Lucid Rainforest and Weed Plant Keys

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Apr 22, 2020, 5:23:20 AM4/22/20

Here is some information in addition to that in my post of 14.2.2020.

It is possible to run the full-blown Java standalone version of the Lucid player on a mobile phone.  This breaks the dependency of your Lucid keys on Google's control of your phone.

In the case of the Rainforest Plant key by Gwen Harden, Bill McDonald, Hugh Nicholson, and co, an added advantage is that the full suite of illustrations, from your USB version of the key, is made available on your mobile phone.

The weed key by Sheldon Navie also works on a phone.  The original version was supplied only with the Java applet version of the player and this no longer works in modern browsers on any device.

The secret is a wonderful phone app called UserLand.  The app allows PC programs to run on a mobile phone.  In UserLand, you install and run programs just as you would with Linux running on your PC.  UserLand provides the means by which the full set of necessary program libraries is accessible to programs.  Without UserLand, the set of available libraries is limited and PC programs cannot run.  In UserLand, programs run in their own windows just as they do on a PC.  The windows can be moved, resized, stacked, tiled, and so on just as they can on a PC.

You need a suitable phone app to display the output from the programs running in UserLand.  The display app runs in Android land as a normal app.

In UserLand, you need to install
  • the Java runtime from a download site
  • a web browser from a download site
  • the Lucid Java standalone player from Gwen Harden Publishing
  • the key database from your CD or USB stick.
My experience is
  • the softwares to install in UserLand are those for the armhf architecture (not arm64, Intel, Sparc, etc)
  • a phone or tablet with at least a 7 inch display is required for any semblance of practicality
  • only Java version 8 will run the player
  • the only web browser that works is Midori version 0.5.11
  • for displaying the output from programs in UserLand, an app called bVNC will allow you to use normal phone gestures to zoom in so you can see where you need to click to operate a key
  • I had to install an extra shared library before the player would start the browser to display species descriptions
  • the learning curve is steep.
This technology is at the bleeding edge of the liberation of handheld computing gadgets from the draconian control of Google.  It is a great way to use the period of coronavirus isolation to prepare for a glorious extravaganza of field work in the future.

I am happy to exchange emails with anyone who is interested.


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