Monday, 27 March 2017

More Wise Words

Seek thou the demon while tiny he be:
Ere waxen mighty he comes - seeking thee.

Friday, 24 March 2017

Monday, 13 February 2017


I used to think that the only thing that matters in and of itself is coffee.  This weekend though I realised a case can also be made for a good smooth Merlot.  Hm.

Monday, 30 January 2017

The King of France

Bertrand Russell observed that sentence "The present King of France is bald"  is not true - - it can't be as France is no longer a monarchy. He also maintained that "The present king of France is not bald"  is also not true: certainly you can argue that the set of non-bald things does not contain a present king of France.

The law of excluded middle tells us that "For any proposition p, either p is true or not-p, the negation or denial of p, is true" - - and this seems to imply that there is no middle ground - - for any given sentence, either that sentence or its denial is true.  Clearly there is some inconsistency in progress here.

We could say that Russell is trying to run this test:

assert((France.getKing(present).isBald() == true) or 
    (France.getKing(present).isBald() == false))

However, his problem is that France.getKing(present) returns null, and so the call to isBald() throws a method-called-on-invalid-object exception.  Ah, dammit.  Now what?

Friday, 9 December 2016

Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous

Time to do some F#.

First I want a function that will tabulate a function f.

f is to be a function of two floats x and y returning a float. The table is to operate over an x-axis range and a y-axis range, each described by a tuple of floats.  So here is a sample function of the type I mean:

let testfun (x:float) (y:float) =
    let r = sqrt ((x * x) + (y * y))
    if r < 2.0
        if r < 1.0
        then 7.0
        else 4.0

My tabulate function is to return a two-dimensional array of floats.  Here it is:

let tabulate funct (xrange : (float*float)) (yrange : (float*float)) : float[,]=
    let x0 = fst xrange
    let dx = (snd xrange - fst xrange) / 50.0
    let y0 = fst yrange
    let dy = (snd yrange - fst yrange) / 50.0
    Array2D.init 51 51 (fun i j -> funct (x0+(float i * dx)) (y0+(float j * dy)))

The function Array2D.init takes the size of the two dimensions of the array and a function that will populate each element in the array, given the indices I and j. I'm breaking my ranges into 50 parts so I want 51 elements in each direction.

Now to project this table of values as in isometric type sheet: create a new array of the same size but here each element is a tuple of values p and q that represent screen coordinates. p works down from the top left and q works across. So p and q depend on the index i and j, and p also depends on the value of the array that I've passed through.  I've scaled the value by 10.0 pixels quite arbitrarily. The grid is drawn by going right 5 pixels per cell and either up or down by 3.5 pixels for p and q axis, so:

let project (valueTable : float [,]) : (float * float)[,] =
    Array2D.init 51 51
        (fun (i:int) (j:int) ->
            let p = (float i * 5.0) + (float j * 5.0) + 20.0
            let q = (float i * 3.5) - (float j * 3.5) + 300.0 - (valueTable.[i,j] * 10.0)

Right, now I want to plot out the projected table as an SVG element. After some research it looks like this is the thing to do:

let plot (a:(float * float)[,]) : unit =
    use file = System.IO.File.CreateText("plotout.svg")
    fprintfn file """<svg xmlns="" version="1.1">"""
    for j in 0..49 do
        for i in 0..49 do
            fprintf file """<polygon fill="#FFFFFF" """
            fprintf file """stroke="#000000" stroke-width="1" points="""
            fprintfn file "\"%.2f,%.2f %.2f,%.2f %.2f,%.2f %.2f,%.2f\" "
                (fst a.[i,j]) (snd a.[i,j])
                (fst a.[i,j+1]) (snd a.[i,j+1])
                (fst a.[i+1,j+1]) (snd a.[i+1,j+1])
                (fst a.[i+1,j]) (snd a.[i+1,j])
            fprintfn file """/>"""
    fprintfn file """</svg>"""

The SVG document contains a polygon element which has a fill colour and a stroke width and colour and a list of points - each point is represented by a two floats separated by a comma. For each element i, j I'm drawing a four sided shape with the points from i,j - i+1,j - i+1,j+1 - i,j+1.

So finally to tabulate and plot my test function in the range -3 to 3:

let main () =
    (tabulate testfun (-3.0, 3.0) (-3.0, 3.0)) |> project |> plot

Then you can open the resulting file in the browser:

This looks a bit rough round the back of the raised area.  Really I need to plot starting from the cells that are furthest away and then working forward, so get the hidden ones properly hidden. Still, nice first try.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Random Questions

  • What is "Black Friday", and why?
  • What is a "comfort zone" and where do I get one?  Can I rent or do I buy it?
  • Is a "steep learning curve" one where I get from the bottom to the top quickly and easily or one where the route from the bottom to the top is difficult? (It's a lousy metaphor if it works two contradictory ways).
  • How much exactly is "most if not all"? Most? All? Which? Either? On the same note how hard is "difficult if not impossible"? So difficult it's effectively impossible? Or very difficult but not actually impossible? Or either difficult or impossible but you don't know which? Why not find out and tell us instead of leaving us dangling with an "if"...? What if I said, "The answer to your question is yes if not no"... How informed would you be?