Work in progress Work in progress

About the WTraffic 'Screensaver' and the Vehicle Picture Collection

The legacy: the Traffic Screensaver
The actual project: WTraffic: 'Screensaver' in the browser
Most popular: the Vehicle Picture Collection
Additional information: Links, The Museum, Codes

The legacy: the Traffic Screensaver

Traffic is a screensaver on PC-s under Windows. It is an about 20 years old program - extended almost in every year a bit, but the main functionality is the same from the beginning. The core - the "Screensaver" - moves small vehicle drawings on the screen, mostly trains, but also trams, buses, trucks, cars, airoplanes, ships, and some other special things.

The original idea comes from the MM&MM screensaver - Version 1 and 2. That versions were fixed ones - the users could not add own drawings, own trains, only watch the limited set of built-in trains. A few people hacked the Version 1 program - changed the vehicle drawings in the DLL-s, creating screensavers with different vehicle sets. The goal for Traffic was to provide a freeware platform to include own vehicle drawings, to build own trains, to determine the sequence - or let it choose randomly by the program. Later the functionality was extended by providing background, foreground pictures, custom rail and catenary drawings, several new movement types, multi-layer scenes, animations - animated pantographs, doors, windows, connections between vehicles: animated brake pipes, cables, etc. ( MM&MM has only position-dependent animations for the steam engine's and other old vehicle's wheels, rods ). Snowfall, snow-plowing operations, animated background elements: signals, barriers, traffic lights were possible to create - even functioning crane, fire truck, burning house was created.

Traffic is much more as a sole screensaver.

It has a vehicle picture collection, which can be viewed, added and modified by the users. The drawings can be manipulated by Traffic when the trains run according to the commands ( = macros ) stored together with the images. Other pictures can be copied over parts of the images, cleared, recolored, extended and cropped in all directions, and animations can be defined over the image parts.

It has tools for

The standard vehicle collection is continuously extended, and can be viewed additionally on this homepage.

The standard timetable files started only as an example, how to create such scripts for composing trains, determining background and foreground, to control animations, but as the function set and the picture set both grew and grew and grew, the standard timetable got a similar function, as the standard stock list: one can use it, and enjoy the huge variation of scenes on the screen - and also to look at it, as an example, and to get ideas what to do, how to do with Traffic.

The advantage of Traffic - compared to the similar other screensavers - is, that you can make everything yourself: to choose the drawings to move, to combine them to consists, to determine the background etc. The drawback of Traffic is, that you have to make everything yourself :-) (if you do not use the standard vehicle set and timetable).

The actual project: WTraffic - 'Screensaver' in the browser

WTraffic is the actual project. It preserves the heritage of Traffic - to watch the trains passing by - in times the screens do not need to be 'saved' - the long time identical content does not cause burn-in effects on the cathode-ray tube, because almost nobody uses CRT any more. The technology Traffic was built on is the technology of the 90-s (Visual Basic 6, MS Visual Studio 6), still running under Windows10, but with compromises and despite Microsoft's intentions.

WTraffic is running on the internet, in browsers. It is tested with Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Edge.

The functionality is divided in two parts:

WTraffic is based on the very same data sets - the standard stock list and timetable files - Traffic is providing and using.

As WTraffic is work in progress, not all functionality of Traffic is available in WTraffic at the moment, but the set of possibilities evolves in each week. If you want to see only the ready product, come back to this site in Spring 2021. If you are interested in the already active parts, and want to enjoy the moving scenes - or to create some new scenes yourself -, browse the example scenes provided in the WTraffic chapter. Open then WTraffic demo chapter in the menu on the left

What already functions:

This set of functions is enough to show already more, than 500 scenes.

More about WTraffic on the Using WTraffic page.

The most popular section: the Vehicle Picture Collection

Traffic's vehicle picture collection moved here from The old site is still on line, but won't be updated any more. A few possibilities are missing from the new site: the most important one, that the pictures can be downloaded only in the Traffic and MM formats - as GIF files or in TVL picture library together with the Stock List ascii file ( .stk file ), or as BMP files, but without the accompaniing descriptive text file. The BahnLand, TrainSideView, TrainKit, Railway32 formats are still missing, and it will be ready predictably only after the WTraffic project reaches a good, almost ready state. So, if you need the vehicle pictures for BahnLand or Railway32, hope they are not the newest additions, and try to find them on the old site.

The old site grouped a bunch of pictures (from the same area or/and from the same author etc.) for downloading them together. On the new site the downloadable groups are bound the the viewing pages, you can download the images individually or together for the whole page.

The old site contained chaines among the pictures, the new and updated ones, or the pictures of the same author can be followed by clicking the red, blue or green arrows near the pictures. The new site provides individual pages or page groups for the new and updated pictures, and for the pictures of the same author.

This picture collection is generated from the "Stock List" of the Traffic Screensaver. The main difference is, that the old site was generated offline, on my home computer, and uploaded as a static set of files to the server. As the collection is huge, in the last time the amount to upload exceeded 2 GB. To prepare the update - (for example to set up the picture groups for joint downloading, among other tasks), to generate the site files and to upload them took about a week or more. Therefore the old site was updated at most twice a year. The new site is dynamic, the server program creates it on the fly from the stock list file (*.stb) and picture libraries (*.tvl) of Traffic, so updating the site means only to upload a few modified files. Therefore this picture collection is regularily (at least monthly) extended, updated.

More about the picture collection on the Picture Collection's Introduction page.