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# 3d Browser

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A few other guys and I are working on an idea for a 3d browser, sort of like a less boring Internet Explorer. We came across two problems in the planning phase- 1) A text buffer, which I''m close to fixing with a simple linked list. 2) A way to get ahold of file structure. Is there a data structure of some kind that holds files/folders, or am I going to have to create one? As far as creating folders and the like goes, I can use the system(char*) command if absolutely necessary, but I still don''t have a good way of getting the contents of a folder to display. Any ideas?

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Yeah, I (and probably everyone else has too) have had the iea of making a 3d web based browser in OpenGL. My idea however was much more indepth.

My question is this, "Are you going to be creating your own HTML rederning engine?" and "Do you know what your getting into?"

Dustin Davis
Owner / CEO
Programmers Unlimited
www.Programmers-Unlimited.com

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HTML rendering engine? We''re not really going to be working with HTML. The whole idea is just to allow the user to navigate through the contents of his/her hard drive in 3d space. No image viewing, no text editing, nothing like that, just simple navigation. So no HTML rendering, but no I probably don''t know what I''m getting into.

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AFAIK IE do renders HTML, but not browses through your HDD (at least not ment to) O_o

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What? What are you trying to say? If you''re trying to say that I implied something different by Internet Explorer, apologies. But this is more like a glorified DOS, if you will. Happy? Now, does anyone know how to do that, or are you just going to jabber at me in bad English?

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Internet Explorer explores the internet. Windows Explorer is what you're writing a 3D version of.

The Windows API is C-based, so all you have are functions for retrieving directory contents, but not structures that automatically fill themselves in. However it's easy writing code to browse folders. I can't remember the function names, but it's something like findfirst and findnext.

My question is, how is this going to be 3D, and how is it going to be easier to navigate than the traditional 2D display?

BTW, did you know you misspelled Phoenix?

~CGameProgrammer( );

-- Post screenshots of your projects. 100+ posts already in the archives.

[edited by - CGameProgrammer on October 10, 2003 4:38:37 PM]

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*sighs, shakes head* Yes, I''m aware I misspelled Phoenix. It''s a long story and I''d rather not tell it.

You''re missing the point of this. It isn''t to be easier to navigate, it isn''t meant to be an improvement. It''s just a project that I want to do for my own enjoyment. Yes, it is more like WINDOWS explorer. I''m aware of that. Now. Please. A link, anything.

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If you have the book, "OpenGL Game Programming", one of the programs contained on the disk was Europa 3D. Europa 3D just replaced the desktop with a 3D enviroment. You might want to check it out for some ideas, just to see what might be difficult to code. And if you''re really stumped, I suggest just resorting to using the system(const char *filename); call and using DOS commands. It won''t be fast, but you''ll get a feel for the program. And be sure to check out Europa 3D, it''s pretty cool if you''ve got an okay graphics card. Good luck! And let Open Source live, emkay!

"Donkey, if it were me, you''d be dead."
I cna ytpe 300 wrods pre mniute.

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There is actually a 3d Browser I started and then gave over to a member of my site. He and his team ahve been working on a 3D "Browser" (much much more than just a browser) and are coming along nicley. They could use help if you want to join their team.

Check it out.

Dustin Davis
Owner / CEO
Programmers Unlimited
www.Programmers-Unlimited.com

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A flash coming soon page...

Not too much to check out

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quote:
Original post by PhenixDarkPhire
What? What are you trying to say? If you''re trying to say that I implied something different by Internet Explorer, apologies. But this is more like a glorified DOS, if you will. Happy? Now, does anyone know how to do that, or are you just going to jabber at me in bad English?

Let''s see here:

1) You want some help.
2) You flame people, then DEMAND they give you links.
4) You rip people who aren''t speaking in their primary language.
5) Then you go on to use too many commas, demonstrating your primary language skills aren''t up to par.

It''s obnoxious to see people with such bad attitudes on here.

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C''mon! All I want is for someone to respond to the question rather than all the errors in it! Is that so wrong? Thanks to everybody who''s given me valuable information, and for those who haven''t, why did you even bother? That''s my rant, and that''s the end of that. Now. Why don''t we focus on the topic rather than everyone''s irritability and grammar?

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Actually, his use of his primary language is flawless, and all his commas are legal. Back off.

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I prefer Phenix''s attitude to that of a dumb anonymous poster criticising and hiding his name... any day.

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What''s going to be 3D about the browser? Will you be able to move around in it? I think it would be cool if you would show a folder, then behind it, show a listing of the files in it, that way you''d know what''s in it before you opened it up. If you think the 3D browser thing would really take off, there''s a fiction book with some pretty cool ideas. The book is mediocre, but fairly short and worth reading if you plan on doing this project of yours. I belive the name of the book is "The Hacker and the Ants". Interesting, but kinda weird. Don''t forget to check out Europa 3D, very cool.

"Donkey, if it were me, you''d be dead."
I cna ytpe 300 wrods pre mniute.

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Watch jurassic park, they got a 3d browser of the unix file system. Atleast thats what I remember from 7 years ago

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To answer your original question, there''s a whole load of Windows API functions that can help when getting file and folder information. These functions are usually prefixed SH* (SH = shell), for example SHGetFileInfo - this is quite a useful function as it also allows you to get the icon associated with a file (which might be important for a 3D visualisation).

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Ouch! Flame wars To answer what I think you''re wanting to know: Have a look at the win32 functions "FindFirstFile" and "FindNextFile". You should be a able to enumerate through all the files in a directory to get their names etc. I''ve used them like this before to get all the files in a directory:

   WIN32_FIND_DATA FindData;   HANDLE hFileFind = FindFirstFile("c:\\testdir\\*.*", &FindData);   while (hFileFind != INVALID_HANDLE_VALUE)   {      /*          ... do stuff with FindData ...         e.g. FindData.cFileName is the name of the file etc.      */      // get the next file      if (!FindNextFile(hFileFind, &FindData))      {         FindClose(hFileFind);         hFileFind = INVALID_HANDLE_VALUE;      }   }

Just be aware that you will probably have to deal with finding the ".." and "." names (I just ignore them). There is also a method of checking whether a file is a directory, but I forget what (should be in the MSDN around the help on FindNextFile)

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I know this topic is old, but if you are still working on it, check out TridComm +

"Donkey, if it were me, you''d be dead."
I cna ytpe 300 wrods pre mniute.

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In addition to Mr. Bojangles'' post, you may want to take a look at 3dtop (http://www.wirehub.nl/~technica/3dtop/home.html) for ideas/inspiration. I''ve tried this [3dtop] before, and managed about a week before I reverted back to Explorer due to the difficulties in navigating effectively in three dimensions.

Best of luck,

--
Cheers,