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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Antics : a system for animating LISP programs Dionne, Mark Stephen


An animated film is an excellent medium for conveying complex ideas in computer science. A system has been developed which produces animated films, film strips, or slides depicting the execution of LISP programs. The design and implementation of this system is discussed and it is compared to existing systems. The system, named ANTICS, may be used by entering very simple commands, and produces real-time animation. The system may be "backed up" interactively and atomic values may be changed. Advanced commands and a set of graphics primitives are available which permit an instructor or film-maker to control minute details of the animation and to add features not explicitly provided by the system. ANTICS may therefore be used as an interactive educational tool or as an animation system. ANTICS is very economical to use. A three minute film showing the operation of the recursive function MEMBER was produced for a total cost of $12.00. The film is included as part of the thesis. The system is dependent on IBM 370/168 and Adage Graphics Terminal hardware, but the design, which is based on the organization of the LISP EVAL function, could be used on other systems.

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