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HomeSeer Road Runner Plugin

123

Senior Member
Road Runner auto scales itself ... there is a "general.ini" ... you tell it the original image sizes, and then tell it what resolution you want it displayed at.
I guess we don't share the same definition of "auto-scaling". I don't consider scaling to be "automatic" if you must explicitly indicate the target resolution. Ideally, the client should detect the display-resolution and re-size the UI accordingly.

I think its ability to specify the target resolution is a time-saver but I was hoping for true auto-scaling.
 

DavidL

Senior Member
Road Runner auto scales itself ... there is a "general.ini" ... you tell it the original image sizes, and then tell it what resolution you want it displayed at.
I guess we don't share the same definition of "auto-scaling". I don't consider scaling to be "automatic" if you must explicitly indicate the target resolution. Ideally, the client should detect the display-resolution and re-size the UI accordingly.

I think its ability to specify the target resolution is a time-saver but I was hoping for true auto-scaling.

I would call that Full Screen.

There are too many variables like Extended Desktop in the mix. Setting a target resolution is the best solution IMO.
 

123

Senior Member
...There are too many variables like Extended Desktop in the mix. ...

Whether the app is running Full Screen, Maximized, or in a Window, auto-scaling implies it will automatically adjust its UI to fit the allocated display area. Naturally, there is usually a threshold beyond which the UI cannot be scaled down without losing legibility or information.

Extended Desktop mode shouldn't present an obstacle. Depending on how Extended Desktop mode is configured, an application can potentially scale to fit all available monitors or just one monitor. Where this flexibility could prove to be detrimental, some apps have hard limits that prevent them from scaling beyond a predetermined resolution.
 

JohnWPB

Active Member
Personally, I like the feature of defining the screen size that you want. I mean, if I am going to create a skin for home automation, it will be in one set size, and there is no real need to be switching resolutions.

My desktop resolution is set to 1920 x 1080. I tell Road Runner to display at 800 x 600 (top left corner) as I am working on, editing, testing and such. I do not want RR to be full screen, except when I am done, and have it ready to use on the touch screen.

However, if this is such a big deal, a very simple script could be written in AutoIt to take care of this. The script would check the current screen resolution, write the values to the general.ini, and then run Road Runner. When you run the "RRLoader.exe", this would only add another 1/4 second or so to the Road Runner load time.
 

123

Senior Member
Different needs for different people ...

I need the UI to adapt itself to the available screen real-estate. The general trend in the industry is to develop technologies that permit applications to adjust their appearance based on the display's constraints. If the UI was developed for 800x600 and viewed at 1280x1024, everything is magnified in order to fit the screen yet maintain proper proportions. If viewed at 640x480, the UI is automatically reduced (i.e. not cropped) to fit. Web technologies already support this behaviour and I'll take a wild guess so can Windows Presentation Foundation. All of this helps to avoid the 'UI-scrambling' that occurs when something is coded at 96 dpi and then viewed at a higher resolution like 120 dpi.

BTW, this isn't a dig against RoadRunner! I've seen what you've done and it is very impressive.
 

SnyperBob

Active Member
m'eh....I don't regularly change my screen sizes or display sizes. I typically leave it set at one resolution and that's it. I've never had a problem with Road Runner in this aspect. I guess if you're changing monitors/display frequently or (for some reason) changing your resolutions on a regular basis, I would understand your point.

I've actually never seen anyone bring this up as an issue or downfall, lol
 

JohnWPB

Active Member
I need the UI to adapt itself to the available screen real-estate. The general trend in the industry is to develop technologies that permit applications to adjust their appearance based on the display's constraints. If the UI was developed for 800x600 and viewed at 1280x1024, everything is magnified in order to fit the screen yet maintain proper proportions.

I can kinda see what you mean... such as adapting to a touchscreen, PDA or cellphone environment. On the other hand, Road Runner will only run on a Windows based PC, so the scaling was never intended to work in that manner in Road Runner.

The fonts on the other hand do scale correctly... meaning if you have a small font on a 1920 screen, it will be readable if scaled to 800, and not look like a 8 pt. font :D NOTE: This only works if the labels for the buttons are in the skin, and not in the .jpg you create.

If there is any further interest in this plugin, I could make it dynamic. Meaning, you can press and hold a button on the screen, and be presented with a device code pop-up (to choose A1 for instance to be controlled by that button) as well as being able to choose the icon such as a lamp, ceiling light, wall switch ect ect... This is the way my skin works now for all of the main menu buttons, so you can choose where and what options the skin has.
 

TeleFragger

Active Member
wow... good work..
I installed road runner on a desktop to start playing with... I was going to do a truckpc.... for offroading, internet and all that stuff.. but that is not a priority for another few years..

I still have to work on the truck some more... sat all last year.. I just found my electric draw.....

so gotta get her running again... and back into the mud!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I do not have any touchscreens in my home automation.... but this would be cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

123

Senior Member
I've actually never seen anyone bring this up as an issue or downfall, lol

Could be because of RoadRunner's heritage, namely for use in vehicles. I guess the typical installation uses one touchscreen so the UI is designed for only one display-resolution. I'll take a wild guess that even cars with multiple touchscreens probably use the same display model.

In a home environment, there's a higher chance of encountering multiple touchscreen devices, each with a different screen size. It will continue to become more heteregeneous with the advent of smart-phones and UMPCs. Consider operating systems like Android that are designed to work on handheld devices ... with different screen sizes.
 

