WorldTree - technical description

WorldTree is timed to execute for exactly four minutes, regardless of the computer environment on which it runs. It produces a tree from a given text, but does so in a random manner so that no two executions will be identical.

User Interaction
When a bird appears then the user can click anywhere in the canopy of the tree. This can be done up to six times, after which the bird/cursor will disappear.

When a click occurs, the program will identify the nearest text and use it as a search term to be sent to an Internet search engine. While the search is being undertaken, the bird is replaced by a white flower. When the (HTML) file is received from the search engine, the flower evolves into streaming text. This text, retrieved from the Internet, contrasts to the authored text that produces the rest of the tree.

As this version operates off-line, the program holds six files previously retrieved from a search engine using search terms from the original text. In the on-line version, the search engine would be accessed in real time.

Technical description
The program was developed using REALBasic 5.5 Pro on a Powerbook G4 running OSX with a version cross-compiled to run under Windows.

 

© Raewyn Turner & Colin Beardon, 2004


Professor Colin Beardon
Dept of Computer Science
University of Waikato
Private Bag 3105
Hamilton
New Zealand

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