Golly 2.1 Released (with Online Archive Support!)
One of the things that has bothered me severely with the status of Conway’s Game of Life on the internet (and the main reason that I started the LifeWiki) is the severe fragmentation of information about the game — there are tidbits of knowledge sprinkled all over the place, but it’s quite a task to find a complete collection of patterns of a specific type unless you already know where to look. Fortunately, this fragmentation problem just got knocked around quite a bit by the release of Golly 2.1.
Golly is an open-source, cross-platform application for exploring Conway’s Game of Life (and it is probably currently the most widely-used such program). Version 2.1 was just released this week, and it’s a particularly exciting update from my point of view because it introduces a feature that has been long-needed in the Game of Life world — access to online pattern collections.
The pattern collections that Golly 2.1 can access by default are as follows:
- The LifeWiki pattern archive
- David Eppstein’s database of gliders in Life-like cellular automata
- Alan Hensel’s pattern collections
- Jason Summers’ pattern collections
Additionally, Golly can directly download rules from the cellular automata Rule Table Repository and scripts from the Golly Scripts Database. So now all the interested Lifer has to do to find out about (for example) period 51 oscillators is open up the LifeWiki pattern archive, select “oscillators”, and either load a relevant pattern or click on the help link beside it to bring up the corresponding page at LifeWiki. Take that, fragmentation of information.
Anyway, other changes have of course been made for the new release of Golly as well — a complete list can be found here. Or just go right ahead and…