webcollage - decorate the screen with random images from the web
webcollage [-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]] [-dic-
tionary dictionary-file] [-driftnet [cmd]]
The 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
webcollage is written in perl(1) and requires Perl 5.
It will be an order of magnitude faster if you also have the webcol-
lage-helper program installed (a GDK/JPEG image compositor), but web-
collage 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.
webcollage accepts the following options:
-root Draw on the root window. This option is manditory, if output
is being produced: drawing to a window other than the root win-
dow is not yet supported.
Images are placed on the root window by using one of the
xscreensaver-getimage(1), chbg(1), xv(1), xli(1), or xloadim-
age(1) programs (whichever is available.)
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.
How long to wait for a URL to complete before giving up on it
and moving on to the next one. Default 30 seconds.
How long to sleep between images. Default 2 seconds. (Remem-
ber that this program probably spends a lot of time waiting for
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.
Normally, the output image will be made to be the size of the
screen (or target window.) This lets you specify the desired
How transparently to paste the images together, with 0.0 mean-
ing "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 conjunc-
tion 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.
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
Filter all source images through this command. The command
must take a PPM file on stdin, and write a new PPM file to std-
out. One good choice for a filter would be:
webcollage -root -filter 'vidwhacker -stdin -stdout'
Filter the composite image through this command. The -filter
option applies to the sub-images; the -filter2 applies to the
final, full-screen image.
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.
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 sev-
eral 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 ]
driftnet(1) 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 cau-
DISPLAY 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.
The Internet being what it is, absolutely anything might show up in the
collage including -- quite possibly -- pornography, or even nudity.
Animating GIFs are not supported: only the first frame will be used.
The latest version of webcollage can be found as a part of xscreen-
saver, at http://www.jwz.org/xscreensaver/, or on the WebCollage page
X(1), xscreensaver(1), xli(1), xv(1), xloadimage(1), ppmmake(1),
giftopnm(1), pnmpaste(1), pnmscale(1), djpeg(1), cjpeg(1), xdpyinfo(1),
perl(1), vidwhacker(1), dadadodo(1), driftnet(1) EtherPEG, EtherPeek
Copyright (C) 1998-2005 by Jamie Zawinski. Permission to use, copy,
modify, distribute, and sell this software and its documentation for
any purpose is hereby granted without fee, provided that the above
copyright notice appear in all copies and that both that copyright
notice and this permission notice appear in supporting documentation.
No representations are made about the suitability of this software for
any purpose. It is provided "as is" without express or implied war-
Jamie Zawinski <jwzATjwz.org>, 24-May-1998.
X Version 11 4.21 (01-Mar-2005) XScreenSaver(6x)