Friday, December 26, 2008

Building a GUI for an embedded system.

I'm building a HMI for an industrial control application, in a hurry. I'm faced with some choices:

#1. Use a GUI system on top the Unity 3D RAD platform.
#2. Use a 'standard' toolkit, like Windows Forms, GTK or QT.
#3. Build a GUI system on top of Pyglet.

Number #1 would be great to use, because it will let me use 3D elements as GUI items, and builds a very slick looking product. Unfortunately it doesn't work well with the touchscreen, because of the way it's GUI system works. It assumes you are always using a mouse. Because of this, I'd have to work-around the problem, which is an unknown and a risk.

Number #2 would be ok, because I could use Python, and it will get me up and running quickly. However, because I'm using a touchscreen, with no keyboard, most of the pre built widgets would be useless. I'd need to build new custom widgets, which almost negates the advantage of using an existing toolkit.

Number #3 is a risk, because there is an amount of new code I would have write and test. I can't just dive in and write the application. However, I have written lots of OpenGL GUI code before, which I can draw on, and I can make it look much better than Number #2. I can also build the widgets explicitly to work with touch screens, which should make for a better end user experience.

I'm going with #3.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Global Game Jam

Global Game Jam is coming to Perth.

The Global Game Jam will start at 5:00 PM Friday, January 30, 2009 through 5:00 pm Sunday, February 1, 2009, local time.

Arrangements for the venue and other things are still in progress, however there is likely to be a (small) entry cost for participants. Numbers are very limited, so you will need to get in quick.

To register, please email me at, with your name and contact phone number. You must be able to attend the venue (likely to be in Northbridge, Western Australia) if you wish to participate.

Edit: We currently have 6 interested people...

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