Facsimile Project Adopts GPLv3

The Facsimile project has adopted the newly released GNU General Public License (GPL) version 3 for all future releases.

Facsimile was previously distributed under version 2 of the GPL.

Update: Sources from the Subversion repository on SourceForge with revision numbers of 19 and higher are licensed under the GPLv3; those with revision numbers of 18 and lower are licensed under the GPLv2.

If you are using the Bazaar repository on Launchpad (which is mirrored from the SourceForge system), then be aware that the version numbers in this system differ from the Subversion system. View the COPYING file in order to accurately determine the license.



I was searching the net for AutoMod related articles when I landed on your webpage. Your project seems very interesting. Do you have any roadmap or documented feature list for this project? Although I don't have much free time, I would like to contribute to an open source alternative to AutoMod, if this is your intention of starting this project.

Good Idea!

Firstly, thanks for your interest and offer of assistance. I don't have much free time either and need all the help I can get!

I guess it's about time that I published some form of roadmap for the project - you're right there! (There is actually a roadmap feature on the project's Launchpad site, although I doubt that this meets your needs right now. It's based around the concept of blueprints - specifications for features that need to be added to the software. Feel free to have a look and write up any features you're particularly interested in, being as specific as you can.)

The project is definitely open to suggestions. To me, that is one of the primary benefits of free software. Here's the (current) vision of what the 1.0 release of Facsimile will look like:

  • It's going to be a library of simulation routines - a framework that supports the development of simulation models - rather than a simulation model building application (such as AutoMod, etc.). That shouldn't prevent someone else from building an application on top of Facsimile, but that would go beyond the scope of the project right now. My rationale for this is that I find out-of-the-box simulation systems too restrictive. Most simulation tools employ an internal programming environment in recognition of this, but those languages are too often limited in scope, inefficient and unwieldy. To me a good object-oriented programming language, backed with a good simulation library is the way to go. (It's no co-incidence that the first object-oriented programming language, Simula, was designed to do simulations, or that Bjarne Stroustrup designed C++, at least initially, to perform simulations.)
  • It will have an interactive, true-scale, 3D model-space to represent what is happening inside the simulation. User's will be free to make this almost like a Virtual Reality environment, if they wish, or to create diagramatic, 2D representations, It will use Newton's physical laws to handle motion, although I'm currently unsure how far to take this. (The idea is to get away from the stations and control points that AutoMod uses and to model material handling systems in a less abstract way using motors, switches, stops, etc. That said, I don't see Facsimile as being limited to material handling simulations.)
  • It will be support the development of traditional simulations as well as emulations, in which the model is controlled by an external control system (in order to test and debug PLC & SCADA control logic).
  • It is not intended to be an AutoMod clone. I'm looking at being able to import AutoMod cell file data - and possibly even having some form of translator for converting AutoMod archive files (and other simulation formats) into Facsimile models. That's more of a wish-list item right now.

    In the short term, I hope to be putting out a "0.0" release within the next month that will at least allow basic simulation models to be constructed.

    If this meets your expectations, and you're still interested in joining in, then I'd be glad to have you aboard. I would suggest that you create accounts on both SourceForge and Launchpad and then request an account here. You can also send in a participation request using the site contact page. I'll then follow up with you about how you can get involved.

    Thanks again for your interest.


    Simulation engineers do it with models virtually every day!

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