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Playing With Chaos

First of all, this book is DRM free. You will get a PDF, a .mobi and a .epub ebook version of the book when you purchase it.

This book, as its name implies, is about playing with fractals, strange attractors and chaos theory. By "playing" is meant writing computer programs that will generate fractals and other related forms. By learning the principles behind the shapes and the code that creates these images, you will gain a far greater understanding of and appreciation for the subject. You will also be able to experiment with these concepts on a level that you could probably never achieve if you were just randomly tweaking some sliders in someone else's application.

JavaScript was chosen for the programming language in this book for multiple reasons.

First, JavaScript is free, open, cross-platform, doesn't require any special programming environment, and (with HTML5 running in modern browsers) is powerful enough to do most of the computation and rendering that will be needed. Chances are that the computer you are currently using has everything you need to create and run almost all of the examples in this book. All that is required is a text editor and a modern browser -- any of the latest versions of Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Opera.

Second, notwithstanding a few oddities, JavaScript is a relatively easy language to pick up and become productive in very quickly. While I am assuming you have some basic programming experience, you won't need to have an extensive background in JavaScript itself to get the examples up and running. Chances are, no matter what programming language you might be familiar with, you will be able to get up to speed with the code in this book rather quickly, even if you've never touched JavaScript before.

Finally, the intent of this book is not to supply you with a bunch of programs that you blindly copy and run. The idea is that you will understand what is happening in the code and why, and use the example programs as a starting point for your own explorations. As such, this can also include converting the code to the language and platform of your choice. JavaScript's syntax is simple enough that the examples should be readily translatable into most other currently popular languages.

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