webcam-server-dialog: A basic front-end to webcam-server

Posted by jhansonxi on Sep 24, 2010 11:28 AM EDT
Stubborn Tech Problem Solving; By jhansonxi
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I'm working on a new Ubuntu configuration to deploy for friends and family. One of the capabilities I wanted to add was simple remote webcam viewing. While webcam-server is old it met my requirements but it's a command-line application. To deploy webcam-server I had to make it more friendly which meant making a video device selection dialog for it. My current programming hammer is BASH shell scripting but to make a GUI I turned to utilities that can produce dialogs and provide feedback to command-line applications. There are many to choose from but for different environments I had to make custom versions of the script, select the dialoger with a script parameter, or try to select it dynamically. In the great tradition of overdesign I chose the latter.

After spending several days solving a 5-line problem with 300+ I ended up with webcam-server-dialog. It supports dialog, whiptail, Xdialog, xmessage, gxmessage, kdialog, and Zentiy. It looks for processes that indicate a particular desktop environment or window manager, uses a built-in priority list of dialogers for that environment, checks for availability, then uses the best available to provide the GUI. The core of this script is nothing more than "ls /dev/video*" dumped into an array but the focus here was eye-candy.

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