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Design By Numbers
Design By Numbers
by John Maeda
Edition: Hardcover
38 used & new from $1.14

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good even if you already know programming, July 2, 1999
This review is from: Design By Numbers (Hardcover)
If you're already a programmer, be warned that much of this book covers elementary programming concepts. I nonetheless found the author's explanations of these refreshingly innocent.
Much of the book will also give you insight into computational art. Many nice example programs are given from which variations are easily created, and the author offers some glimpses into his own philosophy.
The computer language used for the programs, dbn, seems designed to impose very pure, minimalist art. It uses a tiny screen space (101x101 pixels), no colours (only 101 shades of grey), has a small set of keywords (there's no "else" construct!) and has no built-in support for graphical primitives beyond points and lines. What's more, it is an interpreted language, and the interpreter is written in Java, which makes it pretty slow when run from a browser. You can however make some very attractive little programs with it, and it has the ease-of-use of a scripting language.
The book is a quick read, having sparse text spread out over 256 pages :P but you really have to type out and try the programs to get the most out of it. Overall it's quite cool.

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