Assembling Bits and Pieces

If those monkeys pound on those keyboards enough, eventually a masterpiece will emerge…  Well, software development can be like that sometimes.  I’ve been spending quite a lot of time on 2D graphics.

Part of doing 3D CAD is being able to create a surface of revolution (revoloid).  Well, in order to create a revoloid, I need to be able to draw a curve, which will then be rotated around an axis.  Well, in order to create a curve, I need to have a nice grid I can use as a guide, and I need control points, and mouse control of those points, etc.

So, I create those various bits and pieces.  I think the grid thing is really cool.  You can specify the distance between the light and dark lines.  You can specify the colors as well.  It becomes useful when you need a backdrop for drawing, or displaying stuff in general to scale.

There have been other graphics along the way as well.  This arrow thing is useful in that the dark gray area can hold other graphics and controls.  Perhaps it doesn’t make sense sitting there on its own, but it does when it’s combined with other things.

Of course, no UI toolkit these days would be complete without having tabbed views.  So, there they are…  Of course, since the tabs are created using the ShapeBuilder object, you can get rounded corners instead of those sharp corners if you like.  Since these are just graphics objects, you can also fairly easily do drop shadows, glowing backgrounds, and the like.  And, since they are “Actor” objects, they can respond to “Update” messages, and change with time, if that’s useful.

I recently purchased a BeagleBone.  A nifty little piece of kit that one.  It uses a TI AM3358 ARM Cortex-A8 based microprocessor.  The board has ethernet and USB built in.  One of the benefits of the little board is that you can run an Android distribution on it.  Also, it has some graphics capabilities, including support for a VNC host, so you can see what’s on it’s “screen”.

I fully intend to put BanateCAD on this little device.  The Beaglebone is good in that it represents a fairly constrained system.  It has a 4Gb micro SD card, and 256Mb of RAM.  It runs at 700Mhz.  I’m thinking this should be a beefy enough spec to run a simple 3D CAD modeling program such as BanateCAD.  Also, if I can run on this little device, then certainly I can run on any Android device.  I’ll see how it goes.

At any rate, things progress.  2D UI, 3D shapes, monkeys on typewriters…  Soon enough something interesting will pop out of this little exercise.


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