Video Browser Application (with filenames!)

posted Apr 23, 2010, 1:24 PM by Tom Pixley   [ updated Apr 23, 2010, 2:28 PM ]

I put together a basic file browsing application.  It only browses and plays video at the moment (no photos or audio).  It's intended for use by all of the folks out there trying to playback downloaded content from local storage or network shares who (for some strange reason) feel like they need filenames instead of a bunch of unlabeled gray boxes.

It's set up to pull from multiple sources:
  • Local USB drives - This is pretty straightforward.  If you have any local media attached to the device it should automatically show up in the browse view.  No setup required.  The box doesn't have the power to create thumbnails on the fly but the app will use covers via naming convention if they are there.  So "foo.avi" will use the cover "foo.jpg", if it exists.
  • Network shares - The application contains an manager to add/edit/delete network shares.  To avoid any potential naming conflicts it only creates and looks for shares in "/mnt/network/".  It will browse anything it finds there.  In order to use the manager function you'll need to install the "runMountList.fw" patch file included with the application.  Thumbnails over network shares use the same naming convention as local USB drives.
  • UPnP browsing - This one is a bit trickier.  The device doesn't have UPnP currently running on it so instead it's set up to use a UPnP proxy.  There is a second application I'm uploading called "Hiccup".  This is a Windows application which the box can use to run UPnP queries.  If you're using PlayOn or some other PC-based UPnP server then I recommend it.  If you don't want to have your PC on or run a new service then just ignore it.
The app hasn't been heavily tested yet so any bugs/feedback are encouraged.  I'll start a thread on the SinCityHackers forum for it.

Zuibrowser documentation and debugging tools

posted Apr 20, 2010, 2:12 PM by Tom Pixley   [ updated Apr 20, 2010, 6:41 PM ]

I got the okay to post some of our internal application development tools.  This will help anyone who feels like playing around and trying to make their own applications to run on top of the current platform.  Unfortunately it will not help those of you trying to modify the platform at a lower level.  The low-level build tools are still not available.  But for those who are interested I've uploaded:

  • Zuibrowser debugger for Windows : A Windows version of Zuibrowser.  It works very well for testing basic code execution and layout it does not have full media support.  Also, a number of the system service contexts are not implemented here (configuring network settings, for example).
  • Hillcrest 101 application tutorial : Install into the same base directory as the Zuibrowser debugger. Contains a number of examples of basic concepts and syntax.
Documentation: "Developer's Guide to the ZUIverse" : Documentation for our reference platform.  Matches fairly closely with the implementation on the Kodak platform though the Kodak had a handful of services removed (and also a few undocumented additions).
I need to write up some better instructions on how to develop using these tools but the short, short, short version is:
  • Look at the "apps_config.txt" file where ever you installed the debugger.  It contains a setting for "startURI" which determines what scene the application will load when it starts.  You can set the value of "startURI" to load your own applications.  This value can be a file URI (i.e "file:///c:/foo/bar.zml").
  • You can create your own file here called "local.config.txt" and add new values which will override the defaults in "apps_config.txt" and "platform_config.txt".
  • Configure the "debugPriority" flag to filter which messages show up in the log.  For application debugging try:
debugPriority = DOMLogger DebugQueries DebugQueryResponses DebugScriptEvents
  • As the system runs it will output a log to "zuibrowser.log".  If you tail that file (try Baretail if you need a tool) you can see a log of system messages/errors.
  • You can send output debug message from script with:

New Twitter App

posted Apr 7, 2010, 10:29 AM by Tom Pixley   [ updated Apr 7, 2010, 10:33 AM ]

Added "Zuitter", a Twitter application for the Kodak Theatre.  You can download it from the Files section.

The application will let you see current tweets from people you're following or based on searches and trending topics.  You can also tweet yourself using the onscreen keyboard.

Also contains a couple of visual apps which show random tweets across a world maps and a slideshow of random Twitpics.

posted Apr 7, 2010, 9:13 AM by Tom Pixley   [ updated Apr 23, 2010, 1:27 PM ]

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