teaching machines


May 13, 2015 by . Filed under cs455, postmortems, spring 2015.

Here are my Madeup models:

1. Tornado Alley:


2. Parametric Shapes (based off these shapes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parametric_equation#/media/File:Param_03.jpg)


Thought Process:

After reviewing the syntax and the going through the examples on the blog, I experimented with slight variations on the existing examples to get a feel for how Madeup worked under the hood. I played around with the tools provided, but I never really had a clear vision of what I wanted to make until I looked at some examples of parametric functions online. Once I found a few I liked, all I needed to do was break up the syntax and move my madeup cursor to each (x,y) position. Before I was uncertain how “moveto” differentiated itself from the translate function, but now I can see that Madeup offers a much deeper learning experienced than I initially bargained for.


Many of the challenges I experienced working with Madeup involved some difficulty translating some of the more complex math equations into madeup friendly syntax. With my “Parametric Shapes” model above, I found it rather difficult to get the bracing to line up just right without messing up the x,y coordinate pairs. Overall, I learned that  you can never have too few parentheses. The other issue  came when I attempted to execute my models when I had named variables with an underscore (‘_’). It seemed that the compiler would come to a halt when it came across a variable with these characters and I had to remove them altogether to get results.  The last challenge, came from the uncertainty of how many shapes could madeup process at any given time. Sometimes I could render 2-3 shapes, but when I scaled them up or added more copies, I could only get the wire frame to appear.


1. This wasn’t so much the code behind madeup, but rather the graphical interface itself that had some technical hiccups. When I was playing around with the screen size I found that sometimes I would get a blank screen that would either flash or stay altogether.


2. I couldn’t tell if this was a result of me passing in the wrong parameter values but I managed to get a “core dumped” error message when running the bottom example. If it’s a parameter error, then maybe a helpful error message would do the trick.


Feature Requests:

  1. I’m a fan of print  outs and custom debug messages. Would it be possible to include a print format option much like in C/C++? I had a difficult time printing multiple values on a single line at a time.
  2. I think it would be nice to have the ability to save newly created shape functions so that users to reuse their favorites without digging around for the code to get them working again. Maybe, even have a custom “My Shapes” tab.
  3. I don’t know how difficult it would be to allow for multiple colors on a single shape, but if their was some sort of “pixel color” option to control the rgb values at each point(s), I think it would help Madeup take it’s next creative leap.
  4. I think having either a Madeup import/export option would be very cool. I’d like to see the shapes created in Madeup make their way into some of the OpenGL code we’ve been writing this semester.