Apr 19, 2011

xdiskusage-like visualization for any remote machine

xdiskusage(1) is a simple and useful tool to visualize disk space usage (a must-have thing in any admin's toolkit!).
Probably the best thing about it is that it's built on top of "du" command, so if there's a problem with free space on a remote X-less server, just "ssh user@host 'du -k' | xdiskusage" and in a few moments you'll get the idea where the space has gone to.
Lately though I've had problems building fltk, and noticed that xdiskusage is the only app that uses it on my system, so I just got rid of both, in hopes that I'll be able to find some lite gtk replacement (don't have qt either).
Maybe I do suck at googling (or just giving up too early), but filelight (kde util), baobab (gnome util) and philesight (ruby) are pretty much the only alternatives I've found. First one drags in half of the kde, second one - half of gnome, and I don't really need ruby in my system either.
And for what? xdiskusage seem to be totally sufficient and much easier to interpret (apparently it's a lot easier to compare lengths than angles for me) than stupid round graphs that filelight and it's ruby clone produce, plus it looks like a no-brainer to write.
There are some CLI alternatives as well, but this task is definitely outside of CLI domain.

So I wrote this tool. Real source is actually coffeescript, here, JS is compiled from it.

it's just like xdiskusage
Initially I wanted to do this in python, but then took a break to read some reddit and blogs, which just happened to push me in the direction of a web. Good thing they did, too, as it turned out to be simple and straightforward to work with graphics there these days.
I didn't use (much-hyped) html5 canvas though, since svg seem to be much more fitting in html world, plus it's much easier to make it interactive (titles, events, changes, etc).
Aside from the intended stuff, tool also shows performance shortcomings in firefox and opera browsers - they both are horribly slow on pasting large text into textarea (or iframe with "design mode") and just slow on rendering svg. Google chrome is fairly good at both tasks.
Not that I'll migrate all my firefox addons/settings and habits to chrome anytime soon, but it's certainly something to think about.
Also, JS calculations can probably be made hundred-times faster by caching size of the traversed subtrees (right now they're recalculated gozillion times over, and that's basically all the work).
I was just too lazy to do it initially and textarea pasting is still a lot slower than JS, so it doesn't seem to be a big deal, but guess I'll do that eventually anyway.