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Thread: TatraApp is dead, here comes QCar

  1. #1
    QCar Creator Jirka Jirout's Avatar
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    Jul 2005

    TatraApp is dead, here comes QCar

    So here it comes. Based on 4 years of experience with TatraApp, we have decided to re-write our front-end application from scratch and created the QCar.

    The concept is stil the same - a host application, providing API and environment for plug-ins or modules, that implement particular functionality. Here is the list of new stuff in the main application:

    - completely screen size-independent. It is possible to define different layouts of the user interface, with different sizes of the slots. Depending on the size, the main area for activated slot can either be displayed permanently or can only be brought up on request. We tested the application with different screens, 640x480, 800x480, 800x600, even 480x640 (portrait mode). The display calibration can also compensate distortion (i.e. when feeding 800x600 signal into an 800x480 wide screen).

    - skinnable. All the classes representing user interface elements are stored in a separate bundle. By changing the bundle, it is easy to completely change the whole look of the application. Multiple skins can be installed at the same time and switched by the user.

    - the interface is primarily designed for rotating controllers such as PowerMate or NuLOOQ, but the application also has full support for touch screen.

    - much improved internet connectivity. No annoying system error messages, automatic switching between different network connections.

    And we will have some new functions in modules as well:
    - Bluetooth phone control has been significantly improved. We will most probably have handsfree-calling function as well

    - AM/FM Radio, including RDS and TMC - thanks to our Belgian neighbours for great HQCT unit!

    - XM and Sirius radio support will be added during Q2 2007

    - Navigation - including simplified scroller- and touchscreen-friendly user interface, turn-by-turn instructions and voice output

    - The speech synthesis will work for English, French, German, Dutch, Italian and Spanish (although I admit we have few issues with determining the language in setups which are supposed to support more languages at a time.

    - OBD II monitoring, including data logging, at first for ELM-chip based devices only

    - Support generic NMEA-based GPS receivers (including Bluetooth)

    - MP3 Player no longer uses iTunes application, however it does use the iTunes library, including iPod support. Unlike the old player, which only supported playlists, the new version supports iPod-like browsing, direct track selection, loop mode etc.

    - Improved online services modules (weather, traffic info, webcams)

    - voice memor recorder

    - as soon as Leopard has been released, we will also support video capture using iSight or any other DV camera attached to the computer.

    And now the not-so-good news ;-) It won't be open source and in most cases it won't be free. We will be releasing an SDK, including detailed documentation and there will also be some demo within a month. Detailed licensing conditions will be released in the beginning of January.

    If someone with good knowledge of Cocoa is willing to give us hand, just pm or mail me, we can see whether we can work something out.
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  2. #2
    QCar Creator Jirka Jirout's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
    And here goes the weird portrait display setup :-)
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  3. #3
    Admin. Linux loser.
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    Bugbyte's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
    Corning, NY
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    Nice to see some additional activity in the Mac front end arena!
    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.
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  4. #4
    FLAC SnyperBob's Avatar
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    Nov 2001
    Awesome!! Great job

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  5. #5
    Maximum Bitrate pepsibobby's Avatar
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    Dec 2005
    Kaiserslautern Germany
    IT SAYS THAT THERE IS OBDII AND NAV its beatifull...tear
    Cant code cause I dont know how, but give me the paint bucket and my eraser and have at you!

  6. #6
    Mac Car Moderator kandyman676's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Is there actual code, or this just another project at the "design and idea" state?
    "If it works this good why F with it?" -KMFDM "Intro"

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  7. #7
    QCar Creator Jirka Jirout's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by kandyman676 View Post
    Is there actual code, or this just another project at the "design and idea" state?
    Let's say we have a working beta, undergoing extensive tests and debugging now. All the images are actual screenshots of the running application, not Photoshop and I installed the current build on the mini in the car for the first time today. 3 more cars will be installed before end of the year for real-life testing of both hardware and software.

    The host application and SDK are about 90% done (the remaining 10% is the documentation), the modules more like 50%, but they are very easy and quick to write (thanks to the API of the host app, which provides much more functionality than the original API of the TatraApp.)

    At the moment we only have the default skin, but we hired a graphic designer to prepare at least two alternative designs and she is working on it right now.

  8. #8
    AMP Creator aychamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Hey Jirka,

    It looks and sounds excellent. I've always liked that minimalist design style you do. Also, I fully support (and understand) your decision to go with both closed-source and pay-software. Looking forward to the demo!

  9. #9
    Newbie UrbanSoot's Avatar
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    May 2006
    West Hollywood, CA
    looks ugly though... hope you implemented skins support =)
    Progress: [|||||||||||||--]:

  10. #10
    Low Bitrate
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    Sep 2006
    The intarwebs
    Quote Originally Posted by UrbanSoot View Post
    looks ugly though... hope you implemented skins support =)
    OMG! how can you say that! it looks beautiful
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