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Lowrent
2006-05-25, 09:55
Hello everyone, this is my first post, i got my squeezebox this morning, at work.

I'm wondering if anybody has started working on a PSP skin for SlimServer.

I'm a programmer/graphic designer working on interfaces for cellphone games so i'm used to small screen sizes and UI stuff.

I have many ideas to hack the hell out of it and implement special tricks like reading the analog pad to scroll lists faster (i'm a very good javascripter).

If nothing has been done yet, i'll start working on it pretty soon.

rick's cafe
2006-05-25, 10:08
you should probably check out the work done by BKLASS on the Nokia 770 skin which many use on the PSP... very interested to see the work which could be done for a dedicated PSP skin - as I use my PSP to view the interface very often

bklaas
2006-05-25, 10:09
To my knowledge, no. But, you might start by looking at the Nokia770 skin in slimserver 6.5, which is heavily javascripted and built for a handheld landscape display. I know that at least a few have been using that skin on PSP to some level of success.

There was a major change introduced to 6.5 this week that makes things a bit unstable, so I'd recommend downloading the 22 May daily build.

cheers,
#!/ben

bklaas
2006-05-25, 10:15
http://slimdevices.com/downloads/nightly/SlimServer_v2006-05-22/

Lowrent
2006-05-25, 10:54
Ok, i'll take a look at the Nokia skin but it really looks like it's designed specially for touch screen use.

What i'm planning is designing in an interface focusing on DPAD use and highly optimized for the PSP display.

My head is boiling with ideas at the moment. I have to dig info about the DHTML power of the Netfront browser.

I'll keep you posted on my project.

mactavish
2006-05-25, 13:24
Lowrent, keep us informed of your progress.

I have a PSP but find the other inferfaces slow and too memory hungry for the PSP. Sadly I don't have any skills to help.

I would love some simple interface that possibly displayed art when playing. Along the lines of the Sonos display ;-)

Lowrent
2006-06-02, 06:53
Hi everyone,
My project is starting to look very good.

The hardest parts are done but there is still a lot of code to complete.

This morning, i finished the playlist display and discovered with horror that the refresh method i use is verrrrry slow. I'll have to find another way to display and update lists :(

The rest is pretty quick (button updates and stuff).
I'll also optimize the skin by putting all graphic ressources directly on the PSP memory stick.

Take a look at this !

bklaas
2006-06-02, 07:40
Very nice! I'll be interested in hearing any of the nuts-and-bolts of it as you progress. You mentioned DHTML, but are you doing AJAX as well? The epiphany I had with putting together the Nokia770 skin is that a synchronous model (i.e., user clicks on something and browser is locked while operation takes place) was unacceptable for an application like an audio controller.

Any chance the skin will have use outside the PSP? I'm not implying that you should spend any time making sure it works on other platforms (you shouldn't), but I'd like to give this a shot at some time and alas, I have no PSP. I'd be curious to see how it worked on the 770...

cheers,
#!/ben

Lowrent
2006-06-02, 08:16
For the moment, I use my old school technique of loading variables in a 1x1 IFRAME with dynamic updates of the main screen with cross-frame access to variables.

I wanna nail down the layout and display first. I'll switch to JSON after the basics are done. All my accesses to variables are done through a function so i'll be able to switch to another data transport easily without modifying my UI code.

I really doubt anyone will want to use the skin outside a PSP. A lot of stuff is optimized precisely and exclusively for it. For example, the button are not clickable with the mouse. Each button link is a very small image positionned with precision so that the hand cursor of the PSP browser will snap exactly where i want (just underneath the button's icon) when the DPAD is used. And the layout is hardcoded and tuned for the 480x272 display and also, the font.

I'll post an update soon,
Thanks for your interest!
L.

ps : Oh and by the way, doing this project made me realize how much the psp display is rich and beautiful. I'm impressed.

Lowrent
2006-06-02, 08:39
Since my camera snapshot is not the best quality you can get, here's the layout I made in Photoshop before coding the skin.

I tried to find a PC font that looks like the PSP one.
It's close but not as nice, as you can see.

Also, concerning JSON (ajax), I'm waiting to get a working 6.5 build...

bklaas
2006-06-02, 08:46
As far as JSON goes, my personal opinion is that you don't need it--you can do AJAX calls in a much more lightweight fashion with plain text.

Obviously, it's your choice what technology you want to leverage, but you may get some nuggets from my AJAX thread from a while back on the dev forum...
http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=21637

cheers,
#!/ben

Lowrent
2006-06-02, 09:08
As far as JSON goes, my personal opinion is that you don't need it--you can do AJAX calls in a much more lightweight fashion with plain text.

5 years ago, I ditched my web developper job to do video games so i'm a bit lost with all those new web technologies (xshtml? XUL?). But, from what I understood, json IS ajax no ?

Anyway, I already took a look at exBrowse3 and your 770 skin to get prepared for my migration to json/ajax/rpc... It's gonna help a lot.

Either way, i have to wait until 6.5 gets fixed.

bklaas
2006-06-02, 09:22
Take a look at that dev thread, I go into some detail about it all there.

In brief, JSON is a data exchange format. AJAX is a catch-all name to describe using asynchronous javascript calls, usually through xmlhttprequest(), to dynamically update webpages (usually through manipulating DOM elements that are well defined through CSS). The X in AJAX is for XML, which refers to the format of the response text sent back by the webserver. However, there is no explicit tie to XML. Some people choose to use JSON. I evaluated both JSON and XML and came to the conclusion that returning simple plain text was quite adequate, given the relative simplicity of return data from slimserver.

cheers,
#!/ben

Finthen
2006-06-02, 11:28
That skin would be an excellent contribution to upgrade the interface flaw in this, an otherwise wonderful masterpice of technical hardware/software... IMHO

Best of luck and thanx for teh efforts, skinny fellow! ;)

rick's cafe
2006-06-05, 03:09
looking great.. cant wait to test it out!

mactavish
2006-06-14, 07:14
Lowrent

How's the skin coming along ?

Lowrent
2006-06-14, 20:10
How's the skin coming along ?

I have a good amount of work done but I am still trying to find a better way to browse lists.

It looks good but the user experience is not matching the quality standards I targeted.

Browsing frames on the psp sucks, the cursor behavior is weird. I wish i was able to bypass that and display stuff dynamically but it's too slow.

I'll send you the skin as it is at the moment. Let's see what you think about it.