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A data visualization tool for observing the underlying structure of files in a data agnostic fashion.

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by Benjamin Friedman Wilson,

This version is the 5th iteration of a tool that I wrote back in 2014, and has come a long way since. I have always had an interest in visualizing problems, and in particular being able to visualize the way software is structured at rest, and while running. The general idea of Banter was to produce a mapping of raw data so that a visual understanding could be created in an otherwise opaque system. Specific categories of files (images, machine code, compressed data, tables, strings, etc.) can be seen and comprehended purely by visual pattern alone.

I always have fun popping open things to see how they work inside, and Banter was a way for me to perform this in a digital context. There are numerous interesting observations I have made over the years playing around with this tool, and it has helped to give me a better understanding of machine code per architecture, compressed archives, images, and other structural aspects. I believe I will come back to this concept later on, but apply it in a more specific context. Research into software and program visualization has been done in the past, and has had issues with weak adoption in practical applications. I believe there is something more to be discovered in this field, but I believe it will take more time, and a slightly different perspective.

You can checkout Banter on Github for yourself if you’re interested.