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Thread: Developer discussion thread

  1. #1
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    Developer discussion thread

    ATTENTION MAC DEVELOPERS

    So, we are in a great position in the in-car Mac environment. The possiblities are endless, and the mac platform provides stability and future improvements that we can only begin to imagine.
    However, this is a pivotal moment in the development cycle.
    It appears we have a small collection of dedicated developers who are each devoting their time and efforts to bringing their ideas to the table. Most importantly, all the developers are sharing their work in an open source manner. By creating Open source apps, we can truly consolidate our efforts and move a larger project forward.

    In an attempt to create a perspective here, i request that the current developers use this thread to discuss their current development, status, and how we can possiblity integrate functionality and create a group open source project to bring this Mac Front end a reality!

    BTW, this isn't the thread to say "Check out my front-end, its all you need".

    So, developers, here are some questions i have:

    What language is the app written in?
    What languages (aside from what you are currently using) are you proficient in?
    What method of interface would you like to offer? API? Plug-in infrastructure? Apple Scriptability?
    Would you be willing to create a sourceforge (or equivalent) site?
    If you could enlist the assistance of a developer, what skills would you be looking for?

  2. #2
    QCar Creator Jirka Jirout's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by avidan
    BTW, this isn't the thread to say "Check out my front-end, its all you need".
    I would not put it quite that way, but I would say "it has everything so you can make it all you need" ;-)

    What language is the app written in?
    Objective-C, few modules use embedded AppleScript (interaction with iTunes, filesystem etc.)

    What languages (aside from what you are currently using) are you proficient in?
    C, some relatively obscure microcontroller stuff, AppleScript, SQL ...

    What method of interface would you like to offer? API? Plug-in infrastructure? Apple Scriptability?
    My solution consists of host application, which provides Obj-C API for plug-ins that do all the acutal work. Technically the plug-ins are standard Cocoa bundles.

    Would you be willing to create a sourceforge (or equivalent) site?
    I have already done that, but there does not seem to be much interest in the solution, so it is more or less abandoned.

    If you could enlist the assistance of a developer, what skills would you be looking for?
    I would appreciate of help of someone who could design a good interface especially in terms of consistency and usability (without caring too much about effects). Sort of Human Interface Guidelines for creation of the plug-ins.

  3. #3
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    What language is the app written in?
    Applescript
    What languages (aside from what you are currently using) are you proficient in?
    PHP, Javascript...
    What method of interface would you like to offer? API? Plug-in infrastructure? Apple Scriptability?
    Scriptability - most flexible and easy to use
    Would you be willing to create a sourceforge (or equivalent) site?
    Possibly.
    If you could enlist the assistance of a developer, what skills would you be looking for?
    Java or objective-C stuff for interfacing with bluetooth phones and GPS apps.

  4. #4
    QCar Creator Jirka Jirout's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mahalis
    Scriptability - most flexible and easy to use
    Possibly easy to use, but the number of libraries/frameworks you can use is pretty limited...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by avidan
    What language is the app written in?
    Runtime Revolution
    What languages (aside from what you are currently using) are you proficient in?
    I wouldn't say I'm proficient, but I've worked with PHP a lot and a little Basic.
    What method of interface would you like to offer? API? Plug-in infrastructure? Apple Scriptability?
    Applescript
    Would you be willing to create a sourceforge (or equivalent) site?
    Perhaps
    If you could enlist the assistance of a developer, what skills would you be looking for?
    GPS or OBDII

  6. #6
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    What language is the app written in?
    Applescript but looking to convert to Objective-C/Cocoa App

    What languages (aside from what you are currently using) are you proficient in?
    My bro and I know a little bit of a few languages...Java..Basic...Objective-C and Applescript

    What method of interface would you like to offer? API? Plug-in infrastructure? Apple Scriptability?
    Scriptability/Plug-in infrastructure

    Would you be willing to create a sourceforge (or equivalent) site?
    I could if people were willing to use it

    If you could enlist the assistance of a developer, what skills would you be looking for?

    Primarily Objective C since we are still learning....Any work with bluetooth or GPS would be great too....OBDII could also be very helpful down the road
    JDKARR01
    Mac Mini(80 Gb/512Mb mem/Airport/Bluetooth)
    GPS(Route 66-hopefully something better soon)
    DWW-700M
    Progress[still buying stuff]

  7. #7
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    Jirka I took another look at your app and got it to load this time. Took me awhile to get all the buttons figured out. First off...it looks amazing. I really like it. If we could port it and make it more touch screen friendly then we would have a great start. I dont know if you like the layout of iKarr but that is the layout we came up with and a mixture of your module setup and our layout would be really nice for me at least. If you have any thoughts let me know or if anyone does for that matter.
    https://netfiles.uiuc.edu/joshkarr/iKarr/
    JDKARR01
    Mac Mini(80 Gb/512Mb mem/Airport/Bluetooth)
    GPS(Route 66-hopefully something better soon)
    DWW-700M
    Progress[still buying stuff]

