I don't want to run a full X server for what will be fairly simple information, but I'd rather not do the whole thing on the text console either - the Framebuffer is the ideal halfway-house between these two.
However, to throw a spanner in the works, I'd like to throw the code together in C# atop the Mono framework - while I could do the whole thing in Perl, or take the time to learn Python, it'll be a whole lot easier to do this using the language I use every day anyway.
All so simple so far - I have Debian Wheezy (armel) running, Mono is installed and working, and MonoDevelop works suitably well for my needs (yes, I know I can code on another machine and run on the Pi - but some debugging will be necessary on the Pi itself which is why I got MonoDevelop running too).
Then I looked for ways to access the Framebuffer from C# / Mono:
- Mono.Cairo: Really easy, but the DirectFB bindings are missing (or rather, the native Cairo library no longer seems to include DirectFB Surfaces)
- GtkFB: Sounds straightforward, except for the fact that GtkFB isn't available precompiled on Wheezy (armel), and I'd rather not recompile the whole GDK / GTK+ / GTK# framework
- Tao.Sdl: OK, with this, I can do some primitive drawing onto the Framebuffer, but the interface is very klunky and SDL itself is designed more for games than for my simple 2D user interface requirements
I've not been able to find any other way of accessing the Framebuffer from Mono / C#, so thought I'd turn to the community for some advice ... Has anyone out there managed to do anything constructive with direct Framebuffer access from the Mono runtime using Debian Wheezy (armel) - ideally using supplied packages, not libraries you've had to build / rebuild yourself? If you have, which libraries and interfaces did you use, and can you post basic examples?
Looking forward to any advice you guys might have ...