Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

mac FE reality ...

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

  • mac FE reality ...

    FYI: I really appreciate all that has been done for the carpc.

    I have been pondering the mac carpc situation for the past 2-3 months and have finally decided to post.

    I've been going through lots of threads on all 3 OSes and have come across a lot of similar patterns:
    - everybody and their brother writes a FE (cool idea and really good for programming practice)
    - lots of unfinished/abandoned projects (hey, programming is not a walk in the park)
    - several projects that are largely outdated by newer projects (attrition will happen)
    - many communities producing similar ideas ( causing the wheel to be reinvented)

    I am sure there are many people out here who would like to see a OSX FE happen so I am going to open my big mouth again. Earlier this year I tried to play devils advocate to get ideas rolling and now I'm back but this time with a focus on the mac side.

    OpenMobile looks like it's going to be a game changer and can't wait to really try it out when it ships but I have a feeling that the port is not really going to be native osx code, meaning that as a OSX user I'd be expecting certain level of feeling like a mac (ie, caminio vs firefox).

    I have been tinkering with the idea of trying to put something together but the reality of the situation is that I have already too much on my plate to get down to learning xcode and laying down some code. Which is why I guess in some ways finally posting here to sound out some my thoughts hoping to hear from some of you

    Are there developers wanting to help?
    What do users want?

    post/rant/question -- go for it folks

  • #2
    In fairness to OpenMobile, it's implemented using it's own graphics/UI layer. So yeah, it's not going to look or feel like a Mac. But is that a bad thing? There's nothring in MacOS X's user experience that's tailored to the car... unless you run iphone/ipad apps, which you can't (and even those are debatably viable in the car) .

    I really don't think it's a great idea to stretch existing desktop paradigms into places where they shouldn't go.
    Former author of LinuxICE, nghost, nobdy.
    Current author of Automotive Message Broker (AMB).
    Works on Tizen IVI. Does not represent anyone or anything but himself.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by tripzero View Post
      In fairness to OpenMobile, it's implemented using it's own graphics/UI layer. So yeah, it's not going to look or feel like a Mac. But is that a bad thing?
      I really like what I have seen so far with OpenMobile!

      Nope, nothing wrong with that Which is why I used the camino vs firefox association. However, firefox is starting to be more mac like than it was in the past.

      There is also the issue of being a solo, OS independent application, which possibly might hamper it's ability to tie into core services offered by OSX.

      Originally posted by tripzero View Post
      There's nothring in MacOS X's user experience that's tailored to the car... unless you run iphone/ipad apps, which you can't.
      Nothing? I see a lot going on that would be useful for Apple orientated users. RIM, Android, Win .. probably not.

      Not using the iPhone/ipad os but using the iphone is actually why I came here to mp3car in the first place.

      Without wifi/net connection to the car you're stuck with some type of portable memory. Also, iphone connectivity to the carpc is going to be getting bigger and bigger thereby, requiring a fuller user experience not presented by Centrafuse or RoadRunner (still newbie to both).

      Originally posted by tripzero View Post
      I really don't think it's a great idea to stretch existing desktop paradigms into places where they shouldn't go.
      I do agree with you but I'm not looking at trying to pry a OS into a 7" screen that is hard to see in the first place.

      I'm thinking something way different, cross-over and mashups are more my idea

      Comment


      • #4
        I don't think the camino vs firefox comparison works when arguing why OM wouldn't look MacOSX-like. both are desktop apps implemented in different toolkits. OSX doesn't have a native touchscreen based toolkit do they? There is no Mac OSX user experience designed for the car. It's undefined. In other words if OSX doesn't have a native touch toolkit, then you have no "camino" to compare OpenMobile against.

        Besides, OM supports skinning so you can change it to fit whatever look/functionality you choose. Also, last I heard OM was implementing platform specific abstractions to take advantage of native services. I have no idea how well that idea went, but that's what I heard...

