Platitude is an application for creating simple lattices. Lattice drawings describes my interest in them.

Download

Platitude is available two ways:

Using Platitude

The File - New menu brings up a dialog asking for the dimensions of the lattice to create:

The New Lattice dialog, asking for dimensions

Entering (for example) 5 by 3 produces a lattice with 5 little loops across the top, and three little loops going down, with four large loops at the corners:

A fresh 5 by 3 lattice

Modifying the lattice is done by clicking in the spaces between the traces. Each click changes the four sides around it. If the side has a trace on it, the trace is removed. If the side has no trace, a trace is added. This ensures that the traces are always unbroken, and form complete circuits.

For example, clicking on the spots indicated in red:

Suggestions of where to click

produces these changes:

A changed 5 by 3 lattice

Lattices can be saved to .lat files with File - Save, and re-opened with File - Open.

Transformation

There's one other way to modify the lattice in Platitude. Edit - Triplicate will convert every trace into three parallel traces. This makes the lattice three times larger, and can be an interesting way to explore larger lattices:

The 5 by 3 lattice, triplicated

Output

Platitude cannot produce graphic output now except on the screen. Use a screen capture to produce graphics files of your lattices.

Future

This is a very bare-bones application right now. I'd love to add more to it. Some ideas:

  • Other modification options, such as dragging out rectangles to invert.
  • Other transformation options, including customizable operations like triplicate.
  • Standard application features, such as undo/redo, printing, multiple documents, cut and paste.
  • Graphic files output.
  • Coloring options.
  • Analysis features such as counting loops, extracting loops shapes.
  • Custom drawing styles, perhaps provided as tile images.

Feedback

I'd love to hear about your experiences with Platitude. Comment here, or send me a note.

See Also

You might like to read:

  • Lattice drawings, where I describe the origins of my interest in these lattices.
  • My blog, where topics orbiting around Platitude crop up from time to time.

Comments

[gravatar]
Max 11:21 AM on 16 Jul 2005

This is an awesome program.

[gravatar]
Mike 11:38 AM on 16 Jul 2005

Nice toy!

Just wondering what you used to create windows installer with all required modules included.

[gravatar]
Ned Batchelder 2:12 PM on 16 Jul 2005

I used py2exe to convert the Python into a Windows executable with supporting files, then used InnoSetup to create an installer from those files.

[gravatar]
mmg 6:50 PM on 16 Jul 2005

re Windows: may need to run Python 2.4 Windows installer to get MSVCR71.dll

Microsoft's licensing regime... bah!

[gravatar]
Mike 8:09 AM on 17 Jul 2005

Thanks Ned

[gravatar]
Ned Batchelder 8:34 PM on 17 Jul 2005

mmg: I've added msvcr71.dll to the kit, so it will be installed with the application. Thanks for pointing it out.

[gravatar]
André 6:03 PM on 20 Jul 2005

Although quite a bit different, you may want to have a look at
http://www.pims.math.ca/knotplot/celtic/

Knotplot is a *neat* program, written by a good friend of mine (but I don't think I am biased here :-)

[gravatar]
mitchell 10:30 AM on 9 Nov 2005

Ned, I am a teacher at the highschool level. I have been searching for drawings my students could do plotting ordered pairs and connecting the dots (I teach Pre-Algebra) I ran across your site and wondered if you know where I could find any. I love this Platitude.

[gravatar]
Ned Batchelder 10:37 PM on 14 Nov 2005

Mitchell, I don't know where to find something like that, sorry.

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gonaners16 1:30 AM on 18 Jun 2006

COOLIO!!!!!!!! you rock man!!!!! luv da site!!!!!!!!

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Poet 1:41 PM on 4 Jan 2007

Very nice, have been playing with it for an hour or two with my beamer!

keep up this work!

[gravatar]
christina 4:22 PM on 6 Jun 2007

I installed the program but when I open it I get a 'Fatal Error' message: Error while loding DLL 'unicows.dll'! The application will terminate now.
Do you know what I should do?

[gravatar]
nelix 6:43 PM on 29 Jul 2007

Are you using windows 95, christina?

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