Chromium Embedded Framework 3 - Bare Bones

Update (2014-08-23): I have a few updated notes I’ve included at the bottom of this article.

“The Chromium Embedded Framework (CEF) is an open source project founded by Marshall Greenblatt in 2008 to develop a Web browser control based on the Google Chromium project.” (stolen from the project’s web site) Over the last few weeks I’ve spent a number of hours reading up on how to integrate CEF into an application. The project’s forum provides a nice support area where people can ask for help and the source distribution comes with an example application called “cefclient” that uses CEF to show how to build an application with it. The problem that I had, though, is that while “cefclient” is a nice resource if you’re looking for an advanced implementation on how to integrate CEF as a whole, but if you’re looking to start out with a complete bare-bones implementation that just barely works it’s overkill. You’re not quite sure where to start and the example in the General Usage page of the wiki is currently either out of date or referencing a different version of CEF than I’m working with. Once I was able to get the most basic implementation running, I decided it would be good to document how to do it as the resources I was able to find were either out of date or unavailable.

aphboard Up and Running

After hours and hours of work, I finally have something tangible to show for it! I’ve had to change my target device, though. I was spending way too much time trying to get the Chromium Embedded Framework (CEF3 in my case) to compile for the Pi (mainly for the ARM, not the Pi specifically) so I decided to change it up and just use an x86 machine for now. My goal is still to have a cross-platform dashboard but I thought this way it would be faster to get something working so I don’t have a blank screen sitting here unused.

I also managed to find a link to the original article that made me interested in setting up a dashbaord in the first place. It was on the Panic Blog in a post called The Panic Status Board. I think it’s a pretty neat idea and theirs is done really well, but I won’t have relevent data to put on mine like that in the beginning.

Before I get into the longer description, below you’ll see what I’ve arrived at for aphboard so far. You’ll see there are 3 different browser frames running: two on the top and one larger one at the bottom.

Yet Another New Project

In typical Erik fashion, I’ve found yet another project I want to do. For Christmas my parents gave me a 26” LCD TV that I’d wanted to use to watch TV in my office since I’d been using my 3rd LCD for that and I wanted to be able to actually use that LCD. For awhile I’ve been looking for a way to raise the new TV off my desk high enough to reach over my current LCDs, but all of the arms I’d found wouldn’t raise the TV high enough. I finally decided that I’d have to go with a wall mount (I was avoiding it because I didn’t want to put holes in the wall, bother finding studs, etc), so I went to Best Buy the day after Christmas to get one. They had some wall mount brackets on sale that supported 15-37” TV’s, so I picked up one of those. While I was thinking about it, I thought I might as well get two and set up a second wall mount screen since I had to get it all set up for one anyway.

Meet my new office setup, dubbed “The Command Center”!