Crank Software is excited to announce the release of Storyboard Suite 3.2 today!
Storyboard Suite 3.2 brings increased functionality to UI designers and embedded developers continuing to make it easy for your teams to develop, prototype, and refine a UI until it’s perfect for a customer – both in function and in design.
Additionally, we’ve improved the overall usability of Storyboard so you now benefit from simpler tools for off-screen content editing, reference anchor points for more precise alignment, and control property functions for inline math. And, Lua can now be used to create animations and directly set table attributes.
Crank Software, an innovator in embedded user interface (UI) solutions, today announced Crank Storyboard Browser, an extension of Storyboard Suite with a WebKit-based HTML5 renderer that allows users to bring HTML content directly into a Storyboard Application and deploy it on an embedded target.
“We see the benefits of HTML5 and wanted to bring its capabilities to UI engineers without making them outsource WebKit development, which takes months and strains budgets,” said Brian Edmond, Crank Software president. “With Storyboard Browser, developers get exactly what they need – a version of WebKit that integrates HTML5 content into an easy-to-use Storyboard application.”
To get a UI development tool and a WebKit-based application that renders HTML5 content, product teams traditionally must piece together a multiple-vendor solution, but with Crank Software, teams can simply use the proven Storyboard Suite with the Storyboard Browser extension for a single-vendor, seamless solution to creating the best UI possible.
Brian Edmond, president and co-founder of Crank Software Inc., will be at TI TECH Days Detroit, MI, September 26. Come by the exhibit hall to meet Brian and see a demo of the latest Storyboard Suite features and learn how Storyboard can solve your new and existing GUI challenges. Additionally, Brian is speaking on ”Accelerated Graphics in Virtualized and Non-Virtualized Environmenst on Jacinto6 and OMAP™ 5 SoC,” during Track 1, Session 5, from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Come hear him present on how Storyboard Suite takes advantage of the underlying accelerated hardware to present rich and powerful UIs. We hope to see you at TI Tech Days, you can follow our updates on Twitter via #TItechday.
Here at Crank Software, we are continuously updating Storyboard in order to deliver a better experience for our customers every day. In preparation for the upcoming Storyboard 3.2 release, new features are being added all the time and the Storyboard Engine has to be tested against all our supported platforms to make sure that the latest changes don’t regress existing behaviour.
Our current continuous integration system already runs automated tests on self-hosted platforms such as Windows, MacOS and Linux. We wanted to expand the automated tests to the runtime platforms and reduce our manual testing using the same framework. To start things off, we set up two Texas Instruments AM335x Starter Edition boards in our lab which should remain there for the most part. These boards run a Linux distribution and QNX 6.5 respectively. We run our tests on Linux using the OpenGLES 2.0 renderer and the FBDev renderer. On the QNX side of things, we have started testing using the OpenGLES 2.0 renderer for now. These boards are connected to the buildbot which issues the commands for the tests and records all the data received. This is useful because we can see what our data generally looks like over time. For example, we can create a graph that plots performance data over time. It is possible that the tests all pass but performance may take a hit. When we notice something like this, we take the necessary steps to fix it.
By adding our embedded targets to our automated tests we can perform testing more quickly, effectively and there is less room for error once we have it all set up. This should ultimately help us create a better product for everybody.
Embedded UI development teams often struggle with communication barriers, lack of visibility, and siloed workflows throughout the development process. This typically results in extended development timelines and overstretched budgets. However, UI development support software can help teams overcome these hurdles.
No matter how refined the development process, every embedded UI development team has faced the challenge of overcoming communication barriers. What would seemingly be an essential and beneficial part of the development process, the back-and-forth exchange of ideas and information between UI designers and embedded system developers, is fraught with obstacles in these key areas:
Siloed workflows: Designers and developers often work in silos and in a linear fashion. Once the design is completed, designers often move on to another project and adjustments to the UI design then fall into the hands of embedded system developers.
Unskilled task performance: When embedded developers are forced to make design changes, they are no longer “doing what they do best” – which is building the back end of the product.
Lack of visibility: Developers often select hardware and operating systems without a full understanding of UI functionality requirements.
Unclear parameters: Designers, working with no up-front parameters, often conceptualize features that far exceed the capabilities of the systems on which the UI will run. Creating UIs that are difficult or impossible to implement can dramatically drive up development costs.
Whether the development team is creating an interface for an automobile, a dishwasher or a thermometer, it is exceedingly difficult for UI designers to communicate the intent of a dynamic and active UI from the creative vision through its engineering implementation. This communications challenge not only results in friction between the design team and the implementation team, it also threatens the integrity of the end product. The reason: Design changes are an inevitable part of the process. As the team strives to match the original design intent with available technology capabilities (or limitations), the probability of errors increases with each incremental change.
WITH THE UBIQUITOUS usage of smartphones, tablets, and other mainstream screens, traditional products that once had analog displays are now being modernized with digital user interfaces (UI). From thermometers to air conditioning control panels to car dashboards, even the simplest and smallest embedded devices often feature graphical user interfaces (GUls). Therefore, manufacturers are focused on delivering quality electronic products with intuitive, easy-to-operate Uls – all without slowing down the development process.
Fast time-to-market means that the design, prototyping, and testing phases must go quickly and smoothly. In general, good project planning and efficient working processes can help with this goal, but what does that specifically look like for UI development? Let’s take a look at the typical development paradigm and identify the sticking points.
Storyboard Designer gives you the ability to export your project for either archiving, sharing or demo purposes. Here are a couple of easy steps showing you how to do that.
When your Storyboard Project is complete and you are ready to export, right click on the project folder and select Export.
Next you will be presented with the Export Selection dialogue. Expand General by clicking on the triangle to the left of the folder. Select Archive File and then click Next.
Next you will see the Export Archive file box. Here you will see all the folders and files that will be included in the archive you are about to create. Browse to the location where you want to save and then provide a name for your archive. Review and verify your Options and then click Finish.