Change the main page to a LifeViewer embed/relocate News

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muzik
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Change the main page to a LifeViewer embed/relocate News

Post by muzik » April 22nd, 2021, 3:42 pm

Partly as a convenience thing, and partly as a throwback to the earlier days of the site when browsers still supported Java.

My idea here would be to convert the main conwaylife.com page to be a large embed of LifeViewer, much larger than the default popup windows and embeds usually seen in forum posts. Such a large embed would be far more useful for open-ended pattern editing and exploration, compared to the common forum, wiki and Catagolue uses of the viewer which almost always are tailored to the display of very specific patterns for a short period of time, with minimal incentive for editing interactivity.

I personally fear that the news articles posted on the main page are much too technical for the average "might-be-interested-in-CA-if-this-thing-isn't-too-technical-for-me-to-ever-understand" person, possibly scaring them away at the instant they see such postings and picture the barrier to entry for the CA community to be far higher than it actually is. Having an interactive pattern editor in their place seems like the far more inviting option, as anyone who stumbles upon the site immediately has the option to mess around with any rule that they could ever wish to without even having to spend time downloading a simulation program.

While I am aware that Chris's website already has such a viewer on the main page (as well as on a subpage), I doubt said pages get very much traffic at all from those in the CA community, as knowledge of said page/site can only reasonably be acquired through reading the dedicated wiki page or forum thread. Having it on the main page of conwaylife.com would instead allow it to capture far more traffic, given that this site is basically the site for cellular automata in general as far as I'm aware, and that traffic will without a doubt return for more LifeViewer use (and a link for anyone interested in getting the viewer for themselves could always be placed at the bottom of the page, to direct more traffic to LifeViewer's deserving author).

Having it here on the main site and accessible via a single click from any page would also be more convenient for established users, since at that point it'd probably be more convenient than even opening Golly.

News posts would be moved to a subpage, which would remain completely accessible via the top bar.

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Re: Change the main page to a LifeViewer embed/relocate News

Post by Sokwe » April 26th, 2021, 3:11 am

I completely agree with every point you made. I think an easily-accessible CA viewer and editor on conwaylife.com would be extremely beneficial for newcomers. You really can't understand Conway's Game of Life unless you've played with it a bit.
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Re: Change the main page to a LifeViewer embed/relocate News

Post by GUYTU6J » April 26th, 2021, 10:57 am

Excellent idea. It may be convenient if a link to the LifeWiki LifeViewer article can be put somewhere beside the viewer itself.

Speaking of the ancient java applet, I remember seeing an instruction on LifeWiki, and it is now here. There were methods for loading a pattern and saving an image (either static or animated). I wonder if they could be adapted to said LifeViewer on the Home page?
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Re: Change the main page to a LifeViewer embed/relocate News

Post by muzik » April 26th, 2021, 8:37 pm

GUYTU6J wrote:
April 26th, 2021, 10:57 am
Excellent idea. It may be convenient if a link to the LifeWiki LifeViewer article can be put somewhere beside the viewer itself.

Speaking of the ancient java applet, I remember seeing an instruction on LifeWiki, and it is now here. There were methods for loading a pattern and saving an image (either static or animated). I wonder if they could be adapted to said LifeViewer on the Home page?
Agreed, such functionality would be massively useful for wiki pages.

I recall there being an option to export images from lifeviewer, but it (the section on viewer.html) no longer seems to exist.
Last edited by muzik on April 27th, 2021, 1:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Change the main page to a LifeViewer embed/relocate News

Post by dvgrn » April 26th, 2021, 9:42 pm

muzik wrote:
April 26th, 2021, 8:37 pm
I recall there being an option to export images from lifeviewer, but it no longer seems to exist.
There's still NOGUI:

Code: Select all

x = 3, y = 3, rule = B3/S1e2-e3|B3/S23
3o$2bo$bo!
#C [[ NOGUI ]]
As this post mentions, you can bring up LifeViewer, then right-click on the image and Save As..., if that's useful. If you're not careful you can get the text "Copied to external clipboard" included in your image, though.

It would be nice to have a way to generate animated GIFs with LifeViewer, the way the applet used to be able to do, but I guess that would be Yet Another Feature Request!

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Re: Change the main page to a LifeViewer embed/relocate News

Post by bubblegum » April 26th, 2021, 11:02 pm

muzik wrote:
April 26th, 2021, 8:37 pm
I recall there being an option to export images from lifeviewer, but it no longer seems to exist.
Try the O key.
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Re: Change the main page to a LifeViewer embed/relocate News

Post by rowett » April 26th, 2021, 11:44 pm

bubblegum wrote:
April 26th, 2021, 11:02 pm
muzik wrote:
April 26th, 2021, 8:37 pm
I recall there being an option to export images from lifeviewer, but it no longer seems to exist.
Try the O key.
Also hotkey Shift+O creates an image of the population graph.

There are also new menu buttons in the latest build:
Settings->Pattern->Save Image
Settings->Pattern->Save Graph

EDIT:
Added a link to the Wiki article on LifeViewer.

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Re: Change the main page to a LifeViewer embed/relocate News

Post by muzik » April 27th, 2021, 1:50 am

Would it be possible to have a functionality added for creating animated images as well, to match the old java applet? Since Identify can calculate the displacement and such of a ship or period of an oscillator, perhaps the button could be made accessible through the results page on there, although that bars the creation of animated images for non-periodic patterns, which might be desirable in some cases.

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Re: Change the main page to a LifeViewer embed/relocate News

Post by muzik » December 12th, 2021, 12:32 am

Combining this with the main page rework detailed here might also be a possibility: just have the menu buttons at the top and the viewer below it, possibly?

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