Webstructor Tips


Webstructor is new name for Visual Mind Worlds. Visual Mind Worlds is piece of software while Webstructor is entire project.

Here is quick and rough description of basic concepts and GUI.


Visual Mind Objects

Basic concepts are the following.

Container (Applet, Application or Server) contains Space and Window.

Space contains one current World as well as list of other Worlds visited since Container start-up.

World contains many Views, including one current View being displayed at one time.

Worlds contain many Things. Any of these Things should have a Name and may be referenced by many Nodes.

View contains many Nodes so that no one Node may reside in two different Views.

Any Node may reference one Thing. Many different Nodes may reference the same things.

View is Thing.


Visual Mind Worlds

Whatever you run, you have deal with Visual Mind Window, which is embedded in Applet or Application (Container). Both of them allow visual editing of any number of Views. Window itself has its own controls and View work area and provides the Mind Console window and Mind Inspector dialog. For the current version, all data is stored in textual file written in ORL programming language.

Mind Console - allows interactive console-based edition of existing World using ORL syntax. In addition, it is used to keep all system run-time messages.

Mind Inspector - allows dialog-based editing of selected Visual Mind Node.


Visual Mind Applet

Starts from vm.jar file by APPLET tag in HTML file.

<APPLET ARCHIVE="vm.jar" code="com/vm/app/VMApplet.class" WIDTH="0" height="0">

<PARAM name=world value="myfile.txt">


To view another file in the same html file, just change the name of myfile.txt in the APPLET PARAM tag.


Visual Mind Application

Is executed from vm.jar file by the following command.

java -cp vm.jar com.vm.app.VMWindow

When starts, it reads world=file:myfile.txt record from vmi.ini property file or accepting the name of the file as first command line argument like follows.

java -cp vm.jar com.vm.app.VMWindow myfile.txt

To view another file, just change the name of myfile.txt inside vmi.ini property file or specify another file as command line argument.


Visual Mind Window

Post button - lets to save current state of World into file it was loaded from or, if it was loaded from Server, sends modified World back to Server. This action should be performed as often as possible to keep your changes saved.

Reget button - lets to get the latest state of World posted by any connected user or to reload data from file if some destructive changes have been made and need to be discarded. This action should be performed as often as possible to keep current state up to date.

Console button - lets to bring up Mind Console to view system messages or communicate with system in ORL language.

Click choice - lets to select action performed on left mouse button double-click. There are four kinds of actions available now.

Drag choice - lets to select action performed on mouse dragging. There are two kinds of actions available now.

Projector choice - select graphics mapping mode. There are two alternative projectors supported, so far.

World choice - lets to select one of Worlds visited before in current session.

View choice - lets to select current View. Creation of new view is not possible here, but it is quite convenient to create new view using Mind Console.

Link choice - lets to select kind of link to establish on releasing mouse button within Drag-Link mode.

View work area - lets to operate with nodes. Double clicking or dragging a certain node causes respective action (Click/Drag) in respect to selected node. Double clicking on empty space creates new node creation (if Click-Edit) is turned on.


Mind Console

Enter button - leads to entering complete ORL-syntax expression into current Space. If some text is selected, only selected characters are translated. If no selection, all content of console is translated. Wrong expressions are indicated.

Clear button - clears content of console.


Mind Inspector

Color text field - allows enter color to paint node (black, blue, cyan, darkGray, gray, green, lightGray, magenta, orange, pink, red, white, yellow)

Ok button - creates new node or updates present one. It doesn't reflect at server side, use Post to save your changes.

Cancel button - cancels the current edition of node.



It depends on Projector selected currently.

In case of Plain projector, everything is dome by mouse double-clicking on Nodes or dragging them.

In case of Camera projector, here is a bunch of keyboard keys used for navigation.


- look straight


- turn around


- forward


- backward


- rotate left (horizontal scrollbar)


- rotate right (horizontal scrollbar)


- look up (vertical scrollbar)


- look down (vertical scrollbar)


- run forward


- run backward


- move left


- move right


- fly up


- fly down


- moves nodes within vertical plane (XY)


- moves nodes within horizontal plane (XZ)


Known Problems and Unknown Troubles

Yes. It hangs. And you can help it.

If you managed to crash it under the browser, do not hesitate to take a look into browser's Java console, copy exception log and paste it into email.

If it bombs as standalone application, be so kind to cut exception log from console and paste in kind email.

In any case, take a look into Console - it might contain some information related to the crash cause.

So far, there are two cases when it explodes.

Needless to say, attempt to reproduce the problem and describe the gory history leading to the tragic final would be appreciated.

If you find a bug, send it to the bug list with description of operating system and internet browser version you use, history you have and exception logs you collect.


(C) Copyright 1988-1998,2001 Anton Kolonin