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-   -   [S9, J3, X7] Cheetah XT - Discussion (http://iaudiophile.net/forums/showthread.php?t=40421)

Kizune 02-19-2012 08:49

[S9, J3, X7] Cheetah XT - Discussion
 
Well... a few days ago I posted my ideas about improvements on the other thread:

My first idea was to introduce themes which can be created by anyone. Their task is to "transform" Cheetah functions to a usable interface. They are comparable with Windows themes, but aren't as limited. For instance, the default theme provides the usual structure: System tray, menubar, desktop; but other themes can be entirely different and show for example WP7-like tiles.

The second idea was actually quite minor: Instead of creating a graphic for each popup layout, I'll create a universal popup which will be able to show different types of content (a list, a scrollbar, anything). This saves memory and resources and thus Cheetah is loaded faster.

Those are the ideas I had in the last few weeks.

Okay, so why did I create a new thread for Cheetah?

Well, holidays have started and I decided to take a break from learning and test my ideas (not only these two ideas but also some more).
What I can tell so far is that themes work exceptionally well, the universal popup also works like a charm and my other ideas have lead to way faster code and less memory/resource consumption.

However, these ideas will alter Cheetah a lot... I'll have to re-code quite a lot things. Yeah, that's right. But I'm a perfectionist and the ideas I had in the last few weeks would improve Cheetah a lot, speed- and usability-wise.
That's also the reason why I renamed Cheetah to "Cheetah XT". (Another reason is that I've started to use other techniques to create graphics - the results are way better)

I'm sorry that I'll restart Cheetah once again but I want it to be perfect.

--------

Download

http://db.tt/E7xtbA3S

Either download the ZIP file, or enter the folder "Cheetah - Release Prep" and use the download button at the top right corner to download the whole folder as ZIP file.

Please note that this folder always contains the latest files of Cheetah, meaning it is updated every day - sometimes the current build works flawlessly, sometimes not. It's just for testing purposes.
However, it is impossible to break your player with a UCI, so testing Cheetah XT is safe. The worst thing that could happen is that the player freezes and you have to use the reset hole.

(That folder is comparable with the dev builds I made last year... with the exception that this folder is always up-to-date, no matter when you download it)

briant1234 02-19-2012 09:17

hey kizu, long time no post xD

anyway hurray for the new cheetah! icant wait to test it out. the new ideas sound very interesting.

WAI 02-19-2012 12:44

i'm looking forward to it indeed and i have been away for sometime as well but i do get around in here time to time

Kizune 02-19-2012 13:39

And the live broadcast has started!

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/kizune


As usual, I recommend you to use the "Pop out" button on the top right corner of the player if you want to see more details (the window is resizeable, don't worry).

lupu_de_balta 02-19-2012 16:34

hm... i would never be able to watch that live broadcast anyway... my pc would freeze. instead, let me give you this advice, you may read it, or not, it is pretty objective, but it may be of some help to you, at some point.

about your work, kizu, it really depends, on how far are you going to go for cheetah to be the best thing ever!... as an example, i drawn, and re drawn the same draw for about, like 8 times. this means, the same work for about 8 times, for it to be perfect. it was, that i was not happy with even a little error, like a paper error, or a little dot coming out of my erase-gum, but in the end, it was perfect. (perfect means, like i wanted it to be, not perfect for all tastes, but i can say that 90% of the people who looked at it, have given the same response, and it was that it was good.

as all of us, are pretty excited about the new cheetah, i cannot be really objective, but as a subjective opinion, as long, as you consider it the best thing, do whatever, would make you happy with your work. it is pointless to work at it for about (considering how long it takes for you to complete it, and the resources you really use) one to three straight months, it would be bad, if you would still want to improve it. minor things, yes, but for a work to be good, it must make it's creator proud of it.

looking at it the other way, it means more work for you, more resources, more nights to do it, more spent time, that you can spend on drinking, or anything, but as long as cheetah is what you want to name the ultimate creation, the best ui for j3 in the whole world, and the thing you want to put your feelings in, i consider that both of the ideas are great.

the first one, concerning re-encoding, could take you the most of time, but, as i said, if it is something that must be the ultimate, and you consider making it like that, do it...

the second, i consider even better. in fact, the way it will behave, would be much more professional, than the other way. i am thinking this as a pre-becoming programmer and your idea is one thing that comes to a genius. i would not consider it minor, as you are improving the time and resources cheetah use. in fact, it is even greater, if you consider that it may shorten the encoding time, and in the same time, making cheetah, what you wanted from it in the first place, prettier, faster, and smaller.

so, as a final thought, consider these, as a more subjective advice, than objective, and keep up the good work!... also, have a happy holiday!....

Mr. Bonheur 02-19-2012 16:37

Can you explain how it would work for a designer to make a Cheetah's custom interface or it's a bit sooner ?

Kizune 02-19-2012 16:47

Hmm, it depends on how expensive you want the theme to be.
What I mean is for example a basic WP7-esque tile theme wouldn't be as difficult to create as the default theme I'm going to create (which will have different wallpaper types, icons, folders, widgets,...).