        I'm thinking something way different, cross-over and mashups are more my idea
        I don't know what you mean by "cross-over and mashups".
        Former author of LinuxICE, nghost, nobdy.
        Current author of Automotive Message Broker (AMB).
        Works on Tizen IVI. Does not represent anyone or anything but himself.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by SapporoGuy View Post
          I'm thinking something way different, cross-over and mashups are more my idea
          This is exactly the sort of thing I think is needed. The existing options are really hard to extend or port to other OSs which in this day and age isn't really acceptable. I've been looking at html 5 a lot recently and imo writing a UI front end in it makes a lot of sense as nearly anyone would be able to figure out how customize it and it doesn't tie you down to using a specific back end system(s).
          • Media support is pretty good and dead simple.
          • Skinning, its just html,css, and javascript. REALLY low entry barrier to make you own custom skin(s). One of the biggest hurdles right now is the difficulty to get things up and running and then to be able to customize it.
          • Java script frameworks like jQuery make using web services really simple. If the core system made data available through REST calls the overhead would be acceptable in almost all cases. Also using this approach (web services) makes it easy to integrate with other sources of information, extend the existing system (in whatever language the coder knows)
          • Client storage. SQL Light in the browser could eliminate some of the overhead if needed.
          • Asynchronous http requests for long running jobs would allow the backend to push data as it becomes available.
          • Running a browser in fullscreen mode doesn't screw with the underlying window manager or system like current nghost does.
          • It would be possible to use the UI from your phone or desktop


          Some slides on html 5 http://apirocks.com/html5/html5.html#slide1
          website

          Comment


          • #6
            @btilford
            I was thinking of similar things but connectivity to the net is one major problem for many people due to location or phone service
            jquery would really allow a lot of cool things to happen on the UI side.

            @tripzero
            !!! I am not trying to bad mouth OM, I actually really like it and if anything, frustrated that it is not ready for my needs

            As you said the toolkit is the key here. Camino started with the base code of firefox and paired it to OSX with the native toolkit thus creating a following of mac users including myself.

            It's undefined.
            OHHHHHH yes, that is a major reason why I'm starting to speak out and possibly why BlueHawk started another thread here. lolo, the timing of this is pretty interesting!!!)

            Also, I had chosen to go with a wintel platform because I really felt and sensed that OSX and the FEs available would not allow me to have a similar experience as the wintel group can achieve. (And I am a mac fanboi !)

            ** Could my idea co-exist with OM?
            Possibly! I could see OM being the major framework that would support the 3 major OSes! (??? Does xp/7 support objective C ??? <- that is what OM is written in isn't it?)

            On top of OM would be what I'm imagining and I guess xp/7 FEs could be done also.

            ** skinning
            I do understand that point but the underlying core code and the available core OS APIs are going to make the skins possible or not. You did bring up the touchscreen issue as a really good example! (I still need to research this further)

            @ crossovers / mashups
            I can't really think any example here at mp3car. However, the blue tooth integration through Blue Soleli, AMP, windows media is almost what I'm thinking.

            However, the creators of those regular desktop projects are not involved with what we are doing. Thus loosing a huge chance to do more with what is available.

            I do agree that a pure desktop application does not fit the carpc environment. But what about the core code?

            @ carpc is a hobby
            Yes, from what I've seen here most FEs are just that a hobby for simple reasons such as time, money and motivation. Being a programmer myself (to some extent) I can really understand these issues and understand what is going on. This was one issue I brought up in my other thread about similar issues.

            I really think what is being done here could be taken to a broader market IF the buy in to a carpc could be lowered enough so that those sitting on the fence could jump in.

            Comment


            • #7
              You know what, I would like to add here as the Mac FE newbie of sorts, I guess I'm looking for a pond to jump in. Right now, I haven't even found a place to start testing my Macry in, and in my search, SapparoGuy is dead on about certain issues I face in trying FE's.

              How much of a newbie am I? The closest I got to a FE was a demo of QCar, which by the way, gave me a mac version of PSUmoni which I'm eternally grateful for. What I would like in a front end, like everyone here is saying, is an app that successfully blends in bluetooth calling with GPS, with my music/movies library, and with my possible internet usage (when off road...)

