I've decided to retire this blog — I don't really see myself updating it any time soon, and haven't for over two years anyway. I intend to leave the content on-line for the forseeable future, but have converted it to a static site. As a result, dynamic things like search and comments aren't really going to work.

You can find me on Twitter or on Google+ if you like. Alternatively, I'm usually on IRC as LawnGnome on Freenode.

Thanks for reading!

Leaves and Twigs and Beans, Oh My!

I’ve mentioned my final Computer Science project a couple of times now on the blog without actually describing what it is. Now seems like a good time to do so, having just spent a solid afternoon and evening on it. The summary (which remains one of only two pieces of actual paperwork written for the project thus far — thank $DEITY this isn’t a group project with meeting minutes and the like) reads as follows:

To develop a networked simulation of a garden system that allows users to maintain the garden by interacting with individual plants, which are simulated using the principles of L-systems.

Put more simply, the idea is to build a client/server system that provides something like a SimGarden over the Internet. Fortunately, much of the theoretical work needed for this has long been done, and most of it is in The Algorithmic Beauty of Plants, so that has largely left me to worry about the parts of the project that don’t involve quantifying plant physiology and behaviour, like rendering L-systems in a manner that can render a simple plant (without leaves) at more than 0.4 frames per second on my iBook.

I’m still working on that little problem, but the fact it’s rendering at all is progress — it means the 3D turtle is working (yes, it’s just like Logo, except in Python and with an extra dimension to confuse people), the L-system parser can at least deal with simple L-systems, and all in all, I’m feeling rather content with life, given that five weeks ago I didn’t even have a project (the project I had planned fell through due to the supervisor leaving the university) and four weeks ago I had no idea what OpenGL code even looked like. Of course, said contentedness is likely to evaporate any moment now, given the amount of work that’s still ahead.

I sign off tonight in the traditional fashion: screenshots.

Hello world! This is actually a highly serious test of the 3D turtle code. Honest. Is it a bird? A plane? No, it’s a really ugly plant at 0.4 FPS.

2 Responses to “Leaves and Twigs and Beans, Oh My!”

  1. Daniel O'Connor Says:

    I was always a little fascinated with l-systems and plants; but never had the ability to create anything.

    The one thing I always wanted to do was create a blog navigation ‘tree’ – the more topics you have clustered together, the more a particular branch of a tree is grown. You label the end points as tags / links / articles / whatever…

  2. Adam Harvey Says:

    That’s a really cool idea, and if I have some free time, I hope you won’t mind if I steal it and write a WordPress plugin to do it with SVG. :)