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Thread: Developers/Graphic Designers Unite!! -- The Front End Collaboration Thread

  1. #1
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    Developers/Graphic Designers Unite!! -- The Front End Collaboration Thread

    OK.......we have almost no options for front ends for OS X. We have a good base of graphic designers and a small base of developers. The reason we have no usable front ends yet is because there is no collaboration with anyone. Everyone seems to be trying to do their own things.

    This thread is going to try to get together the developers and graphic designers that are willing to work together to create a functional and all around great front end for Mac OS X. We should all try to work together unless we're no going to go anywhere.

    What I want you all to do if you are willing to participate:

    1. List, if you are willing to help, whether you would be inclined towards programming or graphic design, or simply want to donate to the project in the future.

    2. List wanted feature within limits of current technologies.

    3. Tell us that you are COMMITTED to developing and or designing a usable front end.


    Let me start first:

    1. graphical design, donations
    2. music, video, pictures, navigation, maybe phone, maybe reverse camera type thing, and maybe Internet
    3. I am DEFINATELY committed to helping with this project as i wouldn't have started this thread in the first place.

    Please keep the above simple so it's easy to sort through. We will talk about goals if we can get this started at a later period of time.

    Thank you all for helping the Mac Car computer community.

  2. #2
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    As I have said before itunes is esy its the rest thats complicated. I know c++ and am slowly learning my way around cocoa, I can help after a basic skeleton application is formed.

    1. minimal programing, brainstorming
    2. music, video, pictures, navigation, phone, Internet, ODBII, and since I know C++ possibly relay controll for windows/locks*
    3. I am FULLY committed I have woked with macs all my life and wan't nothing more than to have one in my car

    *the idea behind this being that a program like sailing clicker can work as a proximity sensor and then run an applescript to wake from sleep and unlock doors but thats probably very far off mainly because I only know how to output in c++ to a parallel port wich is a compleetly different ball game than serial. But I still think its a cool idea

  3. #3
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    Okay, I'm in. Here's what I've been working on with another member of this forum. It's called "Harmony" and right now has two main features:

    1. iTunes control
    2. XM radio via XM direct

    It's not released but it does work and we're working on it pretty steadily.

    What we need:
    1. Someone to work on the email, photos, video, and web portions. We haven't touched those right now.
    2. Look at how/whether Google Earth for OSX can be controlled or embedded or used in conjunction with Harmony.
    3. Some nice graphical input. We need attractive buttons (we've stolen some from the CCar project but don't have a complete set), and we need some "themes" like red/blue/brushed metal, etc.

    It's alpha right now. We welcome developers. It is an Open Source front end and we'll post the code as soon as we can get the XM integrated into the front end. Right now, XM is a java program derived from the Java XM program and it is applescriptable. That means it can be run standalone or in conjunction with Harmony.

    Here's what it looks like:


    Wanna develop for it? Here's a link to the developer docs: Harmony developer docs
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

  4. #4
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    looks cool, I might be able to help with email also what language it the itunes portion in, applescript slows down with a lot of music so I'm hoping you read the xml file. but it looks verry promising and XM is always sweet

  5. #5
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    It's Applescript. To avoid slowing down a lot, I only load a few items at a time in the list. Reading the XML file would be great. Care to write a script for that? :-)

    Would love to have email in the app. I'd also like to take the emails, download them to your car whenever you have connectivity, then convert them to audio so you can listen to them as a playlist in iTunes. Or just route them to the text to speech. Whatever. I saw an automator script for this in MacFormat magazine. It was pretty cool.

    BTW, I found some obj-C code from the Blue Cabbie project that outputs to the serial port. It's included in the Harmony app but I haven't investigated a) how it works; b) how to call the methods from applescript, but I know it can be done.

    If you want to help, start by downloading the developer docs. We're working on getting the code under subversion so it can be checked out.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

  6. #6
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    1. Applescript development...Currently working on: an on screen keyboard (a good and usable version should be up in a day or two), and Itunes interface (needs some work), a main menu/launcher (runs right now...soon to be fully skinnable.)

    2. A program that reads NMEA data directly from a GPS mouse. Then we won't have to buy a piece of software to run zapwizard's google-earth scripts.

