Emoticrab invasion, CSS breakdown

2009-02-05, , Comments

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What is the collective noun for crabs anyway? Dose, cast or bushel, apparently. Placed in a regular grid, all clicking in time, they looked a bit too regimented.

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So I nudged each crab’s coordinates left a bit, right a bit, up a bit, down a bit. Using ImageMagick I extracted the frames of the original animated GIF, then recombined them with altered sequencing. I did this a few times until I had a more pleasing picture. Here’s a sketch of how you can do this. The -loop 0 parameter means loop forever; the delay is in 100ths of a second.

$ convert +adjoin animated-crab.gif crab-frame-%02d.gif
$ ls crab-frame-*.gif
crab-frame-00.gif    crab-frame-01.gif    crab-frame-02.gif
....
$ convert -loop 0 -delay 17 crab-frame-*.gif new-animated-crab.gif

Sorry if you find the animated GIFs disturbing. I’d be interested to find out how much of the CSS layout works in a feed reader. As a reader, I skim through material in a feed reader; I like the vanilla styling and can always visit the real home of an article which particularly interests me. I also prefer full fat feeds to teasers. As an author, I generate a full feed, indirected via Feedburner, now hosted by Google — and who knows how it’s really being consumed? RSS and Atom feeds are great, but maybe the technology is being over-stretched.

The original image is a new(ish) Gmail emoticon, available if you send rich text emails — which I usually don’t. Here’s a picture of the famous Christmas Island red crabs.

red crab invasion
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