REDUCE

16.73 TURTLE: Turtle Graphics Interface for REDUCE

Author: Caroline Cotter

This package is a simple implementation of the “Turtle Graphics” style of drawing graphs in REDUCE. The background and ideas of “Turtle Graphics” are outlined below.

16.73.1 Turtle Graphics

Turtle Graphics was originally developed in the 1960’s as part of the LOGO system, and used in the classroom as an introduction to graphics and using computers to help with mathematics.

The LOGO language was created as part of an experiment to test the idea that programming may be used as an educational discipline to teach children. It was first intended to be used for problem solving, for illustrating mathematical concepts usually difficult to grasp, and for creation of experiments with abstract ideas.

At first LOGO had no graphics capabilities, but fast development enabled the incorporation of graphics, known as “Turtle Graphics” into the language. “Turtle Graphics” is regarded by many as the main use of LOGO.

Main Idea: To use simple commands directing a turtle, such as forward, back, turnleft, in order to construct pictures as opposed to drawing lines connecting cartesian coordinate points.

The ‘turtle’ is at all times determined by its state {x,y,a,p}- where x,y determine its position in the (x,y)-plane, a determines the angle (which describes the direction the turtle is facing) and p signals whether the pen is up or down (i. e.  whether or not it is drawing on the paper).

16.73.2 Implementation

Some alterations to the original “Turtle Graphics” commands have been made in this implementation due to the design of the graphics package gnuplot used in REDUCE.

16.73.3 Turtle Functions

As previously mentioned, the turtle is determined at all times by its state {x,y,a}: its position on the (x,y)-plane and its angle(a) - its heading - which determines the direction the turtle is facing, in degrees, relative anticlockwise to the positive x-axis.

16.73.3.1 User Setting Functions
setheading
Takes a number as its argument and resets the heading to this number. If the number entered is negative or greater than or equal to 360 then it is automatically checked to lie between 0 and 360.

Returns the turtle position {x,y}

SYNTAX: setheading(θ)

Abbreviated form: sh(θ)

leftturn
The turtle is turned anticlockwise through the stated number of degrees. Takes a number as its argument and resets the heading by adding this number to the previous heading setting.

Returns the turtle position {x,y}

SYNTAX: leftturn(α)

Abbreviated form: slt(α)

rightturn
Similar to leftturn, but the turtle is turned clockwise through the stated number of degrees. Takes a number as its argument and resets the heading by subtracting this number from the previous heading setting.

Returns the turtle position {x,y}

SYNTAX: rightturn(β)

Abbreviated form: srt(β)

setx
Relocates the turtle in the x direction. Takes a number as its argument and repositions the state of the turtle by changing its x-coordinate.

Returns {}

SYNTAX: setx(x)

Abbreviated form: sx(x)

sety
Relocates the turtle in the y direction. Takes a number as its argument and repositions the state of the turtle by changing its y-coordinate.

Returns {}

SYNTAX: sety(y)

Abbreviated form: sy(y)

setposition
Relocates the turtle from its current position to the new cartesian coordinate position described. Takes a pair of numbers as its arguments and repositions the state of the turtle by changing the x and y coordinates.

Returns {}

SYNTAX: setposition(x,y)

Abbreviated form: spn(x,y)

setheadingtowards
Resets the heading so that the turtle is facing towards the given point, with respect to its current position on the coordinate axes. Takes a pair of numbers as its arguments and changes the heading, but the turtle stays in the same place.

Returns the turtle position {x,y}

SYNTAX: setheadingtowards(x,y)

Abbreviated form: shto(x,y)

setforward
Relocates the turtle from its current position by moving forward (in the direction of its heading) the number of steps given. Takes a number as its argument and repositions the state of the turtle by changing the x and y coordinates.

Returns {}

SYNTAX: setforward(n)

Abbreviated form: sfwd(n)

setback
As with setforward, but moves back (in the opposite direction of its heading) the number of steps given.

Returns {}

SYNTAX: setback(n)

Abbreviated form: sbk(n)

16.73.3.2 Line-Drawing Functions
forward
Moves the turtle forward (in the direction its heading) the number of steps given. Takes a number as its argument and draws a line from its current position to a new position on the coordinate plane. The x and y coordinates are reset to the new values.

