Tag Archives: animate

zscroll: Pure flair

I am again doing you a disservice by showing a static screenshot of zscroll:


The animation effect is what we’re really after with zscroll, as the letters shift from right to left and the data updates. None of that is really visible from that command or image. Use your imagination. 😉

zscroll is fairly straightforward to use, with simple flags for options like after-text or before-text, or for padding the display with special content. You can also adjust the speed of output, clip it at a particular length, or set it to use double-width characters.

And zscroll allows just about any text to appear, provided you can wrangle it to fit and display as you want. As an example, I yanked the mocp playback status in the image you see above; it’s nothing special, but shows zscroll’s relative flexibility.

I don’t see a way to reverse the scrolling effect, which means if you want a left-to-right motion for right-to-left languages, it might not happen. And of course, if you set zscroll to display in a window that’s wider than your target text, nothing moves at all. It would be nice if zscroll could wrap the object text to fill any space.

zscroll is a no-brainer for any kind of window manager that allows for status bar displays, or even tiling window managers that will run one row deep. A little elbow grease and — ta-da! a constant stock quote update in the upper corner of your screen. Or something like that. Again, use your imagination. 😉

zscroll is pure flair, but it’s good to add a little flair sometimes. It’s in AUR as zscroll-git, but not in Debian that I could find. 🙂

gif-to-ogv.sh: All GIFs must die

I’ve taken the giant leap forward in recent months, to the realization that All GIFs Are Evil, and it’s time to abandon that format. They’re heavy, slow, poor quality and just a drudge from a world of 20 years ago. And they tie up my meager Internet connection.

Of course, I say that knowing full well that a tenth of the images I’ve hosted here are cobbled together PNG files made into rudimentary GIFs. I’m working on changing that to something that will embed in WordPress.com’s atrocious post markup, but not require me to link to YouTube or beyond.

All of that aside, here’s one way to exterminate those cretinous GIFs: gif-to-ogv.sh. And of course, I have nothing to show for it, unless I post a before-GIF and an after-OGV. And chances are, they’d look remarkably the same to you. Which they should, if gif-to-ogv.sh was actually doing its job.

And my preliminary attempts seem to confirm it. You can adjust the quality or speed settings in the script, but for what I’ve seen it doesn’t accept any flags. Which is probably as well, since mplayer is involved, and mplayer has more choices than some ice cream shops.

avconv is also involved, and I mention that because avconv is something that appears in Debian-based distros, probably under libav-tools. If there is an Arch package that contains something called “avconv,” neither me nor yaourt nor pkgfile could find it. I’m sure it’s out there though. 😐

I don’t know what else to tell you about gif-to-ogv.sh. I seem to have a fair number of script-gimmicks in my list though, so perhaps these quick-fix tools will become a regular addition to applications. Then again, what’s the difference? 😉