Friday, October 27, 2023

Discussed guiding questions for Knitting as Program Execution project. Added summary excerpts.

Today's Plan

Knitting as Program Execution

One of the projects I was hoping would strike inspiration during my Recurse Center batch is an exploration of knitting. The link between writing a knitting pattern and programming is something I've been daydreaming about for a long time. It's part of what inspired me to make my website about the intersection of math and craft. Here are some guiding questions.


Can we think of knitting patterns as programs and knitters as interpreters? How simple would a programmatic knitting interpreter be able to be to work? Can standard modern patterns be read by a computer unambiguously?


How do you represent a knit object's structure in code? (A graph? What's a node, and what's an edge?) If it's represented as a graph, are there existing rendering algorithms that could do edge-springiness to vaguely represent the shape of the finished knit product? I have a copy of the amicable Introduction to Graph Theory by Richard J. Trudeau, so I might get to get into that a bit more.


How do you describe the anatomy of a knitting pattern to non-knitters to show how similar it is to a program? (Functions, loops, arrays, etc.) How do you describe to knitters how they already know how a program works if they can follow a knitting pattern? (I'm sure the overlap of these two groups knows exactly what I'm talking about by all this, right?!)


I have added short summaries of the topics discussed in each log entry using Eleventy excerpts and the help of How to use Excerpts in Eleventy to make sense of how to actually use them. It looks like this in my log files:

frontmatter here

This is my little summary.

<!-- excerpt -->

## Today's Plan
- blah blah blah


I've populated the log index with these summaries under each link. This spreads out the list of links nicely, keeping it easy to read and click/tap on. It is really cool to see an overview of what I've worked on each day from the index, too.

I'd like to supply these summaries to my Atom feed, so that I can control the preview people see. My log entry titles are a little cryptic, because they are just the date. I'd like the tagline to be more informative, at least.


I wish this summary could be italicized in the log entries, to keep it distinct-looking. You can't really add a special tag to it for formatting automatically, I don't think? My options are:

I also think it would be really cool to auto-generate these from the <h2>'s I've used. But I might prefer hand-written, anyways to control the message a bit more.

Task Ideas