I try to make coding themes as easy as possible, for instance there is pre-created code for the system tray (the bar at the top) which automatically checks the system's state (battery, volume,...) and then reports each change to the theme which then just has to display the given information. Another example is that implementing settings for a theme is also very, VERY, easy to do. You don't even have to create a settings screen for it, you just have to write the structure which basically describes what settings are in which category etc.

I'll make the default theme open source so you can investigate the code and understand how to use my pre-created code. :)


edit:

Oh well, I forgot you wanted the designer's view. [laugh]
That shouldn't be too difficult, too. As I said, I'll make my default theme open source so it's no problem for you to change it however you want.

mickcenary 02-20-2012 22:41

My body is ready. Maybe.

Kizune 02-21-2012 01:50

Here are two screenshots:

http://i.imgur.com/GiQ94.jpg http://i.imgur.com/TkmDW.jpg

As you can see, I enlarged not only the icons in the menubar again (compare to Cheetah Beta), I also enlarged the icons in the system tray.
In the second screenshot, the black box at the bottom is the universal popup. The first object (top to bottom) is a slider (might get re-done), the second object is a switch button in disabled state, the third object a switch button in enabled stage and the last object is a button.

DSperber 02-21-2012 02:19

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kizune (Post 327229)
As you can see, I enlarged not only the icons in the menubar again (compare to Cheetah Beta), I also enlarged the icons in the system tray.

Bravo!!! APPLAUSE!!!

This will be HUGELY appreciated, believe me.

Do I see a slight "drop shadow" on the icons down in the system tray? Hard to tell in these screenshots, but if so then it's very attractive.

If I can make a request, please apply the same type of MUCH LARGER and MUCH MORE VISIBLE icons (taking better advantage of available space for icons rather than black background) in Penguin and Bamboo when you eventually get there. Same with text.

Looks elegant!

Kizune 02-21-2012 02:35

Yes, I'll definitely use same-sized icons in my AUCIs.
I compared Cheetah with webOS and I immediately noticed that Cheetah's menubar icons were still very small compared to webOS' icons which are even easy to distinguish when I don't wear my glasses (I can hardly see anything without them :S).
And the system tray... it was also too small. I couldn't see anything at all whereas in webOS it was still possible to distinguish the system tray icons.
I always thought that large icons wouldn't look nice or elegant, but webOS has the best design of all mobile OS and it looks fantastic even though the icons are huge (compared to my earlier UCIs).
You could say, it opened my eyes.

Long story short, the icon size shown in the screenshots will now always be used in my UCIs.

And about the drop shadow: Yes, you're right, there is a drop shadow. I'd have never thought someone would notice it. [blink]

DSperber 02-21-2012 02:53

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kizune (Post 327233)
And about the drop shadows: Yes, you're right, there is a drop shadow. I'd have never thought someone would notice it. [blink]

Of course I'm always getting the system tray and menu bar mixed up. Can't remember which is which, but I now think the system tray is at the top... so my earlier comment about observing the drop shadow was meant to be talking about the menu bar, not the system tray. The black background up on the system tray makes a drop shadow irrelevant.

Again it's hard to tell exactly, but it also looks like you've got a "gradient" on the gray background for the upper menu bar.

All in all, between the drop shadow combined with the gradient... this is looking awfully "Aero" and 3D-like, meaning glamorous and elegant. Same way Windows 7 looks ever so much more sleek than WinXP. Very very nice.

These appearance touches really go a long way toward making the whole user-experience that much more pleasant and enjoyable, even though they're not directly related to function but rather only to form, especially if there is a consistent and attractive look and feel that is carried through within all of the AUCI sub-systems. Very distinctive.

Kizune 02-21-2012 03:00

Quote:

Originally Posted by DSperber (Post 327234)
Again it's hard to tell exactly, but it also looks like you've got a "gradient" on the gray background for the upper menu bar.

That's right. :)


Quote:

Originally Posted by DSperber (Post 327234)
All in all, between the drop shadow combined with the gradient... this is looking awfully "Aero" and 3D-like, meaning glamorous and elegant. Same way Windows 7 looks ever so much more sleek than WinXP. Very very nice.

Haha, I agree, Win 7's design is way better than Win XP's.


Quote:

Originally Posted by DSperber (Post 327234)
These appearance touches really go a long way toward making the whole user-experience that much more pleasant and enjoyable, even though they're not directly related to function but rather only to form, especially if there is a consistent and attractive look and feel that is carried through within all of the AUCI sub-systems. Very distinctive.

Consistency is a good key word, because THAT is what is still missing on the S9/J3 (if you use UCIs) and thus somewhat worsens the user experience. There are so many great UCIs, but all look drastically different from each other and this is what I'll try to get rid of with my UCI package (which will include all major and some minor UIs, e.g. the radio UI, video UI, music UI, Typist,...). A consistent look can indeed make a huge difference.

lupu_de_balta 02-21-2012 08:53

kizu, i don't know, if this is because of using your previouvis beta, but when i get into the normal system settings for j3, from where i change the eq settings, the background is black. this is not really anoying but, how can it be reverted?...

also, if you are making these things, you can change the ui for viewing settings too?...

Kizune 02-21-2012 11:31

The wallpaper is black because you use my custom launcher. ;)
And no, I won't upgrade the settings screen since you don't get to see it very often. But the main reason is that the code of it is very strange and complicated (thanks, Cowon).


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