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The Fractal Farm is the fifth (or maybe sixth) generation of a program I've worked on since the early 90s. The earliest versions were written in C++, the previous version was written in Visual Basic, and now I've finally built a version in PHP which I can share with the world.

So, aside from serving as an indicator of personal obsession, what does the Fractal Farm do? Put simply, it's a system for breeding fractals, specifically Iterative Function Systems (or IFS), popularly known as the Chaos Game. Starting with a pool of fractals already stored in the system (which you can augment by data entry if you wish), you can select two parent fractals which you can then mate to produce offspring which to a varying extent resemble one or both of their parents.

The program is pretty simple. When you follow the link below, you'll be presented with a set of 3 frames: Mother, Father, and Children. In each of the Mother and Father frames you can either select an existing Fractal from listbox, or type in a fractal of your own design. When you're ready to produce offspring, click on the Mate button, and the Children window will be filled with new fractals.

Once you've either loaded, entered, or bred a fractal you find interesting, you can manipulate its colors or the underlying mathematics of the IFS by clicking on the picture. This will bring up the Readout screen which displays all the color and IFS numbers. After changing any of them, click on the Save button to store the changes and view the results. If you find a fractal that you want to take home, you can even save it in .png format.

I've added Help buttons on all screens to try and make the system easy to figure out. I hope you enjoy the playing with the Fractals. If you have any comments or want to share your discoveries, let me know at dspitzle at davidaspitzley.org (@ removed for spam-prevention purposes).

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