Upcoming updates/changes in the server and client

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Upcoming updates/changes in the server and client image

A few days ago Marcel and i sat together over thinking some stuff happening with the server and the client. And came to the conclusion some things have to change, implemented and still need to be thought of.

lso thinking about minimizing windows, but i’m not entirely done thinking about the gestures to use for it.

Some other stuff where that window titles are just a little bit to small and some gestures could be improved like tapping a window instead of only the title should bring it to front. We where also thinking that a cool feature would be when dragging a window icon from the task bar should trigger a window to close and task bar window icons should be highlighted with the current window which has the focus.

While we where tapping, pressing and moving windows around i noticed that the icon task bar was showing icons correctly which did not fit in the bar and thus where not visible, so I will add an option that the window icons in the task bar can be scrolled.

Error messages are automatically closed within a couple of seconds, but a “natural” thing i did without thinking about it is tapping the message to close it. So this will also be added.

Some other stuff that will be changed/added are:

  • Better button visuals and more consistent,
  • Bigger default text sizes,
  • Removing images as window visuals (this one was really bad but just used to test the visual look).
  • And of course now since there is a media plugin present, add the media controls to the client.

A full list of changes we want to implement asap are mentioned here: https://bitbucket.org/pidome/pidome-client/issues?status=new&status=open. Also if you have tried the client and encountered a bug, or want to see something cool in it you can also put a feature request or bug report on that page.

The Server

Server communication is done through a “telnet” like socket connection and commands and results are text based and are using dividers. It works, but is very old school and the semantics are becoming a trouble to maintain. The “problem”/feature is to communicate with the server with different methods. Like said there is a “telnet” based method, but there also is a web interface. They both use different methods to finally use the same method, example: Telnet: “device::commandgroup::handle::true”, Web interface: “device=device&commandgroup=group&handle=handle&exec=true” (even the commands send by the web interface can be different).

When i started the project i wanted to use JSON for the structure, but the above (which is not JSON at all) is a result of quick tries which grew to this now, i must say, horrible situation. In the beginning i never thought of creating a system to be thrown in the public domain. But now it is, it has really become time to implement something that is more consistent, more portable and better/easier to understand. So, to reach this goal we have decided to implement a general protocol to communicate with the server. All the server communication will be going to be jsonrpc 2.0.

The above will be a big change but will make sure that in the future when implemented, it does not matter how you communicate with the server it will always be the same.

Also a change will be made with how the server’s configuration is handled. This is now an xml file and is going to be changed to a name value pair properties file.

A list of all changes or features to implement is available here: https://bitbucket.org/pidome/pidome-server/issues?status=new&status=open. This is also the page where you can do a feature request or a bug report.

Hardware support

Yes, a big thing. We really need to implement the above changes first, especially the server part, and the media support in the client. But the next in line for supporting is modbus (as also is in the list above). This means that the next thing we will be supporting are modbus based devices (next to devices Marcel creates).

Mobile devices support

Yes, we eventually will start with developing a mobile/tablet based application based on android. When this will be available i can not say, we want to get the core done first in the normal client. This core will be the same (as much as possible) in the mobile client so there hopefully is a single core to maintain with different visuals. But this has to be investigated further first to determine which part of the core can be the same and what can not.

Conclusion

The next updates will mostly be functional updates than added functionalities, but these updates are important so we can create new functionalities quicker. I think it will take a week or two before these updates are done and i can continue to add functionalities.

If you have any remarks, thoughts or idea’s, share them :)

John.

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