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Thread: Why Not a Flash Front End?

  1. #31
    QCar Creator Jirka Jirout's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ikon240 View Post
    Can anyone think of a great application/library in c or c++ that they would love to see in a Flash-based front-end?
    Cocoa :-D Objective C started as a C preprocessor after all...

  2. #32
    Variable Bitrate Deric's Avatar
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    going back to the flash front end - MMC was a flash frontend though no complete free release has been made public it was really fast. If I remember correctly Ben was working on a MAC version.

  3. #33
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    Hasn't Flash always been rather... crappy for lack of a better word on the Mac? Many PPC Macs struggle badly to render Flash websites, and even some of the first Intel based Macs did as well. I know on my old Powerbook, a Flash movie or Flash-heavy website would always get the fans going.

  4. #34
    Low Bitrate ikon240's Avatar
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    Flash on Mac

    I can not speak to the PPC days, but I do Flex develoment by trade and have done the majority of my work on an intel macbook pro that is 3 years old. It runs great. Most of the Adobe employees at Adobe MAX use Macs to develop, so I am sure its only gotten better. Maybe the key was the intel switch? If not that, then definitely AS2 -> AS3, which saw a performance improvement of an order of magnitude (as3 is 10x faster than as2).

    -ikon

  5. #35
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    I'm sure you know more about it than me then.

    Even with the Intel switch, Flash videos (I'm talking purely playback via any web browser) suck up more processor to play than the same videos do on PCs for some reason. With the Core Duos+ it's a non-issue now, since there is plenty of processor power left - but there's something whacky in the way Flash and OS X work together.

    PPC was horrible though. My 1.5GHz G4 would take up close to 100% of the processor just to play a Youtube video. I just checked a Youtube video on my 2.33GHz Core 2 Duo and found it was still taking close to 48% (Safari, not Flash alone) when playing a Youtube video.

  6. #36
    Low Bitrate ikon240's Avatar
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    more research, approaching a plan!

    Well as I see it, the best direction for this project would be something like Velocity:
    New Front End: Velocity - Calling Flash Skinners

    Also here:
    http://digital-car.co.uk/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=45

    I really like Sama's architectural approach: Java backend with Flash front-end. All asynchronous event driven.

    I see no new posts on it for over a year, so maybe we could talk Sama into sharing the source so we can add/convert to an AS3/Flex front-end. At one point, Sama and I were discussing taking the AS2 stuff and porting it to AS3/Flex. He mentions that interaction in Post #10 on the mp3car forum link above (I used to work for a company that makes Flex-based kiosks).

    It also looks like AMP2/AMPXM uses a Java backend with Cocoa libs for the GUI. If you look at the FAQ for AMP2, they have already gotten XM radio to work using a java program on the back-end. Similar to JDash, AMP2 leverages an XM Direct Box which uses the java RXTXComm lib to communicate with serial devices. That means the approach for an XM module and the approach for an OBD module (JDash) is the same.

    I have started the necessary steps with the JDash source to work towards A) getting the Nissan Consult protocol implemented for JDash, and B) looking at getting JDash functionality into Flex via Merapi. Things are going well on this front.

    As for GPS goes, I've decided that IF we can get OBD and XM working, i'll buy a $200 4.3" Garmin Nuvi and mount it near my upper visor by my radar detector and call it good. Jirka points out several of the headaches involved with the amount of data processing required by GPS applications. It would otherwise be very simple to just get basic GPS data from a puck, in much the same way we'd do OBD and XM modules (serial communication), but the mapping and routing is another issue altogether. Now if we could assume good in-car internet connectivity, we could add a google maps module that would do something GPS-ish. A link was posted earlier to a Merapi project that used a puck and java lib to send constant updates to an Air application to plot current location on a google map. I think "good in-car internet" is still a few years out - due to pricing and ubiquity, but we'll assume this software is ahead of its time! By the time its actually written maybe the two will have caught up!

    -ikon

  7. #37
    Low Bitrate ikon240's Avatar
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    Vlc

    So for those who have used VLC, you know its the shizzle. What if, instead of mplayer (like velocity uses), we could use VLC? This would solve a big hurdle for playing video in a flex application (only native support for FLV video files).

    http://trac.videolan.org/jvlc/

    BAM! VLC Java library project to give you complete control of VLC from within a java application.

    I've PM'ed Sama to see if he wants to share the source for Velocity to support our common goal. It would potentially save a lot of time, but with JVLC and Merapi, I might just have to get my hands dirty with Java once again and start from scratch.

    Boy oh boy, I am so excited that this is all coming together so well, I feel like a kid a Christmas! Speaking of Christmas... Happy New Year to all. I will be traveling to Florida as of tomorrow morning. I'll be back in action by the 5th of January. I can get email and updates on my phone however, so I won't be out of touch altogether.


    -ikon

  8. #38
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    Wow guys, I forgot about my post!

    Glad to see all the commotion I started

    Has anyone made any progress with anything?

  9. #39
    Variable Bitrate natedawgg's Avatar
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    i have made some major updates to my flash (music only) frontend, NAS. i am still adding more features as we speak. We all still need to collaborate and come up with a common backend to handle all the modules.
    Check out the new version of NAS, a cross platform music frontend here

  10. #40
    Low Bitrate ikon240's Avatar
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    No

    Basically if you delegate all the "brains" to the java backend (or whatever backend would be used), you are not making a "flash" front-end anymore, rather just skinning a daemon. I am not saying that this is not still the best approach, but the flash portion would not stand on its own (would not provide its own functionality) and this is the biggest deviation I see from a project like NASAir.

    I have also been playing with the idea of a python backend... which could support java processes as well.

    -ikon

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