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HP Opens Up TouchSmart To Third-Party Developers

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the have-at-it dept.

HP 32

TheTieGuy writes "HP recently released their TouchSmart Application Development Guidelines to third party developers, allowing anyone to port and create touch-friendly applications that integrate and run within the TouchSmart Software suite on their popular TouchSmart PC. As part of the release, HP has gotten behind Capable Networks' Touchsmart Community website and forum to distribute the guidelines to developers while providing an environment for TouchSmart developers to interact. Also on the site is a download hub that allows TouchSmart developers to upload and share their creations with TouchSmart owners in a central location. To kick off the new development initiative, the TouchSmart Community is running a promotion that will send one developer (travel expenses paid) to demo their software in the HP booth at the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, along with a free TouchSmart PC, HP MediaSmart Server, and a month of promotion in the community."

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They still do stuff? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25592897)

I thought they were called "Agilent".

TouchSmart (4, Funny)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#25592899)

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means

Re:TouchSmart (1)

Mozk (844858) | more than 5 years ago | (#25593447)

I think they were going for something similar to the One Laptop per Child project, but instead it was three TouchSmarts per sentence. A laudable goal in all respects. They even threw in a "touch-friendly".

Unfortunately they only reached 2.25 TouchSmarts per sentence.

Re:TouchSmart (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25594473)

IceWeasel for Windows [sourceforge.net]

Is this meant as a joke, or am I missing something? The project page itself states that it's just a debranded version of Firefox, like the original Debian IceWeasel. Except that the legal/philosophical reasons that Firefox was rebranded to IceWeasel in the first place don't apply to the Windows environment so much anyway. Seems utterly pointless to me.

Have you retained or ported the changes to Firefox that the Debian developers made? The Sourceforge page doesn't mention any of this. Perhaps it should.

Re:TouchSmart (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#25595291)

Meh, it's not my project. I have that in my sig because there are some people who (whom?) philosophically prefer Iceweasel but are required to use Windows periodically (work).

BEWARE vendor lock IN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25592901)

Lock in ahead. Proceed with extreme CAUTION.

Agreed (2, Insightful)

CdBee (742846) | more than 5 years ago | (#25593703)

Building apps to run well in a touchscreen environment is probably a good idea - but will an app that plays well with an HP Touchsmart also run on say, XP Tablet Edition?

If this is a programming environment that relies on HPs proprietary libraries being present it hardly seems a compelling prospect

HP Opens Up TouchSmart To Third-Party Developers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25592909)

If you're buying a budget computer, it's worth your time to look into the Compaq Presario SR5610f desktop. It's not far off from a barebones machine, and you don't get a ton of extra features, but the price is so low that it's hard to complain.

______
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Fir5t (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25592919)

for membership. look at your soft, Wash oof hands

Yes, but... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25592925)

With windows 7 coming up fast, what's the point? It's going to be Microsoft's touch operations standards versus HP machine specific, proprietary standards. Were I a betting man, I'd gamble that no useful applications will be out before Windows 7 hits the market.

Re:Yes, but... (1)

master5o1 (1068594) | more than 5 years ago | (#25592969)

No, there will be useful applications (relatively), but they will need to be rewritten for Windows 7.

Re:Yes, but... (1)

arachnoprobe (945081) | more than 5 years ago | (#25593765)

Already there, called a MACINTOSH. ;)

I'm going to write a voting program for it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25592981)

Complete with authentic calibration errors where it switches from one candidate to the other as you touch it repeatedly.

InnerChild. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25593011)

"HP recently released their TouchSmart Application Development Guidelines to third party developers, allowing anyone to port and create touch-friendly applications that integrate and run within the TouchSmart Software suite on their popular TouchSmart PC."

Soon to updated for the 2009 TouchMyself platform.

HP software scares me (5, Insightful)

El Royo (907295) | more than 5 years ago | (#25593037)

I cringe at the thought of HP software guidelines. I can hardly think of worse software in general use than the stuff HP comes up with. Inconsistent interfaces that don't conform to the operating system standards, strange behaviors and defaults and who knows what else. They make good printers but I just hate to use the software included with them.

Re:HP software scares me (2, Interesting)

Hes Nikke (237581) | more than 5 years ago | (#25593165)

you should see the UI on their high end equipment [hp.com] . When you're using it every day, you get used to it, but it's definitely not like any other program i've used before.

Re:HP software scares me (2, Informative)

Fumus (1258966) | more than 5 years ago | (#25593645)

This is just an example for the scanner/printer I have, but are you aware that HP does come with bare-bones driver-only packages?
Like this? [hp.com]

I absolutely hated the scanning interface, but then I installed this and use Irfanview to invoke the other non-twain interface which is quite decent compared to the other one.

Re:HP software scares me (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 5 years ago | (#25593989)

I actually played with a touchsmart for while because it is a good idea. my only gripe was the high pressure you have to apply to the surface to get it to register a contact. touch and drag works only if you jab the screen with your finger first.

Re:HP software scares me (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25594121)

They make good printers but I just hate to use the software included with them.

I was recently tasked with setting up dozens of HP printers for display in a retail chain. The software is so poor and non-modular, installing multiple networked HP Photosmart or HP Officejet printers on ANY PC causes their software to freeze and crash. Modularity often goes hand-in-hand with adhering to standards. HP's software design philosophy for consumer products is, "If the software looks nice and showcases product branding, it receives exemption from quality control". Why should we expect the TouchSmart programmers were any more competent?

HP - Great hardware disabled by equally poor software

Re:HP software scares me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25594639)

but their calculators have a nice interface.

RPN ftw!

