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#1 d0wnlab

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 08:23 PM

Hi Everyone,

While working on my dash I'm at a point where I'm looking for input on features that should be available. I'll start by listing features I already have working/planned.

Please keep in mind a couple things. First off, there is no networking support in the OpenXDK yet. Nor is there accelerated 3D. Also, this is a dash. I don't want to hear "I want <mp3 player/movie player/emulator/game/etc> in the dash", because, frankly, most of that stuff doesn't belong integrated into a dash imho. My goal is to have a dash that could be used as the basis of an installer, or something similiar, and works fluidly as a dashboard should.

Alright, so:

FileActions
- copy file, move file, backup eeprom to file, delete file, create directory, maybe delete directory if requested.
- format drives? I don't know how to implement this, so we'll see.

XboxActions
- open tray, close tray, reboot, shutdown, set fan speed, set LED colors
- unlock/lock harddisks? I'm guessing they're BIOS calls, haven't looked into it.

Scripts
- any series of events can be linked together into a script, for example a backup script could
- create directory c:/backup
- backup eeprom to c:/backup/eeprom.bak
- copy msdash.xbe to c:/backup/dash.bak
- etc.

General functionality
- scan directory for /whatever.xbe (usually default.xbe), adding entries to menu.
- launch games from whereever (dvd/hd/etc) properly.
- hotkeys (ie, L+R+Y goes to "Games", L+R+Down launchs halo, etc)
- change skin on the fly

linux functionality
friedgold has done some amazing work on the linux minidistro that comes with the dash. It's smaller and features:
- telnet/ftp server
- mounts all accessible partitions
- crazily, it has a menu system that uses the xbox controller!!! Users can backup their eeprom/etc, and select a number of options, via the menu, as well as reboot and power down their xbox. Too cool!

skinning/display
- different skin for each menu if you want it. IE user clicks on "Games", background & fonts all change
- accessible "widgets" for display: MB/CPU temp, tray state
- todo: date/time displays, fan speed, I'm thinking a "tooltip" widget so you can have custom text float above a specific menu option

Emergency
- I hope to embed a skin into the app so that it could work with only the XBE if need be.

So.. what's missing? What's needed for a softmod-friendly dash?

#2 friedgold

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 09:34 PM

Definately agree that the dash should concentrate on being simple and functional. Adding unnecessary bloat which could just as easily be done as part of a seperate application seems pointless.

QUOTE(d0wnlab @ Jul 27 2005, 09:34 PM)
- format drives?  I don't know how to implement this, so we'll see.

You can see the code for the linux mkfs.fatx here. Maybe you can use that to get ideas of how the formatting should work.

QUOTE
Scripts
- any series of events can be linked together into a script, for example a backup script could
- create directory c:/backup
- backup eeprom to c:/backup/eeprom.bak
- copy msdash.xbe to c:/backup/dash.bak
- etc.


It might be nice to try and integrate an existing scripting language. Lua seems like a good candidate but there are plenty of other alternatives (e.g. XBMC uses python, etc).

QUOTE
linux functionality
friedgold has done some amazing work on the linux minidistro that comes with the dash.  It's smaller and features:
- telnet/ftp server
- mounts all accessible partitions
- crazily, it has a menu system that uses the xbox controller!!!  Users can backup their eeprom/etc, and select a number of options, via the menu, as well as reboot and power down their xbox.  Too cool!

Gotta say the menu system isn't really my own work, chimpanzee first did this in his HD Cloning tools. All I did was use his kernel patch.

#3 afon

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 10:00 PM

I would say make this thing look pretty would be number one. If you can make this thing look like XBMC then you have a pretty strong candidate. Aside from this, i would say:

1) Make it skinnable in every aspect (fonts and all)
2) Add preview icons for games and apps
3) Give us a reason to use this before any other dash, do something crazy that hasnt been done. Is the gentoox MCE open source? Try to take some code from that!

