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First webcast of blueBill-Mobile (JavaFX)

Posted by fabriziogiudici on June 3, 2009 at 4:01 PM PDT

I've almost finished the port of blueBill-Mobile to JavaFX 1.2. Basically the only issues still open are related to layout, as there are a few things that have changed and I have to understand better. In particular, one of the broken things is the navigation facility that has been designed with "sliding" screens, à la iPhone (with navigation buttons that contextually appear on the screen edges); for the webcast below, I've temporarily replaced it with a fade in / fade out approach. I'm waiting for fixing this final issue before releasing the source. The webcast below requires QuickTime.

Basically, you're seeing the following features:
  1. browsing for a bird species
  2. opening an "info" screen, where photos at full screen can be choosen
  3. viewing a map with nearby recent observations of a given species (this works by connecting to a REST service of blueBill Server, which is currently mocked by an instance serving dummy data)
  4. inserting a geo-tagged observation of a bird (that gets published to blueBill Server again via REST)
  5. viewing a map of fellow-birdwatchers in the nearby surroundings, in real-time (a similar feature to Google Latitude); even in this case, the prototype really connects to a server, but it gets dummy data.

One of the things that I realized only after putting some real photos into the demo is that it's not trivial to render the same photo in two different modes (landscape and portrait) making sure that the subject is still well framed. Basically, this requires annotating the photos with the information about the subject placement, so the application can adjust the frame adaptively. It's easy to do in JavaFX, but it will require some time for me to add the annotation to the photos. That's why you're still seeing some photos brutally cropped at the right or the bottom side.

Now I'm longing to hear from J1 the announcement of the JavaFX player for MSA (JSR-248) mobile phones or such, so I can run this ASAP on a real phone. Also because I'm working for having this thing used for real, on the field.


Since I see that somebody has asked the observer role on the project on, I have to say that bluebIll Mobile has been moved to Kenai. Of course, if you search you can already check out sources. But I'm not going to talk more about the sources until I fix that damn'd remaining bug.

Good work Fabrizio you have a great eye :-)

The upside-down button is an experiment... It got "naturally" out of the implementation that uses a rotation and in a first time I thought about fixing it. But I like it, and I've just to check whether it works when it gets populated with new labels. In the end, maybe it's too freaky ;-) for a normal user.

Very nice. Nice transitions nice option tabs (I especially liked the upsidedown 'locate' one) nice color pallet nice integration with back-end I only wish I enjoyed bird watching so I could use it!!