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Submitted by nullpointer, posted on April 05, 2001

Image Description, by nullpointer

I have been working on a Project called WebTracer for a while now. It's a standalone app that maps the hyperlinks of a website and creates a corresponding 3d structure, which can then be navigated and used to launch browsers for looking at specific pages.

The application has no definite destination and is at present a not-for-profit project of my work at (See the website for further description of the project.)

The app needs a win95/8/2000 platform and DirectX installed, so If anyone is running such a setup (graphics acceleration is really essential, machines without 3d cards tend to really crawl with the app) Could they let me know if they are interested in running a beta version and letting me know the bugs e.t.c Also any ideas about who would make good test sites e.t.c.

I will be keeping a bug/fix list on my site as the project reaches it's final stages. A download of the beta version is available at the following address.

If anyone wants to know more you can contact me at

Tom Betts

Image of the Day Gallery


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Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active. It is here for reference purposes. This thread was created on an older version of the flipcode forums, before the site closed in 2005. Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.
Alexander Blach

April 05, 2001, 01:16 PM

This definitely looks very cool. It remembers me of visualization effects in some movies. Much more interesting than your average tree-view.


April 05, 2001, 01:45 PM

If links are represented by those red lines then the distance between two nodes/pages seems to be very large. Navigation would then become a problem.
Another question: Does it have proxy support yet? Otherwise I can't try it.


Lion V

April 05, 2001, 01:51 PM

I`ve never even heard of a concpt like this.
Sounds good for sites like M$ amd other mega sites.
I`ll beta test it.


April 05, 2001, 02:26 PM

Interesting idea. I'm downloading it now. One thing I'm concerned about though is, is it smart enough to avoid pages that link to each other repeatedly, but with different parameters? My company's web site has a lot of dynamic content. We have an image mapping interface that allows you to apply textures to different areas of an image. Every possible texture combination would have a different link, and so there is a potentially infinite number of links our site could have. Is it safe to run your utility on our web site?

Ron Frazier

April 05, 2001, 04:12 PM

I tried it...crashes and dies instantly. I have Win2K/SP1, DirectX 8, Geforce2 GTS 64MB (6.18 drivers). I tried with direct 3D HAL and RGB Emulation, neither worked.

instruction "0x0040f23c" referenced a null pointer. Nothing interesting in the Debug Log.

Starting Setup
Create d3d
setdisplaymode WINDOWED
attach zbuffer
setup viewport - renderstates
setup Vertexbuffers
Done Setup


April 05, 2001, 04:24 PM

Hey it looks like the GUI that stupid girl was using when they were running from the Dinos.

Raigan Burns

April 05, 2001, 05:03 PM

if i may inquire...

how are you drawing the lines?

sorry if it's a stupid question, but they REALLY look wicked!


April 05, 2001, 05:10 PM

My first thought when I look to this image is the same as Buster's:
"I know it!, it's Unix!"-sais the stupid girl. Spielberg's team advantage you few years ago with a sucking rendered motion and a blond girl moving a mouse like a mad cow.
At least your program is a reality and works. I think it's an impressive idea. So if you don't find a profitable use for you app try to sold the concept to Tom Cruise for Mission Imposible 3 (view this in a sun glasses will be very nice).

What about something similar to Johnny Nemonic's navigation system?
A mix will be ... 10,000db WOW FACTOR.


Vander Nunes

April 05, 2001, 05:30 PM

Hey, I liked it very much, specially because it's small size. Quite interesting!

Maybe it could be improved with a more intuitive interface.

var NS,IE; IE = (document.all)? 1:0; NS = !IE; tick = 0; incx = 5; incy = 0.0; x = 0; y = 0; move("spr1",x,y); setInterval("update()",5); function update() { x += incx; y += incy; if (incy=wHeight()-128) { y=wHeight()-128; incy=-incy*0.8; }; if (x=wWidth()-128) { x=wWidth()-128; incx=-incx; }; move("spr1",x,y); tick += 3; } function move(spr,px,py) { if (IE) { eval(spr).style.pixelLeft = px; eval(spr).style.pixelTop = py; } else if (NS) { document[spr].left = px; document[spr].top = py; }; } function run() { setInterval("update()",10); } function wWidth() { if (IE) return document.body.clientWidth; else if (NS) return window.innerWidth; } function wHeight() { if (IE) return document.body.clientHeight+document.body.scrollTop; else if (NS) return window.innerHeight+top.pageYOffset; } function reBounce() { incy=-15-Math.abs(incy)*1.2; if (incy


April 05, 2001, 05:49 PM

Looks cool, would be great to see a map of vast sites like Microsoft's.

Vander, is that you who's put that annoying bouncing borken picture on this page without saying? Shame on you! I feel an 'alert' coming on...

Joshua Anderson

April 05, 2001, 05:56 PM

Vander, that bouncing box code you tagged to the bottom of your post is a little annoying.

As for the IOTD, looks interesting. I'd like to see how it handles extremely large sites.



April 05, 2001, 07:10 PM

The IOTD rocks... the box doesn't. Hummm... i wonder where it went? =) Tom

function update() { }; = "hidden";


April 05, 2001, 09:33 PM

Hey... I'll have you know that program actually exists too. And it is IN FACT a program run on a flavor of Unix
(IRIX to be exact) I was working on some SGI's this summer and I ran across it on the SGI site, but it only
runs on an older version of the OS, so I didn't bother to go after it. (Not that it wasn't lame and annoying in
the movie)


April 05, 2001, 09:56 PM

That was a real UI she was using, it was developed at Silicon Graphics (as was) in the early 90's.


April 05, 2001, 10:56 PM

There's actually a poster for sale in several places that provides a snapshot like this one for the entire internet (or so they claim). It's pretty neat, they color-code nodes based on several things (European, Asias, US, military, .net etc). The latest version I saw was from Jan 1, 2000.



April 05, 2001, 11:02 PM

hey thats an awsome idea... Modified it could be a great hacking tool, not that im into that sort of thing, cough... but instead of simple hyperlinks, it could show the location of files on a server, and their relationships to one another, graphically representing any way to bypass specific files. Or I guess you could use it to manage a really big site where you have old forgotten links...;)


April 06, 2001, 02:06 AM

Is good to know that I make a mistake supposing the GUI wich the girl uses as an animation. Thanks for correction. But I'm sure she's moving the mouse like a mad cow :)


April 06, 2001, 02:22 AM

cool, gives me an error when I exit though...

Jam Sandwich

April 06, 2001, 04:15 AM

Bollocks. Talk about never an original thought. I've been working on some stuff like this for about 6 months now (on and off); unfortunately (for me) this looks way cooler, and actually works.

Oh well.


April 06, 2001, 04:25 AM

Hey, this is a UNIX system. I know this!!!

I hated that girl...


April 06, 2001, 04:29 AM

That very poster is on the wall over in our server room... It is pretty cool but could be better is they showed an outline of the countries underneath the graph.


April 06, 2001, 06:40 AM

Oh yeah well, nice stuff and all...
but *WHAT'S THE USE* ?


Peter Mackay

April 06, 2001, 07:19 AM

You're not the only one!


April 06, 2001, 07:36 AM

Then you must hear her voice in the spanish version. It makes you want a TRex to clean its teeth with her bones. :)

Peter Mackay

April 06, 2001, 10:31 AM

Not everything has a use, but this project seems to have entertained several people.

I'd say that it wasn't time wasted.


April 06, 2001, 02:46 PM

Lovemaking is waste of time or not ?
The same thing here

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