Just thought of a crazy feature. Use Pheonix Bios loader/Nk patcher's source to merge a crazy on the fly bios change from dash. To make this even more wild, have the user be able to load this while running cromwell.

Edited by afon, 27 July 2005 - 10:05 PM.


#4 d0wnlab

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 11:23 PM

QUOTE(friedgold)
You can see the code for the linux mkfs.fatx here. Maybe you can use that to get ideas of how the formatting should work.

Thanks for the heads up! I'll look into it more deeply when I get a second xbox whose HD I can trash tongue.gif

QUOTE(friedgold)
It might be nice to try and integrate an existing scripting language. Lua seems like a good candidate but there are plenty of other alternatives (e.g. XBMC uses python, etc).

I'm assuming I'd have to provide my own interfaces to C functions to call so that the lua script can access the system. Depending on how easy that is, maybe I'll do this at some point. Not yet, though.. For now sequential scripts will be okay I think. It'd definitely add the versatility, though.

QUOTE(friedgold)
Gotta say the menu system isn't really my own work, chimpanzee first did this in his HD Cloning tools. All I did was use his kernel patch.

smile.gif I don't care I'm still blown away by it!


QUOTE(afon @ Jul 27 2005, 05:11 PM)
I would say make this thing look pretty would be number one. If you can make this thing look like XBMC then you have a pretty strong candidate.

It should be able to look pretty nice. The menu can be moved around, images can be transparent,etc. Right now (and as far as I can see in the future too) all interactions are done through a menu (like evox), but the menu can be resized and configured differently based on the skin.

QUOTE
1) Make it skinnable in every aspect (fonts and all)

It pretty much is already. Color/font of each seperate part of the dash can be different.

QUOTE
2) Add preview icons for games and apps

I'll look into it, I don't think it'd be too hard; I'd like this, too.

QUOTE
3) Give us a reason to use this before any other dash, do something crazy that hasnt been done.

I'm hoping I can write a dash with a very quick interface, so that you could get from bootup to launching a game as quick and painless as possible. Hotkey's will definitely help too smile.gif.

QUOTE
Just thought of a crazy feature. Use Pheonix Bios loader/Nk patcher's source to merge a crazy on the fly bios change from dash. To make this even more wild, have the user be able to load this while running cromwell.

View Post



I dunno, I'll see. There's not much of a point since nkpatcher/pbl patches the bios then boots a dash. There isn't much benefit of having it all in one xbe instead of seperated into two, and it'd be enough work. I AM looking at working on a new TSOP flashing tool, but I've already said too much ph34r.gif.

#5 xenonmodz

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Posted 28 July 2005 - 06:46 PM

From a perspective as an installer to function as a boot dash from media, which is great because what you are providing is free and legal to the community. I would find these actions most usuable in the raw.

A. Formating/Partitioning Tool
B. Back-up Dash to C: - (Although this is usually performed via Network, it would be a great feature)
C. Locking/Unlocking Tool
D. Back up eeprom/flash eeprom tool (if possible to a memory card for safety).

#6 wolf202

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Posted 02 August 2005 - 06:53 AM

i know that i have said this before but i really think that we should try to get to as close as we can to evox and when we go that far improve open xdk so its a 100% the same.

-wolf

#7 Lattyware

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Posted 16 October 2005 - 11:12 AM

I think that a really great idea would be to move from menu based to desktop style. It would be brilliant to have a desktop with icons for everything you could want. And maybee hitting R would bring up a normal menu aswell or somthing.

#8 jcupp114

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 02:47 AM

The scripting, caching, eeprom, skin loading on-the-fly, password protection is a good offer as well
jcupp114

#9 jcupp114

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Posted 03 November 2005 - 06:14 AM

3d skinables if possible.

Edited by jcupp114, 03 November 2005 - 06:24 AM.


#10 d0wnlab

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Posted 05 November 2005 - 02:20 AM

3d? don't hold your breath




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