2010/Building Interactive Displays with Touchscreen 2.0

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Touchscreen is a platform for creating interactive kiosk and dashboard displays. It powers presentations for visitors to the Open Source Lab’s data center and the network operations center. Come learn how touchscreen works and how to use it for your own display screens.

Speakers: Peter Krenesky, Rob McGuire-Dale

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Contributed notes

Quick Links

Presentation: http://bit.ly/bpmIkF

Example files: http://bit.ly/cXhwwt

Peter Krenesky: peter@osuosl.org

Rob McGuire-Dale: rob@osuosl.org

Presentation Notes

About Touchscreen 2.0

All kinds of cool real-time-ish traffic and network displays.

Uses HTML, CSS, JavaScript (iQuery + Raphael for SVG). Earlier version used OpenLaszlo (which was more advanced than HTML + CSS + JS at the time), but switched for maintainability reasons. SVG has advantages over HTML canvas, because it works with styles, jQuery, etc. Raphael provides a nice API atop SVG primitives.

Back end in Django, message server in Twisted, plugins with Muddle. Distinguishes between "nothing to do in queue" (a normal occurrence) and "timeout" (a genuine error).

Plugin: templates for HTML, JS, CSS

Mashups

One interesting obstacle to making mashups: browsers' natural XSS protection. Can address by using Access-Control-Allow-Origin: ... in response, or by using a proxy.

JSON is the easiest protocol to use for mashups, and is reasonably fast. XML is okay, too; it's ubiquitous. Even HTML can be scraped and used as a data source.