how I learned to plot a mandelbrot set
When I first met fractals in the school, I thought that they were if not magic, then something very close to it. The concept of a fractal dimension was something I couldn't react to logically, but only emotionally, basically, with a "wow" and nothing much else. I never tried though to write a program that plots the set, even though there plenty of examples around; a deity isn't there to be analyzed, only to be awed at.
Enter year 2013, and I find myself reading PDL mailing list where someone has posted a nicely written educational acticle that explains some concepts of Perl Data Language (i.e. PDL) and plotting the Mandelbrot set as an example. I liked it very much, the only trouble is that apparently PDL's plotting is done using external programs. I'd rather see a GUI toolkit used, withing the same program.
Now I rememeber that long time ago I wrote a bridge between PDL and Prima to make it possible to interchange image data between the two, PDL::PrimaImage. It is a module with low visibility, fitting into a small and very special niche; but now it was again up to the task. The only thing it does, it converts 2- and 3- dimensional PDL scalars into Prima images (that can be displayed, saved on disk etc) and back again.
This script runs an interactive session where one can explore the plot by "navigating" it with a mouse. There was a surprise though: there are animations (like this) that display the self-similarity of fractals by zooming depper and deeper into the function. The problem is that the deeper the zooming goes, the more computation it requires, and that eventually slows the frame rate down to zero. But I think it is still fun on lower zooms...
Well anyway, I wonder, is it a deadbeat topic already or there's some life to it? What do you think?