Brad J. Murray (halfjack) wrote,

Generating graphics

I started my coding career generating visualisations. I didn't know what to call them back then -- at the time I was getting heaps of data (multi-element geochemical analyses on thousands of samples) and making amusing "certificates" by generating Postscript output for our printers. So I was wedging code between data and layout to create nifty. Also, handily enough, useful. And pretty.

So now when confronted with a problem of statistical analysis I usually write code and generate my graphics out of whole cloth. I have a bunch of software around to do it for me but none of it does exactly what I want, so while it's handy for doing prototypes and experimenting, in the end I write code. Postscript, however, is no longer my output format of choice. It's just so bloody easy to crank out SVG (which has a remarkably legible standards document), and there's great software to manipulate it and convert it after the fact.

So I also play some role-playing games. One of these has rules by which you can generate star systems. That's a natural to code, so I did. Next, of course, you want to map those systems out. So I wrote some code to make maps. Naturally, the output of the first is the input to the second. The end result is pretty. I'm in love.
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