  8. #8
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    I am very glad to see this thread moving along. I think what everyone has laid out what can be the framework for the master project.
    Jirka - I like the setup of your foundation app very much. It seems that Obj-C is the most powerful language for future growth (but has a steeper learning curve than some of the others).
    Your request for UI design assistance seems to have been answered. Have you seen iKarr? The UI work is quite mindful of the prevelant small touch screen interfaces that are cropping up in cars. Jirka, as i understand it, you are using the 6 button shuttle for UI interfacing, correct?
    I will be programming a serial interface for controlling the front end via steering wheel control. I would very much like this design to be based on the plug-in infrastructure.
    jdkarr, you have some very good UI design work, if you are looking to convert to Objective-C, perhaps we should all join in to create apps in Obj-C as Tatra plug-ins?
    Noodles, Mahalis, since you guys share a common language of choice, if you are interested in joining a group project, I believe xcode works with php
    http://developer.apple.com/internet/...edevtools.html

    If we can get a php interface to Jirka's app, we can create wap, wifi, and scraping webpage apps (its how i was planning to get highway speeds)

    I am excited to see movement here. Jirka, would you like to discuss you plug-in module infrastructure in more detail?

  9. #9
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    I agree avidan. I am not a programmer but rather an electrical engineer who is trying to push these projects but I will do my best to keep up. We also have my brother on board (otherkarr) who is more of a programmer. We are both new to Objective-C though. My .nib file is set up using interface builder. Basically it is just a tab view where each button makes a new tab visible. This should be pretty ease to use with Jirka's module setup(i.e. just let people pick up to 8 or 10 modules they could use and make those the buttons) Then the info he is passing to each of his module locations could just be ported to the tab. Jirka I really like how you set up the controls for use with your shuttle or whatever. If I had one I would love it but I am going touchscreen this time. I will start going through code and see if I can make heads or tails of it. I'm sure Jirka could probably do more from his end. Keep this train moving
    JDKARR01
    Mac Mini(80 Gb/512Mb mem/Airport/Bluetooth)
    GPS(Route 66-hopefully something better soon)
    DWW-700M
    Progress[still buying stuff]

  10. #10
    QCar Creator Jirka Jirout's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by avidan
    (but has a steeper learning curve than some of the others).
    The Objective-C itself is quite easy - it is really not much more than the regular C. The tricky part is to learn the Foundation Kit and AppKit classes so you know what to use, when and what for. And of course another tricky part, especially for people coming from environments like AppleScript, FileMaker etc. is the basic idea that "everything is an object". C++ guys also seem to have problem with the dynamic nature of ObjectiveC (you can send any message to any object, there is a "id" data type that can be anything etc.).

    Your request for UI design assistance seems to have been answered. Have you seen iKarr? The UI work is quite mindful of the prevelant small touch screen interfaces that are cropping up in cars.
    I have seen iKarr and the user interface concept is actually quite similar to mine - except I use sheets to display the "activated" modules and I can display something in the "passive" slot (button).

    However, what I had in mind was more the visual design of icons, buttons etc. I am quite happy with the style I used for System module, but I am not able to create other icons in the same style (look at "Online services") :-|

    Jirka, as i understand it, you are using the 6 button shuttle for UI interfacing, correct?
    Correct. I am using PowerMate, that can generate 6 actions, however using push+turn is quite difficult, so I only really use 4 actions - click, long push, turn left, turn right.

    I will be programming a serial interface for controlling the front end via steering wheel control. I would very much like this design to be based on the plug-in infrastructure.
    Other buttons/actions can easily be added - just add an item into the menu and then have a look at the implementation of rawClick, rawNext etc actions (server.h).

    If we can get a php interface to Jirka's app, we can create wap, wifi, and scraping webpage apps (its how i was planning to get highway speeds)
    You do not need php for this. WebKit is powerful enough. However, it might be an interesting idea to create some web-based *service* that would consolidate and pre-format data from the internet which could then be loaded and displayed in the application. Similar to the principle Blackberry handhelds or BMW's assist services work. There the php would definitely be handy.

    I am excited to see movement here. Jirka, would you like to discuss you plug-in module infrastructure in more detail?
    Defnitely no problem here.

    Just a wild idea: if iKarr is to be ported to Objective-C, it could use the same API for plug-ins as my application does. Then we could easily share plug-ins, the only exception being that my app could display information in the the "slots", while iKarr would only displays buttons and the content of currently selected view (the -activatedView of the plug-in).

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