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Recipe for the week of February 19 - 25

Strong Java: Callahan's Animated Life Archive

Four week's ago we advertised the first Java-based implementation of Conway's Life that is able to run under Netscape 2.0, a colorful little applet from Orbital Technology. This week's soup promotes a new and much more ambitious implementation from Paul Callahan.

Callahan's Life page, a featured link in our Kitchen Sink, is rapidly becoming one of the premiere CA resources on the entire Web. For some time now, Paul has provided an extensive library of Life creatures and initial states, in .lif and .gif formats. His archive contains not only the classic creations of Conway and a host of experimentalists from the '70s and '80s, but also more exotic recent discoveries by current cognoscenti such as David Bell, Tim Coe, Al Hensel and Callahan himself. Two of my favorites, Max and The Snail have been featured here as previous Soups of the Week.

Now Callahan has brought his menagerie to life, with clickable Java animations of the entire collection. Our soup shows the interface used to control a merry-go-round of gliders designed by Al Hensel. Selecting the round image from his archive, then hitting the Start button, one instantly sets Life in motion without need for an external viewer. See Callahan's documentation for more about the interface, which includes the abilities to step through time and scroll through (a large array of) space.

As explained before when we featured the Orbital applet, here are links that allow you to watch and make Java movies such as Callahan's. Enjoy!

Download Netscape 2.0
For the moment Netscape 2.0 is the only first-rate browser that supports Java. Get it if you haven't already!

Java Developer's Kit 1.0
Download the programming environment for Solaris or Windows 95/NT platforms.

Java Home Page
General information and links to Java applet libraries.

The Source for Callahan's Life

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