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Asciiquarium is a KDE screensaver to draw an ASCII art aquarium. This is the documentation of the API used in the program to generate the effect. It should be fairly simple, but basically:
class AASaver is the main class, which handles outside events. All of the processing happens in the Screen class however, which manages a list of Sprites, updating them and drawing them as needed. When AASaver receives a paintEvent(), it forwards it on to Screen to handle it.
The Frame supports transparency and colors, and will convert the textual data into a QPixmap representation on demand in order to reduce CPU load (at the expense of a slight memory usage increase for each sprite).
This whole program was inspired/copied from Kirk Baucom's asciiquarium program, from http://www.robobunny.com/projects/asciiquarium/