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[Request] Possible to add msgbox or beacons to ES

  • This is just a request.

    It would be a good thing if ES had the ability to display text messages as a graphical message box. The whole thing can be initiated from the text console with a command line from external programs and scripts. A sample call could look like that:
    emulationstatio --msgbox "Hello World!"

    The idea behind this is that graphical tricks such as those used to display song titles are unnecessary.
    I see advantages that

    • all currently supported platforms can implement this
    • display other information such as temperatures or disk space
    • Weather displays (UTF-8 also provides the appropriate icons), RSS news tickers, emails...

    It already works now, with fading in messages about adding or deleting favorites.

    It is really not a feature I demand because this is an approach for C coders. I fear, however, that such enlargements will have a massive impact on the stability of ES. So who am I?

  • Global Moderator

    Looks like a good idea, though I'd extend it a bit more and add something like the Network interface that RetroArch has. Besides the simple things like showing a simple message, you might add the ability to direct ES to

    • save metadata/settings - good for shutdown scripts
    • reload/freeze gamelists, good for
      • interaction with external scrapers
      • integrate with an inotify script to add new games copied in the ROMs folders so no more restart/reboots to re-read the game list.
    • reload theme list (no restart when new themes are added)

    I'm sure other things can be done through this kind of control/communication channel (even scripting ES actions).

  • @mitu I see you are giving good impulse for more development.

    Such features would certainly make ES more flexible and programmers could certainly create good fields of application for it.
    Certainly some other scripts (shutdown) would also benefit. If I could implement this myself (quickly), then I wouldn't mention it here in the forum ;)

  • @cyperghost this is definitively a really good idea to consider for a new feature. I also have been thinking on something like this for controller battery display or other system messages such as "Wifi Connected" or "Controller Connected".

    As you said, the most common"hack" for this is to use pngview and dispmanx layers to display stuff "on top" of emulationstation. This of course is not very elegant nor very flexible and requires an RPI. The idea you propose would be multiplatform, so definitively worth it.

    @mitu's ideas are very good too. This idea should be put in a TO-DO list or such. I currently don't have much time but when I have (hopefully soon) I can def help programming ideas like this.

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