Thursday, January 27, 2011

Looking for the right GUI.

Did I mention I want to remake the zipit into an mp3 player I can use in the car?  To me that means it must have a simple GUI controlled by the nice clickity d-pad in the top right corner of the zipit keypad.  It should be readable at a glance because I wanna keep my eyes on the road, mostly.  That means GMU needs some rework with a larger font and all the important controls moved closer to the d-pad.  I might go that route, so I decided to check out the gmenu2x program launcher GUI used on some other gizmos that also run GMU to get a better feel for what does and doesn't work on gizmos with this form factor.

At the time I only had a buildroot working for IZ2S and could only run static linked executables so I must say it was quite a pain in the butt to build.  Gotta get a better buildroot setup for OABI builds so I can use the shared libs from the IZ2S family of userlands!  Anyhow, the GUI seems to work ok and the controls are acceptable.  It doesn't actually launch anything yet, but here's a pretty pic of the progress so far.

I can't seem to get the ext2 filesystem on wejp's userland to survive a poweroff, but it came with a buildroot config file so I can build stuff to use the shared libs.  I just gotta reload the entire ext2 filesystem anytime I wanna test something.  Oh well, I'll figure out the filesystem problem later...  Meanwhile it appears to have everything I need to build rockbox as an SDL application.

Only the GUI works so far, but it was fairly easy to build so that's encouraging.

The preconfigured controls work almost exclusively off the d-pad, and the font in the default skin is already pretty good at 320x240.  Plus there are like 100 skins for the 320x240 ipod video, so I'm sure I can pick one that's car worthy. Now If I could just get it to gimme some sound.  It oughta work with SDL audio like the UI simulator, but I think I missed a few config options related to the location of the codec shared libs it built, as you can see in this picture.

So close, I can almost taste it...
I'm not sure where to go next.  I might try to move the rockbox experiment to IZ2S because the FAT filesystem makes it easier to move music to and from the SD card.  Plus it boots really fast, and I really like the wifi setup script.  Or I might see what it takes to tweak the GMU GUI for the car.  Or I may see what gmenu2x can do when I hook up the launcher part.  Who knows?  Not me.

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