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Control surface - am I heading down a rat hole?
#1
OK, so I'm in the process of completely re-vamping my set-up, the primary goal being to update the control panels/surfaces. The panel side of my set-up has gone pretty much untouched for about 7 years - possibly even longer!!!

When I first built the system, I took the root of repurposed POS kiosks. These were cheap, and provided a nice - albeit slightly large, clunky and noisy package - solution. In most cases, the screens/touchpanels were separated from the base, and hidden (since, although mostly compact, often incorporated a money tray! :-) ).

These were windows based, and so ran the IV very well. I'm pretty sure this all pre-dated RIVA, and certainly pre-dated gesture control.

So that's the background, and hopefully gives you an idea of the user experience the family is accustomed to (WAF-factor is a big consideration here).

Now, to my revamp. I've been developing a completely new set of graphics for the replacement IV - cleaner, more modern and hopefully easier to use. Expectations have been re-set in the household, due to all the touchscreen based systems now available. And here lyeth the problem :-(

We're pretty much 100% an iOS establishment these days - far too many iPads and iPhones to be healthy for a family :roll: Therefore, the expectation is for the new control system to incorporate these. I've therefore been experimenting, and gesture scrolling on the iPad and RIVA test client seems to stutter badly. On considering how this works, I can understand why this is, and I'm therefore considering my options before going too much farther forward. As I see it, there are 3 options:
  • use the existing iPads/iPhones, and avoid using extensive gesture based scrolling (media browser and sliders would need sacrificing, as the ergonomic feel is not 'right' for me). This imposes limitations on the design of the IV, but might be workable.

  • replace all control surfaces with full Windows tablets. Ignoring the cost for the moment, I don't think this will go down well with the family - especially with the recent addition of iWatches; we're just too tied to iOS devices!!!

  • wait for the HTML5 client. This, I thought might be the solution, but on trawling the forum I read something about it only working with auto-generated UIs? If that is the case, it's probably a non-starter, as I've got a couple of custom non-V2 compliant drivers that are essential, and no time to rewrite them any time soon.
So, am I missing anything above? Is there another route forward I haven't considered? Any thoughts would be much appreciated.
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#2
It's not the plan for the HTML5 client to only support the auto-generated interfaces. The plan is for them to read IV templates and create the closest thing that they can to that, only the fly, to create the HTML5 content. Of course there will likely be limitations.

Having said that, I may initially do one that supports the auto-generated content, since that would be a good learning exercise before I commit to the larger one, and a lot of folks could use it and it could be done a lot quicker.

None of them will ever be as powerful as the Windows IV. So, in those cases where you are looking at any fixed position slash function type devices that are going to be dedicated to control, then there's a good argument for using Windows. Since it's dedicated to the IV, the family units won't ever know or care what it's running, and you can get maximum quality on those.
Dean Roddey
Software Geek Extraordinaire
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#3
Good news on the HTML5 client.

I'm happy to use Windows tablets for fixed location control surfaces, and will do this, but in truth there will be few of these, as everyone in the family are now migrating to using their own devices which they carry around with them.
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#4
BTW, if you are into HTML/Javascript yourself, you can also do something custom for your own needs. Our web server supports Websockets and secure connections, so you can use any HTML5/Javascript type design tool (or just a text editor) and create a secure custom client. If the connection is secure, it can just do a simple authentication by passing in a username/password without any fancy stuff to try to hide it. Since it's Websockets based, it can update quickly to reflect any changes, i.e. not just static HTML.
Dean Roddey
Software Geek Extraordinaire
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