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Thread: Thinking of making my own Front End software

  1. #1
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    Red face Thinking of making my own Front End software

    I need your help.

    I'm thinking of developing my own frontend software. I will be asking a programmer friend of mine to help me out with this but I want to do some preliminary research and I'm hoping that maybe one of you guys could help me out.

    QUESTION 1) I want to know what's the best programming language to work with to develop a front end software that'll allow me to do the following:

    1) play audio/video formats that uniquely play on quicktime movie player
    2) play audio/video formats that uniquely play on Windows Media Player
    3) play audio/video formats that VLC plays that others don't.
    4) work with and control usb devices
    5) embed an Internet browser
    6) somehow integrate with a navigation solution. Whatever is the best solution out there atm.
    7) Not sure, but maybe I should use directX capabilities. Not sure if that's a good idea.

    QUESTION 2) What's the programming language that was used to create Centrafuse and/or streetdeck?

    Man... I'm really sorry for the noob questions. I do appreciate any help that you can provide. I just don't like the solutions out there right now.

  2. #2
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    1. The usual response to this would be, which ever programming language you are most comfortable with.

    2. Centrafuse is done in .net (probably C# or C++) but plugins can be done in most languages.

  3. #3
    Vendor - Qube colin's Avatar
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    VLC has wrappers for VB, C++, and Delphi. Those are your options now basically, unless you are capable of tapping into the DLLs yourself and getting the startup paramaters right. VLC is very very unstable when you're controlling it from another program so I suggest you stick with those languages where people are spending months working out the bugs.

  4. #4
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  5. #5
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    Qt and C++, the reason is qt-phonon media abstraction layer works on windows/mac/linux uses wmp, quicktime, or gstreamer/mplayer/vlc on linux.

    Centrafuse is managed c++ (.NET). I imagine StreetDeck also is.

    If you do go with Qt, you can use opengl which is cool.
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  6. #6
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    You can use opengl with any .net language also...
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  7. #7
    Constant Bitrate Magnezium's Avatar
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    OpenGL or DirectX is the best way to program. The back end of the programming can be any Microsoft language, but if you want to make your program universal (linux, mac, windows) you should program in either C++ or Java.

    Personally, I think Java is the most universal language. It's actually a very fast language if used the right way. For instance, the US Military uses Java for 99% of all of the programming for aircrafts and tanks. Guidance systems, stability systems, weapons systems, etc. use Java.

    I have been toying with the idea of building a PHP/Java front end that can be installed on any operating system.
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  8. #8
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    Personally, if you're targeting a windows environment, I favor a lot of the additional visual features available in WPF (found in .NET 3.5). So I would recommend C# program with XAML markup. Expression Blend is a great tool for building amazing looking front ends!

    Thats my 2cents

  9. #9
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    A well designed .NET application (same rule applies to java) can run on every platfrom also (linux and mac via the mono runtime).

    If you want to develop this quickly, I second the C#+WPF motion. I'm not sure it works on the other 2 platforms (linux, mac), but it should be a quick and easy way to get up on windows.

    I wouldn't recommend doing opengl/directx if you want to develop this quickly. They are pretty low-level APIs (opengl moreso than directx only slightly). If you do want the nice eyecandy, I recommend clutter. I'm messing around with it now and it's nice! Works on all platforms also (linux, win, mac).
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  10. #10
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    As a CS major, and considering the questions you asked. (for example, no coding needs to be done to play video formats, simply installing the correct codecs is fine) I would suggest picking an already existing open source front end, similar to (road runner before it went partially closed source), while skinning and writing plugins for any features not available, until it functions the way you want it too.

    Additionally, if you do intend to develop (and i am assuming to sell, since embarking on such a venture for free, when established frontends already exist seems strange), I would suggest programming for a thin version of linux, to maximize hardware compatibility.

    Linux also will run faster on slower hardware, which via and smaller chipsets often are.

    Good luck!

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