Returns the list of points { {old x,old y}, {new x,new y} }

SYNTAX: forward(s)

Abbreviated form: fwd(s)

back
As with forward except the turtle moves back (in the opposite direction to its heading) the number of steps given.

Returns the list of points { {old x,old y}, {new x,new y} }

SYNTAX: back(s)

Abbreviated form: bk(s)

move
Moves the turtle to a specified point on the coordinate plane. Takes a pair of numbers as its arguments and draws a line from its current position to the position described. The x and y coordinates are set to these new values.

Returns the list of points { {old x,old y}, {new x,new y} }

SYNTAX: move(x,y)

Abbreviated form: mv(x,y)

16.73.3.3 Plotting Functions
draw
This is the function the user calls within REDUCE to draw the list of turtle commands given into a picture. Takes a list as its argument, with each seperate command being seperated by a comma, and returns the graph drawn by following the commands.

SYNTAX: draw{command(command_args),…,command(command_args)} Note: all commands may be entered in either long or shorthand form, and with a space before the arguments instead of parentheses only if just one argument is needed. Commands taking more than one argument must be written in parentheses and arguments seperated by a comma.

fdraw
This function is also called in REDUCE by the user and outputs the same as the draw command, but it takes a filename as its argument. The file which is called upon by fdraw must contain only the turtle commands and other functions defined by the user for turtle graphics. (This is intended to make it easier for the user to make small changes without constantly typing out long series of commands.)

SYNTAX: fdraw{~filename~} Note: commands may be entered in long or shorthand form but each command must be written on a separate line of the file. Also, arguments are to be written without parentheses and separated with a space, not a comma, regardless of the number of arguments given to the function.

16.73.3.4 Other Important Functions
info
This function is called on its own in REDUCE to tell user the current state of the turtle. Takes no arguments but returns a list containing the current values of the x and y coordinates and the heading variable.

Returns the list {x_coord,y_coord,heading}

SYNTAX: info() or simply info

clearscreen
This is also called on its own in REDUCE to get rid of the last gnuplot window, displaying the last turtle graphics picture, and to reset all the variables to 0. Takes no arguments and returns no printed output to the screen but the graphics window is simply cleared.

SYNTAX: clearscreen() or simply clearscreen

Abbreviated form: cls() or cls

home
This is a command which can be called within a plot function as well as outside of one. Takes no arguments, and simply resets the x and y coordinates and the heading variable to 0. When used in a series of turtle commands, it moves the turtle from its current position to the origin and sets the direction of the turtle along the x-axis, without drawing a line.

Returns {0,0}

SYNTAX: home() or simply home

16.73.3.5 Defining Functions

It is possible to use conditional statements (if  then  else …) and ‘for’ statements (for i:=…collect{…}) in calls to draw. However, care must be taken - when using conditional statements the final else statement must return a point or at least {x_coord,y_coord} if the picture is to be continued at that point. Also, ‘for’ statements must include ‘collect’ followed by a list of turtle commands (in addition, the variable must begin counting from 0 if it is to be joined to the previous list of turtle commands at that point exactly, e. g.  for i:=0:10 collect {…}).

SYNTAX:  { (For user-defined Turtle functions)}

procedure func_name(func_args);

begin [scalar additional variables];

...

(the procedure body containing some turtle commands)

...

return(a list, or label to a list, of turtle commands

as accepted by draw)

end;

For convenience, it is recommended that all user defined functions, such as those involving if…then…elseor for i:=…collect{…} are defined together in a separate file, then called into REDUCE using the in ~filename~ command.

16.73.4 Examples

The following examples are taken from the tur.tst file. Examples 1,2,5 & 6 are simple calls to draw. Examples 3 & 4 show how more complicated commands can be built (which can take their own set of arguments) using procedures. Examples 7 & 8 show the difference between the draw and fdraw commands.

