According to XKCD, you can start at any Wikipedia article, and by continually clicking on the first non-italic, un-parenthesised link in the article text, eventually end up at “Philosophy.”
Let’s see how that works:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Website http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Document http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-fiction http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narrative http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italic_language http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indo-European_languages http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language_family http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communication http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meaning_(philosophy_of_language) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristotle <----- Oh, so close! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greeks http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nation http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sovereign_state http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_(polity) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_sciences http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umbrella_term http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superset http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematics http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantity http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Property_(philosophy) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_philosophy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy <----- Achievement unlocked.
25 Steps from Wiki to Philosophy. Next step is to write a script to test the generalised case.
Or go out for a nice walk.
Using the Python Imaging Library I’ve created a faster alternative to the turtle.py module. It takes only a few seconds to draw images that were taking several minutes with turtle.py.
There are a few downsides to this approach I suppose:
- There is no on-screen animation of the image being created which is useful tool when teaching turtle graphics — only a finished image is created.
- Output is a raster image, not a nice svg or eps file.
On the up side:
- Super fast
- All Python Imaging Library tools and methods also available.
- At the moment is largely compatible with the turtle.py module
Who knows… once I’ve got the code into a more finished state I may share my fast-turtle module with the world.
Here’s a nice animation that I created with my aforementioned fast turtle module:
I certainly have some fond memories of my early programming efforts in Logo. First on a Commodore 64, circa 9 years old, with some Logo disks borrowed from school. This version supported music and animation (sprites even!) and was great fun. I even had to learn trigonometry prematurely in order to complete the base of my leaning tower of Pisa (so that the bungee jumper had something to jump from.)
Later at high school we used Logo on the Amiga 500 as part of the scandalously brief computer studies curriculum. Who would of thought in 1992 that computers would be an important part of our future? Anyway I don’t remember this version having any particularly special capabilities. I do remember being set tasks such as “A working set of traffic lights” and “A cake with flickering candles” while the rest of the class was tasked with “a circle” or “a stack of squares”.
More recently, when I first discovered the Python programming language, the “turtle” module in the standard library was the first method of creating graphics that I discovered. Thankfully I’ve discovered better methods since.
So what am I feeling so nostalgic for? The Lisp-like Logo programming language, or just turtle graphics in general? Probably a little of both. That is, I feel like I’d like to revisit the original Logo language, or even dive into learning Common Lisp. On the other hand, something like Cheloniidae looks like a lot of fun and that’s a Java library.
Either way, expect to see lots of circles and stacks of squares on this blog soon.