jazzman on 27 Dec 2010 11:44:33 -0800

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[PLUG] Smartphone-Like UI for X?

Hey all,

I've got two little hobby projects I'm tinkering with that have a similar requirement and I'm stumped. I thought if anyone would have some good input it would be you guys.

Basically what I'm looking for is a smartphone style (iPhone UI, Palm WebOS UI) window manager that I can add to a standard linux distro or even build a custom mini-distro around. Ideally I'd like the same basic gesture type interface as WebOS (swipe left and right and up/down to navigate pages of icons, etc). I looked at GPE, but it seems like it's not actively maintained and the site it's hosted on (linuxtogo.org) is spotty in terms of access.

Now, a quick overview of the projects I'm tinkering with in my freetime

Project 1: I have an old (circa 2004) tablet PC. It's an HP TC1000. It has a 1ghz Transmeta Crusoe processor, 512mb of ram, and a 40gb laptop hard drive in it. I installed Debian 5 on it and tweaked it a bit for performance and functionality (I got pen input, screen rotate when keyboard is attached/removed, etc. all working with some scripting, etc.) It could still be a little quicker, I think, and I'd like to use a smartphone like window manager on it to make it more of a general use "tablet" and less of a "laptop with a touch screen." Yes I use it at work, and since I work for HP it's fun to take it into meetings and have people stare at it like "What the heck is that?!?!" I'm hoping to be able to do simple things with it like take handwriting notes (recognition would be awesome), draw diagrams when necessary, browse the web, etc. Basically, the things you do with a tablet! :)

Project 2: I have a few old touchscreen thin clients. They're 1ghz VIA processors and 1gb of ram with a compact flash slot for the storage. I have a wireless card for them. What I want to do is make a "tabletop appliance" with a smartphone style UI where each icon is just a quick link to an app/website I would use in the morning when I grab breakfast before I leave. I'm thinking something like I wake up, walk into the kitchen, press the on button, then click the "traffic" icon and have it load chrome with google maps and traffic, or click "weather" and have it open weather sites. I think a smartphone UI would be ideal for this. I could probably do it pretty simply with a web UI, but I was hoping for something a little more dynamic.

Does anyone have any ideas? Maybe there's already a distro that does everything I want? I've already looked at Android-x86, but it doesn't have a lot of the drivers for the tablet PC and I'd need to find/build all sorts of standard apps for the tablet to make it work right. I was looking to keep with a pretty standard distro or at least a custom distro I could easily build standard apps for. I also looked at EmDebian but it appears the "build from scratch" option has stalled in terms of it's development. It's aimed mainly at arm based devices anyway.

Hoping you guys can help!
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