Conway’s Game of Life on .NET 3.0

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything to this site, and while one excuse is that I was first looking for, and then ramping up in, a new job, another excuse is that I have spent the last four or five weeks checking out Windows Presentation Foundation and all the cool new interface programming techniques therein. The best way I know to get up and running on a new framework is to build something fun in it. The sample application I chose to immerse me in WPF was John Conway’s famous Game of Life. Yes, it’s Life! The game that has been implemented 1,195,043 times since 1970! Ok, so it isn’t a novel idea, and I am not even the first one to do it in XAML on the WPF. To make up for my sluggishness in getting up to speed on Vista-ness I obsessively massaged my implementation into a relatively polished state. Here’s a screenie:


AvalonLife running Gosper’s Glider Gun

I also wrote up a fairly exhaustive (others might say wordy, or long-winded) article on the design and implementation of the program. The article begins here. The program is available in .zip archive format with and without source code. Everything you need to run it is present in the default install of Vista. If you want to run it on XP you’ll need the .NET 3.0 runtimes, which are available here. If the source code is of interest you’ll need one or two other things. Instructions are at the end of the introduction to the article. Both packages include over 50 models in the AvalonLife .AVL native format, and you can also visit the Life Lexicon and drag the more than 100 models there onto the AvalonLife main window to load them. Have fun, and let me know what you think.

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