webcollage — decorate the screen with random images from the web
Synopsiswebcollage [-display host:display.screen] [-root] [-window-id id] [-verbose] [-timeout secs] [-delay secs] [-background bg] [-no-output] [-urls-only] [-imagemap filename-base] [-size WxH] [-opacity ratio] [-filter command] [-filter2 command] [-http-proxy host[:port]] [-dictionary dictionary-file] [-driftnet [cmd]] [-directory dir] [-fps]
DescriptionThe webcollage program pulls random image off of the World Wide Web and scatters them on the root window. One satisfied customer described it as "a nonstop pop culture brainbath." This program finds its images by doing random web searches, and extracting images from the returned pages.
webcollage is written in perl(1) and requires Perl 5.
It will be an order of magnitude faster if you also have the webcollage-helper program installed (a GDK/JPEG image compositor), but webcollage works without it as well.
webcollage can be used in conjunction with the driftnet(1) program (the Unix equivalent of EtherPEG) to snoop images from traffic on your local subnet, instead of getting images from search engines.
Optionswebcollage accepts the following options:
Draw on the root window. This option is mandatory, if output is being
produced: drawing to a window other than the root window is not yet
Images are placed on the root window by using one of the xscreensaver-getimage(1), chbg(1), xv(1), xli(1), or xloadimage(1) programs (whichever is available.)
- -window-id id
- Draw to the indicated window instead; this only works if the xscreensaver-getimage(1) program is installed.
- -verbose or -v
- Print diagnostics to stderr. Multiple -v switches increase the amount of output. -v will print out the URLs of the images, and where they were placed; -vv will print out any warnings, and all URLs being loaded; -vvv will print information on what URLs were rejected; and so on.
- -timeout seconds
- How long to wait for a URL to complete before giving up on it and moving on to the next one. Default 30 seconds.
- -delay seconds
- How long to sleep between images. Default 2 seconds. (Remember that this program probably spends a lot of time waiting for the network.)
- -background color-or-ppm
- What to use for the background onto which images are pasted. This may be a color name, a hexadecimal RGB specification in the form '#rrggbb', or the name of a PPM file.
- -size WxH
- Normally, the output image will be made to be the size of the screen (or target window.) This lets you specify the desired size.
- -opacity ratio
- How transparently to paste the images together, with 0.0 meaning "completely transparent" and 1.0 meaning "opaque." Default 0.85. A value of around 0.3 will produce an interestingly blurry image after a while.
- If this option is specified, then no composite output image will be generated. This is only useful when used in conjunction with -verbose.
- If this option is specified, then no composite output image will be generated: instead, a list of image URLs will be printed on stdout.
- -imagemap filename-base
- If this option is specified, then instead of writing an image to the root window, two files will be created: "base.html" and "base.jpg". The JPEG will be the collage; the HTML file will include that image, and an image-map making the sub-images be linked to the pages on which they were found (just like http://www.jwz.org/webcollage/.)
- -filter command
Filter all source images through this command. The command must take
a PPM file on stdin, and write a new PPM file to stdout. One good
choice for a filter would be:
webcollage -root -filter 'vidwhacker -stdin -stdout'
- -filter2 command
- Filter the composite image through this command. The -filter option applies to the sub-images; the -filter2 applies to the final, full-screen image.
- -http-proxy host:port
- If you must go through a proxy to connect to the web, you can specify it with this option, or with the $http_proxy or $HTTP_PROXY environment variables.
- -dictionary file
Webcollage normally looks at the system's default spell-check dictionary
to generate words to feed into the search engines. You can specify an
alternate dictionary with this option.
Note that by default, webcollage searches for images using several different methods, not all of which involve dictionary words, so using a "topical" dictionary file will not, in itself, be as effective as you might be hoping.
- -driftnet [ args ]
is a program that snoops your local ethernet for packets that look
like they might be image files. It can be used in conjunction
with webcollage to generate a collage of what other people on
your network are looking at, instead of a search-engine collage.
If you have driftnet installed on your $PATH, just use
the -driftnet option. You can also specify the location
of the program like this:
or, you can provide extra arguments like this:
-driftnet '/path/to/driftnet -extra -args'
Driftnet version 0.1.5 or later is required. Note that the driftnet program requires root access, so you'll have to make driftnet be setuid-root for this to work. Please exercise caution.
- -directory dir
- Instead of searching the web for images, use the contents of the given directory.
- Display the current frame rate and CPU load (MacOS only).
- to get the default host and display number.
- to get the name of a resource file that overrides the global resources stored in the RESOURCE_MANAGER property.
- http_proxy or HTTP_PROXY
- to get the default HTTP proxy host and port.
Files and urls/usr/dict/words, /usr/share/lib/dict/words, or /usr/share/dict/words to find the random words to feed to certain search engines.
http://www.google.com/ to find random web pages.
BoobiesThe Internet being what it is, absolutely anything might show up in the collage including -- quite possibly -- pornography, or even nudity.
BugsAnimating GIFs are not supported: only the first frame will be used.
UpgradesThe latest version of webcollage can be found as a part of xscreensaver, at http://www.jwz.org/xscreensaver/, or on the WebCollage page at http://www.jwz.org/webcollage/.