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Thread: FreewayUltra Continued Development - Roadmap

  1. #1
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    FreewayUltra Continued Development - Roadmap

    Just so everyone knows, I am trying to pick up where Oeri has left off. I have been cleaning up the source and fixing some annoyances/bugs within the software. Unfortunatly the source is not very well documented, so it is taking me some time to figure it all out. I am kind of new to C# but I have been a VB.net programmer for some time, and I am always up for a challenge.

    I have been thinking about FE software in general and one thing I have noticed and from the replies to this forum regarding FreewayUltra is that most of the FE's are very "clunky". Many times including features that you will never use. So I have decided to change the way FreewayUltra works. The skin engine will stay the same, however, features that are currently included in Freeway Ultra will no longer be included in the "core" application unless you include them. For those of you who are familiar with DotNetNuke, phpNuke, or Nagios you know that there is a "core" application and then there are plugins. The plugins are what add features to the software itself. For instance if you don't need forums in DotNetNuke you don't install them. Same thing is going to apply with Freeway. This will keep the foot print of the software very small and very fast. Also, it will allow others to develop just modules for the software and not have to worry about the core or skinning. As the new modules will use some of the same skin elements that will be included into the core.

    Let me know what you think. Pros, Cons, etc.. Let's keep this constructive!

    -Axel

  2. #2
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    Sounds good to me Axel.
    Lets see if we can sort this code out I have made a couple of bug fixes already. Software crashing on load of library due to missing statement in the thumbpic lines. Now mostly working except mplayer crashes out. Might be an idea to look into using Winamp for the backend as it is established and easy to interface. Will be looking into the code this evening and having a look at skinning the player to see how complex it is.

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    After a bit of fiddling tonight the Mplayer actually works quite well and is less resource hungry than winamp. Going to keep running with this one

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    Quote Originally Posted by monzablue16v View Post
    After a bit of fiddling tonight the Mplayer actually works quite well and is less resource hungry than winamp. Going to keep running with this one
    I just sent you a PM regarding the website. I noticed that mplayer in .214 was not actually closing when Freeway was shutdown. The process 'pMplayer' was never being closed. I noticed that it was still running in the task manager. I am not sure if that was fixed in the version that you have or not.

    -Axel

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    It would appear so now. I had the same problem with the old source. I had to comment a line out on the Library create section as it was crashing out once a library file was created and run a second time. Other than that seems much more stable and useable. Oeri has done a good job coding it, it just needs taking to the next level and making more programmer friendly you also need the dll for flash which is now in with the source as it's a bugger to track down.

  6. #6
    Freeway Creator oeri's Avatar
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    Hi, everyone, just checking up. I scourged my hard drives and could not find a more recent copy of the source. I'm always swapping out hardware/formatting drives, so good chance it's lost forever. It's great to see that some enthusiasts are trying to continue where I left off. Good luck, that code is a real piece of crap -- my first attempt at a C# program, without classes or modules or any of that good stuff.

    I really wish I had more time to work on this, but Facebook developing and classes are very time consuming right now. I'd like to start over from scratch again because I know I could make something about 1,000 times better now. I'd really like to see an SQL library and an internal scripting engine.

    We'll see what happens this summer. Thanks everyone for sticking around.
    - oeri

  7. #7
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    Well monzablue16v has decompiled the .219 release and we are working off of that. Currently we are working on cleaning up the code and creating classes and making a little more readable. I am new to C# but I am familiar with C++ so the transition is not that hard. I have been programming VB.NET for a while and alot of it is the same. I have been meaning to learn C# so this is a good chance. I hope that we will have a new release soon, that will fix a number of small bugs, and add some features to the software as well. One of the directions that we have discussed is to make the entire program modularized, so that different modules can preform different duties. But that will not be implimented for a while we have a ways to go before we get there.

    -Axel

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    Good luck. And keep us posted.

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    Just checking to see, if there are any development in this! The idea of a core/plugin based frontend is very apealling. Exactly what I've been looking for. This could make the Frontend adaptable to any hardware specification. It could be small and light, for those with Via MII and the likes, or packed with all the options you can think of, for the heavy feature hungry crowd.

    I've had a laptop in my car, for almost 3 years now. Started out with Roadrunner, as this seemed to be the most used Frontend. Lack of proper navigation, for europe anyway, made me try Centrafuse, when it was still beta. Switched back to Roadrunner, when Centrafuse went gold, and came with a nice pricetag. Fortunately, (I think it was CdrSkull) found out, to use Destinator from Centrafuse in Roadrunner. This made Roadrunner useful, although it's not a great integration.

    Never had high demands for functionality. Mainly I use mp3, gps and phone. And in that order, I might add. Phone, I think, is a nice to have feature, not a need to have. I also use Shutcontrol, which could be made as a plugin, same with AmpCtrl, and maybe somekind of speed regulated volume control. Radio could also be nice, although I have failed in finding any useful hardware. Last time I bought a Silab, but with very disappointing results, unless the car was not moving! My primary concern, is a lightweight, stable platform. Don't need all the flashing lights and neons ;-)

    Regards to skins, I dont have much to say. A nice and clean oem looking skin, would be all I need.

    So this is my take, on the 2 systems I've tried:

    - RoadRunner:
    Really nice frontend, with a very big supporting community. Millions of options for anything one can think of. Alot of great skins, unfortunatly not many is ever finished. Can be very confusing to start out with, as one as to "fiddle" alot with it, to get it right.
    Main drawback, as I see it. Has become too complex + the lack of proper gps integration for europe.

    - CentraFuse:
    Nice and clean frontend. Works right out of the box. Almost all settings can be done, from within the frontend (touchscreen). Great gps integration with Destinator.
    main drawbacks, not freeware and phonecontrol can be very annoying, althoug this is to be solved very soon. Also, not that many skins to choose from.

    Lastly, I've looked at CdrSkull's own upcoming frontend, FreeICE (can be found at http://www.digital-car.co.uk/forum/s...astpost&t=8575 ). Made around mediaplayer, mainly with flash. To early to say much, as this is very alpha. I am concerned with the choice of mediaplayer and flash, as this is bound to be ressource hungry. But let's see, what skully comes up with, if he ever gets it done.

    So yes, I really think there is room for another frontend. I can only hope, that this will happen, as projects here, tend to die quickly. I can offer my help, but unsure if I can constribute with much, as I have no programming skills. Of course, I'll be happy to test out anything, in a live car enviroment. Also any translation to danish, if thats of any value.

    Cheers, and good luck.

    /Michael

  10. #10
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    Well development continues. I have not uploaded any new source in a while. Personally I have been busy with other aspects of life, and unfortunately FreewayUltra has to take to the back burner for a little while. I am hoping to work on it again here soon, as some of the projects and year end things are now completed. As always I am always looking for developers, if you know anyone that would be interested let us know.

    I have created a website for FreewayUltra at: www.ascentracom.com/freewayultra also I have a bug tracker project here: bugs.ascentracom.com.

    I tend to agree most FE's seem to be bloated and come with features that I have no intention to use. I have no need for video playback while I am driving down the road.

    You have posted some very good information and definitely some food for thought, as always feedback from other users is very useful.

    Thanks,

    -Axel

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