Web Application

This subweb explores some ideas regarding creation of a web application, based on commodity hardware and open source software.

Motivation

Tiles are time-consuming to fabricate, making them expensive and unsuited to demand-based generation. So, it would be nice to have an economical solution that solves these problems. Using open source software and commodity hardware, such a solution might be possible.

Also, devices such as a one-line braille terminal seem poorly suited to scanning documents (e.g., code, data) that encode structural information via a 2D layout.

Overview

Much of the software needed to fabricate a tile can be repurposed to support web-based access. The Data Paths page details my use of Inkscape and QGIS to support laser-engraved tiles. The diagram below sketches out a way to extend this to support web-based access:

Basically, the idea is to serve SVG content (generated by Inkscape, QGIS, etc.) on a web site. An Elm-based single-page application would allow the user to access this content on a client computer (e.g., desktop, handheld, notebook, tablet).

The user would indicate a point of interest (POI), using a pick device such as a graphics tablet or touchscreen. Although the device does not strictly need to have a visual display, this could be useful for a sighted assistant or a visually-impaired user.

The computer would respond with audible feedback (e.g., speech, tones). A separate control stream (e.g., keyboard, voice) would allow the user to modify the response mode(s) without moving her finger from the POI.

Prototype

My work on the prototype has barely begun. I have set up an Android tablet with an attached keyboard and headphones. However, because the client-side software is a single-page application (running inside a web browser), many other hardware and software configurations are possible.

I also have assorted web servers that can serve static test content (e.g., CSS, HTML, JavaScript, SVG). This should suffice for a proof of concept (POC) system.


This wiki page is maintained by Rich Morin, an independent consultant specializing in software design, development, and documentation. Please feel free to email comments, inquiries, suggestions, etc!

Topic revision: r79 - 12 Dec 2015, RichMorin
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