              But for me, if I can tinker around with it, that's great. But I also want a solution that doesn't require much tinkering. In essence, the iTunes of FE.

              Mac FE's to me are still a reality. And perhaps this Open Mobile (if I can find it) is a step in that direction. There is a gentleman Blue Hawk Solutions looking to take a stab at it. As long as I use spaces to toggle between iTunes, VirtualBox/Garmin Mobile PC, and BluePhoneelite (which ironically is not agreeing with my USB Blue Microphone), I will believe in an awesome Mac front end.

              Ok. I'm done.
              All systems are a go...
              Currently in "tweaking" mode.

              The Worklog

              Comment


              • #8
                Sorry, I keep getting lost regarding "feeling like osx." OM is written in C#, which allows it to be cross-platform, and as tripzero mentioned, will interface with the needed OS specific APIs. Its written specifically to be the opposite of "crossovers/mashups" which if im reading your definition correctly (and hopefully in not), is just multiple applications operating incoherently with each other under a skinned interface. OM is being designed with the intent of allowing intelligent communication between plugins through the OM framework. With its (soon to be hardware accelerated) animation and skinning abilities, you can make it look and feel like OSX, Win7, win98, mac98?, Linux89?, or even a car-centered front end!

                And HTML5... Im going to go ahead and vote no on that one, sorry Steve Jobs.

                Comment


                • #9
                  @ OM
                  Once again, this is not an idea to circumvent OM. Possibly rather bring OM to mainstream of all 3 major OS platforms (win, mac, linux).

                  @ crossover
                  I am thinking of crossover meaning an application that had started as a desktop app moving into the car world.

                  @ mashup
                  I am thinking of taking several different applications to create a core resource for what is being done here.

                  @ current state of FEs
                  How many active programmers are actually working on this to provide us with something better?
                  How many programmers have gone MIA because of personal reasons and what not but who might have stayed on if there was more coherency in what is going on?

                  I have dropped quite a few different projects since I got busy or some other thing caught my interest. I am sure many others are similar.

                  I thinking that if we could get some kind of group consensus for a core framework (vote currently is going towards OM), put together some kind of project management system in place, recruit several programmers to share duties and goals that we here at mp3car could do something really nifty! Basically creating a foundation something similar to many other net projects have done, ie Mozilla, plone and such.


                  @ applications
                  I keep seeing everybody ask for the same things:
                  music
                  video
                  GPS
                  bluetooth
                  OBD
                  wifi
                  GUI that just works -- iphone, webOS

                  Why don't we find people to bring their code into our world?
                  Which is why I brought up the crossover/mashup idea.

                  (I'm going to use mac apps as examples here)
                  Talk to the VLC guys, to the bluephone elite guys, quicksilver guys (including nocturne) and such to adapt their APIs or create APIs so that we can lock into their code and save time and work for people who are working on the framework for a carpc.

                  What this will do is bring to our cars mature code, functionality and just an over all kick butt experience.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    @crossover/mashups
                    I see what you are trying to say, but I still feel that method does not offer the level of intelligent integration that the seasoned windows users have been looking for, and thus development of a MAC frontend, should not be done a step below that which is offered on other platforms.

                    Originally posted by SapporoGuy View Post
                    @ OM
                    I thinking that if we could get some kind of group consensus for a core framework (vote currently is going towards OM), put together some kind of project management system in place, recruit several programmers to share duties and goals that we here at mp3car could do something really nifty! Basically creating a foundation something similar to many other net projects have done, ie Mozilla, plone and such.
                    I'm not sure how long you have been following OM, but this has been implemented. OM is actively recruiting developers and testers for all platforms. A few months ago, their was no interest coming from the mac or linux community, version 0.6 dropped cross-platform support, in order to finalize the interfaces for radios, playlists, and other forms of multimedia. Now that interest is peaking again from the other platforms, cross-platform compatibility is being implemented again. So, if you are really interested in having a part in bringing something to the mac platform, sign up for the dev team on the OM forum.

