View Full Version : Android app yet?

October 13th, 2010, 09:44 PM
Have you guys managed to stay dynamic and progress towards an Android interface yet? Nobody uses PDAs anymore, but there are tons of people making the move to smartphones -- Android-based ones apparently the current leader of the pack.

I'd really like to see an Android version of NetRemote so that I can set up menus for a Girder PC.

I know this was discussed in the past, but the thread went dead. Ignoring the trends of the industry will not help NetRemote or Girder!

October 13th, 2010, 10:24 PM
Sounds like somebody got a new phone. :)

The Girder webserver is currently the best way to get a control interface going on iPhone/iPad/iPod, Android, and the upcoming Windows 7 Phone. You can create interfaces that are comparable to anything you can do with NetRemote. I highly recommend it!


October 14th, 2010, 10:26 PM
Hi Tim,
I've had the phone for a while. I was just waiting to see what would happen here and while I knew about the webserver, NetRemote seems a lot more versatile. I understand that it would be a lot easier to use the webserver than to recreate a version of NetRemote for android, but I was hoping to learn and stick to NetRemote than learn HTML to create webpages for Girder.
I had noticed that EventGhost has an Android app and can foresee others following. I'm just hoping that NetRemote won't be left in the dust.

October 15th, 2010, 01:47 AM
I totally understand! NetRemote Designer definitely makes things easier than learning HTML/Javascript.

For what it's worth, I believe the webserver route has a number of functional advantages, though it is admittedly harder to author for:
- One central interface served to clients with no per-client installation required
- Interface changes automatically flow to clients; no need to manually copy files to each client when changes are made
- Accessible from any browser, regardless of location, operating system, etc
- Not tied to an OS version, so OS updates don't require new builds
- Able to leverage a variety of third-party authoring tools
- Browser optimizations (such as GPU support) provide enhanced speed
- More stable, in my experience
- Ability to leverage future standards (such as HTML5, WEBGL, Silverlight, etc)

From a platform perspective, it would be great to see NetRemote spread. Unfortunately, the list of platforms is constantly growing and shifting:
- iOS from Apple (iPhone/iPad)
- Android from Google (Galaxy, Streak, and many many others)
- Chromium from Google (forthcoming tablets and pc's)
- RIM's QNX OS (PlayBook)
- Palm's WebOS (HP PalmPad)
- Windows CE is still out there in various flavors
- Windows Phone 7 (totally different from Windows 7) is about to launch, and may appear on tablets in the future
- Windows 7 itself is getting more mobile (tablets from Dell, HP, Onkyo and others)
- XP and Vista are still out there (Samsung Q1's, TabletKiosk, etc.)
- Linux (older Nokia tablets)
- MeeGo (future Nokia tablets)
- Custom OS's (current RIM devices, Kindle, etc)

I know it feels like Android and iOS are the most visible (even though RIM actually has 60% of the phone market right now), but the bottom line is that the webserver can get you on all of these platforms right now. There is no sacrifice in functionality using the webserver versus NetRemote, only a sacrifice in terms of ease-of-authoring.

Here are some shots of my current webserver setup at home:


October 15th, 2010, 02:58 AM
Fair enough. Thanks for taking the time to to respond with such clear arguments.
Looking at your screens and knowing that all of the functionality would remain is enough to convince me to try my hand at the Webserver.
Would I still be able to add animations/frame transitions? Can you give me a few examples of how I might make my pages aesthetically pleasing?
Thanks again.

October 15th, 2010, 10:50 AM
Animations can be accomplished through a few different means: I've been using JQuery, which provides slides, stretches, fades, etc. It would also be possible to use HTML5, Flash, or Silverlight to get fancier transitions.

I'll PM you with some specific suggestions.


October 15th, 2010, 04:24 PM
I would love to convert my CCF to use Girder web server but I am not a programer so can you help me out with basic stuff so I could take it from there?

If you have an How To guide, that would be great.


October 15th, 2010, 11:29 PM
Here are a few primers from the Girder forum that could be helpful:

GlobalCache example:

USB-UIRT example:

MediaBridge example:


October 29th, 2010, 06:28 AM
This may not belong here, but I was wondering if there is a simple way to trigger events in Girder over the network without using the webserver or NetRemote. I would like to just send an ASCII string or some other simple method. Is there a quick way to do this that would not require learning anything?


October 29th, 2010, 11:25 AM
Haven't experimented with these myself, but here's an excerpt from the G5 manual (csevent.exe sounds like what you're looking for):

Generating Events from the Command Line

The Girder distribution includes two small stand-alone applications event.exe and csevent.exe which generate Girder Events. These can be run from the Windows command line, from batch files or from Windows shortcuts.

Event.exe requires at least one parameter, the event string. This can optionally be followed by the device number and up to three payload strings. If the device number is not specified, it defaults to 18 which shows as "Girder" in the event log. There is also an optional non-positional parameter -verbose which causes an informational window to be shown in addition to sending the Event. This may be useful for diagnostic purposes.

Example command lines.
"C:\Program Files\Promixis\Girder\event.exe" MyEvent
"C:\Program Files\Promixis\Girder\event.exe" MyEvent 1000 "Parameter One"
"C:\Program Files\Promixis\Girder\event.exe" MyEvent 18 -verbose
"C:\Program Files\Promixis\Girder\event.exe" MyEvent 18 one two three -verbose

Csevent.exe enables events to be generated from another machine over the network. It requires one of the pro versions of Girder and the Communications Server Plugin must be enabled. It requires the following parameters in order. Name or IP Address of Girder machine; Port number of server (20005 by default); Password of server ("girder" by default); the event string; the device number; an optional payload string.

Example command lines.
"C:\Program Files\Promixis\Girder\event.exe" cruncher 20005 girder hello 18
"C:\Program Files\Promixis\Girder\event.exe" 20005 girder hi 18 load

November 1st, 2010, 03:19 PM
Thanks for trying to help me out with that. I was actually looking for a way to have Girder listen on a certain port for an ASCII string without having to generate events with a windows executable.
The application that I am thinking of using to generate the ASCII strings is written in Java and runs in Android.

November 1st, 2010, 08:22 PM
GIP might be one solution, but I would recommend posting in the Girder forum.


November 1st, 2010, 08:35 PM
Tim, FWIW, I tried web interfaces years ago and they were hard to program and had a serious lag time in response to a key press. That was THE big selling point of NR- near instantaneous response time; 100 times faster than a web browser interface (must admit, haven't tried your setup with Girder). Maybe that's changed with more powerful processors in phones these days. But I still find web browsing slow on a smart-phone with a good signal. I gota believe a native Android NR to be much faster than a web browser.

November 1st, 2010, 10:17 PM
Browsers have come a long way. My performance in Chrome on a modern processor is substantially better than an Axim51v running NetRemote.