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A pattern is referred to as Spartan if it can be easily constructed with a slow salvo. What is implied by easily is quite subjective and has changed over the years as technology has improved.

Current definition

A pattern is referred to as Spartan if it can be built with slmake in any orientation. This subsumes the previous definition, as it includes a much larger set of basic still lifes and period-2 oscillators (found by automated search), along with a set of 'bespoke' objects (provided manually):

Inter alia, this means that the dependent form of the syringe (recovery time 90) can be constructed.

2004 definition

The original definition of Spartan was put forward by Dave Greene, who defined it to be a 'constellation of well-separated still lifes, each of 7 of fewer bits'. The pond was later added to this list as it is particularly easy to synthesise, and is occasionally used as a catalyst and as a construction intermediate.

Spartan still lifes

These still-lifes are commonly considered Spartan: block, tub, boat, hive, ship, loaf, eater 1, long boat, pond. Snake and aircraft carrier are also small enough that they might be considered Spartan, but they are generally not included because in most conduits they can be replaced by an eater 1, which is easier to construct. Similarly, barge can be normally replaced by a boat. On the other hand, long boat is important not as a conduit component, but as the simplest color-changing 180-degree one-time reflector.

Spartan oscillators

These oscillators are regarded as Spartan: blinker, beacon, toad. Spartan oscillators are normally considered only as an intermediate synthesis product in p2 slow salvo construction. Pulsar is technically Spartan too, but it hasn't appeared useful enough to bother developing p3 or p6 slow salvo synthesis.

External links