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GUI dev tool improves prototyping

Feb 14, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 6 views

Ottawa-based Tilcon Software has announced a new version of its embedded GUI (graphical user interface) toolkit for medical, industrial, defense, and automotive devices running Linux and other OSes. Interface Development Suite (IDS) 5.5.5. adds Adobe Photoshop integration, and “codeless animation,” for faster prototyping, the company said.

(Click for palette of GUIs developed with IDS)

Tilcon's 2D/3D UIs are said to be portable across several embedded operating systems including Linux, QNX, and VxWorks. Tilcon counts Hyundai as a major customer in its growing automotive computer interface business, it said. In March, Freescale Semiconductor announced that its Media5200 in-vehicle telematics development platform supports Tilcon's IDS.

The new Photoshop feature allows design teams to create UI designs in Photoshop. The designs can then be transformed into prototypes and implemented in production GUIs without coding, the company claims. The Photoshop integration helps to unify graphic designers with software engineering teams to collaborate using a common environment, the vendor said.

A new codeless animation feature provides animation effects for GUI elements such as buttons, switches, graphs, and other objects. Embedded developers can use the tools to design a prototype of an interface, and simulate it in a pre-production environment, says the company.

Tilcon IDS screen displays
(Click to enlarge)

Tilcon's IDS can be used to build “fast, flicker-free interfaces, instrument clusters, and complex visualization systems,” says the company. IDS is based on the Tilcon Embedded Vector Engine (EVE), pictured at the bottom center of the diagram above. This scalable graphics kernel is said to manage display and user interaction events as a service to distributed API clients. Working directly with native RTOSes such as Linux, EVE interacts with core graphics libraries, including WindML, Win32, Photon, and OpenGL ES.

IDS includes a drag-and-drop interface builder, property sheets for customizing appearance, behavior, resources, and actions, and a wide range of GUI and HMI objects. Other features include a GIS application development module and Rhapsody UML (unified modeling language).

Stated Prosanto Sarkar, CEO of Tilcon, “We've introduced our Photoshop integration feature as a way for designers to easily create their UI designs in tools they are familiar and comfortable with. UI designers are no longer constrained by their choice of tools for creating their unique look and feel.”


Tilcon's Interface Development Suite 5.5.5 is available now for Linux and Windows host platforms at an undisclosed price.

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