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Linux MIDs gain “fancy” GUI

Aug 25, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 20 views

FST announced a software development kit (SDK) for its lightweight graphics stack optimized for mobile Internet devices (MIDs). The FancyPants SDK for MIDs combines an API for the lightweight GUI with an embedded runtime, and is designed to work with the Linux-based Moblin stack.

(Click for larger view of FancyPants running on the Compal JAX10 MID)

The FancyPants SDK is designed specifically for Moblin-based MIDs that use the Intel Atom Z5 series, such as the Compal JAX10 MID that appears here in the images supplied by FST. Taiwan-based Compal has yet to formally announce the JAX10, but a similar-looking MID from Compal was one of over a half dozen MID prototypes shown at the launch of the Atom Z5 series. According to FST, the JAX10 runs its Intel Atom at 800MHz, offers 512MB RAM, and provides 800 x 480 resolution.

Two more views of FancyPants on a Compal MID
(Click on either to enlarge)

The FancyPants SDK includes a runtime that is said to be optimized for hardware that might be part of a MID system. Supported hardware includes graphics accelerators and native codecs, says the company. Judging from the demo video (see below), the MID version will include the Arphic multilingual fonts that FST recently announced it would integrate.

In May, FST (formerly “Fluffy Spider Technologies”) released version 2.0 of FancyPants, a small-footprint embedded graphics framework similar to Qt Core or GTK. Designed primarily for mobile phones, the Linux-compatible GUI environment added object-oriented scripting, custom video thumbs, and the ability to run multiple embedded applications simultaneously on the same screen.

Robi Karp, FST CEO, explained, “We are targeting FancyPants as something to be used for new applications, either for the full stack, or for specific applications such as media browsers, launchers, slideshow viewers etc., that can be used side by side with existing stacks (such as Qt or GTK).”

Stated Pankaj Kedia, director of Global Ecosystem Programs in Intel's Ultra Mobility Group, “FST's expertise in delivering compelling GUI solutions on Intel Atom processor-based MIDs should make it easier for the MID user to truly enjoy the best Internet experience.”


FST did not release details on the availability of the FancyPants SDK for MIDs.

A video demo of FancyPants running on a MID player may be found here.

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