I’m writing this post because, well, I’m confused, I need direction, and I think I might not be alone in either. Like many others, I began writing my own custom apps in Actionscript 3/Flash, and while it makes it quick and easy to develop them, it also runs slow as heck on anything other than a beast of a computer, and it doesn’t really allow for the sorts of graphical manipulations that I know many of us would like to see, since there’s no direct access to hardware rendering (at least, not in Flash 9). Then I was tipped onto Python. Seems fairly easy to pick up (although it might take a lifetime to master), there are great libraries out there already for working with graphics, and there are a few folks already working on things Python and multitouch related. However, it seems...disorganized, to say the least.
I’m a total newbie to Python, I’ll admit it, but when I came to learn how to do multitouch, I was able to jump right into the AS3 side of things because there were tutorials, examples, and tons of code already floating around. There were also guides, and the AS3 example code was integrated right into the Touchlib code you download from the SVN. Since trying to jump into the Python side of things, though, I’ve found no less than 4 different libraries, all promising to deliver basically the same thing, barely any example working applications, and not even a dedicated sub-forum, let alone guides or tutorials. If we want to get serious about Python around NUIGroup, I suggest we start changing this, for the good of all those folks out there, like me, who are trying to get a grip on this, and simply finding themselves floundering around without a clue.
So, here’s what I’m asking, oh ye Lords of Multitouch Python (and you know who you are): what is the status of Python and multitouch? What libraries are out there? What samples? Any tutorials? Can we settle on a way to get the ball rolling, an “official” NUIGroup way of doing Python multitouch, and start progressing from there? If not, what differences need to be solved to get to that point?
I don’t mean in any way to imply that the progress of the Python side of things is progressing too slowly, I just feel completely in the dark about the whole thing. I’ve poured over the python-lux transcript till my eyes bled, but it all boils down to one question: if I want to make the transition from AS3 to Python, where should I start?
On a side note, I’d like to begin the discussion by bringing up the subject of object event handling. In AS3, the concept is that you attach event listeners to each object you place on the table, then write generic event handlers. So, when someone touches Photo #451, it fires an event to the generic event handler for the photo objects, and some action takes place. In most of the Python scripts I’ve seen (and correct me if I’m wrong, here), the events system seems (at best) to be set around a global blob level (i.e. an event fires every time the blob state of the table changes, and then you have to do collision detection or something to figure out if you touched anything...)—it seems like it would be best (if it were possible) to develop a system as close the AS3 way of doing things as possible, if for no other reason than to ease the transition of folks like myself, since I have a feeling that’s where a lot of Python converts will be coming from.
Well, sorry for the wall of text, but I think this is an important issue, and I was hoping this might spur some discussion.