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[Seeking input, information] Making an application that looks like BIOS


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#1 Moonkis   Members   -  Reputation: 273

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 10:08 AM

I'm working and arranging some post-apocalyptic LARP's here in Sweden. And as a personal project and
of course for the fun of it I'd like to make a "communication system" or a "terminal" if you will that allows the users to
access accounts which they can utilize to store documents, send mail to the "Head cooperation" as well as receive
mail and user information.

I'v currently done this in well the native Console and sure it works but it's quite limiting and doesn't scale well with full screen.
It currently works this way, the "client computer" actually holds the database, files and such too reduce reading/writing time ( note that these files are of "LARP" it's not part of the world or LARP.) whilst the arrangers computer also have access to this by LAN and a special program that justs make operating the database, client application and information easier.

So I'm thinking of remaking the application from console to a graphical accelerated program ( DirectX, OpenGL ect ) to create an application that has the feel and looks of the primitive BIOS.

Has this been done before? What do you call these type of application? and how would YOU go about this?
I guess basically that the "Screens" are mostly menu system oriented with some menu items. But how do you lay out a graphical application like that to make sure it looks good, programmatically?

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#2 turch   Members   -  Reputation: 590

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 11:10 AM

The simplest, fastest way would be with html/css/javascript and php or asp. You're looking for a simple forum with a particular graphic style. With the version of Firefox I'm using, fullscreen mode (F11) hides everything except the web page unless you move the mouse to the top of the screen. You can get around that by using something like autohotkey to lock the cursor to a particular region.

That all assumes you have access to all client machines and can do a little manual setup to use it - that's the feeling I got from your post.

#3 stormwarestudios   Members   -  Reputation: 215

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 11:16 AM

Install Cygwin with vim/emacs for file editing, mutt for email, and give users access to a particular (perhaps mounted usb key drive) directory to muck around in.

If you're really creative/dedicated/Linux savvy, set up a Linux server, and have users ssh into it in order to access said subsystem.

Your end product already exists across numerous venues; find the most ideal solution (Linux wins, hands down), utilize it, and your LARP group wins.

#4 Moonkis   Members   -  Reputation: 273

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 11:17 AM

I'm actually thinking of doing this in a programming language like: Java, C# or C++
But i guess that html, php, javascript and the likes could work I'd rather use a er "normal" programming language with a graphical library

#5 Moonkis   Members   -  Reputation: 273

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 11:19 AM

I'm making a PROGRAM an .exe
Thought that might a bit clarification judging by the answers Posted Image

EDIT:
Mostly I'm curios how to layout the graphics like background and menu objects? Making a screen editor or just doing it programmatically?

#6 turch   Members   -  Reputation: 590

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 11:30 AM

If you want to make a compiled executable, you can go with a simple ui library. Qt is an option, I've never used it myself but I'd guess it would be pretty simple to lay out a ui like you need.

And laying everything out in code (or a loaded config / ini file to not have to recompile) would be enough. Any kind of editor would be overkill and you'd at least double your development time. Although I'm pretty sure Qt comes with an editor so that's even better.

#7 Moonkis   Members   -  Reputation: 273

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 11:37 AM

Well isn't Qt for desktop applications? I'm actually looking for something more "Game approach" e.i a full screen window that is rendered real time. With a graphical library.
No boarders, no prebuilt GUI just a real time full screened window that covers every inch of the screen.

I'd probably have to use something like XNA, Slick, Java2D, JWLGL or some other graphical api.

EDIT:

Started looking at Qt it seems like it can do more than standard desktop applications?

#8 turch   Members   -  Reputation: 590

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 11:44 AM

You can go fullscreen / borderless with Qt, and you can use your own graphics. Here's a screenshot I just found of using Qt with custom graphics.

#9 Moonkis   Members   -  Reputation: 273

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 11:56 PM

Well I guess C++ and Qt it is! Might aswell learn Qt because it looks like a solid and well used framework :)

#10 Deprecated   Members   -  Reputation: 107

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 12:01 AM

You're looking to create a TUI ([Text|Terminal] User-Interface). There are several resources available to do this with far less work than a graphics library like SDL/SFML/OpenGL/DirectX would require, if you're willing to use Linux for the clients suggestions can even be found in the wikipedia article I linked.
Those who can do, do; those who can't do, do teach.

#11 swiftcoder   Senior Moderators   -  Reputation: 9762

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 12:06 AM

All of these discussions seem a little overkill, when you basically seem to want a TUI (text-based user interface).

Historically, you would stick a console in full-screen mode, and render your TUI using a library like ncurses...

Tristam MacDonald - Software Engineer @Amazon - [swiftcoding]





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