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30 Jun, 2016 06:35 AM

I'm guessing Frederick is a full-fledged PhD by now. Congratulations!

Is his thesis available somewhere (in English)? I'd love to read it!



  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Frederik De Ble... on 30 Jun, 2016 08:07 AM

    Frederik De Bleser's Avatar

    Hi John,

    Yes the thesis is available here:

    True to the subject of generative design I've actually made a thesis generator that can create different designs depending on if you want an "artsy" or "sciency" thesis.

    I've written a blog post about the thesis generator here:

  2. Support Staff 2 Posted by john on 30 Jun, 2016 08:45 AM

    john's Avatar

    Yeah, I saw that link yesterday and I have tried generating a thesis multiple times. Just tried again and have yet to get very far. It usually times out or just sits there. Once I got a cover but nothing else.

    Could the global demand be swamping the server?

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by Frederik De Ble... on 30 Jun, 2016 09:36 AM

    Frederik De Bleser's Avatar

    That's weird — I just tried generating a new copy and it worked. Have you tried in desktop Chrome?

    Here's a static version:

    I'll probably also scale down the used images to screen resolution so generation is a bit faster.

  4. Support Staff 4 Posted by john on 30 Jun, 2016 09:56 AM

    john's Avatar

    Thanks, that did the trick.

    Doesn't work on iOS or in Mac Safari. But did work in Mac Chrome.

    Again, congratulations! I look forward to reading this.


  5. Support Staff 5 Posted by Frederik De Ble... on 30 Jun, 2016 09:57 AM

    Frederik De Bleser's Avatar

    Thanks! I'll see if I can fix it in Safari. The PDF might be too big for iOS.

  6. 6 Posted by rioch on 30 Jun, 2016 01:53 PM

    rioch's Avatar

    Congrats for your achievement, got a couple of 'copies' yesterday, the artsy one was not very readable but that was part of the idea... and interesting reading too!
    Nice work on the parametric formatting -waiting for first one I even wondered if the Thesis Generator would modify content / meaning also- I've wanted many times a proper pdf output from nodebox, with real text and font embedding.

  7. Support Staff 7 Posted by Frederik De Ble... on 30 Jun, 2016 02:12 PM

    Frederik De Bleser's Avatar

    @rioch Thanks! I purposely chose not to change the content. It was difficult already to get this through the university, as they demanded identical copies for archival purposes.

    I did however do a lot of thinking with some colleagues on how a fully dynamic thesis, including content changes, could look. A good first step would be to tag all content to give it an indication of whether it would be suitable for artists or scientists. When generating an artistic version, content tagged as scientific could be reduced in size/opacity or hidden entirely.

    An alternative is to let the computer modify the text; however this quickly becomes very tiring to read. I think doing manual redaction will result in a much more readable text.

    The generator is not written using NodeBox, as mentioned in the blog post. I've used Go with just the standard library. However, I now understand a lot more about the PDF format, and it would be feasible to port something like that to NodeBox 3.

    The issue of real text is not a limitation of the underlying NodeBox PDF generation library (iText), but rather a conscious choice to work with Bézier paths across the board. This makes it avoid complex issues with type and conversions; however it does limit you to outlined text. In NodeBox Live, we added a text object that generates real text (however we don't have a PDF generator there).

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