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Thread: is there ever going to be a fe

  1. #11
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    tripzero's Avatar
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    Steve thinks mac OS is a wonderful experience. Steve wants to run it on mobile devices. Steve realizes that mac OS would totally blow on a mobile device. Steve has developers take the good parts (the kernel, some middleware, etc) and build a completely new OS. Steve calls it iOS. It's all his, you can't have it. It's pretty, and a really great user experience, but you still can't have it. It's not free. It's Steve's.

    I really don't get how OSX is a viable option in the car. It's a desktop operating system just like windows except worse because there is probably even less support for car stuff than linux. As much as I hate to admit this, Steve was right, the only real solution is to take the good parts of OSX and start over from the bottom up. Only, you can't do that, because OSX is a locked down closed system. It's more closed than windows.

    To be fair, I really don't think there is a really viable solution in the car software world in stable form. Emerging free and open mobile operating systems will soon replace the frontend. It's only a matter of time.
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  2. #12
    Mod - all of it. SapporoGuy's Avatar
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    Stevey started with getting booted and then came up with some cool stuff. NextOS. Realized that it's GUI/UI was not user friendly so put some cool-aid on it and then watched all these nay sayers and eye candy booers later boot it up because their previous version was worse than mac os 9.

    osx core is free to download == darwin == BSD
    GUI/UI are Steve o's property, however xcode is free to download and to make apps with. iphone with it's access to millions of people is $99 a year (well at least to signup)

    Back to topic.

    GUI - I would refer to as being the graphics a bling that users visual see. Basically the theme.

    UI- are the elements that tie the GUI to the code. Thus the menus, location of buttons, usability features, the amount of user interaction and such. This is the area that programmers probably are the worse at. Not the graphics that so many will admit that they are horrible at.

    So I would say that the "experience" that I'm referring to is actually the UI.
    How many clicks do I have to go through to play my tunes.
    Where are the settings located? Are they organized into 1 central area or are they per application? Or even worse a mix between the 2???

    OSX UI is intuitive. Can I do it? yes. Can I find the location of the function easily? yes.
    XP UI is anywhere from great to WTF? Can I do it? yes. Can I find the function? yes, after googling how and then still going through loops.

    I truly hope that windows has fixed this with win7.

    I mentioned this in another thread when we were talking about user interaction while driving. CF has a doable theme but from there on out when you use the UI for a while you start to get frustrated when you realize that menus jump around when you go between functions.

  3. #13
    AMP Creator aychamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SapporoGuy View Post
    ummm, I asked months ago if people would like to see amp continue on ... nobody replied

    I guess they were hoping that bluehawk would provide their solution for the ipad/mac ...

    I keep playing with the idea of updating amp or creating my own but I don't own a mini to try out the in car experience. I guess I could use my macbook pro but that is not what I was intending.

    I just downloaded the latest xcode and I have been looking in things since I am very active on the web FE thread.

    I also keep asking myself if the ipad is a better solution to a mini ....

    Are you on intel or G4?
    I'm the original AMP developer. I'm obviously biased, but I still think it's the best front for a car based mac. The touch screen stuff worked, the music worked, video worked, pictures worked, it has some animations, etc. It could launch applications, it had a web browser, and I think I even wrote a war driver thing for it. Honestly I have no idea if the code even compiles anymore or anything like that. Like Bug Byte said, I'm just not aware of any decent Nav software.

    Perhaps a radical re-skinning and updating of AMP would be a nice front end?

    Also, I have no way of testing this, but if I remember AMP uses iTunes to play songs? Or I think it used iTunes for something. It wouldn't be difficult to re-write it to use iTunes to play songs, and then you could poll iTunes to get the current playing song info. That would be great for using an iPhone to control the playback of music through the front end. I think bluehawk is doing something along these lines, but they may be using a different framework to do it, I have no idea what's out there now. Also, it would be nice to remove the coredata thing from AMP and just have it parse out the itunesXML on startup.

    I just feel so conflicted about front ends. I just don't know what I'd use it for. I get in, my built in XM radio turns on, and I have the Opie & Anthony show come on. If I don't want to hear that, I have either hundreds of music channels, or I can plug my iPhone in.
    -

  4. #14
    Mod - all of it. SapporoGuy's Avatar
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    Hi aychamo!

    Glad that you stopped by! I, too, agree that your AMP is probably the best offering for the mac (well, at least until somebody steps up to the plate and surpasses what you have built).

    Not all of us live in the US or have an option of XM radio. I live in Japan and ... well ... a FE allows me to NOT go with a full fledge nav unit that does a lot but still is limited by the media that you can put on it being lack of FM stations, access through nav unit to the net or not wanting to plug-in multiple usb storage devices. Yes, to some extent a ipod/iphone/nav unit probably do all that I want but ... then I loose out on OBD and themes which allow me to be different. However, when accounting comes into consideration ... a FE does loose out. lolo, I should have just spent the $700 and bought the alpine and BT solution or the pioneer for a little less.

    Both AMP versions will compile under 10.6 using xcode.

    Would you mind answering a few questions about AMP?
    What are the major differences between 1.0 and 2.0?
    I saw that you were implementing a plug-in architecture, how far did you get with it?
    What would you have done different?

