Javascript Mandelbrot Set Fractal Renderer

While at earlier this year, I started hacking on a Mandelbrot Set fractal renderer implemented in JavaScript as a way to polish my JS skills.  In particular, I wanted to get to know the HTML5 Canvas and Worker APIs.

The results turned out pretty well.  Click on the image below to try it out:

Mandelbrot Set Renderer

Clicking anywhere on the fractal will zoom in.  You’ll need to reload the page to zoom out.  Zooming in while the fractal is still being rendered will interrupt the previous rendering job.

All the calculations are done via web workers, so should not block the UI.  The algorithms used to calculate these types of fractals are easy to parallelise, so it was not particularly difficult to add more workers.  One side effect of this is that the lines of the fractal don’t always get rendered in order.

With Chromium, this maxes out all six cores on my desktop system.  In contrast, Firefox only keeps three cores busy.  As workers are not directly tied to operating system threads, this may just mean that Firefox allocates fewer threads for running workers.  I haven’t tested any other browsers.

Browser technology certainly has progressed quite a bit in the last few years. 2011

I’ve just got through the first one and a half days of LCA2011 in Brisbane. The organisers have done a great job, especially considering the flooding they have had to deal with.

Due to the venue change the accommodation I booked is no longer within walking distance of the conference, but the public transport is pretty good.  A bit more concerning was the following change to the wiki made between the time I left Perth and the time I checked in:

BYO Toilet Paper

I’ve been impressed with the conference talks I’ve been to so far. In particular, I liked Silvia Pfeiffer’s talk on audio/video processing with HTML5 – I’ll have to have a play with some of this. Today’s keynote was by Vint Cerf about the history of internet protocols and what the challenges will be in the future (e.g. InterPlaNet).

There was a talk today about Redis: it sounded like interesting technology, but the talk didn’t really give enough information to say when you’d choose it over other systems.