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Recycling chaos: the entropy strikes back

A few months ago I added a Chaos Game implementation to the site. It was pretty slow, partly by design and partly by happenstance. When Apple recently released a new version of Safari with some impressive performance claims, I decided to revisit the code and see what I could see.

The initial version I wrote capped the drawing speed at 100 points/second. That was mainly because I didn't want it to overwhelm an OLPC, because I liked the educational aspect. Of course, that also limited the performance on machines that are very much faster, too. What I did was go in and change the code so that the update interval lengthened for slower machines.

Now if you go in and test it, it should be blazingly fast on better hardware. After you hit Stop, it'll display just how fast it was if you hover over the drawing area. On my machine, I get around 4000 points/second using Firefox 3.0.11. Using Safari 4.0, it gets around 15000 points/second; nearly the 4x benchmark that Apple lists. The OLPC comes in at a fairly pokey 300 points/second, and isn't very responsive otherwise, the poor thing!