twinkle, twinkle, little star

NodeSTAR has landed!

Its mission - to boldy visualise what no graph has visualised before

To elucidate: NodeSTAR is an e2 nodegel visualizer. Perhaps you've used one of the ascii visualisers out there, or played around with Pyrogenic's graphical one. NodeSTAR differs from its predecessors by actually visualising the upvotes and downvotes on each writeup, instead of just its reputation. So the difference between a +10/-0 writeup and a +70/-60 5C! writeup will be immediately apparent.

And, it looks pretty. Each writeup is represented by a glowing star, and things like votes and C!s alter the star's visual characteristics - size, brightness, colour, flare spikes. It's highly user-configurable, so if the defaults aren't working out for you, you can tweak to your heart's content. Assuming you have enough writeups to make the thing statistically interesting, you end up with an image that looks like it was taken by the Hubble Telescope.

how I wonder what you are

Thar She Blows

If your curiosity has gotten the better of you, browse your way to that there URL. Pop your e2 username and password into the inputs provided, and pretty pictures will be imminent. If you don't find the interface self-explanatory, head over to the "wtf?" help page, where you may bask in sweet edification.

I'm interested in what you think about NodeSTAR, otherwise I wouldn't have made it public. Love it? Loathe it? Have some cool ideas for additional features? Let me know, by e2 /msg or email (see my homenode).

Some people have already used NodeSTAR and not suffered hideous death as a direct consequence!

me, weasello, kthejoker, Wntrmute, SharQ, ReiToei, amnesiac, dTaylorSingletary, princess loulou, in10se, the Alchemist, tWD, XWiz, 3Suns, TMPman, toalight, TehBesto, HamsterMan, a scar faery, Simpleton, mkb, Davidian, pylon, Dataknife, MALTP, yclept, Swap, Valrus

up above the world so high

It's a conspiracy

For those paranoids among us, yes, if I was diabolically inclined, I could theoretically locate your e2 password if you use NodeSTAR. I have root access to the server - that's just how it is. However, I have done my level best to protect your privacy from accidental access by me, and from any kind of access by anyone else using the system. You are in control of your own content, and you will always have the option of deleting everything that belongs to you from my server, should you suffer a sudden panic attack.

But seriously guys, h4xx0ring your e2 account is not on my agenda. For a start, I have better things to do (like creating interesting noder utilities), it would be unbearably lame, and basically, I'm just not that evil. Don't pay any attention to that stuff they've been saying in the papers about me being "the most dire external threat humanity has ever faced". Those guys will print anything.

like a diamond in the sky

Technically Speaking

NodeSTAR is powered by a series of PHP scripts running on my little Linux server here at home. Writeup data and user settings are stored in a PostgreSQL database, and generated NodeSTAR graphs are kept on the filesystem unless you delete them. My code uses the e2 XML Tickers to authenticate you and retrieve your writeup data.

Stability-wise, this software has been through only rudimentary testing. The chances of it breaking on you are quite high, especially if you start getting freaky with the user settings. If you think you've found a genuine bug, I welcome (good) bug reports.

Thanks to everyone who has helped me out on this project, even if it was just a /msg telling me about a problem, or saying that you enjoyed it. Major love goes out to

  • weasello, for getting me inspired about it in the first place and helping me out with the graphics (and his endless list of suggested extra features)
  • kthejoker, for helping me iron out some of the early problems
  • mkb and ascorbic, for crucial assistance in working out the Unicode issue
  • Taliesin's Muse, for extreme patience in the face of her username's deadly apostrophe