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logisim-evolution

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Logisim is an educational tool for designing and simulating digital logic circuits. It has been originally created by Dr. Carl Burch and actively developed until 2011. After this date the author focused on other projects, and recently the development has been officially stopped (see his message here).

In the meantime, people from a group of swiss institutes (Haute École Spécialisée Bernoise, Haute École du paysage, d'ingénierie et d'architecture de Genève, and Haute École d'Ingénierie et de Gestion du Canton de Vaud) started developing a version of Logisim that fitted their courses, integrating several tools -- for instance a chronogram, the possibility to test the schematics directly on an electronic board, TCL/TK consoles, ...

We have decided to release this new Logisim version under the name logisim-evolution, to highlight the large number of changes that occurred in these years, and we actively seek the contribution of the community.

Languages

Logisim supports many languages. Many of them are automatically translated by deepl. If you detect bizar translations please do not hesitate to correct them in the corresponding property files and ask for a pull-request.

What's new in logisim-evolution

  • chronogram -- to see the evolution of signals in your circuit
  • electronic board integration -- schematics can now be simulated on real hardware!
  • board editor -- to add new electronic boards
  • VHDL component -- a new component type whose behavior is specified in VHDL
  • TCL/TK console -- interfaces between the circuit and the user
  • DIP switches
  • RGB LEDs
  • large number of bug-fixes
  • GUI improvements
  • automatic updates
  • code refactoring
  • ...

Running logisim-evolution

You can find an already compiled stable version of the code here. To execute it, run the downloaded file or type in a console/terminal:

java -jar logisim-evolution.jar

You can also compile it by yourself by cloning the repository on your local machine and making sure that at least OpenJDK 9 is installed. Once this is done, enter the directory and execute:

./gradlew run

or on windows:

gradlew run

If you wish to create a distribution which can then be run without gradle, execute:

./gradlew shadowJar

or on windows:

gradlew shadowJar

which will create a new jar file in build/libs called logisim-evolution-<version>-all.jar you can distribute freely.

On macOS, you can build a native app bundle Logisim-evolution.app using:

./gradlew createApp

which you will afterwards find in the folder build/macApp/. This has the advantage that .circ files get automatically associated to the Logisim-evolution.app so that you can open them directly in the Finder. Note: Curently, the app needs a separately installed compatible JDK/JRE to execute. You may also build a DMG image logisim-evolution-<version>.dmg containing Logisim-evolution.app for distribution:

./gradlew createDmg

which you will find in the folder build/distribution.

Testing logisim-evolution

As logisim-evolution needs updates (new features and patches) and currently lacks unit tests, the testing branch was created. The goal of this branch is to add new features/patches without affecting the release on branch master. Users who are willing test new features should checkout the testing branch. The feedback from users is really appreciated as it makes logisim-evolution better. Feel free to use the issue tab to report bugs and suggest features.

Then every semester, the testing branch will be merged in the master for a new release.

Code style

All logisim java files have been converted using google-java-format. If you are using eclipse there is a plugin available to adhere to this standard. More information on the google java format can be found here. At the moment version 1.6 is used.

Documentation

Here you can find a tutorial (French version here) that explains some basic usage of Logisim. The electronic card referenced in the tutorial is a small card we use in our laboratories -- you won't be able to buy it in a store -- but the descriptions should be good enough to be used for another generic board.

Another good reference is this book, the accompanying lab manual, and YouTube channel, where basic electronics is explained with the help of Logisim.

Development

Logisim-evolution uses gradle for project management which means it can be easily imported into most modern IDEs.

Instructions on how to import a gradle project into Eclipse can be found here.

Instructions on how to import a gradle project into IntelliJ IDEA can be found here under "Importing a project from a Gradle model" title.

Retro-compatibility

We cannot assure retro-compatibility of logisim-evolution with files created with the original Logisim. We have incorporated a parser that alters the name of the components to satisfy VHDL requirements for variable names, but components evolved in shape since then (e.g. RAM and counters). You might need to rework a bit your circuits when opening them with logisim-evolution -- but the changes will be stored in the new format, therefore you have to do your work only once.

Wish-list

Logisim-evolution is a continuously-growing software, and we have several ideas we would like to implement. In particular, we would like to have

  • unit tests for the code
  • extensive documentation
  • test circuits
  • ...

If you are willing to contribute with any of these, please feel free to contact us!

How to get support for logisim-evolution

Unfortunately, we do not have enough resources to provide direct support for logisim-evolution. We will, however, try to deal with the raised issues in a best-effort way.

If you find a bug or have an idea for an interesting feature, please do not hesitate to open a ticket!

License

The code is licensed under GPLv3.

Credits

The following institutions/people actively contributed to logisim-evolution:

If you feel that your name should be in this list, please feel free to send us a mail!

Other Logisim forks available on the net

  • Logisim holycross - a branch from logisim evolution(2.13.14) with several great enhancements made by Kevin Walsh. Currently there is an effort ongoing to merge these features in evolution.
  • Logisim by Joseph Lawrance et al. - they have started from Burch's original code and integrated it in several open-source development frameworks, cleaning up the code. We have taken a few code cleanups and the redo functionality from their code.
  • logisim-iitd - IIT Delhi version of Logisim, it integrates the floating-point components within the arithmetic unit.
  • Logisim for the CS3410 course, Cornell University - they have a very interesting test vector feature, that was only recently integrated into logisim-evolution.

Alternatives

  • A complete rewriting of Logisim, called Digital, has been developed by Prof. Helmut Neemann of the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University Mosbach.
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