fortune for xscreensaver for OS X

I love that jwz ported XScreenSaver to OS X at about the same time I moved to OS X for my laptop.  I got to keep all the screen savers I use and have used over the past decade or so.  Especially some of the cooler GL based ones.  (Its also nice that someone ported rss-glx as well, but that’s a different story.)  The only piece XScreenSaver is missing is the controller to randomly call only selected hacks.  Luckily, RandomExtra fills that hole.

One issue I’ve had with xscreensaver on OS X has been the difficulty/impossibility of having the text displaying hacks use fortune (or any program, for that matter) as the source of the text.  Mike mentioned this morning that all those hacks appear to be able to call out to a URL.  This morning I felt strangely motivated, so I whipped up a quick ruby script that is basically an HTTP based fortune server.  Since ruby ships with OS X, it’ll make it easier in case anyone else wants to get it running as well.  Once I got that working, the question was how to have this launch automatically on OS X so I wouldn’t have to worry about it.  I’ve played with Lingon on and off, and it seemed like the tool to help me do it.  I used Lingon to create a UserDeamon that should launch when one logs in, and should die when one logs out.  I then went through the screen savers that call out to text and pointed them at the localhost URL, and boom, I was back to fortune city.

To recreate this you’ll need this fortune_helper.rb script I whipped up, Lingon to create the launcher or this fortune.plist (put in /Library/LaunchDaemons) and fortune installed somewhere.  I installed fortune via DarwinPorts.