Henry Robbins
format (2021)
source code

The python script format.py takes two arguments: a text file and an integer w. The text is optimally split into lines with a target line width of w. This optimization is done via a reduction to the shortest path problem in which Dijkstra’s algorithm finds an optimal s-t path. The script visualizes the text changing as Dijkstra’s algorithm continuously updates and finds the optimal line break locations. Once the optimal solution is found, the visualization loops. Pressing CTRL+C terminates the program. An example call is given below.

# visualize the optimal splitting of short_text.txt to lines of length 45
python format.py short_text.txt 45

To produce format.mp4, the script was run on Lorem ipsum placeholder text and the terminal was recorded for two iterations. This was merged with a recording from a hotel window during a quarantine required to return to campus in the Spring of 2021.

format.mp4 (2021)