Surf 3D - Current Release - User Doc

A walk through the Surf3D control panels

Four examples of Surf3D workstation control panels
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The Surf3D editor is a comprehensive authoring environment for nonprogrammers. A few controls may be used to control existing agents and many additional controls can be opened for users to create their own agents. Users may open several control panels at once and position them around the desktop as a workstation style layout. All panels can be repositioned to where the user prefers. When an agent is saved, the software will remember the layout positions of the Search, Display, Display set-up, and Cursor control panels. CLICK HERE for how to create an AGENT from scratch

Screensaver Settings

The Surf3D screensaver settings panel lets you select different animated display modules, randomize views, chain multiple agent modules for more screensaver variety, set up password control, turn on display information captions, look at the documentation for particular screensaver agent modules, and access the Surf3D editor. Modules are not set up to automatically go online unless you use the editor and tell them to go online while in screensaver mode. This way, you can start by enjoying the screensaver without using it online.More

Screensaver Editor Info

This is the transition screen between the screensaver settings and the sophisticated editor environment. When you click on the Edit Module button, a very brief explanation of the editor environment pops up. This briefly describes how the editor is where you can make your own modules for the screensaver, and about the basic ways you can launch agent modules outside of the screensaver via the editor or desktop. Clicking OK opens the editor for the selected agent module. If you want to return to the screensaver settings panel you must exit the editor and again open the screensaver settings panel.More

Agent Search

The Agent Search control panel is where the user enters their search keywords. This allows the user to control the search path to include or prune different web pages from the search. The Search window shows a status of agent activity, including current URL, number of hits, links visited, files collected, and total number of links found. There is also where the user enters keywords that let the user apply alternative rankings visible in the 3D Display window and HTML Reports. More

Metric Navigation

An advanced user feature of the agent search control panel is accessed via the Nav Settings button on the Agent Search panel. In many cases this feature is not needed, but it can become a valuable feature when you want to more carefully prune where the search will lead. Typically, if you know that if a certain metric count you are watching for is more than another metric count, you may wish to determine the current page is True for purposes of gathering more links, nor not. This feature provides a variety of different radio button selected settings for search navigation pruning using metrics. This panel also shows a diagram that describes how the search path following different links from pages is pruned by using the Nav and Link test controls in conjunction with the Boolean test evaluation.More

Report Format

When an agent is partially done with its online search, or when it is done, you can pop-open an HTML report in your browser with the results. The Report Format control panel lets you set up your preferences for the HTML report, including having a report header, include or exclude text and images, select the number of hits per page, total pages for the report, text sizing, and some text highlights. This control panel also provides for setting up agent text captions for the 3D graphical web view display. The 3D display is also a visual overview report on the agent online search results, whereas the HTML report is a list based report with selected images from web pages. More

Network Options Setup

The Surf3D Network Options include the ability to confine the search to simple URL types, bypass networked cached pages to get timely news, disable cookies, set directory search depth, and set web page referrer information. More

Agent Action Configuration

The Agent Configuration control panel is where you set up all the agent actions they want to do, including special agent start and finish conditions, media file capture and gathering preferences, email alerts, agent chaining and external application launching. If you want to collect pictures, MP3 files, PDF files, download movies, or any other file type, this is where you set up your preferences to do that. More

3D Display Control

Surf3D cyberspace animated display and navigation controls let you choose the way you represent the web as objects and connections in 3D space between them. You can choose the display style, including Fan, Cube, Zone, Sphere, Spiral and Metric displays, and then select how the nodes will be sized, positioned, animated, and navigated in the network animation. This control panel provides a wide range of options for tuning a spatial information display. Each agent can store up to 8 custom information displays, which can then be instantly switched into view by clicking on the toolbar. More

Display Domain Colors

Surf3D lets you make certain 3D web nodes have a set color so it is easier to see them as a category. This is done by entering a portion of URL name text or URL title text in up to six different boxes. This will force the affected nodes to be colored if they match your text box entries, and when using the Zone display mode, separate them into different 3D layers. More

Highlight Controls

The Highlight controls let you selectively view different portions of the collected web network, and highlight individual web page nodes. From the perspective of any selected web node, you can use this control to see the parent nodes, sister nodes, or common children nodes. You can start with any selected node and identify nodes that were previously or subsequently discovered. Nodes with common or similar metric values can be highlighted, and nodes within defined XYZ distances can be highlighted. Once any node is selected, you can click on a button to open the web page in your browser which is represented by that node. More

3D Display Window

One of the main components of Surf3D is animated search visualization, and this is shown in the main display window under the toolbar. You can point and click on any 3D network node in this display and then open your web browser to that web page. If you have set up the view to be navigated using flight simulation mode you can fly through the display. While flying under mouse control, you can also freeze your motion with a click of the mouse to point and click on a any node you want to see as a text title or open the browser to that web page. More

Browser at Targeted Site

After a Surf3D agent run is completed, or even during an agent search before it is finished, you can generate an HTML report at the click of a button. The report can open with a header showing some basic settings for the agent and report, and provide you with search hit results information. This can include metric values for the page hit, text extracts, pictures, and links to now offline or still online web files and documents. From the report you can click on any hit link and open your offline database or jump online to visit the original web page where the text and media was found. More

Email Alert Settings

Any Surf3D agent can be set up to send you an email alert to any device. You can write in a short message and include a copy of the first page of the web report in the email body. This is convenient for getting timely alerts on your pager or cell phone while you are away from your desk. More

Agent Chaining

Sometimes a single agent is not enough to accomplish a more complex information mining job, and this control panel lets you set up agents to chain from one to another, based on the results of the online search. You can also use this feature to conditionally start outside software applications when the agent finds information on the web that would justify it. This control allows users to Surf3D operate as forward chaining proposition network of agents. More

Agent ReadMe

Each agent carries a documentation file specific to it. The notes page can be used to provide basic and continuing annotations for agents. Agents supplied with the download all have basic instructions and notes in the agent. This file can additionally be used as a starting point for an agent run with a preferred list of URLŐs you want the agent to search and collect information from. More

Report Info Header

If you desire, HTML hit reports can be generated with a header that shows a number of key preference settings for the agent run and report formatting. These include the URL starting point, ranking preference, search settings, metric category labels, and media capture preferences. More

Report Hits

Each report hit listing contains a ranking number, an agent order of discovery number, metric values for each of three metric channels, and text extracts from a web page. Extracts can start from any designated point in a web page being searched, or contain full sentence extracts containing target keywords you have chosen. More

Report Hit Graphics

Report hit listings, in addition to text and metric statistics gathering, can contain any number of full size graphic images found on a web page, as well as links to any downloaded files and links to files on the website which you may not wish to download before more examination. More

Report Hit Graphics

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