logisim-evolution

Introduction: Digital logic designer and simulator
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Branch master: Java CI with Gradle

Branch develop: Java CI with Gradle

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

In the meantime, people from a group of Swiss higher education institutions (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 by integrating several new tools, e.g., 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 were made.

We actively seek the contribution of the community!

Languages

Logisim supports many languages. Many of them were automatically translated using DeepL. If you should find bizarre translations, please do not hesitate to correct them in the corresponding property files and to make 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 compiled versions of the code here. Starting with version 3.4.1, the following compiled versions are available:

  • logisim-evolution_<version>-1_amd64.deb: Self-contained package for Debian-based Linux distributions (e.g., also Ubuntu).
  • logisim-evolution_<version>-1.x86_64.rpm: Self-contained package for Fedora/Redhat/CentOS/SuSE Linux distributions.
  • Logisim-evolution_<version>.dmg: Self-contained package for macOS. Note that Logisim-evolution may be also installed using MacPorts using sudo port install logisim-evolution or Homebrew using brew install --cask logisim-evolution.
  • logisim-evolution_<version>.msi: Self-contained installer for MS Windows.

If you want to have the latest development version, you can build/run it by cloning the repository on your local machine and making sure that at least OpenJDK 11 is installed. Once this is done, enter the directory and execute:

./gradlew run

or on Windows:

gradlew run

If you wish to create a package, 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 that you can distribute freely and execute with any recent enough Java runtime environment using, e.g.:

java -jar logisim-evolution-<version>-all.jar

For all platforms, you can now generate a platform-specific installer, which gets saved in build/dist, by using OpenJDK 14 or later and running:

./gradlew jpackage

or on Windows:

gradlew jpackage

Note that jpackage creates the installer for the platform that builds it. Building cross-platform installers is not supported by Java's jpackage facility. You may need to install additional developer tools for the platform in order to build the installer. See Java's jpackage documentation for more details of tool requirements.

Testing Logisim-evolution

As Logisim-evolution is often updated, the branch develop, was created. The goal of this branch is to add new features/patches without affecting the stable release on branch master. Users who are willing to test new features should checkout the branch develop and build Logisim-evolution from source as described above. Feedback from users is really appreciated, as it makes Logisim-evolution better.

Feel free to use the Issues tab to report bugs and suggest features!

Contributing to Logisim-evolution

If you want to contribute to Logisim-evolution, this is how to do it:

  • Make a local fork of Logisim-evolution by clicking the Fork button.
  • Fix the bugs you want to fix on your local fork.
  • Add the features you want to add on your local fork.
  • Add/modify the documentation/language support on your local fork.

Once it is running without bugs on your local fork request a Pull request by:

  • Go to the Pull request-tab and click the button New pull request.
  • Click on compare across forks.
  • On the right hand side select your fork, for example: head repository: BFH-ktt1/logisim-evolution
  • On the right hand side select your branch, for example: base: bugfixes
  • On the left hand side select the development branch base: develop (Important: All pull requests must be on the branch develop as the branch master only holds the code of the latest stable release!)
  • Make sure that there are no conflicts reported.

Code style

All of Logisim's Java files have been formatted using google-java-format. If you are using Eclipse, there is a plugin available to enforce this formatting. At the moment, version 1.6 of the plugin 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".

Backward compatibility

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

Wish list

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

  • Unit tests for the code
  • More extensive documentation
  • Test circuits

If you are willing to contribute to 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. However, we will try to deal with the raised issues in a best-effort manner.

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-Evolution (Holy Cross Edition) - a fork from Logisim-evolution 2.13.14 with several great enhancements made by Kevin Walsh. Currently, there is an ongoing effort to merge these features back into Logisim-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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