The people   TODO
The following is some artist notes on what needs to be done for the entire
system. Some of this is just copied from the coders TODO to serve as inspiration
for artists with time on their hands.
Actually, this is just vaguely related stuff copied from the matrix-rad project.
This is the top priority for artists, it really needs to be done soon. Everything
else is not needed right this minute.
You will note a little cartoon of me (onefang) in the lower right corner of most of the modules, kindly watching over what the user does. I will either smile B-) or frown B-( [currently alternates every time "Copyright" updates]. Artists have the job of modifying that so that we have finer granularity - onefang helpful, smiling, waiting patiently, tinkering, frowning, concerned, worried, very worried, panicing, fleeing in terror. The user is strongly advised to flee in terror long before onefang does B-). Whatever you do, don't turn me into Clippy.
In fact, we need a new cartoon for this, maybe even a furry. For the installation instructions we need a "white rabbit". For the logo (see top of the page) I used the white rabbit version of the onefang cartoon with a frame from the rotating world overlayed.
The throbber should become a general health indicator. If the network checking
code figures out that a whole country is down, then we should change the color
of that country to red or something, maybe transparent. If any module has a
problem, the rotation should be retarded one frame, that way minor problems will
slow the world, major problems will stop it turning, and fatal problems will
have it spinning backwards rapidly. If the world starts spinning backwards
rapidly, then you are obviously in deep shit B-). The world melting down means
"Death of the Internet, film at eleven.".
The network health checking code needs to be explained a bit. The intention is to have it perform two tasks. Check the health of the network by regularly trying to connect to some servers, if they are all down, the network is down. The other task is to regularly check those things that the user wants to check. Check for new email from your email server/s, check for new news from your favourite news server, check web pages to see if they changed, check time servers to keep your clock sync'ed, check for updates to your matrix-RAD modules, etc.
When checking the network to see if a whole country has gone down for the purpose of displaying the correct thing on the throbber, DON'T have the client do the checking, it's a server job. Say some australian sheep farmer digs up one of Telstra's main cables with a back hoe, the last thing the australian network needs is twenty million internet users from all over the world constantly checking a variety of servers just to see if they are up. If a client suspects that sort of problem, inform their local matrix-DFS server, a search party of servers will then go and look for the alleged MIA country, report back to all the other servers, which will in turn report this info back to ALL clients. That way we wont even have twenty thousand servers knocking on the door asking 'You right mate?', only twenty, and Telstra can use their limited remaining bandwidth to route around the problem until they find the offending farmer.
The throbber should also display the users current network links on the globe, using lat/long info from DNS servers. If this becomes popular, then maybe host admins will pull their finger out and add those details to their name servers. The network link display should be as informative as possible. Use colour coding, ant animations, and line thickness. See the UI prototype image for an example.
The throbber should display day / night shadows, with city lights in the currently dark section of the globe, probably linking the lights to the network health checker.
Sourceforge project site.
This file was last modified on 2005-03-31