Infostation/-kiosk

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Jul. 23, 2002 i know in the mean time mozilla has released it 1.0 as 1.1beta versions and debian wood entered stable. and nothing changed on this page beside this small text. i did not have time to play on talks as there were no feedback on it - what i think is because nobody is interested in it. so why should i code something that nobody wants? i guess this is just an other dead project.
Mar. 13, 2002 since there is a new release of mozilla (0.9.9) i compiled them on debian potato and made tarballs for include and embed. you can find them on the same place as the older ones. i also put the mozilla config file with which i compiled it. talks 0.1rc3 works fine without any modifications with mozilla 0.9.9.
Feb. 13, 2002 uploaded release candidate 3 of talks that has some code clean ups and includes a script to easy your life if mozilla should be on some unusual place. also compiled mozilla on debian potato. the mozilla packages are the std embed and include mozilla files (i haven't done any modifications).
Feb. 05, 2002 still in a hurry but... like i promised i was able to compile mozilla 0.9.7 and talks on a debian potato (2.2r5). i had to made a few modifications to the talks source package to get it compiled on potato. the new source package that i provide has still a few things to fix but will do it's job. i will upload a better source pkg when i get home (the old source package works just fine with debian sid). here are the new mozilla and talks binary packages. just unpack the talks in your home dir (be sure that ~/bin is in $PATH) and export MOZILLA_FIVE_HOME to where you unpacked mozilla-embed tarball. also notice that i run the latest ximian gnome libs.
Feb. 02, 2002 i'm in hurry so this is just a dirty update of the page. also in a few days i will be avaible to support you with the mozilla 0.9.7 packages for potato. in the mean time i present you the first release candidate of talks.

Talks

finally i found some time over the x-mas season (2001) and begun with hacking a new browser. i got the skeleton for it, from timecop's light (the url is below) and other parts are from galeon (so this was just a copy and paste). i modified it a little bit and made it to fit my needs. so i think it should be good enough for most of the other info-stations. before compiling and using it i recommend you to read the README.1st file that is in the tarball. i think the best thing compared to other is it's ability to open all links in the same window (an example for such a link: <a href="some_url" target="_new">some_url</a>).
i'm open for any ideas and suggestions and flames...

download talks & mozilla 0.9.9 tarballs

Info-station configuration

there is a kiosk how-to for the touchscreen based information terminals with web access only and a touchscreen how-to. but the kiosk how-to prefers netscape and patch the gui with a lot of overlapping images. so i decided to use mozilla (only its rendering engine - which should be light and fast) with galeon. above are the galeon patches and packages that i use for the gui with the explanation.

i had an Elo TouchSystem touchscreen and after reading the application tips on their page i thought there are right with the advice to hide the mouse cursor. it iritates the user and also it looks too much like a pc screen. but the main problem was that there is no such tool that lets hide the cursor. so i patched the cursor font (mostly under "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/misc/cursor.pcf.gz") and used the tool unclutter with the options "-root -idle 0 -jitter 1024 -visible -reset".

to edit the cursor font you can use any font editor. i chose the xmbdfed but at first i had to convert it to "bdf" format with the tool fstobdf and after editing it reconvert it back with bdftopcf. the problem with fstobdf ist that it needs a font server to fetch the font. so if you should not have any running font server get mine cursor.bdf. but there still an other problem: if you totaly clear a character X-Server wont start. so you have to let back at least one pixel. and that pixel looks strange on the screen. that's the reason why i'm using unclutter.

at least there is one more thing that is annoying and strange if you can't see the cursor: the hightlighted buttons if the invisible cursor is over them. for this reason i hacked a gnome theme. if you want it you can download the hacked eazel-blue theme here.

PS: all the tool above are avaible as debian packages.

i know that this way is a dirty hack but..... anyway it works (more or less).

i would appreciate to hear any other dirty or non dirty ways.

Old Stuff - but still working....

Galeon for info-station

after a while looking around i found only galeon that was stable and fast enough to patch and use it on a info-station beside netscape as described on kiosk-howto. but i hated the idea of putting a few layer over and over as described on that howto. the info-terminal is based on a touchscreen with a web browser and is without keyboard so there is no need for the other features and gadgets that a daily power user needs, only the basic buttons (back, forward, stop, home, reload and the spinner to show that the browser is working) are sufficient.

notice that the following patch is for galeon 0.12pre1 only! now on this developer release you can change most of the user interfaces gadgets from the setting window. but still i had to patch galeon (undragable toolbar, spinner url is the same for your homepage and disabled tooltips) so the patch is really small which you can get it here. you can patch it with 'bzcat infostation-patch.diff.bz2 | patch -1' in the main galeon source directory.

now the big goal of this release of galeon is that is uses gconf as it's configuration backend. This is/could be very usefull since you can setup a corporation wide gconf server with a main configuration that all galeons use the same configuration. but until now i had not the time to track down how to do that. if anyone knows how, i would really appreciate a mail from him/her.

you can also download and install a precompiled patched galeon package. since i use debian it's a debian package only - build for debian potato (v2.2) with ximian gnome. just add the following line to your /etc/apt/sources.list :

deb http://www.uplink.ethz.ch/~mcm/galeon/ ./
deb-src http://www.uplink.ethz.ch/~mcm/galeon/ ./

notice that i don't take any responsibility for anything! i just downloaded the galeon packages of Kitame and patched them for my own use.

PS: it would be necessary to run the setup-gconf-source.bz2 script as root (which is originaly from the galeon source tree) to correct the gconf installation of debian.

if you sould need a basic configuration for galeon on info-station just start with this. you have to untar it into ~/.gconf/apps/ directory.

light - another user interface

like i told i hate the idea to use netscape with a few image layer over and over... and with the time also galeon blowed up with it's features - that doesn't mean i don't like it anymore, it's still my daily browser. so there is an alternative for galeon which could be very nice with a little bit hacking. it's the small browser called light from timecop.

last modified: February 07 2009 14:44