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libvisualid is a toolkit based on the ideas originally
put forth by J. P. Lewis et al. in their essay,
VisualIDs: Automatic Distinctive Icons for Desktop Interfaces
'; the basic idea is for the software to automatically `invent'
distinctive & recognisable icons to identify, for example:
files when `thumbnailing' is not possible, points of interest
on a map, or people in a phonebook
or on web-forums
when custom avatars are not available.
For a glimpse of VisualIDs technology live and interactive on the web, see Stickfigurator: an automatic avatar-generator.
libvisualid includes a command-line utility to generate
VisualIDs and manage glyph-caches (also serving as an example application);
FoxtrotGPS version 1.1.1
supports using libvisualid to generate icons for points of interest,
and a patch is available to integrate
VisualIDs functionality into
the Nautilus file-manager.
You can find news, screenshots, and additional information related to this project in my weblog:
If you'd like to install this code, download one of the above tarballs--they
build with a standard GNU-style "./configure && make install" command;
or, if you're on a Debian-based system
such as Ubuntu, packaging is included
so you can build a proper package using
If you'd like to hack on this code yourself, then you can make a Bazaar branch, e.g.:
bzr branch http://disambiguate.me/libvisualid/libvisualid-dev
Note that, if you decide to use the code directly from the bzr repository, you'll need to have the GNU Autotools suite installed (Autoconf, Automake, and Libtool), and you'll have to initialise the Autotools infrastructure before you'll be able to build, e.g.:
autoreconf --install --verbose --symlink
Either way, patches, bug-reports, questions, and other feedback are welcomed!
You're also welcome, whether you're a user or developer, to stop by the #libvisualid IRC channel on the freenode network for live conversation.