                    One thing I will go ahead and mention, GPS and turn-by-turn navigation is where a mac frontend is going to fall short. Let's face it, there is NO mac GPS software out their that I know of, and the open source projects such as Navit, are still in their infancy, and just not capable of RELIABLE use in a car enviroment. So anyone have any suggestions on this hurdle?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Taking desktop apps and refactoring them to work in the car may not be as easy as you think. I think most developers don't think of abstracting the UI from the core code. Most developers have no reason to do that sort of extra work. In which case you'll be better off rewriting it from scratch and maybe taking an idea or two from the other app where possible.

                      Taking core subsystems like bluetooth, telephony, gps, etc and making them work together has worked though. That's also exactly what the other frontends do.

                      The difficulty with developing on the Mac is the same for Linux, there are some critical missing gaps. Namely, navigation. It's a chicken and the egg because neither platforms have the market to justify a commercial Linux/Mac solution and there will never be the market until that critical gap is filled.

                      When I started this hobby several years ago, I wanted to do it right. I don't think Windows or (and especially) the Mac are really open enough to create a system how it should be and I didn't want to just write another replacement shell that ran on top of a shell that isn't needed and consumes resources. The OS should be something that starts quickly, provides the core subsystems and then gets the hell out of the way. That's it!

                      One of the lessons I learned from doing the LinuxICE thing is that you really can't with any small effort create enough of a community and movement to cover all the gaps. I now believe that to do it "right" you must have some sort of commercial effort behind it. I think the same will hold true on the Mac. You need to fill the gap to get users and you can't fill the gap when your doing this part time with only yourself and maybe a few others. You need time (and money) and dedicated full-time developers.

                      Another strategy is what I'm trying now, which is to take an existing system and with it an existing community and building on top. MeeGo has a touchscreen based UI framework and apps that can be easily used. There are some gaps, but many of those can be filled. But more importantly, MeeGo has a bunch of commercial companies backing it and a huge community supporting it. For what it's worth... I'm just throwing out the info so you can do what you will with it.
                      Former author of LinuxICE, nghost, nobdy.
                      Current author of Automotive Message Broker (AMB).
                      Works on Tizen IVI. Does not represent anyone or anything but himself.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        @ navigation
                        I have never really looked into this but found this ... roadnav

                        I do agree though that turn-by-turn navigation is extremely limited on OSX but many of us already have a iphone and GoogleMaps are the place that we already turn to. (lolo, that was a pun wasn't it )

                        @ meego
                        Another interesting solution ... have you been able to gather anybody from there to help?

                        @ outside application developers
                        Recruiting within mp3car is not really what I was thinking.

                        A "passive approach" has not worked so far so I am thinking that if we were to "actively approach" some of these outside open source groups who are still being some what active we might be able to get them on board and motivate them once again to push even further along.

                        @ organization
                        I really do think that the community here needs to step back for a second and decide which way it wants to go. Stay a hobby or build some kind of foundation/consortium.

                        Obviously there benefits and draw backs to both sides.

                        But with a foundation such along the types of the linux foundation I think that we could start building energy that would draw in a larger and wider base of people to draw from.

                        @ money / time
                        With a foundation in place time could be spread out among groups/individuals to work on what they do best.
                        coders, designers, managers, marketers

                        I do realize that we are talking thousands of man hours here. Obviously, NOT just a few days.

                        With a game plan firmly in place (from what I've seen ICE and OM are doing really good here) we could take this to outside people for donations!

                        kickstarter allows you set up projects to ask for donations ($1~$10k). AND you keep full control of your project. There are even other sites that do the same.

                        Getting out and creating a buzz is really important!

                        @ functionality
                        I came across mp3car looking for a handsfree solution for my iphone. Alpine and Parrot were the obvious choices but after seeing what I saw on youtube I was hooked. I'm sure there are many others out there who come here along similar lines.

                        With a set plan and goals, outside resources supporting us, and a larger active user base this really could exciting fast!