DavidL

Senior Member
Let's not forget that it is very unlikely that anyone would design a quality scene for a 10 foot screen to also be used on an Android phone with a good user experience.

Autoscaling or not.

The issue is these drastic differences in UI presentation raise many more issues than just scaling.

No matter the technology, the UI is different design for small vs. medium vs. large display devices.
 

123

Senior Member
No matter the technology, the UI is different design for small vs. medium vs. large display devices.

Can't agree with you 100% on that. Just how different does a typical Windows app look at 640x480,800x600,1024x768,etc? Not much really; it adapts. I'll grant you that a 10' UI should differ from a mobile phone but when you're in the range of traditional touchscreens, auto-scaling is a plus.

Anyway, 'nuf said about auto-scaling; JohnWPB has described a simple workaround that should serve the needs of most users.
 

CollinR

Senior Member
Thanks for the efforts John!

All naysayers just move along and be thankful that our hobby as a whole has another feather in it's cap.
 

123

Senior Member
All naysayers just move along and be thankful that our hobby as a whole has another feather in it's cap.
Behold, CollinR has spoken! Banish the dissenters and give thanks to what he hath blessed.

As I said: "... this isn't a dig against RoadRunner! I've seen what you've done and it is very impressive."
 

pierrotm777

New Member
I JohnWPW,

I use RR with DigitalFX 4.0 for a CarPc project and love it .
I work every day that i god do to add plugins .

I look for a lot of month ago a plugin like your for homeseer .

Is it possible to download it . If yes , where please .

Thank again for your work
 

pierrotm777

New Member
As a few of you know, I have moved for the past few months from Home Automation to CarPC mode as a hobby :) Now that I have just about everything in order, and working the way with Road Runner and My DigitalFX skin, (Have a look at that link for some screen shots of the interface) Its time to go back to Home Automation for a while.

Here is a quick video of just a couple of the features

During the past couple months I was toying as using Road Runner as a front end for my In-wall touchscreen. I had limited success using all sorts of scripts and ways to talk to HS over the network.

The last link was getting Road Runner and Home Seer to communicate directly with each other. I just over came that in the past couple days :D I have written a plugin for Road Runner, that allows full communication between HS & RR. It makes all of the commands completely native to Road Runner. It works if RR and HS are on the same machine, or works across a network as well. You can control devices, get device status, trigger events, receive event triggers from HS and so forth. So you can put a motion sensor by the front door, and when it detects motion, send a command to Road Runner to display your camera screen.

What makes Road Runner so great, is that it is VERY easy to create skins for.

Making a skin is as simple as drawing up a screen in your favorite paint program, and then opening it in the GUI skin editor, and putting any text, labels, buttons, application embedding areas, and such in place. Thats as simple as I think you can get :)

Here is the image alone that I did in Photoshop for the living room lights: (The indicidual icons are embedded in my PSD, or you can have RR load an image into that area if you don't want to put them in the main image.)

psimagerf4.jpg


Here it is in the skin editor (The house code M3 is all that would need to be changed to control a different device. Pressing the Dim Bar to the right, creates a small pop-up screen with a dim slider that you can move with your finger to the desired level, or tap the dim / bright buttons at the top or bottom of the slider to go 5% increments.)

skineditorbi4.jpg



And the final GUI that will be displayed on the touchscreen. Notice the above images have different background colors, it is actually transparent, and you can choose what background image or color to show behind the screens, in this case I used a black image with some colorful swirls on it)

completedtn4.jpg


As far as the font colors, and the buttons at the bottom, you can change them from within RR the skin, or define what color you want in the skin editor.


The next is it can actually do far more than just about any Home Automation GUI on the market! It does it all... Extensive Weather information, maps, interactive maps , gas prices, Youtube videos, scribble pad, Calculator, Monitoring Camera's, Google Earth, Photo viewer with pan and zoom, AM/FM/HD radio, XM or Sirius satellite, Local theater listings, and about 1,000 other things :) All from a screen that is 100% designed for touchscreen use.

As far as audio, it has the most powerful music database capabilities that I have ever seen to manage your music library. You can list by genre, year, artist, album, song name and can sort by any of them as well, randomize, sort by year...... The search is extremely powerful as well, such as <1980 to get all music in your collection from 1979 and earlier. The music is stored on the local machine, and can point to any computer on the network for the actual music files. It has a built in virtual 10 disk changer that you can add music to any disk with a couple clicks. As an example, you can search for "Aerosmith" and the results show instantly (database driven). You can then click "Results to disk" and choose a disk number to put it on. Every single Aerosmith song you have in your collection no matter if it's on a full album, random music folder or compilation albums is then on that disk.

Being it is database driven, and does not rely on filder structure (Uses MP3 tags), you could literally put every single MP3 you have in a single folder, and still view my album, artist, genre ect.

Lastly, there is a LOT of hardware that is supported by RR. You can hook up XM, Sirius, HD radios, camera's, and such. There are game port plugins that you can rip appart a USB joypad type device to get 16 physical buttons that can do anything when pressed. There are also specific devices, such as the Fusion Brain, that will give you Digital and Analog in's and outs. This could be used to control relay's for whole house audio and the likes.

RR is also as easy to write scripts for as Home Seer. You can parse web pages to get information ect....

So, the question is, would anyone be interested in such a plugin? I have coded it for personal use, and a lot is hard coded. I could make an ini with settings for network machine names and such.
I am very interested by your plugin.

I use RR and DFX 4.0 for many month ago and i shouls to try HS with RR .

Is it possible to download this plugin ?
Thanks before for your answer

Great job like always John
 
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