    3. I am commited to making something that works for someone. My main focus with doing this is to learn applescript...so for now I'm not working with anyone else. When the skinnable app is released I will welcome skins from anyone.
    Project completion 10%...own the mac mini. Currently writing lots of applescript. My for sale thread http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/classified-archive/72038-fs-psp-amd-64-tower-moving-sale-lots-of-pics.html

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    Constant Bitrate zapwizard's Avatar
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    You know I almost made this same thread today, but instead wrote our a VERY long list of the ideal front end for me.

    So here is my ideal feature list:
    -Front-row style 3D graphic and text interface (few buttons)
    -Fully Skinnable GUI for others
    -Modular plugins via Applescript snippits
    -Geared towards Touchscreen
    -Voice Recognition

    Functions:
    -Home Screen
    Menu for rest of program
    -Dash
    MPH
    ODB-II mini Stats
    GPS mini-map
    Music Control
    Rear Cam Mini-view
    -Music
    Ability to rate songs on the fly
    -DVD
    -Videos
    -Photos
    Above controls same as Front Row
    -GPS
    Live Map
    Directions
    Time to Destination
    Compass
    Current Speed
    Voice Feedback
    Save Placemark
    -Auto Stats
    OBD-II information
    Gas Mileage tracker
    Maintenace tracker
    Dash program settings
    -Rear Camera
    IP or Webcam based
    Photo Log menu
    Geo-Tag Photos
    Auto log photos based on changes in speed

    Other background tasks:
    -GPS Odometer
    -Log GPS movement
    -Car Tracking via net
    -Automatic Volume based on speed
    -Voice Recognition

    I am committed to doing a GUI (3D graphics background)
    I am learning AppleScript

    As most I have already started on some basic scripts that I would be willing to add to any project.

  8. #8
    QCar Creator Jirka Jirout's Avatar
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    Working with serial port in Cocoa is easy. Just create and open an NSFileHandle for the appropriate device (/dev/xxxx) and then send it -writeData: message.

    Tristan has created a module for my Tatra App, which can read and parse NMEA data either directly from the USB receiver or from gpsd. He posted a link to this forum few days ago.

    Would love to have email in the app. I'd also like to take the emails, download them to your car whenever you have connectivity, then convert them to audio so you can listen to them as a playlist in iTunes. Or just route them to the text to speech. Whatever.
    Well, technically this is not difficult - frameworks for POP3 or IMAP4 are available and putting them together is a work for one evening. But I would also like to be able to read the mails, not just listen to them. And for that I would need some intelligent GUI design (not a Photoshop file, but a description of how it should behave and be controlled).

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    I don't think we have even understood what sux89 wanted to say. We simply need to GET TOGETHER and work for a single application. I think still all the developers are talking/thinking about their own project once they have started. So, to Bugbyte, sti robot, Jirka Jirout, Tristan, cpjolicoeur, (possibly iamgnat) and all, my question is: Do you guys think it's possible for you to gather all of your codes together and make a single one? We are still working on our individual projects and the result is a bunch of semi-finished front-end. If we can come together then only we can archive all the features listed by zapwizard. Jirka is the oldest player in this game, I suppose. So he could be of much help.

    So far, I think, what we need:

    1. Select one GUI and stick with that one. (then all the designers should try the improvement)
    2. All the developers gather their codes and compare what they have and what not. And most importantly how compatible their codes are to each other.
    3. A place to put all the stuffs together so that all the team members can easily upload/download the latest development
    4. Someone to act as a coordinator (and maybe a chair)
    5. Some documentation. My special interest is to submit a paper - that would be really nice. I can try one of the IEEE journals for that.

    How do these sound?

  10. #10
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    Ok, here are my thoughts on this consolidation idea. I think for some it may be a good idea, and for others not. I have honestly considered working with other people on this, but I think I will wait on that for a bit. I want to see where my project(s) go and how they are used.

    In the long run I don't think the nonconsolidation of projects is going to hurt us or the ability for anyone to have a good setup. People are getting a freedom to build a software setup out of the best components they find. For instance I might like someones nav (say zapwizard) and I like straight up iTunes and sometimes i'll use my on screen keyboard to search for songs. Another person might like a 3D menu like frontrow and someone else might like 2d buttons...some might like set buttons and others might want to tinker and skin them. My point is that a lot of these projects are at a "almost ready" phase. I think choice is the best thing the userbase has right now.

    I know you are losing patience, as am I and the rest of the community with the lack of a real/solid in car interface for the mac. I think we'll all just have to wait and see, because some new and exciting stuff is just around the corner.
    Project completion 10%...own the mac mini. Currently writing lots of applescript. My for sale thread http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=72038

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