Yo0 Fail( It!! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25593981)

RecrUitment, but serves to reinforce to decline for

A coworker once asked me (3, Insightful)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594031)

2 months ago when we where going to start having touchscreens all over. And I said to him, never, at least not in the foreseeable future. He asked me why and I listed the reasons, no software that really takes advantage of it, no one wants a screen with smudges all over it, and its impossible for us to fix cheaply when the interface breaks which we know it WILL break. A new screen is a couple hundred dollars, a new keyboard and mouse isnt even 50 for us.

Re:A coworker once asked me (1)

tucuxi (1146347) | more than 5 years ago | (#25595637)

The only big drawback is "no software that takes advantage of it". From an interface standpoint, a large display with hands-on interaction can do miracles that are simply not possible with a single mouse pointer and a keyboard.

Explaining a computer-illiterate person how to use a mouse and when to left-click or right-click or double-click is much harder than saying 'all things on the screen can be grabbed like this or opened like that -- play around until you get the hang of it'. No, touchscreens are not there yet. But I am sure that, in a few years, they will be the norm.

And not damaging the screen is just a matter of learning how to clean it. It doesn't stop people from wearing glasses or using glass-ceramic cooktops.

Re:A coworker once asked me (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#25595919)

While I agree that touchscreens, by taking advantage of mankind's atavistic finger-painting instincts, are easier for computer illiterates, I'm not sure that that is really very useful.

The world's supply of computer illiterates is either learning or dying at a fair clip and isn't really being replaced. Building hypothetical future interfaces for the benefit of the dregs of the past seems pointless. This especially so given that, in many cases, there is a tradeoff between building interfaces that are easy for the clueless vs. building interfaces that are powerful for the experienced. Unless we are trying for "Idiocracy-OS" who cares if the interface allows somebody to consume premium content with nothing but jabbing motions and primitive grunts?

Re:A coworker once asked me (1)

tucuxi (1146347) | more than 5 years ago | (#25597499)

I was just making a point. I don't consider myself technologically illiterate, and would be very glad to have a whole-table, high-resolution, touch-and-pen enabled desktop; and why stop there - I want seamless computing all over my house, allowing me to interact with it with whatever is most convenient at the moment. For an on-fridge household-inventory management system, touch rocks.

Instead of dumb screens that you can only interact with through a pixel-at-a-time device that, by design, has to be on a different surface from that of the data you are working with.

Not that I have any interest in prying your mouse from your not-so-cold, not-yet-dead hands. Sorry about trampling on your lawn, too.

I don't want touchscreen desktops (1)

Ma8thew (861741) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594673)

Why on Earth would I want to spend hours with my arms extended to use a touchscreen? Five minutes would be painful enough. Besides that, there's the issue of fingerprints all over the screen. Touchscreens might have application on mobile devices, and kiosk style computers, but I don't see them replacing displays in mainstream use anytime soon.

Re:I don't want touchscreen desktops (1)

teh_c0unt (1392683) | more than 5 years ago | (#25596099)

I agree with you. Touch screen technology does not seem very practical for desktop use but it does at least offer a new option for technology down the road. I don't know exactly what but maybe touch screen technology integrated with robotics? The possibilities are really endless, but yes desktop touch screen seems a little silly. Are the keyboard and mouse really holding anyone back?

Re:I don't want touchscreen desktops (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#25601503)

Why on Earth would I want to spend hours with my arms extended to use a touchscreen?

Why exactly would having a touch screen make you do that? Do you think your touchscreen equipped PC will not also have a keyboard and mouse?

Lets say you've got your nice touchscreen on a living room desk, your wireless keyboard and mouse are neatly stashed in a drawer. You've got company coming over so you tap the iTunes icon on the screen, and then tap a playlist, and walk away.

Company arrives, and a song comes on you don't want, so you walk up to the screen, and tap the skip button. Someone asks what the lyrics were, you tap firefox, tap in the search and an onscreen keyboard pops up... you tap the name of the song... and then tap the lyric link returned.

Still later, you tap the screen a few more times to run a slide show of some recent vacation pics.

Later on, they leave, and you decide do write up a proposal... you idiotically tap out your essay in OpenOffice using the on-screen-keyboard directly on the screen... oh wait... no you don't... because that would be idiotic... you pull out your keyboard and mouse...

Five minutes would be painful enough.

Typical useful applications as described above all run in the less than 20 seconds category.

Besides that, there's the issue of fingerprints all over the screen.

1) Fingerprints wipe off pretty easily.

2) People still buy white clothes, carpets, cars, etc ... in other words, the fact that they are going to get dirty and show the dirt isn't going to prevent most people from buying one.

Touchscreens might have application on mobile devices, and kiosk style computers, but I don't see them replacing displays in mainstream use anytime soon.

I see them complementing traditional input devices, not replacing them.

Linux Support (1)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 5 years ago | (#25595121)

Gotta ask, does it run (on) Linux?

Re:Linux Support (1)

peektwice (726616) | more than 5 years ago | (#25595535)

Since I haven't RTFA, I feel I must answer this seemingly authoritatively. No. It won't run on linux, because as the OP stated, it runs within the touchsmart software. I guess it means they've published the API, but not really "opened" the code.

Since no one else asked yet... (1)

awpoopy (1054584) | more than 5 years ago | (#25595887)

Will it run Linux?

Re:Since no one else asked yet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25610991)

The TouchSmart PC will run Linux. I've used Ubuntu 8.04 from LiveCD distribution via a USB memory stick.

The answer above that says "no it won't" refers to the TouchScreen (no drivers for it available for Linux that I am aware of, or at least no calibration SW) and the HP software that runs on Windows VISTA.

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