## A simple 3D animation created with Maxima.

One of the things which I find myself doing quite often is, to be undertaking some sort of task on the computer(s), that I know is possible, but, not knowing in advance what the correct syntax and semantics are, to perform this task. This tends to take me on some sort of search on the Web, and I’ll find that other people have undertaken similar tasks, but not, a task with the same combination of parameters, as my task.

Thus, Web pages can be found according to which 2D animations have been created using a free, open-source Computer Algebra System named “Maxima”. Other Web pages may explain how to create various types of (static) 3D plots. But there may just be lacking examples out there, on how to create the 3D plot, but to animate it.

Using Maxima, there may be more than one way, such as, to keep refreshing the 3D plot over a time interval. But I find that such solutions tend to be second-rate, because of their use of busy-wait loops, as well as the possibility that they may otherwise be wasteful of computing power. I think that the best way, perhaps, to get Maxima to generate an animated 3D plot, could be, in the form of an animated GIF File (of course, as long as there isn’t an excess of frames to this animation).

Thus, the recipe that seems to work is as such:


load(draw)$scenes: []$

for i thru 20 do (
scenes: append(scenes,
[gr3d(explicit(sin(%pi*(x+(i/10)))*cos(%pi*y),
x, -1, 1, y, -1, 1))]
)
)$draw( delay = 10, file_name = "wavy", terminal = 'animated_gif, scenes )$



The script outputs a file named ‘wavy.gif’ in the same folder, as whatever folder it was originally stored in. In some cases, the GIF File may appear in the user’s home directory, or even, in a temporary directory that’s difficult to find, unless the user also gives a full-path name for the file.

And, this is the GIF File that results:

Caution:

My most recent posting had to do, with a version of Maxima that had been ported to Android. The example above will not work with that version of Maxima. In fact, I can really only be sure that this feature works under Linux, which is the O/S that Maxima was mainly designed to run on. Any directives to ‘plot()’ or ‘draw()’ open a separate GNU-Plot window, which behaves in the predictable way under Linux, including the user’s ability to rotate the 3D plots interactively. AFAIK, commands to change to a non-default ‘terminal’ (for drawing and/or plotting) will fail on other platforms.

But, There is also a Windows or Mac alternative to using this platform, which mainly presents itself in the application ‘wxMaxima’. Here, the functions ‘wxdraw2d()’ and ‘wxdraw3d()’ replace those that open a separate window, and both embed their results in the wxMaxima worksheet. In order to make this more versatile, wxMaxima also offers the functions ‘with_slider_draw()’, ‘with_slider_draw3d()’, ‘wxanimate_draw()’, and ‘wxanimate_draw3d()’.

Potential ‘wxMaxima’ users will find the documentation for how to script that Here.

(Updated 7/06/2020, 15h35… )

## A Possible Oversight on my part, Concerning FS Corruption

One of the facts which regularly concerns me about Linux, is that we Mount a File System so that we can access its files, and that we Must Unmount it at the end of any Kernel-Session, before we can power down or restart the machine, and that failure to do so results in FS Corruption.

But there is a thought which has only occurred to me recently, about how that might not translate correctly into Windows. It could be that under Windows, there is no hidden Mount or Unmount procedure, when we boot the computer or shut it down. In the past I had always assumed that this step does exist, but that Windows keep it hidden in the BG.

If Windows has no analog to this, then the problems I was describing in This Posting, may simply be due to a weak, dodgy hard-drive on the computer I name ‘Mithral’, purely in how it functions as hardware.

Also, I should next take steps to take a closer look at OS/X, which was originally derived from some form of UNIX (‘BSD’), but which may also have done away, with any sort of Mount or Unmount taking place in the BG.

Dirk