Frequently not asked questions:

What is this all about, what am I supposed to do with this?

This is a generalization of the Game of Life. So you should do what people have done with the Game of Life: find a glider gun, construct huge spaceships, make a collection of all oscillators, build a huge turing machine, etc. There's only a small problem: in SmoothLife this is not so easy, because unlike than in the GoL there is no grid. Oscillators, blinkers, blocks, debris seem to have vanished, it seems to be an artifact of the "quantization" that GoL is based on. But there's another thing you can do in SmoothLife: you can build an arbitrary snm function. And maybe this way get back all the nice stuff of GoL. I don't know. For the time being, with the four parameters, there's already a lot of stuff to find, like different glider forms and so on. Recently I found a rotating hexagonal structure with smooth time stepping mode 2, just by accident. I never even searched for it for a second. It just was there sometime. Press 'm' and you have a new starting point for a new adventurous search program next time.

I'd like to modify the snm function like you say, but how do I do that?

Yeah, good point. At the moment you can only do that by modifying the shader code. (I'm not speaking of mixmode, sigmode, sigtype here, obviously, but a more general way to modify snm.) There should be a user-friendly but at the same time flexible and very general way to do that, I just don't know how, yet.

Why aren't you including all the parameters that you found already?

In my videos you see a lot of parameter settings that I found over the course of weeks and months during the development. Everytime I included something new, like the new time stepping mode 2 for example, or the 3D mode obviously, I go on a new search. I have found many more stuff than is even shown on youtube. But I prefer to leave it private for the moment, because I want people to find their own stuff. At some point in time I might include also my full config file with all the stuff I found. But this would ideally be at a time where already many people have found also a lot of their stuff. So, basically I'd like it to be a sort of "show me yours then I'll show you mine" thing.

There seems to be no versioning system, isn't that unprofessional?

Yeah, right. It's confusing and annoying that you have to look, if he has updated something sometimes, etc. I have my own versioning system here on my computer, so the history is archived, no worries, but I consider this not important enough at the moment. Of course if the project would grow bigger with more participants, etc., I would start with version numbers, versioning system, and so on. If you want to know, what's new, you can use WinMerge, and compare older with newer versions if you've saved the older ones, but to document and describe all this publicly, would make no sense for me at the moment. I do it for my own of course. But I can't pretend this to be a big, important project if I have only two people downloading my stuff and they don't even speak to me a word. I don't even know if my program works on their computers or not, or how fast, or anything at the moment. Nobody has ever spoken to me about SmoothLife (the program, not the model) as of now.

Your code is horrible, it has no class structure, a lot of global varibales, I'm a teacher and I can't give this to my students to learn programming, you're such a bad programmer and role model.

Yeah, right. Well, make it with classes then, if that's fun for you.

There is no history file, no todo list and no license, what are you crazy?

For the history, see above. For the todo stuff, I already told you about the snm function thing, and see the presentation on youtube. For the licensing, I can only tell you, go ahead, program an iPod App or what else you do today to make money, and make millions with it, I don't care. Claim SmoothLife as your invention, I don't care. Because everybody already knows who's invention it is. It is on youtube, vimeo, sourceforge and even other places, I don't mention here. I have proof, evidence and witnesses, also in the professional field, I have email contacts, etc. So you have no chance of claiming it as "yours" anyway. For the money I don't care, and even if you do, I won't sue you, so go ahead, make it famous, make it popular. But I don't even care for that! If I die and nobody ever has known about SmoothLife, I'm fine with that also.

Does SmoothLife have any implications for physics, I mean like particle physics, quantum physics and such?

Yes, it is basically the explanation of everything. And it runs in OpenGL texture buffers!

Is SmoothLife class 4, i.e. turing complete, i.e. capable of universal computation?

I'm absolutly certain that it is, although I have no proof at the moment. Why shouldn't it be? There's much more turing complete stuff around than you or I imagine, I guess. Probably spacetime is already turing complete on its own without adding anything. I mean, a pile of sand is turing complete, Rule 110 is turing complete, so why of all should SmoothLife not be turing complete? If you look at SmoothLifeL for example, I see class 4 there. You've got blocks, oscillators and gliders there. There should be a way to construct logic gates with it. And it is not dependent on the grid spacing or dt, I checked that (empirically)! And if you come with a mathematical proof, that SmoothLifeL is not turing complete and the stable structures vanish for dt or grid spacing going to zero, then I'll tell you, ok, then include the grid for god's sake, and make it as fine as you want, but always finite and not infinitesimal. That would be an achievement already in my opinion. But I believe it also holds mathematically for everything going to zero.

If you're so smart why aren't you rich?

Yeah, good joke. Probably because all the stupid people are already rich. Not everybody can be rich you know.

Why are you writing pi=6.2831... everywhere in your code instead of pi=3.1415...?

Because that's stupid! IT'S STUPID SETTING PI=3.1415... AND THEN WRITING 2*PI EVERYWHERE! See, that's why I'm not rich.

Development seems to have ceased, there haven't been updates for years. Is the project dead?

Ha! You don't know me! But I know me, and I can tell you, that it doesn't work that way with me. Expect surprises anytime, even if I haven't done anything for years.


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