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Thread: Flash Frontend

  1. #1
    Vendor - Qube colin's Avatar
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    Flash Frontend

    Hey, I recently started writing a Flash / Delphi (pascal) frontend and I was wondering if anybody had started such a project before. Unfortunately, searching didn't give many results for Flash or Delphi so maybe someone's got some code hidden away?

    Right now, I have the music being parsed by Delphi and sent off to flash, and a bit of a pretty interface but I'm no designer...
    if anybody has a flash design lying around, please let me know!

    [Picture moved to next post]

  2. #2
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    Started a Flex based front end

    I've started a flex based front end, utilizing Adobe Flex2. The first app I have created, and is mostly complete with a rough front end, is an MP3 player designed completely around a 7 inch touch screen. It allows library browsing (large button base), playing song information, visualizations, and other standard features. Again, it is easy to use on a 7 inch screen.

    The second project I am working on is a front end to control a Yeasu FT-897 ham radio, that supports everything from UHF down to HF frequencies. The radio is currently mounted in the back seat, and the controls are really hard to use anyways, as they are small. This will give me the standard most used functions (and feedback information) on a format that is useable while driving.

    The third project on this that I have not started, is a standard ODI interface for car information.

    For serial I/O connectivity, I am using a simple Jetty based java application to allow I/O that flash/flex does not support. Flex/Flash comes with base support to do HTTP, and binary sockets as well (for async information).

    The best thing about Flex is it is very easy to change the whole look and feel of the application utilizing an MXML (read XML type file). Colors, positions, control types, etc. can all be changed. I am utilizing a code behind technology that allows for changing the GUI without messing with any actualy actionscript code.

    It is a definite work in progress, but I am really happy with the concept and ease of implementation. I have been using a laptop, but just purchased a car computer from this site to better withstand my off road driving. I have a 2004 Toyota Tacoma that already has ALOT of electronics in it (ham radio(s), Solar Panel, Second Battery, XM Radio, Large screen GPS for Topos (Lowrance Baja) and a few other goodies. I plan to replace the whole radio panel with the 7inch screen. The other stuff stays, though, since they all have their use (I am part of a Search and Rescue team). I want to keep the large screen GPS, but use it to drive a 'Turn Directions' based software. Nothing is available on flex, so I plan to use IGuidance.

    I will try and keep people informed as my work progresses. I can answer any questions on this if people want to know what I am doing.

    Jim Olsen

  3. #3
    Vendor - Qube colin's Avatar
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    All Pictures:

    Loading Screen


    Main Screen


    Diagnostic Alert


    Music - All Artists


    Music - All Albums


    GPS - iGuidance4 Embedded/Modded

  4. #4
    Variable Bitrate eric_barcus's Avatar
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    that flash front end looks pretty cool i like how it reads obd already

  5. #5
    Vendor - Qube colin's Avatar
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    Yeah that's cool, except the part where I actually have that engine error code haha.
    Easy fix though

  6. #6
    Variable Bitrate natedawgg's Avatar
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    im curious how you are going about obdII? i have been chatting with clifwlkr about it (we are both writing flex apps) and have come to a rough conclusion that an external java app would be required. also where are you generating your music library from? are you building your own our borrowing from another app such as itunes or winamp?

    you can check out my app here

    i like what you are doing here and would like to see it continue so if you need any help or have any questions feel free to hit me up. good work

  7. #7
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    I'm taking a bit different approach in this in that I am going for very easy to use on a 7inch screen, while driving and maintaining attention.

    Snapshots: http://http://www.mp3car.com/vbullet...air-linux.html

    I am concentrating on getting it very easily useable, and will pretty it up later. For now, I just want to see it running consistently while driving. Nothing is worse than not paying attention while driving, and carputers can certianly cause this.

    For serial connectivity, I am using a Java agent. By using the Javacomm API, it should run on windows and linux. The flash supports sockets, so I use a simple Jetty server and/or straight sockets for communication. Request stuff uses Jetty. Async uses a raw socket.

    Jim

  8. #8
    Vendor - Qube colin's Avatar
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    I am running flash IN an application.

    I mean, I have an application written in delphi. On my form, I have a ShockwaveFlash component which basically plays an SWF file. In my SWF file, I set a listener to "DelphiVar". Whenever flash needs to request info from delphi, it simply uses fscommand. Delphi then receives the fscommand and responds by setting a variable. It sounds inefficient, but it works wonderfully and is killer fast. By not polling for things, it basically happens as though it were one application.

    So on startup, flash goes to the loading screen and says START_INIT. Delphi loads all the libraries and whatnot and says INIT_DONE. Flash switches screens again and pops up a loading bar and says SEND_ARTISTS. Delphi sends the total number of artists, followed by each one with an ID. Then flash calculates how many are left, etc, and stores them as well as updating the progress bar.

    Basically I embedded flash into the application and wrote a tiny little protocol for the two to communicate by. It's REALLY simple overall. So for the OBD-II, although Flash can't read it, delphi can

  9. #9
    Variable Bitrate natedawgg's Avatar
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    very cool. i thought about running my app inside of an os central framework, but i really wanted mine to be cross platform. flex offers a good source to do so, however there are some drawbacks (namely connection directly to usb or serial) so i am left doing external calls to a java app. anyway good luck with everything
    Check out the new version of NAS, a cross platform music frontend here

  10. #10
    Vendor - Qube colin's Avatar
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    Well as far as I know, there's lazarus or whatever its called which is essentially delphi but completely cross platform. Better yet, you pick which platforms to support so it compiles with only the packages for those platforms.

    Never did use it, I'm a windows guy myself. My frontend isnt for the masses, its for me. If other people are interested, they can use it too but I dont plan on supporting it in any way, so windows works just fine for me

    So whats all this fuss about flex anyway?

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