                        @ coders
                        I do understand that coders are artists! I, also, understand their mentality. But this is where things get fuzzy and difficult. It really takes time to create the momentum that draws in people. Drupal is an excellent example of this. Drupal has been around for ages and has even outlived phpnuke - postnuke. Both of the original nukes were developer driven but couldn't / didn't make the switch. Another cms example would be etomite. Great idea but limited to only be surpassed by modxcms which is a foundation driven albeit coder heavy system.

                        I do not want to take control away from the programmers but rather find a system that would allow them to work on what they do best - code and at the same time get non-coders into the fray by having them focus on documentation, marketing, design and what not.

                        @ FEs developers
                        Has there ever been some kind of informal get together to try to work together?
                        You all could talk about what you're doing and consider the possibility of joining forces

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'm curious what a Mac front end would really target. An ideal carpc shouldn't really deal with the desktop, but should instead be all you ever interact with. What would a Mac offer a carpc? I can't really think of a feature you would gain. Plus, you'd be tied to more expensive, non car friendly hardware.

                          I'm really not trying to start some flame war or anything. I just don't think osx brings anything to the table but restrictions. I'm thinking there's a reason not many are using Macs in cars, and it's certainly not just the basicly lower market share.
                          2000 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer - Bi-Fuel Gasoline/CNG
                          Intel D945GCLF2 w/512MB RAM, CL Audigy w/KxProject, M2-ATX, Lilliput EBY701

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Don't worry about your comments turning into a flame war, since I think that each person has their own personal taste

                            @ hardware
                            For the most part, apple hardware is limited by what is available on the market, basically -- screwed.

                            @ osx
                            hmm, still haven't really come up with an opinion yet, since I'm still tinkering with XP as a carpc base.

                            @ car installs
                            From what I can gather macs in the car probably cost more and take more time to find all the parts in puzzle to join in the fun compared to going to ebay and buying a voompc + lilliput (which is dead simple).

                            One thing I'd give the mac mini a few points for is that if you ever get bored of your carpc you can always just drop it on your table and use it as a regular desktop again compared to custom enclosure wintel pcs

                            Also, there is always the hackintosh route!


                            On the above 3 points a wintel machine wins pretty much hands down. So, I can agree with you.

                            @ other factors
                            I guess a lot of the mac carpcs are being done to say that it can be done
                            Satisfaction is always a big motivator.

                            A possiblity for a lower mac count could be just simple mind share ... apple is like what ??? 5% of the pc market so, it would make sense that 5% of carpc market is apple.

                            @ desktop
                            An ideal carpc shouldn't really deal with the desktop, but should instead be all you ever interact with.
                            Now that is the holy grail
                            If that is a main target that I'd bet that tripzero's LinuxICE is aiming for that.

                            I don't really see this integration in centrafuse or RoadRunner (unless I have set them up improperly -- I'm xp dumb ) lolo, I probably need to set up some config that autostarts the programs ... but even then you still end up at the desktop one time or another.

                            @ why I'm thinking about OSX as a base ...
                            Xcode - SDK tools for osx
                            SproutCore ... said to be the javascript cod e that apple is using for interface widgets
                            Iphone -- no need for introduction


                            However, I really would like to see more outside developers getting involved

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SapporoGuy View Post
                              @ desktop

                              Now that is the holy grail
                              If that is a main target that I'd bet that tripzero's LinuxICE is aiming for that.

                              I don't really see this integration in centrafuse or RoadRunner (unless I have set them up improperly -- I'm xp dumb ) lolo, I probably need to set up some config that autostarts the programs ... but even then you still end up at the desktop one time or another.
                              This is why I still use StreetDeck2.. because everything IS in that single app, and the only time I ever see the desktop is when It's booting up.. so that's only for a few seconds, before I'm even in the car. I'll continue to use it until something better comes along (looks like OpenMobile will end up being it's replacement in my car).
                              2000 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer - Bi-Fuel Gasoline/CNG
                              Intel D945GCLF2 w/512MB RAM, CL Audigy w/KxProject, M2-ATX, Lilliput EBY701

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X