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Thread: Why Not a Flash Front End?

  1. #1
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    Why Not a Flash Front End?

    First let me say I have yet to see a front end for Mac that doesnt leave a bit to be desired. It certainly gets my wheels turning - makes me really wonder if I have the potential to personally make one to my liking.

    So I'm a Multimedia major in college, and I'm currently working at an internship, both of which all I do is pretty much work with Adobe Flash. There's a setting where you can export your project as a Windows .exe or as a Mac OSX .app. So, granted, I cant program for OSX, but I can certainly work with Flash. I've toyed around with the idea of using Flash to make a stellar Mac front end.

    Has anyone else attempted this route, or thought about it?

    I'm really considering it!

  2. #2
    Variable Bitrate natedawgg's Avatar
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    check out my app up top, NASair. it is actually built using flex and compiled with adobe air. it is not complete, mainly because i have been getting burried at work. there are some inherent problems that i have run into by using the flash/flex route. first flash does not like to give you access to any hardware whatsoever. if you are using AIR you will get access to the file system which is a must, but you still have no way of getting data from something like a gps receiver or any other external hardware, or internal for that matter. I am planning to get back to active development, but the whole project was just sort of a side project for myself to have a front end that fit my needs. feel free to write your own. ill be glad to give any assistance that i can
    Check out the new version of NAS, a cross platform music frontend here

  3. #3
    Maximum Bitrate galvitron's Avatar
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    Not having access to hardware is a pretty big roadblock...
    2006 Lancer Evolution IX MR In-Dash PC Project - WIP

    Planning:
    [----------] 100%
    Purchasing:
    [----------] 90%
    Installation/Fab/Assembly (Revised v2):
    [----------] 90%


  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by natedawgg View Post
    check out my app up top, NASair. it is actually built using flex and compiled with adobe air. it is not complete, mainly because i have been getting burried at work. there are some inherent problems that i have run into by using the flash/flex route. first flash does not like to give you access to any hardware whatsoever. if you are using AIR you will get access to the file system which is a must, but you still have no way of getting data from something like a gps receiver or any other external hardware, or internal for that matter. I am planning to get back to active development, but the whole project was just sort of a side project for myself to have a front end that fit my needs. feel free to write your own. ill be glad to give any assistance that i can
    Thanks! That's kind of the answer I was looking for, as far as pros and cons, etc. Thanks for your offer of assistance, perhaps I'll take you up on that if I ever get time to work on a front end. lol

  5. #5
    Variable Bitrate natedawgg's Avatar
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    no problem. if i can offer one good piece of advice to anybody thinking about creating a front end is to plan, plan, plan. make sure you have a very defined plan of attack to what you want your front end to do and where you want to go with it.
    Check out the new version of NAS, a cross platform music frontend here

  6. #6
    Low Bitrate ikon240's Avatar
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    it is possible to communicate with hardware if it can be communicated with via Java. Projects like Merapi would allow this. I am currently investigating using Merapi with something like JDash. I've PM'ed the JDash creator but he has not responded :-/ I would like nothing better than to see a legit front end in flash (read: I am also a Flex developer).

    http://www.merapiproject.net/

    Let me know what you think!

    cheers!

    ikon

  7. #7
    Variable Bitrate natedawgg's Avatar
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    this has been an idea that i had to get gps and other hardware dependent features working in NAS. i have not had time to delve into that side of the project yet for a couple of reasons, mainly the lack of a good native GPS solution on mac. theoretically, however, communication through a java app to the hardware would be feasible. i have not dealt with the project that you are referring to however, i wouldn't think it would be to terribly difficult to write an app that sits in the background a listens to the hardware. If you are interested, i could always use help in getting something like this set up. im getting close to polishing off the musical side of my frontend and will be getting ready to figure out a way to get a decent gps solution running. let me know if are interested.
    Check out the new version of NAS, a cross platform music frontend here

  8. #8
    Low Bitrate ikon240's Avatar
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    count me in as interested

    I am very interested. I know a few bang-up java developers that I could probably bribe to help with the java side of things. I used to do java but have little interest in it these days. I'd rather focus on the Flex front end. Really there are three things that would have to be accomplished by a flex front end that require hardware, namely: GPS, XM, OBD-II. If I had these three features in conjunction with Audio and Video playback, I'd be satisfied. I downloaded your app awhile ago just to check it out... don't remember if the source is available?

    ikon

  9. #9
    Variable Bitrate natedawgg's Avatar
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    at this point source is not available. i plan to release the source very soon. i want to go in and clean up the code a little before i release it to the public. I actually just posted a new version of my front end a couple of minutes ago, it has some major bug and usability updates in it.

    the biggest problem that i see is going to be GPS. i am not in the market to write a gps solution from scratch. have started to look at linux a lot lately and there is an opensource gps app named Navit that i believe someone was able to compile in OSX. in fact i think Qcar was going to use it. it is still lacking some major features, namely U.S. maps but i think they are fast approaching a remedy for that. for me XMradio is not a big deal for me as i don't use it or plan to. but if you are willing to put the work in to get that function working, then by all means go for it. I would love to see OBD-II working though.

    i would be willing to try my hand at java. it should not be that difficult to write an app like we would be needing. however, if you know somebody that could hash one up faster then, i say go down that road. either way i would really like to see this app turn into a full featured frontend one day.

    if you are seriously interested then i will speed up the code clean up and get you a copy and we can see what we can come up with.
    Check out the new version of NAS, a cross platform music frontend here

  10. #10
    Low Bitrate ikon240's Avatar
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    code clean-up

    Nate,
    I think this is quickly approaching a plan. If you want to do your code clean-up and get me a copy of the source, we could chat and figure out what would need to happen architecture-wise with your app in order to support these features (and others as we come up with them). I have been doing enterprise flex development for 2 years now, so I might have some good input on the direction and planning for the application. Mostly I would want to know that I was satisfied with the base architecture before we proceeded towards new (major) additions.

    I will be headed out of reach for a couple days here in about 2 hours, just FYI.

    ikon

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