Network Monitor - Silly App #1

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Network Monitor - Silly App #1 // Interactive Artwork

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Post by early // Sep 7, 2008, 6:56pm

early
Total Posts: 46
Here's a silly activity that has trueSpace interacting with the web.

Based on the script 'GetUrlHEAD' which is included in the scene. It uses xmlHTTP to fetch the header fields of a HTTP request.


'Get Futurama Quote' reads the HEAD information from www.slashdot.org. Their headers are unique in that they add a random quote from the TV show 'Futurama' as an X- header. The script looks for any of three X- header values; X-Leela, X-Fry, or X-Bender, returning a filled string or null. The return strings are tested to provide a flag for invisibility. If the string is null, the linked figure is invisible.


I put together a very simple 3D visualization of the results. I could have made it into a game. The quote would be displayed, and you would have to choose which character said it. Alas, there are only a limited number of quotes, and I only have limited time.


This function can be used for a more serious purpose. I use a network monitor named 'Big Brother'. The all-over network status is carried in the X- headers, so I won't have the overhead of fetching (and parsing) the whole html page from the application's web server. I can just look for the specific X- header with my data.


*** Note about security ***


The function will fail unless the following steps are taken.

From the Control Panel

Open Internet Options

Security Tab - trusted zone - Custom Settings

Set "Access data sources across domains" = PROMPT

temporarily add '*.slashdot.org' to your trusted sites.



You will be prompted each time you run the activity.

I'm not using the native xmlHTTP interface, but the following link is informative:

' About Native XMLHTTP

' msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms537505(VS.85).aspx

Post by frootee // Sep 8, 2008, 5:02am

frootee
Total Posts: 2667
pic
Very Cool early! It's good to see truespace scripting used in a unique way like this.

Post by Norm // Sep 8, 2008, 5:55am

Norm
Total Posts: 862
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I was searching last year for a way to accomplish this.
I was looking at totally different ways, none of which panned-out.
This is very cool indeed!
I will be investigating this for sure :)

Post by Délé // Sep 8, 2008, 6:40am

Délé
Total Posts: 1374
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I agree, very cool early. I've been wanting to see more interactivity with websites. There is much potential in that IMO. Nice work. I too will be examining it. :)

Post by early // Sep 8, 2008, 3:49pm

early
Total Posts: 46
Thanks for the kind words, all. I'm definitely looking for feedback, especially on the greater project: a network visualization, monitor, and administration tool.


I'll be posting some other bits and pieces soon. Send an email from trueSpace. Fetch a binary file from the internet and use it as a bitmap. A printer animated by a variation of Norm's 'Robot Arm' LiveScript.


Or, I could go buy Spore, and disappear for a while...

Post by frootee // Sep 8, 2008, 4:52pm

frootee
Total Posts: 2667
pic
no no no... you don't need Spore.... :D


See, you need to make these groovy tools instead!


Froo

Post by early // Sep 9, 2008, 4:35am

early
Total Posts: 46
I've found that to have the 'GetURLHead' object work repeatedly, I had to clear my internet cache and set the browsing history to 'check for newer versions of stored pages: Every time I visit the webpage' (Control Panel - Internet Properties - General Tab.)


This will insure that new headers are fetched each time.
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