% (1) Draw 36 rays of length 100  
 
draw {for i:=1:36 collect{setheading(i*10), forward 100, back 100} };

PICT

% (2) Draw 12 regular polygons with 12 sides of length 40,each polygon  
%forming an angle of 360/n degrees with the previous one.  
 
draw {for i:=1:12 collect  
          {leftturn(30), for j:=1:12 collect  
                             {forward 40, leftturn(30)}} };

PICT

% (3) A ~peak~ pattern - an example of a recursive procedure.  
 
procedure peak(r);  
begin;  
  return for i:=0:r collect  
             {move(x_coord+5,y_coord-10), move(x_coord+10,y_coord+60),  
              move(x_coord+10,y_coord-60),move(x_coord+5,y_coord+10)};  
end;  
 
draw {home(), peak(3)};

PICT

%This procedure can then be part of a longer chain of commands:  
 
draw {home(), move(5,50), peak(3), move(x_coord+10,-100),  
      peak(2), move(x_coord+10,0)};

PICT

% (4)  Write a recursive procedure which draws ~trees~ such that every  
%branch is half the length of the previous branch.  
 
procedure tree(a,b);         %Here: a is the start length, b is the  
                             %number of levels  
begin;  
  return if fixpb and b>0           %checking b is a positive integer  
 
            then {leftturn(45), forward a, tree(a/2,b-1),  
                  back a, rightturn(90), forward a, tree(a/2,b-1),  
                  back a, leftturn(45)}  
         else {x_coord,y_coord};    %default: Turtle stays still  
end;  
 
draw {home(), tree(130,7)};

PICT

% (5)  A 36-point star.  
 
draw {home(), for i:=1:36 collect  
                  {leftturn(10), forward 100, leftturn(10), back 100} };

PICT

% (6) Draw 100 equilateral triangles with the leading points  
%equally spaced on a circular path.  
 
draw {home(), for i:=1:100 collect  
                  {forward 150, rightturn(60), back(150),  
                   rightturn(60), forward 150, setheading(i*3.6)} };

PICT

% (7) Two or more graphs can be drawn together (this is easier  
%if the graphs are named). Here we show graphs 2 and 6 on top of one  
%another:  
 
gr2:={home(), for i:=1:12 collect  
                  {leftturn(30), for j:=1:12 collect  
                                     {forward 40, leftturn(30)}} }$  
 
gr6:={home(), for i:=1:100 collect  
                  {forward 150, rightturn(60), back(150),  
                   rightturn(60), forward 150, setheading(i*3.6)} }$  
 
draw {gr2, gr6};

PICT

% (8) Example 7 could have been tackled another way, which makes use of  
%the fdraw command.  
%By inputting gr2 and gr6 as procedures into reduce, they can then be  
%used at any time in the same reduce session in a call to draw and even  
%fdraw.  
 
%First save the procedures in a file, say fxp (fdraw example procedures):  
 
procedure gr2;  
begin;  
  return {home, for i:=1:12 collect  
                    {leftturn(30), for j:=1:12 collect  
                                       {forward 40, leftturn(30)}} };  
end;  
 
procedure gr6;  
begin;  
  return {home(), for i:=1:100 collect  
                  {forward 150, rightturn(60), back(150),  
                   rightturn(60), forward 150, setheading(i*3.6)} };  
end;  
 
%Then create another file where the functions may be called to fdraw,  
%e.g. fx:  
 
gr2  
gr6  
 
%Now in reduce, after loading the turtle package just type the following:  
 
in ~fxp~;  
fdraw ’~fx~;  
 
%..and the graphs will appear.  
 
%This method is useful if the user wants to define many of their own  
%functions, and, using fdraw, subtle changes can be made quickly without  
%having to type out the whole string of commands to plot each time. It  
%is particularly useful if there are several pictures to plot at once and  
%it is an easy way to build pictures so that the difference an extra  
%command makes to the overall picture can be clearly seen.  
%(In the above example, the file called to fdraw was only 2 lines long,  
%so this method did not have any advantage over the normal draw command.  
%However, when the list of commands is longer it is clearly advantageous  
%to use fdraw)  
 

16.73.5 References

  1. An Implementation of Turtle Graphics for Teaching Purposes
    Zoran I. Putnik & Zoram d.Budimac
  2. Mapletech - Maple in Mathematics and the Sciences,
    Special Issue 1994
    An Implementation of “Turtle Graphics” in Maple V
    Eugenio Roanes Lozano & Eugenio Roanes Macias