Art from code - Generator.x
Generator.x is a conference and exhibition examining the current role of software and generative strategies in art and design. [Read more...]
 

HTML and markup languages like XML describe documents as hierarchies of tags, in what is called a Document Object Model. This structure can be visualized as a graph.

Websites as Graphs (by Sala of Onethousandpaintings.com) takes a web page URL as input, and outputs a graph of the underlying HTML structure. Used on any large content site like CNN or BoingBoing, it reveal the underlying logic of presentation used to build those pages. Related information form clusters, with color codes revealing a tendency towards table- or CSS-based design (the former being a no-no, obviously) as well as density of images, links etc.

While the graphs make for interesting images, it is still hard to make hard and fast assumptions about the page in question only by looking at the graph. But a well-structured document will always reveal itself as such, as will badly-structured documents. Websites as Graphs should be of interest to anyone who has tried to define a page structure, particularly if that structure conforms to the current CSS-based ideal of “logic-not-presentation” style of web design.

The source code for Websites as Graphs is freely available for download. It was built with Processing, using the Traer.Physics and HTMLParser.

Update: Markavian has hacked up a remix version which allows you to browse the tag structure interactively and even follow links to new documents. To use it, point your browser to a URL in the following format:

http://mkv25.net/applets/mkv_htmlgraph/getDataFromURL.php?url=http://www.mysite.com/

“mysite.com” should obviously be replaced with whatever URL it is you want to explore.

Relevant links:

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Sala: Websites as Graphs – Graph of Generatorx.no / Flickr: websitesasgraphs tag
HTML语言和像XML一类的结构化语言会把文件注释为标签的分层体系,这种体系被称为一个Document Object Model(文件对象模型)。这个…

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