Feeds

Google does fractals in HTML5

Take a break with Julia and Mandelbrot

New hybrid storage solutions

Fractals. They're porn for techies. Well, truth be told, porn is porn for techies. But fractals aren't far behind.

Fractals are far more interesting, at least in the long run. And you can look at fractals at the office without worrying if the boss will walk by.

If you're a techie, it's time you visited Google Labs project that uses the browser to render fractal images describing various Julia and Mandelbrot sets.

According to a blog post from Google software engineer Daniel Wolf, the fractal renderer is coded in HTML5 using the Google Maps API to allow you to zoom in and out on a fractal image and pan around the image as well.

Google Mandelbrot Set 1

The images described by the Julia and Mandelbrot sets, which you can play around with here, are calculated using JavaScript, and you can change the color palette to mess around with how the fractals are painted.

Google Mandelbrot Set 2

"Generating these images requires heavy computation resources," explains Wolf in his blog post. "Modern browsers have optimized JavaScript execution up to the point where it is now possible to render in a browser fractals like Julia sets almost instantly."

Google Julia Set 1

Wolf says that rendering each fractal image in the browser takes millions of floating point operations, and uses the Web Workers API, which allows for the JavaScript processing to spawn multiple and parallel rendering calculations to speed up the painting of each fractal image. The Web Workers API can also spread the rendering work over multiple cores and threads in a machine.

The images in this story were rendered on a single-socket workstation with a 2.27 GHz Xeon E5507 processor, 6 GB of memory, and an AMD FirePro V4800 graphics card. This machine is rated at a 7.0 on the Windows experience index, and it is running Windows 7 Professional 64-Bit and Google Chrome 9.0.597.84. As best as I can figure, the Google browser fractal generator is not using OpenGL and doing calculations on that graphics card. It didn't matter. They rendered in about a second.

And once again, raise a coffee mug to Benoit Mandelbrot, who used computers to render fractal images and popularized them and who died back in October.

Now get back to work. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Why Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had to go ... Except he hasn't
Silicon Valley's veteran seadog in piratical Putin impression
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.