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New Linux Project (windows maybe)

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  • New Linux Project (windows maybe)

    So I reached some major stopping points with my python app. mainly supporting touchscreen use when a movie is playing and python is just too slow in some spots. I was contacted by a new member to the board but a long time mp3car user about developing a totally new app in a higher level language.

    This app will mainly be developed in linux but HOPEFULLY will also work in windows. So you windows users can put in your two cents.

    We are looking to see what people want in their app. I know about the other threads out there but times change. We have decided on making a core that people can attach and detach modules too. It has to be highly skinable.. You just don't change the look but you can change the layout also. We are just looking for ideas that go beyond that standard options like play all mp3s in a directory or such.

    thanks for the help
    '98 Explorer Sport (down atm)
    AMD 800mhz 192megs RAM 60gig hard drive 9 inch widescreen VGA
    80% done

  • #2
    Hey guys, I would be the new member. Little background about me, I'm 25, currently own a Dodge Avenger Stage 5 Turbo, w/ all the bells and whistles. I run/own which is a club based on the Avenger/Sebring models.

    As far as this project. I have been writing code in various languages (C++, VB, Perl, PHP, ASM, Python, Rexx, and Pascal/Delphi) for about 9 years, 6 of which I have done so professionally.

    As Mike has said, we'd like to build a framework for a very customizable, expandable, and configurable system. You don't need to say "We want an MP3/Video player", because that's the obvious. I guess we're looking for the extremes of what you'd want it to do.

    Currently, I have a functioning Qt/KDE designed solution that is for the most part functioning. I have some features that some of you(from what I have seen) would be interested in. Auto-Dim features, Cam support, the ability to upload your mp3/movies from your home pc(using a seperate application), being able to use a PDA to control specific functions, etc.

    Hope to get some good ideas from you guys, and looking forward to starting this project.



    • #3
      Hey guys..

      I've been waiting for someone to develop something exactly like you guys said.. I see all these new car-media apps but unfortunately they're all static in respect to customization (sure you can skin, but you can't really go beyond that). I'd love to work on this with you guys, but I really don't have time.. However, one question I have for you guys is how will you support GPS? Although I've never explored the Linux side of GPS apps, the commercial products I've seen are for Windows. I'm sure there are Linux GPS apps, but do/will they provide high-detail maps and the features of some of the better Windows GPS apps? Other than that, I think this will work out fine. Also, for Windows support do you guys plan on running cygwin?



      • #4
        I currently have GPS running in my car on Linux. There wasn't a great solution at the time, so mine is based on data from TIGER. Though as this whole project is coming up, I am going to check out some of the other GPS utils for Linux, and see what could be used to improve on the one that I have.

        As far as Windows portability, we're probably going to be going w/ Qt, which is portable between windows, and linux, so there won't be the need for Cygwin.


        • #5
          Count me in for some testing at least. I can't profess to know much about coding other then the mandatory one class for engineering. However I can probably do some testing with Linux. I've played mostly with Mandrake now and feel somewhat confident in my abilities but I'm still learning.

          On a side note, any chance of combining this with a distro like damnsmalllinux and making it specific to the EPIA hardware. Sort of like we have been talking in the other threads?

          Finally GPS is definitly a must I would think. I played around with GPSdrive and liked what I saw but downloading maps was a pain in the butt. If there was a program that would download the stuff for you and put it all together that would be sweet. Not sure of any other GPS programs available.


          • #6
            I understand your concern about OSD in your app. It is just a technical question though. I don't see any major problem there, just didn't have time to work on that still...
            Regarding slowliness from Python, I think you're wrong. In most cases if you use proper sintax and some optimization techiniques, it shouldn't make any difference. Especially in multimedia app where gfx subsystem takes all.
            Regarding features I want in my car is: GPS, GPS, GPS.
            So many apps out there under linux that I can use for media player. I don't bother about mp3/divx/dvd anymore. But the GPS is a main showstopper.
            Car pc integration with ease
            Car mediacenter


            • #7

              i'm sure its my syntax. Don't worry about getting OSD working.. i understand that time is very limited.. I myself seem to have no time for a month straight. We were talking about GPS a lot and an idea of trying to rip out maps from like mappoint to use in the app. I'm just wondering if there are any legal issues.. like if you own mappoint can you use the maps outside of mappoint.
              '98 Explorer Sport
     (down atm)
              AMD 800mhz 192megs RAM 60gig hard drive 9 inch widescreen VGA
              80% done


