“Today, we launched Julia Map on Google Labs, a fractal renderer in HTML 5. [...] Julia Map uses the Google Maps API to zoom and pan into the fractals. The images are computed with HTML 5 canvas. Each image generally requires millions of floating point operations. Web workers spread the heavy calculations on all cores of the machine.”
“FractInt originally appeared in 1988 as FRACT386, a computer program for rendering fractals very quickly on the Intel 80386 processor using integer arithmetic. Most ‘386 processors of the era did not come with floating point units (387), so the integer approach was much faster. The early versions of FRACT386 were written by Bert Tyler, who based it on a Mandelbrot generator for a TI-based processor that used integer math and decided to try programming something similar for his 386 machine.”
How far we’ve come. From the childhood suffering of having to run optimized hardware specific code for your fractal fix to something you can run in any old (well, mostly) browser today.
Wow–little known fact, “Along with Emacs and NetHack, [Fracint] is one of the oldest still-maintained free programs.”