Information Radiator Screen Savers for MacOS X

I’ve been experimenting with information radiation and build monitors recently, and have extracted some of that into this tiny new project.

There is not a lot to it yet, just a quick hack that displays the current build status in giant NES-like fonts and a little spinning cube (see photo), but it works well as a demonstration of how simple it is to parse XML/RSS feeds in Quartz Composer, and how easy it is to build something fun, informative and that helps your team understand what’s going on. In our case, we have a very simple setup (CruiseControl.rb with the Git patches monitoring a single project), so there’s not a lot of information to show. Your mileage will definitely vary.

A slightly more important file, Build Monitor Template, is a bare-bones build monitor that’s already useful out of the box, although it’s your job to make it prettier. It displays all projects listed in the XML with a coloured status indicator next to them. It reads the same XML feeds as CCMenu, CCTray etc. Make sure you use those instead of the RSS feed in this case.

In order to use it as a screen saver, all you have to do is copy it over to /Library/Screen Savers, renaming at your leisure, and it should show up in your Desktop and Screen Saver preference pane. Make sure you set the correct XML feed URL in the Options dialog - you might want to try the CC Live one, as an example.