ncursesoflife: Manipulate the show

My posts have become rather wordy of late, particularly when compared with the early days of this site. I should work on trimming back on the word count. This is a good one to start with: ncursesoflife.


It’s a smaller project, but also a newer one. Two renditions of Conway’s Game of Life have graced these pages — zivot and ncurses-life. I like ncursesoflife better than either of those, because it allows you to draw out your own patterns, and watch them evolve. (True, zivot allowed that, but zivot had problems that eclipsed its few “features.” 😦 )

Arrow keys to navigate. Space bar to mark or remove a cell. The “p” key is a play/pause button. Speed controls are with the plus and minus keys. And I see by picking through the code that pressing “i” blanks the screen so you can start over without quitting or erasing every cell one at a time.

Downsides: Lacks any onboard help, which seems to be a theme these days. :\ Cell growth can wrap around the screen, but your cursor can’t, which is occasionally annoying. Pressing “i” also blanks the iteration counter. Pressing “i” also doesn’t pause the game, and pressing “i” also doesn’t seem to work while the game is paused. From a player standpoint, it seems like both of those should be reversed.

Thus far, after almost two years of digging around in console applications, I think this is the version of ‘Life that I like best. There are more out there and perhaps another will take its place. We shall see. Oh yes, we shall see. … 😐