  5. #15
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    For the Nav: I successfully installed Navit on my Mac mini, is quite good!
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  6. #16
    AMP Creator aychamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SapporoGuy View Post

    Both AMP versions will compile under 10.6 using xcode.

    Would you mind answering a few questions about AMP?
    What are the major differences between 1.0 and 2.0?
    I saw that you were implementing a plug-in architecture, how far did you get with it?
    What would you have done different?
    I may be completely wrong here, BugByte probably knows a lot better than me:

    1.0 - This version of AMP was made specifically for the 800x480 touch screen. It only responded to touch input (mouse too?), and it's entire database was done using CoreData. This required you to run an "Importer" to get information from your iTunesXML file into AMP. I think this one had lots of good plugins, like a media importer (to copy files from a jump drive or whatever), a War Driver, and I don't know what else.

    2.0 - I don't know what I was doing here. I think it was meant for TV screens and car monitors. I don't know if it responded to touch input, or if only responded to arrow keys + enter + escape (essentially the buttons on the Apple remote.) I tried to make it adaptable to different screen sizes, but that didn't work so well either. This one did not use CoreData for the database. It read the iTunesXML file on startup, so it was much more friendly for adding files.

    2.0 was not a continuation of 1.0, it was a completely different program.

    The problem with 1.0 was that I'm a cruddy programmer and some of the things I was doing were archaic (and I still don't know any better!) Ie, if I wanted to send a message to another program, I wrote a file to disk and had the other program read it. In OS X there are much better ways to do it, but I had no idea how (and still don't!) I don't know how to truly do a plugin, so AMP1.0 was a huge monolithic beast. Honestly it didn't hurt performance, but it made it hard to add onto sometimes.

    There's gotta be a good way to stream XM radio into these front-ends. There are lots of Mac programs that do it, as long as you have a login/password for XM radio. That would be a neat thing to investigate. But I imagine people would be hard-pressed to give up their tricks? (or maybe not?) When we tried putting XM in AMP we were just using AppleScript to control another program. I'm not sure if BugByte did it in a different manner. But if we could figure out how apps like Radium, ooTunes, etc, do it, that could be really neat.
    -

  7. #17
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    Amp 2.0, was called Kindle, and was Aychamo's media program and, as he mentioned, a version of Amp 2.0. It was released as open source. Amp 1.0 was not.

    We forked Kindle and called it AmpXM because the main difference was you could control an XM radio with it. The interface was much different and looks quite a bit like FrontRow.

    Since my buddy was the one that wrote an original XM control program using java, he integrated it into AmpXM. We were both using Griffin Powermate controllers at the time and simply mapped the Powermate keypresses to the Kindle/Amp2.0 requirements (which were built around the use of an Apple remote).

    I don't think there would be much effort required to add touchscreen to AmpXM. I always used it in the car until ICE3 came along and it was one of my favorite FE's -solid, stable, worked well with iTunes.
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  8. #18
    Mod - all of it. SapporoGuy's Avatar
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    Thanks guys for the information!

    hmmm,
    What version did I download from here?
    I thought that I had version 1.4 (1.0 ??) and 2.0 -- both were source code downloads.

    2.0 was definitely a TV type of application.

    I also noticed the itunes from the bluehawk thread.

    * The reason that I stopped working on a mac FE was that I really want handsfree. I spent days googling for example code but only came up with applications that paid for shareware types. hehe, I'm a php/perl type of programmer.
    * I also would like the app to be based on plug-in architecture. Nothing wrong with a monolithic approach but I really want this ability so that the FE can start with a framework and then move forward at it's own pace.

    I still keep flipping around the idea to move on this but ... for some reason ... I guess I was hoping the community to chime in. I guess it's a Field of Dreams type of thing. If I build it they will come ???

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by SapporoGuy View Post
    Thanks guys for the information!

    hmmm,
    What version did I download from here?
    I thought that I had version 1.4 (1.0 ??) and 2.0 -- both were source code downloads.

    2.0 was definitely a TV type of application.

    I also noticed the itunes from the bluehawk thread.

    * The reason that I stopped working on a mac FE was that I really want handsfree. I spent days googling for example code but only came up with applications that paid for shareware types. hehe, I'm a php/perl type of programmer.
    * I also would like the app to be based on plug-in architecture. Nothing wrong with a monolithic approach but I really want this ability so that the FE can start with a framework and then move forward at it's own pace.

    I still keep flipping around the idea to move on this but ... for some reason ... I guess I was hoping the community to chime in. I guess it's a Field of Dreams type of thing. If I build it they will come ???
    if you have the mac dev skills you really only need to code up a few platform specific functions and you get OM on osx.

  10. #20
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    I have to say, i've been disappointed by OM. It promised much, and I was impressed and loved the PC version, was MORE than happy and indeed clamouring to get the beta's, but it just never ever materialised. I'm not a coder at the end of the day i'm a user.

    Amp was/is VERY good, and is currently whats running on my G4 mac mini in the back of my MX-5. It's missing one thing and one thing only in my opinion. iPod support!

    If someone could make iPod support a reality on AMP, I would pretty much love them for ever. It's the only thing that kills it for me. (mostly because upon hard acceleration, it's not a standard 5, I doubled the power output) it stops playing music, due to the HD unable to read properly.

    I am also contemplating seeing what XBMC is like on such an old machine with a really barebones interface.

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