              • #8
                Sure you can use maps that you bought in your own way.
                The maps is a one side of the problem though. You would need street names, road directions and such and such. I don't even talk about the points of interest.
                It would be nice to start from GPS first and then put other modules like audio or video along... I can even assist in putting it together in a very flexible way.
                Car pc integration with ease
                Car mediacenter


                • #9
                  One thing I am wanting: I would love to have a front end that for playing mp3's is like WinAMP's Media Library except a little different. Instead of when you click on an artist/album/song it just selects it and then if you wanna play it you double click. It could be where clicking on a artist/album/song selects it and allows you select others with just a click(no shift key required). Then to play you have a button to press or if you just want to Enque it you click the enque button. Just a thought

                  I will prolly come up with some other things.
                  1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee
                  Working On: Fixing wireless network interference
                  Specs: 8.4inch vga touch, 1.?? ghz, 256 DDR, 4gig OS HD, 120gig Media HD, opus


                  • #10
                    I have an idea w/ the GPS maps thing. Alot of applications(yes, even some windows ones) use mapblast maps, etc. What if one were to write an application that would pull the image for a zipcode(say mine, 07866), rip the image, then drill down the details, etc.(zoom in, left/right/up/down) Until a complete image is gathered. Though it may be somewhat time consuming(even being automated), a full and complete "map" would be created. Does this sound a little stupid to anyone? (just an idea, to try and get around legal issues using MapPoint maps, or something to that effect).

                    And as far as "I bought it, it's mine I can use it as I wish" type thing, that's not the case. There would have to be some checking done into the MapPoint EULA to see what is there. From a developer's standpoint, it's often covered that distributed materials are not to be "reverse engineered", which is what we'd be doing with MapPoint. Anyone care to check that out for us?

                    And as far as Python's speed. I've been doing this quite a while, and yes, it CAN be fast, but the trouble you have to go through to get it to a point that it's worth it, is in the end, not worth it. Granted, it's a sweet language, easy to look at, use, etc. It is (for large scale applications) a slow language, compared to C, C++, or even VB(for specific things, NOT including math functions, lol)..


                    • #11
                      Ohh, and as far as damnsmalllinux like distro, I think it's hijinks intention to get this to a point that it is a full distro. I am going to assume, since I will be the one running this in my car that the distro would be created mainly off my box's ./ ..

                      Things I KNOW you'll see is updated RPM's quite a bit, and source files as well. Maybe I'll even setup an apt-get server for some of you, if there is interest. (not really sure how many Linux users you have here).. And yes, I will try and keep the dependancies as low as possible. (I can't stand them sometimes)


                      • #12
                        If this thing comes together it will rock! Finally a way to ditch unstable windows and get a customized platform for our cars.

                        I like bigb's idea on how to get the GPS stuff going. Personally I wouldn't mind just having a scrolling map at first that is zoomable. Later on if people develop interest in the project maybe a complete navigation solution could be started but for the begining just keep it simple, unless some of you programers know how to do this in the first place...

                        Anyway, I'm excited where this is headed!


                        • #13
                          I think gpsdrive can be a starting point for the gps.
                          It may use mapblast/expedia in semiautomated fashion, so it shouldn't be a big deal to use their scripts to begin with...( geo-code -> gpsfetchmap -> .gif )
                          Car pc integration with ease
                          Car mediacenter


                          • #14
                            I played around with GPSdrive and I was impressed with it's ability to download maps as well as it's features and user interface. The thing that put my off from deciding to move to it was the pain in downloading maps for the area desired.

                            If a feature where added that would allow a user to select say a state like California and then select the level of zoom for maps downloaded and then let the thing chug away that would get GPSdrive moving. I know there is a script to do this but a nice user interface would be so much easier to work with. How hard would it be to add this?

                            On another note I was thinking it would be nice to have an interface that combines both MP3 and GPS capabilities onto the screen at the same time. I think most systems swap between solely GPS and MP3 but I think a completly integrated version almost like a "hybird" of the two would be a great option to have. There would of course be some sacrifice on space on the screen but it would mean less swapping between screens and perhaps seem more integrated for the car. There could be sole GPS and MP3 screens that could be switched to if the user wanted to do something particular with either of them.


                            • #15
                              I have been playing with the same thought for a little while, considering irmp3 as the core, and creating a qt frontend. Modules would have to be made for mplayer and maybe bluetooth. (check out bluexmms for ideas)
                              Anybody tried running any windows gps-apps with Wine (windows emulator)?
                              If our efforts could be combined, I may contribute with C++, C and perl programming.