A New Beginning

by odf

Hello and welcome to my new blog!

The mathematics and aesthetics of crystals and patterns have been my passion and often my profession for at least a quarter century now. Over the years, I have written a lot of software to investigate and display periodic tilings and nets and related structures, but it was not always easy to share this software with others. So about 10 years ago, I decided to take everything I had learned and programmed and distil it into a Java library which I called Gavrog. The programs Systre and 3dt, which had existed before in other forms, were rebuild as part of the new project. Through the use of Java, it was much easier for me to get the programs to the people who wanted to use them.

Alas, it has not always been easy to find time for maintaining and improving the software, let alone do new research. As of 2007, the Gavrog project had to be demoted from full-time profession to hobby, and for some years, I was too occupied with other endeavours  to pay much attention to it. This is why there had been no new official release of the software since November 2008. Now this has changed and, at least for the time being, I am again able to devote a reasonable amount of time each week to this work. Earlier this week, I have released new versions of Systre (1.2.0) and 3dt (0.6.0) at https://github.com/odf/gavrog/releases.

Information about the programs has mostly been trickling through to potential users by word of mouth, and through the efforts of a handful of colleagues and friends who have promoted my software in conferences and schools all over the globe. In the coming months and years, I would like to find ways in which I can communicate more quickly and directly with users of my products. This blog will be the first step on that road. I will use it to publish tips and tricks on using the software effectively, clarify things about it that may be confusing, and occasionally share my general musings about the programs, the mathematics underlying them and other related topics.

As different people use the programs for different purposes, and some of the theoretical foundations are quite difficult, I expect that there will be posts that seem rather esoteric to most readers. Over time, I hope to develop a system of tags that will make it easier for everyone to find posts that interest them. You can help by leaving your comments and telling me what your profession and educational background is, what you use or plan to use Systre or 3dt for, and by asking many, many questions.