Animatron

Wallpaper Other

Source (link to git-repo or to original if based on someone elses unmodified work): Add the source-code for this project on opencode.net

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Description:

1. Description
Animatron is an animated plasma wallpaper plugin for KDE4. It draws fast streams of random text
on top of a colored or graphic background. The streams fade out at a different rate and
occasionally spawn into fresh new ones, making your desktop look very cinematic and interesting.

2. Guide
Due to a fast rate at which the background needs to be refreshed, the performance drop is quite
significant and you sometimes can't afford the wasted flops underneath your active window.
For this purpose, Animatron includes functionality to stop the animations and free resources
when nobody is looking at it.
...No, not really, but hopefuly, close enough :) For each desktop, it allows you to specify a
set of simple rules for which to disable itself. A "rule" actually consists of either an
application name (like "google-chrome" or "firefox" or "amarok" - which means that Animatron
will suspend animations while that app is running) or a symbolic notation for some other
feature, like ("*" - means "always stay disabled", "#" - means "always stay enabled".

Example rules:

smplayer gnome-mplayer kaffeine vlc

?1

First one is useful to set for "All Desktops" and it will disable Animatron when you're
watching a movie.
Second one will disable Animatron if at least one application is running on that desktop. You
can specify any number you wish after the '?', it will disable when number of open windows
reaches that number.

When animations are stopped, Animatron behaves like an everyday image (or color) wallpaper,
and as soon as you close the blacklisted app (or apps) or switch to a desktop that
doesn't restrict it, the ASCII madness shortly resumes.

3. Config options
Font, Color, Grid - style and grid size
BackgroundColor - not there yet :) Although performance-wise it is far more advantageous to
fill the background with a color instead of an image, i don't actually think i've seen
anyone since 1993 using a plain color for background - and never other than black; anyways,
is not like i'm lazy or anything, i'll add this thing if anyone really begs for it :P
Bins - a give-or-take number for how many streams can there be on screen at a time
Base - sets up a range for the random number generator; Base 16 means that it will spit out
characters from '0' to 'F'.
Arrangement - at the moment it offers a choice of whether to use an image as background or
use a black bg; If you select a background image and you want to use it, make sure you've
set the arrangement to "Center".
Rules - where you type the desired rules for the desktop you see highlighted in the desktop
selector; most often a rule consists of an application name (a window name, to be specific);
if the app in question is running on that particular desktop, you can use the dropdown near
the [+] button to add it to 'Rules', or to check if the name you typed is correct; the [-]
button is just a dummy atm;
Open, GetNewStuff - acquire images to use as backgrounds; might want to read a KDE guide if
you're not familiar with these particular dialogs.

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Build instructions:

cd
mkdir -p build && cd build
cmake .. -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=`kde4-config --prefix`
make
sudo make install

optionally, test with
plasmawallpaperviewer -p animatron

You might need to run kbuildsycoca4 in order to get the .desktop file recognized.

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Repository:
https://github.com/spaceape/animatron

Latest stable version on branch 'stable'
Latest dev version on branch 'master' - i'll try my best to keep this reasonably stable as well

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BUGS:
* sometimes the "Desktops" widget in config doesn't init properly, it looks dead and you can't
click on it. [rare]
* popup menu on "Add Rule" button leaks some memory [just when you pop it]
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Suggestions and questions welcome

Enjoy,
spaceape


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0.3
updated Aug 27 2011
added Aug 07 2011
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