My query may have been poorly expressed...
What we have is a webserver with 64,665 files (html, css, js, jpg, you get
the idea) and lots of directories with subdirectories.
The goal is to be able to conveniently take all that in in a way that
makes it pretty simple to see/navigate (say for a public services staff
member tasked with doing a survey of the old content) so that we can get a
handle on what's there (prior to say, moving from a php+html template
approach to a CMS). It's about exploring the website from under the hood.
In my limited imagination it might look like: the document tree
represented in xml as viewed through a web browser. Expanding/contracting
nodes (and being able to recursively explode the view at at any node).
Maybe choose to hide things like image, css, and js files. Annotation
would be lovely (say at a subdirectory be able to say: "this one's old and
needs to go", "this one we keep as is", "this one needs to be reworked
entirely"). And in an ideal world state could be preserved...if you'd
expanded/contracted chunks as you were exploring, you could come back
later and be where you were in your exploration.
tree expresses the file system as (strangely enough) a tree, but the
output is not interactive and it's huge and unwieldy to deal with. If you
find a subdirectory that's full of thousands of files that are irrelevant
to the task of getting a handle on the overall content, they're on the
screen and you page and page down and eventually lose track of where they
are in the directory hierarchy.
I'm more interested in how other shops help users understand a huge old
webserver's content than focusing on a specific tool such as the one my
Thanks for the feedback so far!