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Thread: xAP Desktop Released

  1. #1
    Automated Home Jr Member
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    Default xAP Desktop Released

    xAP Desktop is now available for download

    "xAP Desktop simply put is a desktop information display system with the ability to control systems as well as display information. Using floating widows, dynamic wallpaper, transparencies, fading windows, etc it displays information in as rich a format as possible whilst trying to keep out of the way of pc usage. Every element of every display can be changed as each is based on simple text files as well as allowing all the elements to be based on xAP data."
    The initial release of Desktop feature a library is displays, that includes:
    2 different weather displays
    New email display
    Telephone display
    Slimp3 Controller
    Webcam
    TV listings view
    Satellite weather display
    It's Wallpaper generator ships with an example config which:
    Shows the last telephone call
    Shows the latest news story
    Webcams from all over the world
    Satellite weather display of the UK

    There is also a display designer program so you can easily customise any display. Every setting for every display is stored in simple text files and all images are standard bitmaps (bmp/jpg/gif) which makes customising it very extensive.
    One feature that wasn't at ukha but is included in this release is the ability for any of the buttons to trigger any other program. This is in addition to being able to send xAP messages and just like the xAP messages you can call as many programs as you like and even mix'n'match them with xAP messages.
    Download here
    Guides for setting it up (click)
    Guides for setting up caller id display (click)
    New to Desktop? Click here for an overview and screenshots
    This is the first public release of Desktop.It has been throughly tested for the last few weeks and already has a huge feature set and has been very stable, but I would expect over the next couple of weeks lots more features being added as it gets even more use! The best way of staying upto date is to join the xAP Yahoo group, this is also the best place to ask questions about Desktop or anything else xAP. All the xAP developers also watch this forum so feel free to post questions here too!

  2. #2

    Default Re: xAP Desktop Released

    Thanks James, I've added the announcement to the News page.

    I intend to install xAP Desktop over the weekend. Kevin is working on a CID app for me, but in the meantime I assume I can try it with weather or TV channel info somehow?

    I hope to publish my review of UKHA2004 on Monday. In it I mention xAP Desktop and have a suggestion...

    "Although I liked the system I thought it would have been nice to see a common colour palette used across the many info popups and windows, which would give an even more professional look. Perhaps a skinable interface could be produced so as to allow the people with graphics talent to improve this part. However this is a minor gripe and overall xAP desktop was most impressive."

    M.

  3. #3
    Automated Home Jr Member
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    Default Re: xAP Desktop Released

    James,

    Truly excellent stuff. I'm now using it to control my Rios (which are running Patrick Lidstone's xAP-Rio software.)

    Regards,

    Mark

  4. #4

    Default Re: xAP Desktop Released

    OK, installed xDT, how do I get the inputs now? Do I need to run a seperate app for Weather, TV Now Next etc?

    If so lets start with Weather. What do I download? Does it go on my server or clients?

    Thanks

    M.

  5. #5
    Automated Home Jr Member
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    Default Re: xAP Desktop Released

    Weather, good place to start!

    When you loaded the weather display panel in Desktop it would have asked you for the name of a weather source and suggested > as the default. Assuming you picked to go with > then Desktop is now configured. > is a xAP wildcard, in this context it means any weather data.

    The weather information comes from the xAP Weather application. As with any xAP program it can be run on any machine as long as they are all networked together.

    The download for Weather is here

    There is a guide for setting it up here

    While it might seem odd having seperate apps for these two functions it is one of the concepts of xAP to have a more distributed approach, trying to aviod single monolithic apps with their nature to introduce a single point of failiure. Once weather is up an running you now have a feed for any number of Desktops or any other xAP device, all for 1 apps worth of download bandwidth.

    Hope this helps, let me know how you get on.

    James

  6. #6
    Automated Home Jr Member
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    Default Re: xAP Desktop Released

    Is there anyway that the information can be used to feed an intranet site? Steve

  7. #7

    Default Re: xAP Desktop Released

    James - I have xAP Weather installed and working with xAP Desktop now. Thanks.

    I got this error while installing...



    M.

  8. #8
    Automated Home Jr Member
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    Default Re: xAP Desktop Released

    Steve,

    xAP Desktop is purely a desktop display of xAP data. For a web based display the xAP Intranet project is what you are after!
    You can see it here
    xAP unlike protocols like pop3, http which are point to point things, is a broadcast protocol. Every xAP device hears every xAP messages. What happens with the intranet is the xAPdblogger, sitting somewhere on your network, logs all xAP messages to a database and the intranet displays information from that database. The intranet itself is based on a standard PHPnuke install with a custom module. The main menu and overall theme is based on the client's IP so a poctetpc gets a different menu and minimal theme compaired with a desktop pc.

    Mark,
    Glad weather is now working for you. I will investigate that error, I presume it hasn't re-occured since the inital setup questions?

    I have recently released an updated Desktop with a few bug fixes and quite a few more features :


    When an image is a web address and set to refresh it no longer collects
    if the display is at 0% dim
    FormX,FormSX if prefixed by SW- the X position of the display is
    subtracted from the screen width. FormX=SW-200 means 200 pixels from
    right of screen.
    FormY,FormSY if prefixed by SH- the Y position of the display is
    subtracted from the screen height. FormY=SH-200 means 200 pixels from
    the bottom of screen.
    If an image on a display has an event and the file exists the image will
    be replaced by swap_<imagename> for half a second, this gives a nice
    button pushing effect. See the Slimp3 display for an example.
    If a display is set not to move then it's position is now not saved as a
    xy.txt file
    A special event "hidedisplay" has been added. If an image has this as
    it's event and is clicked the that display will fade to 0
    The url downloaded system for an image in a display is now much faster.
    If an image is set to http://www.mi4.biz/image.jpg(1) then the image
    refreshes every 1 second (the original) and now,
    http://www.mi4.biz/image.jpg[1] will get an image every 1/20 second.
    While this is way to fast for the internet, for display near video speed
    from a local CCTV it works great.
    In order to keep fades smooth, url downloading will only happed when a
    display isn't dimming and has stopped.
    Displays now fade up in sequence rather than all together, this helps
    slower machines.
    Display designer now properly handles autohide
    Display designer now has improved file loading that prevents it going
    into a loop if the input file is unusual.
    Display designer should now work better if you open/close many displays
    in sequence.

    xAP Control of Desktop
    ----------------------
    You can now control nearly any element of Desktop via xAP. This is in
    addition to the xAP settings within displays, and it overrides them.

    Class=desktop.control
    Desktop.control
    {
    XX=YY
    }
    Where xx=yy are in the same format as the settings.txt files. You can
    also have as many as you want in the xAP message.
    So to change the first 4 labels of Display5:
    ..
    class=desktop.control
    target=mi4.desktop.laptop:display05
    }
    desktop.control
    {
    label01=hello
    label02=and
    label03=it's
    label04=goodbye
    }

    and so on. The caveat is you must target a specific display in the form
    above. xAPvar lines can not be changed. If you want to set a display to
    a specific dim level the use dim=

    Download from www.mi4.biz

    Enjoy

    James

  9. #9

    Default Re: xAP Desktop Released

    Thanks for the updates James. I haven't seen the error since.

    I've been talking to Kevin about CID support for my Meteor. Turns out I have one of the old units which is totally different output to the newer ones

    M.

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