toyota Tacoma that already has ALOT of electronics in it (ham radio(s), Solar Panel, Second Battery, XM Radio, Large screen GPS for Topos (Lowrance Baja) and a few other goodies. I plan to replace the whole radio panel with the 7inch screen. The other stuff stays, though, since they all have their use (I am part of a Search and Rescue team). I want to keep the large screen GPS, but use it to drive a 'Turn Directions' based software. Nothing is available on flex, so I plan to use IGuidance.

    I will try and keep people informed as my work progresses. I can answer any questions on this if people want to know what I am doing.

    Jim Olsen

    Comment


    • #3
      All Pictures:

      Loading Screen


      Main Screen


      Diagnostic Alert


      Music - All Artists


      Music - All Albums


      GPS - iGuidance4 Embedded/Modded
      2001 Mustang Convertible Worklog
      Indigo Custom Frontend (Flash/Delphi)
      Blog

      Qube v1.3 Now Available at the mp3Car Store!!!!!!
      The simplest IO controller you'll ever use!

      Comment


      • #4
        that flash front end looks pretty cool i like how it reads obd already
        MY build...a walk thru, finally getting to it

        Comment


        • #5
          Yeah that's cool, except the part where I actually have that engine error code haha.
          Easy fix though
          2001 Mustang Convertible Worklog
          Indigo Custom Frontend (Flash/Delphi)
          Blog

          Qube v1.3 Now Available at the mp3Car Store!!!!!!
          The simplest IO controller you'll ever use!

          Comment


          • #6
            im curious how you are going about obdII? i have been chatting with clifwlkr about it (we are both writing flex apps) and have come to a rough conclusion that an external java app would be required. also where are you generating your music library from? are you building your own our borrowing from another app such as itunes or winamp?

            you can check out my app here

            i like what you are doing here and would like to see it continue so if you need any help or have any questions feel free to hit me up. good work
            Check out the new version of NAS, a cross platform music frontend here

            Comment


            • #7
              I'm taking a bit different approach in this in that I am going for very easy to use on a 7inch screen, while driving and maintaining attention.

              Snapshots: http://http://www.mp3car.com/vbullet...air-linux.html

              I am concentrating on getting it very easily useable, and will pretty it up later. For now, I just want to see it running consistently while driving. Nothing is worse than not paying attention while driving, and carputers can certianly cause this.

              For serial connectivity, I am using a Java agent. By using the Javacomm API, it should run on windows and linux. The flash supports sockets, so I use a simple Jetty server and/or straight sockets for communication. Request stuff uses Jetty. Async uses a raw socket.

              Jim

              Comment


              • #8
                I am running flash IN an application.

                I mean, I have an application written in delphi. On my form, I have a ShockwaveFlash component which basically plays an SWF file. In my SWF file, I set a listener to "DelphiVar". Whenever flash needs to request info from delphi, it simply uses fscommand. Delphi then receives the fscommand and responds by setting a variable. It sounds inefficient, but it works wonderfully and is killer fast. By not polling for things, it basically happens as though it were one application.

                So on startup, flash goes to the loading screen and says START_INIT. Delphi loads all the libraries and whatnot and says INIT_DONE. Flash switches screens again and pops up a loading bar and says SEND_ARTISTS. Delphi sends the total number of artists, followed by each one with an ID. Then flash calculates how many are left, etc, and stores them as well as updating the progress bar.

                Basically I embedded flash into the application and wrote a tiny little protocol for the two to communicate by. It's REALLY simple overall. So for the OBD-II, although Flash can't read it, delphi can
                2001 Mustang Convertible Worklog
                Indigo Custom Frontend (Flash/Delphi)
                Blog

                Qube v1.3 Now Available at the mp3Car Store!!!!!!
                The simplest IO controller you'll ever use!

