Xbmc As A Alternative To Minimenu

Would you use xbmc as a launcher for PNDs?

  • Yes

    Votes: 24 68.6%
  • No

    Votes: 10 28.6%
  • I don't want minimenu or xbmc but something else...

    Votes: 1 2.9%

  • Total voters
    35

mindlord

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DaveC said:
I wouldn't think it would work to well if you have allot of stuff. You would have a huge wall of text to scroll through especially if you do it by picking on a ROM etc. While it may be OK if you only have a few things I can see that getting unweildy real fast.

It seems stuck on the scroll one by one thing too much. If you want to get to your stuff quickly it is much faster with an icon grid and the ability to catagorize emus, games etc.
XBMC also allows scrolling by page (press right to get to the scroll bar and up/down becomes pgup/pgdn). Since the Pandora has a keyboard attached you can hit the first letter of the game you're looking for and jump to it, and pgup/pgdn behave as expected. There's also mouse support as well, so you can use the stylus to pick if you want. Also, as HackModford says, you can change the display to icon grids, and a variety of other looks. XBMC has become quite sophisticated in it's old age.
 
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HackModford

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skeezix... could you take a look at this thread

http://www.gp32x.de/board/index.php?/topic/57462-xbmc-launch-pnds/page__st__15__gopid__926335&#entry926335

If you haven't already...

Thanx
 
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gruso

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I've been playing with this today, and it's a beautiful thing. Almost the perfect Pandora menu system. To make it truly Pandorified it would need some things changed, like getting rid of the somewhat redundant Weather section, having a good look at how it would handle a collection of 50+ PNDs, more refined button mappings etc.

All that stuff would come later though, right now it just needs to get stable and start launching PNDs. I'll start using it as my default GUI as soon as this happens. In the meantime, it's handling all my media. I've had my fingers crossed for this for a long time! :)
 

Caine

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Gruso said:
I've been playing with this today, and it's a beautiful thing. Almost the perfect Pandora menu system. To make it truly Pandorified it would need some things changed, like getting rid of the somewhat redundant Weather section, having a good look at how it would handle a collection of 50+ PNDs, more refined button mappings etc.
XBMC can handle extremely large lists of media just fine, I see little reason why large lists of PNDs would be any harder. It even has some very nice features to navigate such lists. For example, if you scroll through a tremendously large list of sorted media at high speed (faster than you can read) the first letter will pop-up in a larger overlay as you scroll, really nice to quickly locate the right data.

Gruso said:
All that stuff would come later though, right now it just needs to get stable and start launching PNDs.
We're quite close to making that happen (where we = HackModford, sebt3 and (to a lesser degree) myself). In theory it shouldn't be hard at all. On my media center pc I can already launch .desktop files with ease. Unfortunately there seems to be some strange problem where minimizing of XBMC does not work properly on the Pandora. I don't have my own Pandora yet, so it's a bit hard to debug at the moment. If you have any ideas on how to solve that problem, please share them in this thread.
 
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gruso

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I'll definitely be in that thread giving some feedback & bug reports. Best I can offer. :)

I use (a very old version of) XBMC at home and frequently scroll through large lists of files, so I'm satisfied that it can handle them. But I'm usually scrolling through episodes of a TV show or something; things that work fine in a list. As opposed to a collection of apps, that you would normally break into categories. I know there will be a few methods but I'm reserving judgement until I see it in action. It's going to be hard for a single XBMC tab to do what Minimenu does.

If it means manually categorising PNDs by creating directories, I'll probably be happy enough!
 

Caine

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Gruso said:
I'll definitely be in that thread giving some feedback & bug reports. Best I can offer. :)

I use (a very old version of) XBMC at home and frequently scroll through large lists of files, so I'm satisfied that it can handle them. But I'm usually scrolling through episodes of a TV show or something; things that work fine in a list. As opposed to a collection of apps, that you would normally break into categories. I know there will be a few methods but I'm reserving judgement until I see it in action. It's going to be hard for a single XBMC tab to do what Minimenu does.

If it means manually categorising PNDs by creating directories, I'll probably be happy enough!
Categories are stored in the pxml and the generated .desktop files. Right now we use a generic launcher plugin, but there is no reason why we can't make a specific PND launcher plugin instead. Such a plugin can easily be adapted to read in those categories directly and recreate the same structure. I have some experience writing XBMC plugins. I'll take a look at this when I have some time.
 
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Pleng

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Caine said:
Unfortunately there seems to be some strange problem where minimizing of XBMC does not work properly on the Pandora.

Matchbox Window manager should solve that problem nicely.
 
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Caine

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Pleng said:
Matchbox Window manager should solve that problem nicely.
Yeah, I saw your reply in the other thread. HackModford, have you tried this?
 
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HackModford

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I don't think so. I have matchbox set for minimenu and I still have the problem.

Also you can disable the weather section in the settings
 

CPUnltd

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Gruso said:
I'll definitely be in that thread giving some feedback & bug reports. Best I can offer. :)

I use (a very old version of) XBMC at home and frequently scroll through large lists of files, so I'm satisfied that it can handle them. But I'm usually scrolling through episodes of a TV show or something; things that work fine in a list. As opposed to a collection of apps, that you would normally break into categories. I know there will be a few methods but I'm reserving judgement until I see it in action. It's going to be hard for a single XBMC tab to do what Minimenu does.

If it means manually categorising PNDs by creating directories, I'll probably be happy enough!
Suggestion:

What about having a "separate" PND menu system which allows for the categories to be tabs which are scrollable as the XBMC setup is already capable? I'm thinking there could be an icon or something that launches the PND menu system and either minimizes or closes the standard XBMC menu... and the PND menu could have an icon/button/whatever that does the reverse as well... if this is possible, then you could launch the PND XBMC separately if you know you're turning on your Pandora for gameplay vs media playback, granted I'm sure there may be better ways to implement this idea, but I think it's worth consideration (if it doesn't seem like too much trouble)... Come to think of it, that could offer up XBMC as a file manager as well... :p but that discussion (if worth it) could be for another time. I'm just tossing the idea out there that just popped into my head without seriously thinking it through beyond the thoughts flowing behind the original to flesh out a genuine and possibly sound idea... Take it or leave it. :D
 
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HackModford

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ideally someday I'd like xbmc to be able to launch PNDs natively...

But someone would have to mess around with the sourcecode to get it to do that...

Edit: thought you guys might like to see this...

 

second exodous

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Wow, this is coming along, I might like to use it now. I thought you guys were crazy for working on this but no I can see it. I'm still leaning towards just a standard desktop for my Pandora though, I don't see a huge need for minimenu or this since the Pandora has a full keyboard and game controls.
 

CPUnltd

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honestly, second exodus... I see the general cool factor more than anything else... and interesting browsing options for large amounts of media... I'd expect most to use it just like they do on desktops... a visual option only when accessing media, or a standard option when on a "media-only" system...
 

Caine

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I just got a basic xbmc plugin up and running which scans /usr/share/applications and/or ~/Desktop for .desktop files and presents them as a nested file hierarchy based on their categories. On my desktop I can already use this as an alternative way to launch applications directly from xbmc. We still need to improve a bit on the launching method for the Pandora as minimizing doesn't work properly there.

I still need to expand on its feature set. Some things I'm planning: quick searching, hiding of individual applications, previews and icons.

Some small questions:
- Where are the icons for the PNDs stored on the Pandora? Are they only embedded in the PNDs or are they also copied somewhere else?
- Do the .desktop files contain a full path to the icons or a relative path/name only?

<edit>Nevermind, found it.</edit>
 
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