Free Flash Based Home Automation Front End Controls Your House

 xAP Joggler now xAP Flash

Over the past few weeks our xAP forum has been a hot bed of activity as the application formerly known as ‘xAP Joggler’ has been updated to ‘xAP Flash’, reflecting its ability to run on other hardware (and indeed any Flash capable browser).  So if you’re looking for a Flash based front end to control many different home automation sub-systems then read on for a summary of the new features and changes from Kevin and the beta testers (good name for a band?)…

“The new xAP Flash application was previously called xAP Joggler. The name change reflecting the application can be run on any Flash capable platform and within any web browser supporting Flash and not just the Joggler. Beta 5 is available now upon request by email to myself – or via PM . Over this weekend it will comprise a pre release version which is essentially final code, but first pass docs and limited XML example files. In a couple of days with a bit more proof reading it will be emailed to all registered beta testers . I do encourage testers to request and kick the tyres of this pre beta.

I welcome Martyn Wendon who has made considerable code, features and time contribution to this beta and should be able to assist with any questions on any aspects of the beta testing.  Beta 5 is the first release that I hope addresses almost all the key features required for such an application, although there are still many things we intend to add.

Getting beta 5 out the door has taken a while, indeed a lot longer than I had hoped, and so it’s our intention to now release small incremental fixes as needed for beta 5 – in a timely fashion and addressing any issues you uncover , whilst in the longer term we consider beta 6. New feature requests would likely await beta 6.  Beta 5 has over 10000 lines of code – that’s more than double the size of beta 4. So is it twice as good ?

Here’s a quick summary of the changes:

  • Updated version of iServer with automatic passing of targeted messages, and bug fixes for dropped messages.
  • There are now two XML config files, one specific to each xAPFlash client and a second holding essentially the layout design. This allows sharing of your layout designs between multiple xAP Flash clients and automatic updates when changed files become available. One config file can override the visual elements within another to customise the screen displays.
  • Text defaults have been created for visual elements and the default font is now Verdana
  • Improved config screen supporting more elements and more useful messages at startup for any file loading issues.
  • Better implementation of hierarchical pages using <parent> tags
  • Text boxes added as a new element type. These can be static text, or linked to xAP devices and support plain or html text. Arbitrary on page placement including overlapping.
  • Text boxes can also display image files and can load local or remote Internet content. They can even load Flash content for animations , gauges etc.
  • On screen elements now report visibility and status via xAP BSC and can be controlled via xAP too. Various internal aspects of the Joggler eg screensaver, brightness and volume are exposed too. This allows you to drive the screen remotely similar to the way Crestron/AMX screens are architected.
  • Transparency now supported for pages, backgrounds, buttons and text boxes.
  • Press and hold to dim function on buttons.
  • Sliders , both permanent on screen versions and press to popup supported.
  • OSD /Caller ID messages are now displayed via your own pop up page designs. The inbuilt fixed design (deprecated) is no longer the only option.
  • There is generic xAP schema support allowing you to extract parameters from any xAP message – not just BSC.
  • xAP BSC device status can be remembered by the Joggler across restarts of the application (persistance).
  • Many Joggler API functions have been integrated for example volume , screensaver and brightness control, and tidier exiting of the application.
  • Password protected pages
  • Multiple secure buttons separate and local to each page.
  • Audible and on screen notifications via xAP
  • A host of bug fixes and improvements to existing features…and lots of code reworks as we learn more about Flash and the Joggler… and prepare for future bits.

Search eBay for Joggler   :   xAP Flash Thread in our Forums

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7 Comments on "Free Flash Based Home Automation Front End Controls Your House"

  1. I’m currently playing with the latest version and have got it installed and running on my setup of Idratek (xAP enabled) and Windows Home Server (running iServer). The installation is fairly easy once you have got SSH and SCP enabled on your stock Joggler. Now my attention is turning to the screen and page layout.

    The work Kevin has done and the assistance from others have created an amazingly functional, intelligent and bi-directional touch screen interface. Given the fact that many of use picked up the Jogller for £50 (still available on eBay for little more) it is a phenominal piece of work.

    Not only has a lot of thought go into the functionallity the documentation is also very well written and you can do an awful lot just through changing elements in thesingle xml file (don’t worry it is not difficult to pick up).

    Huge thanks from me to Kevin for all his efforts and late nights (or more accurately earlier mornings judging by some of his posts)

  2. Paul –

    any chance of a short para’ or two on how to get started, for a serious novice, who’s not deep into xAP, but has been reading the ongong xAP Flash thread on the xAP forum, and so have some idea of what xAP code is about, but no idea of how to get into a position to be doing it for themselves …

    eg: say they have a PC with ‘XP & Cortex running some sort of network of modules, and they have just bought a Joggler … what else do they need, what steps do they need to take to get going ??

    eg: load what other app’s onto the PC, open what & type what sort of thing, to be in a position to start writing and/or copy-pasting code that will get the Joggler doing something useful …

    a route map, rather than full detail would be great !


  3. “What Paul said!”
    I’ve also got xAPFlash running on a Joggler controling my HAH(Home Automation Hub) also featured on AH. I’ll definitely be picking up another one or two. At present I’m only controlling some homeeasy RF devices, some basics for my Squeezebox players and control of PC/Servers. With the power of the HAH plugboard and the flexibility & power of xAPFlash combined, almost anything is possible with a little time and effort. (Would really love to see someone create a GUI design app for xAPFlash)

    For those of you thinking about trying it but aren’t quite sure, I would recommend diving in, Kevin’s documentation is excellent and very informative from getting the joggler up and running to getting xAPFlash running in a browser to working with xAP it’s all covered.

    From having no automation, my system is now the 9th wonder of the world amongst my pals who just can’t figure out how it works(“where are the wires?”, how great it looks and how I did it all for a couple of hundred quid!

  4. Home automation | October 13, 2010 at 10:38 am |

    This is an amazing piece of technology, very intelligent stuff and well worth getting. I highly recommend this!!

  5. What a cool and nice controllers of Home Automation

  6. Amazing things here just for one touch everything will be all controlled if your home was under the Home Automation nice idea.

  7. very nice.. very nice..

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