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Old 21-03-2010, 10:24   #1
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OpenCPN Optimized for Touch Screen

I wanted to start an open discussion on an OpenCPN mode optimized for touch screen, and what exactly this might mean in terms of the UI design. This thread is not, in any way, to be critical of the current UI which works great with mouse+keyboard navigation - this is purely to think about what is needed for a touch screen implementation.

Why am I thinking about this? I'm involved in helping upgrade some of the electronics/nav for my son's Sea Scout Boat. They current have a PC touchscreen monitor at the helm for the chartplotter PC, which is running an ancient version of TheCapn. We need to update that PC and get some newer software that supports AIS.

Of course my first thought was - hey, we can just upgrade to OpenCPN, but I think the touchscreen imposes some technical limitations with doing so.

Offhand I can think of the following challenges:

No right click - This is a pretty fundamental requirement in the current UI design. It's needed for getting AIS data, activating routes, working with waypoints, vector chart object query, etc.

No keyboard - There is probably an onscreen keyboard available in the O/S, but I look at that as more a workaround - as supporting this directly allows much tighter integration. Some thoughts: Exporting GPX routes could have an "autoname" option for the filename, routes could simply be numbered by default (like waypoints already are).

I'm not too worried about things like the configuration editor, as that can always be done directly on the PC, which is in the nav room (this is a 95' former Coast Guard Cutter - so it is literally a room )

Any other ideas and thoughts?
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Old 21-03-2010, 11:19   #2
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That is a very interesting question, and perhaps the missing link between navigation pc software at chart tables and waterproofed, touchscreen navigation units at the helm. You have already outlined the major impediments to touch screen usage; otherwise, there shouldnt be many problems - the icons are nice and big for tapping on, and the chart can be "zoomed to click" fluidly.

Before people get into the discussion of all the dirty details, may I suggest you use one of the right click workarounds, I found the following on google but you may also be able to get little freebie "right click" screen widgets:

Quote:
With a lilliput, open the touckit software then click advance then tick the 'Auto right click' box. You then just press and hold for right click. [...] This is true for any touchscreen using the "Touchkit" drivers. (which most of them do)
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Old 21-03-2010, 15:21   #3
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I didn't know about that, I'll have to look into that driver option. I honestly have no idea what the current touchscreen is using for a driver, but regardles this is worth checking out.

Thanks for that, it didn't occur to me that touchscreen drivers would take that info consideration, but it makes sense!
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Old 22-03-2010, 08:08   #4
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Some packages I have used have a button for "Right Click". After touching the right click button, next touch is interpreted as a right click.

I'd say that if something special was to be done for touch screen, you'd want to be able to turn it on/off. Have a different set of buttons for touch-screen.

-dan
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Old 22-03-2010, 10:21   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dacust View Post
Some packages I have used have a button for "Right Click". After touching the right click button, next touch is interpreted as a right click.
Dmouse v1.0.0 Freeware Download - Dmouse v1. < - like so
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Old 22-03-2010, 11:42   #6
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This is good stuff! And I know this will be useful to more than just me!
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Old 08-04-2010, 05:13   #7
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Touch screen mods

Right-click workarounds excepted, my main wish would be one that I have for non-tablet use as well... a real fullscreen mode.

A resizeable toolbar would also be very nice, though it's not essential.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 08-04-2010, 07:06   #8
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Hello Mike, full screen is on the feature requests at sf.net, I think it would certainly be in tune with the light opencpn interface philosophy. We shall see
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Old 12-05-2010, 14:26   #9
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Loving OpenCPN.

I was looking at CNC Milling machines today and came across this:
Planar Embedded : Marine & Mining Touch Monitors | Planar Products | PlanarEmbedded.com

And having just read this thread a few days ago I thought I would share.

Syd
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Old 12-05-2010, 16:25   #10
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Originally Posted by alsobrsp View Post
Loving OpenCPN.

I was looking at CNC Milling machines today and came across this:
Planar Embedded : Marine & Mining Touch Monitors | Planar Products | PlanarEmbedded.com

And having just read this thread a few days ago I thought I would share.

Syd
That's not very bright, though. You need 1,000-1,500 cd/m2 to read in sunlight. These only have 700 (still much brighter than the 200-300 of a normal LCD display). But it's not too bad a price for a sealed touchscreen with wide voltage input.

At this site: LX0801PTI 8" Mariner Touch Monitor by Planar I found:

8" $2,000
12" $2,100
15" $2,200

Interesting that it doesn't go up dramatically with the size.

Thanks for sharing. I'll bookmark that one.

-dan
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Old 12-06-2010, 08:59   #11
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Other touch screen options

I bought a small panel mount PC from these guys a few years ago.

Earth LCD Home Page - Providing LCD Solutions for Aerospace, Aviation, Marine, Military, Gaming, Kiosks, Digital Signage, Automation Systems, and Embedded apllications.

This might be a better option for some. This could be mounted at the helm with the computer down below. Use one machine and have two displays. Clone the display and you have the same view. I could have lots of fun with this.

XLM-EVUE-10 (XLMEVUE10)

1024 x 768 resolution • 300:1 contrast ratio • 262K colors
Price: $599.00
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Old 02-12-2013, 03:16   #12
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Re: OpenCPN Optimized for Touch Screen

I've just installed OpenCPN in a Linux environment on my Android Sony Xperia tablet.

The first thing that I would like to do is increase the toolbar size. Has anyone already done this? as it will save me some time editing the xml and png files.

The other option I'd like to see is a slider bar or similar to adjust the zoom level as the +- keys are a bit of a pain to use when your used to a scroll wheel on the pc.
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Old 05-12-2013, 15:22   #13
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Re: OpenCPN Optimized for Touch Screen

Quote:
Originally Posted by mhasting2004 View Post
The other option I'd like to see is a slider bar or similar to adjust the zoom level as the +- keys are a bit of a pain to use when your used to a scroll wheel on the pc.
+1

With a max zoom region of the slider, and perhaps a zoom out which sizes to display the entire chart on screen
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Old 08-12-2013, 02:54   #14
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Re: OpenCPN Optimized for Touch Screen

I've been playing with the standard/traditional style and created a new BigButton style for better visibility on my high res Sony Xperia tablet.

If you drop the two files into your uidata folder you will find a new option to choose from the drop down menu of the toolbars and window styles tab

The forum doesn't like XML so I renamed the extention to xls change that back to xml for it to work.

Looks ok to me but no guarantee... I'm a newbie to OpenCPN so buyer beware!

Cheers

Mark
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Old 08-12-2013, 06:16   #15
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Re: OpenCPN Optimized for Touch Screen

Subject relevant and very important!
Interface adapted to the touch screen is the future OpenCPN and it is necessary to pay special attention to the developers!

Propose to formulate a list of all the shortcomings of the program on the screen. Discuss and come up with solutions.

Let's get into this topic to address issues of usability interface and not the hardware.
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