The Facsimile project's goal is to develop and maintain a high-quality, 3D, discrete-event simulation library that can be used for industrial simulation projects in an engineering and/or manufacturing environment.
Facsimile simulations run on Microsoft Windows as well as on Linux, Mac OS X, BSD and Unix.
Facsimile has become heavily reliant upon the JavaFX GUI/3D toolkit. Up to now, we've been using ScalaFX as our JavaFX interface, but we've found some issues with it. As a consequence, we're launching a new project, called sfx, to create a lightweight Scala wrapper for JavaFX for use within Facsimile.
The Facsimile project has relocated its development resources to GitHub from SourceForge and LaunchPad. We have found GitHub to be a superior development hosting site, that simplifies many project management issues while encouraging greater participation from the simulation community.
The Facsimile project now has a Twitter feed! Click the link below to follow us for news about releases, blog posts and other announcements.
It's been a while since I last posted, and I thought now would be a good time to update the project status.
Facsimile is not dead, merely having a nice, long nap. I changed jobs around six months ago and my new employer has monopolized my free time, effectively halting Facsimile development. This is not a permanent state of affairs and I hope to resume work on the project shortly.
As always, if you'd like to participate in the project, please feel free to get in touch via the contact page.
The relative performance of different programming languages has always been of great interest to me. I began my professional career back in 1986 when I worked as a developer on a now defunct commercial simulation product called See Why. See Why (developed at the time by a division of Istel Ltd. that is now better known today as Lanner Group) was a library of FORTRAN 77 routines that supported the development of visual, interactive discrete-event simulation models.
See Why was the original foundation of the still-popular Witness simulation application. At that time, Witness was a front-end to See Why that was also programmed in FORTRAN 77.
Some time ago, I blogged about the so-called Microsoft Tax - the hidden added extra cost that we all have to pay when we buy a new PC, if we happen to want to use a non-Microsoft operating system. At the time, none of the major PC vendors bundled anything other than Microsoft products with their hardware.
Since then, things have changed - a little.
I recently attended a simulation user group meeting at which an excellent presentation was given on the assembly line balancing problem (ALBP) by Dr. Dave Sly, the President of Proplanner. Dave outlined what solving an ALBP involved (allocating tasks to stations on a manufacturing production line), the constraints that must be satisfied by a feasible solution (satisfying task precedence requirements, meeting the required cycle time, amongst many others), and how his ProBalance software can be used to assist industrial engineers with line balancing. If you're doing line balancing, then the sheer complexity of the issues involved means that you're going to need a tool like ProBalance.
However, Dave's presentation touched upon a related problem that has been a sore point for me for many years in the automotive industry: job sequencing, and - in particular - job re-sequencing. Let me try to explain why...
In short, to be the best simulation/emulation tool there is.
Participation in the Facsimile project is both welcomed and encouraged!
You can get involved in a number of ways, depending upon how much time you can spare and how much experience and expertise you have to offer. At its simplest, you can get involved by using Facsimile and reporting your feedback (such as filing bug reports or enhancement requests). At the other end of the spectrum, you may wish to become a developer and work on the Facsimile code base, implementing new features and fixing bugs. Or you could volunteer to help out with the web-site, graphic design, documentation, testing, user support - in short, whatever you may feel comfortable with.
The Society for Modeling and Simulation International (formerly the Society for Computer Simulation, SCS) have to be the most inept "professional" organization that I have ever encountered.
My first dealings with SCS was some 8 or 9 years ago when I first took out membership with them. It took something like five months before I heard anything from them - and just a couple of months after that, they were sending me Past Due notices on my following year's membership - despite never having billed me or sent me renewal details. I stuck it out with them for couple of years, but in the end, I'd had enough and canceled my membership.