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The resurrection of Life32

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The resurrection of Life32

Postby JohanB » July 6th, 2016, 1:46 pm

The latest version of Life32 (2.18) can now be downloaded from https://github.com/JBontes/Life32/archive/master.zip
V2.18 has been tested on Win7 64-bit, but it should work on all versions from XP onwards.

Many a year ago I wrote Life32, but then I suffered a HD-crash and lost access to (most of) my source code.
Whilst moving house I recently found a backup USB disk with a copy of the (unreleased) Life32v2.17 executable as well as source code.
I never released that version because it was unstable, but included in the source directory was a full SVN all the way back to version 0.1.
Having access to the source I was able to fix a few snags introduced in Windows Vista that tripped up to the program.

I'm releasing the source and exe under a MPL license.
Feel free to download the program from the above address.
If you just want to play around with the program the minimal parts needed to run the program are located in the `binary` directory.

You are welcome to report bugs and ask for features you can post them here or at https://github.com/JBontes/Life32/issues
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Re: The resurrection of Life32

Postby dvgrn » July 6th, 2016, 8:46 pm

A bug having to do with the bounding box in patterns saved by Life32v2.16, still seems to be there in the new v2.18. As a quick test I opened a file, copperhead_synth.rle, containing this pattern:

x = 54, y = 48, rule = B3/S23
5bo38bo3bo$3bobo36b2o4bobo$4b2o37b2o3b2o$22bo$20bobo$21b2o2$2bobo27bo
16bobo$3b2o25b2o17b2o$3bo27b2o17bo3$16b2o$15bobo$17bo2bobo8bobo$21b2o
8b2o$21bo10bo5$24b2o2b2o$23bobo2bobo$25bo2bo7$21b3o6b3o$23bo6bo$22bo8b
o5$22b3o$3b2o19bo24b2o$4b2o17bo12bo11b2o$3bo31b2o13bo$35bobo3$7b2o36b
2o$bo4bobo36bobo4bo$b2o5bo36bo5b2o$obo48bobo!

I pasted two copies next to each other and saved the file in the default format. Here's what I got on two different attempts:

x = -219, y = -28, rule = H:B3/S23
5bo3bo38bo$3bobo4boo36bobo$4boo3boo37boo85bo3bo38bo$31bo101bobo4boo36b
obo$31bobo100boo3boo37boo$31boo128bo$161bobo$bbobo16bo27bobo109boo$3b
oo17boo25boo$3bo17boo27bo81bobo16bo27bobo$133boo17boo25boo$133bo17boo
27bo$36boo$36bobo$20bobo8bobobbo129boo$21boo8boo133bobo$21bo10bo117bob
o8bobobbo$151boo8boo$151bo10bo3$24boobboo$23bobobbobo$25bobbo125boobb
oo$153bobobbobo$155bobbo5$21b3o6b3o$23bo6bo$22bo8bo119b3o6b3o$153bo6bo
$152bo8bo3$29b3o$3boo24bo19boo$4boo11bo12bo17boo109b3o$3bo13boo31bo82b
oo24bo19boo$16bobo115boo11bo12bo17boo$133bo13boo31bo$146bobo$7boo36boo
$bo4bobo36bobo4bo$boo5bo36bo5boo84boo36boo$obo48bobo77bo4bobo36bobo4bo
$131boo5bo36bo5boo$130bobo48bobo!

x = -1, y = -1, rule = H:B3/S23
{same RLE}

I'm not sure if it's still possible to make Life32 produce the rule string "S B3/S23" -- I remember that v2.16 sometimes saved RLE in that format. Life32 had no trouble reading those files in again, but other editors tended to have trouble. This "H:" prefix doesn't look familiar...?
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Re: The resurrection of Life32

Postby Scorbie » July 7th, 2016, 12:48 am

I would like to thank you for developing life32 that allowed me to play with rles and pattern collections when I was young. Without it I wouldn't have seen what was inside those collections in rles for another several years. Also I would like to share a weird and interesting experience with the previous Life32 *download site* years ago. I tried to get life32 years ago with the old sote, but all links were not working. But after several attempts the link was working and I got my life32 to my computer. I wasn't able to reach that site again. Did you say, temporarily reopen the link or anything?
Best wishes to you, Scorbie
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Re: The resurrection of Life32

Postby JohanB » July 7th, 2016, 11:29 am

dvgrn wrote:A bug having to do with the bounding box in patterns saved by Life32v2.16, still seems to be there in the new v2.18. As a quick test I opened a file, copperhead_synth.rle, containing this pattern:


x = -219, y = -28, rule = H:B3/S23

{same RLE}


I'm not sure if it's still possible to make Life32 produce the rule string "S B3/S23" -- I remember that v2.16 sometimes saved RLE in that format. Life32 had no trouble reading those files in again, but other editors tended to have trouble. This "H:" prefix doesn't look familiar...?


Fixed, see: https://github.com/JBontes/Life32/tree/master/Binary

The problem was twofold.
When initializing the neighborhood (Moore/HexLife/....) would be in a indeterminate state, but default to Moore if invalid. It is now set explicitly to Moore (i.e. 8 neighbors).
The `H:` prefix means 6 neighbors in a HexLife setup.

Life32 has an option to set a Torus this allows you to emulate a very small universe.
If the torus is active the save-routine would formulate the `x = ..,y = ..` rule differently.
The save dialog reported that the torus is active even though it is not.
This is now fixed.
It is now changed to always formulate the rule the same way.

The torus code is one of those things that is still 'under construction'.
It works mostly, but has seen very little testing.

I've added a HexLife rule in the settings dialog.
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Re: The resurrection of Life32

Postby JohanB » July 7th, 2016, 12:04 pm

dvgrn wrote:It's nice to see Life32 in operation again. What versions of Windows will Life32v2.18 run on? It might make sense to set expectations in the README.

It should run on anything from XP onwards, although it's developed on a Win7 64-bit machine.

dvgrn wrote:I'm having some trouble on a Windows 7 laptop. Windows shifts to a "basic" color scheme to run the program, and the Life32 application window can't be maximized, the zoom level can't be controlled very well, and patterns I open aren't always visible -- sometimes they're displayed correctly, and sometimes the window goes blank or only some cells are displayed.

That's DirectX playing tricks on your system.
Life32 uses Direct2D version 2. Many newer videocards have poor support for this mode.
I've taken some shortcuts because I'm not requesting a windowed directDraw DC, I'm just drawing directly to the screen. Same videocards get confused by this. For the future I'm planning to drop DirectX altogether and instead use a standard GDI option which should actually be faster than the DirectDraw code.

dvgrn wrote:Windows 7 also refuses to open the Life32 Help file, though you can fix that to some extent by downloading a Help file reader from Microsoft.

Yes, you'll need to download the viewer and then it works. I'm planning to convert the hlp file to chm (even though I think the CHM viewer sucks compared to the hlp viewer).
The problem is I was not able to rescue the help source files and so I need to convert from hlp->chm which I haven't found the tools for yet.

Note that the lastest version fixes an error causing AV's when editing patterns.
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