Programming must be an Open System
January 24th, 2010

I decided I needed an hour break from Scala hacking, and I am about halfway finished with Sean Carroll's From Eternity to Here, which goes on at great length about entropy as it relates to time's arrow. So for the fun of it I whipped up a simulation of an Ehrenfest Urn using Processing.js.

Check it out here (requires a browser supporting canvas).

Now that I'm done, there are a couple of things I find amazing about this.

  • I felt like I needed a break from being paid to write Scala. As opposed to, like, Visual Basic, Java, C++, or something like that.
  • Within an hour I was able to download processing, learn the basics, and hack this animated demo together. And put it on a web page, viewable by pretty much anybody that I care to reach. Back in the early aughts I probably spent fifty or sixty hours just trying to figure out how to step debug javascript.

From eternity to here apparently involves a massive improvement in the state of the programming art. Everything is amazing and nobody's happy.


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