                Comment


                • #9
                  very cool. i thought about running my app inside of an os central framework, but i really wanted mine to be cross platform. flex offers a good source to do so, however there are some drawbacks (namely connection directly to usb or serial) so i am left doing external calls to a java app. anyway good luck with everything
                  Check out the new version of NAS, a cross platform music frontend here

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Well as far as I know, there's lazarus or whatever its called which is essentially delphi but completely cross platform. Better yet, you pick which platforms to support so it compiles with only the packages for those platforms.

                    Never did use it, I'm a windows guy myself. My frontend isnt for the masses, its for me. If other people are interested, they can use it too but I dont plan on supporting it in any way, so windows works just fine for me

                    So whats all this fuss about flex anyway?
                    2001 Mustang Convertible Worklog
                    Indigo Custom Frontend (Flash/Delphi)
                    Blog

                    Qube v1.3 Now Available at the mp3Car Store!!!!!!
                    The simplest IO controller you'll ever use!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Tonight's progress:

                      Now Playing
                      2001 Mustang Convertible Worklog
                      Indigo Custom Frontend (Flash/Delphi)
                      Blog

                      Qube v1.3 Now Available at the mp3Car Store!!!!!!
                      The simplest IO controller you'll ever use!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        flex takes all the quirkyness out of flash (ok not all, but a lot). it designed from the ground up to build full featured applications. they did away with the timeline and most of the actual drawing features of flash. everything is handled in your code. however you can design components in flash and import them into flex to get the look and animations you want. if you use the AIR plugin for flex you get filesystem access and the ability to run your app outside of the browser (less security restrictions). it really is a slick IDE to work in. if nothing else go try it out at adobe. they give you 60 days free trial
                        Check out the new version of NAS, a cross platform music frontend here

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Actually, a funny thing is that the timeline is still present in a flex app. You just don't have to deal with it. It's kind of fun to look at the timeline as your application runs....

                          I am using a technique that is very powerful in Flex. I am using what we call code behind practices. Using this technique, there are two files. The first file, the actionscript class, handles all of the logic of what happens when buttons are pressed, data changes, etc. There is no GUI in there, except for the definitions of the controls on the screen.

                          The second file is an MXML file that contains ALL of the gui layout, etc. You can changed the appearance completely utilizing a simple drag and drop like format, as long as you keep the same name for the controls.

                          You do have to recompile it, but that is pretty much brain dead to do.

                          That is why I am concentrating on the hardcore features of the app, rather than the pretty factor. This works great since you can make an MXML for a small screen in a situation like driving. I can also make an entirely different interface for a larger screen without any real code changes.

                          Kind of like skins, but a lot more powerful with a GUI builder in an IDE.

                          Jim

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            So Flex is like a mix of a downgraded version of Flash and a programming IDE? Sounds sort of cool, I can't see the benefits of using it over anything else though? Ive noticed a few people using Flex, so I guess its because of the simplicity in the MXML GUI changes for skinning. Interesting stuff.
                            2001 Mustang Convertible Worklog
                            Indigo Custom Frontend (Flash/Delphi)
                            Blog

                            Qube v1.3 Now Available at the mp3Car Store!!!!!!
                            The simplest IO controller you'll ever use!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Actually the biggest reason to use it is that Flash has something like an 80% penetration in the market (flash).

                              It is cross platform as well (even cell phones), and has a very easy to use GUI environment for people who hate to waste time on GUI stuff like myself. The language is ECMA script, so it is very close to JavaScript.

                              I am developing an enterprise level application at my company that utilizes Flex. Flex also has a remoting technology (BlazeDS) that allows remoting of objects/calls to a Tomcat server (Spring, Hibernate, etc.). It has built in support for web services (SOAP), HTTP Connections, and Binary Socket connections.

                              Microsoft is answering with Silverlight, which does not have the momentum of Flex.

                              Flex seems to be taking off in that I get recruiter calls non stop. They just can't higher enough engineers.

                              That said, having come from a real programming world (Java, C, C++, etc), it is definitely limiting. There are a lot of things that I absolutely hate, the memory management sucks, etc. Switching between developing in both (which I do), can be kind of annoying.

                              So flex for the front/gui stuff and Java on the back to do the 'real' work is our (and my) approach.

                              Jim

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X