By Andrew Trevorrow
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Golly is an open source, cross-platform application for exploring Conway's Game of Life and many other types of cellular automata.
Supports bounded and unbounded universes, with cells of up to 256 states.
Supports multiple algorithms, including Bill Gosper's super fast hashlife algorithm.
Many different types of CA are included: John von Neumann's 29-state CA, Wolfram's 1D rules, WireWorld, Generations, Langton's Loops, Paterson's Worms, etc.
Reads RLE, macrocell, Life 1.05/1.06, dblife, and MCell files.
Can extract patterns and rules from zip files.
Can download patterns and rules from online archives.
Includes a state-of-the-art pattern collection.
Extensive help, with an integrated Life Lexicon.
What's New in Version 1.1
- This version introduces a new rule format. A file in the new format has a .rule extension and contains all the information about the rule: its name, description, table/tree data, and any color/icon information.
- The RuleTable and RuleTree algorithms have been replaced by a new algorithm called RuleLoader.
- If the Paste button sees pasteboard text starting with "@RULE rulename" then it will save the text as Documents/Rules/rulename.rule and switch to that rule.
- When the Rule dialog is switched to the RuleLoader algorithm it will display links to all the .rule files in Documents/Rules/ and to the supplied .rule files.
- Icons can be displayed at scales 1:8, 1:16 and 1:32 by turning on the "Show icons" option in either the Settings tab or the Pattern tab's state picker window.
- Fixed a bug that could cause the Undo/Redo buttons to be incorrectly enabled/disabled after tapping STOP.
- The Open tab has READ and EDIT links that let you display or change the contents of pattern files. Only files stored in the Documents folder can be edited.
- After tapping on a DELETE link you now get a warning dialog asking if you really want to delete the corresponding file.
- The size of text in the Help tab has been increased.
- Added support for iTunes file sharing.
Best GOL (game of life)
To those of you NOT already familiar with Conway's Game of Life, this is not an actual game. It is a simulation of cellular automata. You'll want to do a bit of research before you'll want this app. I suggest running a glider with pencil and graph paper for a few generations, so that you really appreciate this app. :-)
I downloaded a bunch of GOLs, and this is "the one". Infinite universe (no wrapping), amazing zoom/pan, amazing speed, amazing library of patterns, great user interface. I can't think of any improvements that don't involve telepathy.
Best Cellular Automata Program
I've been using Golly on my desktop since 2008. It is, without competition, the best program for discovering and simulating 2D cellular automat. The intuitive yet powerful Rule Table format for defining rules, combined with scripting, make it excellent for finding interesting rules, and the Python scripting combined with Hashlife make discovering and engineering patterns easier than in any other program I have used.
Old program redone well
Golly has been around for a while and comes from a traditional programming tradition long before iPads, Windows 7, and the like.
This is a good implementation for the iPad and has afforded me many hours of fun and learning about Conway's Game of Life. There are other cellular simulations, but Life is the real stuff.