Posts Tagged demo

Genetic Algorithm Examples

There’s been a lot of buzz recently on reddit and HN about genetic algorithms. Some impressive new demos have surfaced and I’d like to take this opportunity to review some of the cool things people have done with genetic algorithms, a fascinating subfield of evolutionary computing / machine learning (which is itself a part of the broader study of artificial intelligence (ah how academics love to classify things (and nest parentheses (especially computer scientists)))).

If you’re new to genetic algorithms, don’t be put off by the awesome/scary name – you might like to check out my own modest contribution to the field of abusing science to make cool useless things; the hello world genetic algorithm tutorial. It’s written as a short genetic algorithm tutorial to help beginners understand genetic algorithms from the ground up (and it has a pretty interactive demo in JavaScript too!).

So here’s my top five evolutionary scripts:

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JS1k Winners – Top Ten Entries

So, the JS1k contest is over and the winners are finally in! What a fantastic event this has been, massive thanks to all the organisers and judges, and to all the entrants for putting on a great show, I can’t think of a single entry I wouldn’t have been proud to have written myself, and some of the entries were simply amazing.

The judges did a brilliant (and difficult!) job of ranking the entries and choosing their top ten. I’ve compiled the entries into a list below, and you can click through to the demos themselves from here. I read on twitter that the official site will be updated tonight, so check back at for the full scoop :)

If this is the first you’ve heard of the contest, head over to and browse through all the entries. I also compiled a list of all the tweet-sized entries, as I’m buying a copy of Douglas Crockford’s JavaScript:The Good Parts as a prize for the best tweetable entry. Have a look at my own tweetable entries too.

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Complete list of #JS1k tweet-sized entries

The #JS1k contest ended last night. It challenged web coders to write some interesting JavaScript in 1 kilobyte (1024 bytes) or less. That script is put into a basic html page which includes a canvas element and not much else. It’s a pretty crazy challenge – 1k is not a lot of code – and there are some really clever micro-optimisations going on in some of the entries.

But the homepage also states “Bonus points if your submission fits in one tweet ;)“. Now that’s a whole other level of madness. Useful code in 140 bytes? You’ve barely enough room to find the canvas element, let alone do anything with it!

So I decided to make an (unofficial) list of all the entries that are or claim to be tweet-sized. The current js1k homepage doesn’t offer a way to filter entries by size (hint, hint!), so I think this is pretty useful. I listed my own tweetable entries in an earlier post.

Also, I’m giving a copy of Douglas Crockford’s “Javascript: The Good Parts” as a prize for entry that the judges deem is the best of the tweetable ones. I think it’s a fitting prize, packing a whole lot of awesome into a thin package ;)

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Some tweetable #js1k demos

JS1k is consuming me at the moment. I saw this entry by strager and it inspired me to push for a tweetable (<=140 byte) demo based on his.

By dropping the save/restore and alpha blending features, I was able to come up with a few candidates which I think look fairly pretty.

Unlike my previous allRGB and rot13 entries, where I had a definite goal in mind, here I’m really just playing with parameters until something cool appears on the screen. Which is kinda neat, it recaptures that innocent experimental spirit which was what first attracted me to programming when I was a kid.

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js1k: an allRGB entry in <1k of JavaScript

It’s contest season! The An Event Apart 10k JavaScript app contest has just ended (my entry got 2/5), there’s a node.js contest, and the JS1k contest is ending on Sept 10th. JS1k is a much purer contest, disallowing any external libraries, while the 10k contest allowed things like jQuery and external web services. As Frederick Polgardy puts it, js1k is “An exercise in constraint, resulting in a kind of executable haiku”.

For js1k, I’ve entered a port of my PHP allRGB entry. The allRGB project is a great idea in itself – create an image which contains every possible colour in the RGB space exactly once. That’s 256*256*256 colours (=16777216), in a 4096×4096 image. Quite a challenge for PHP, and certainly not the kind of thing you’d attempt in JavaScript, right? ;D
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Writing a JavaScript app in 10k (#aea10k)

Two weeks ago I discovered the 10k JavaScript contest organised by An Event Apart. It challenged developers to “inspire the web with just 10K”. I knew I’d be cutting things fine with just 11 days left before the deadline (including 5 at work and 3 on holiday!) but I was desperate to enter an application.

You can play with the final entry right here – – voting closes today so please be generous with your votes and comments. I’ve literally just now come back from holiday so I haven’t had a chance to badger everyone to vote yet. Go and vote! ;)

The idea’s been kicking around my head for a while: Read the rest of this entry »

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allRGB Entry – PHP Image Manipulation

The objective of allRGB is simple: To create images with one pixel for every rgb-color (16777216 to be exact); not one color missing, and not one color twice.

What a cool project! As regular readers will know, I love messing about with image manipulation in PHP, so when I heard about the allRGB project I knew I had to make an entry for it. A few false starts and about half an hour later, I proudly submitted my first entry, a 4096×4096 PNG image containing every single possible RGB colour. As one redditor put it, “It’s like poetry, just without words.”

Click for the high resolution (only 173Kb)

And now on to the code:
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PHP Digital Camouflage

The other day I was looking at demoscene videos on youtube (do yourself a favour and watch it!) and it made me think back to my PHP image hacking days. One thing led to another and I ended up saying to my partner Linds that I’d write her a little PHP demo. 3 hours later, I had digital camo in PHP (click the images for an online demo; refresh to cycle through the different types):

Woodland Digital Camo Urban Digital Camo
Desert Digital Camo Nighttime Digital Camo

The Online Demo generates larger camo patterns and has a few other camo types; refresh it to cycle through them.

Download PHP Source

Let me know if you find a use for this code :)

After the break, I go into the detail of how the code is constructed, and you get a funky debug image too!
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3D PHP – playing with ImageCreate

A PHP city (it gets better after the break):

PHP ImageCreate

Basically I was bored one day and decided to play around with ImageCreate and ended up making this “crate” demo (click the image for some other experiments).

And then everything got a bit silly and I made this:

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