ALPACA turns 1.0

Friday, March 15, 2013

We have finally released version 1.0 of ALPACA, A Language for the Pithy Articulation of Cellular Automata.

The specification has been rewritten (although written would be more accurate) from scratch, and adds some new features to the language, such as being able to include an initial configuration in an ALPACA description, and handling neighbourhoods other than the Moore neighbourhood.

The reference implementation has also been rewritten from scratch, in Python this time. It can both interpret an ALPACA description, and compile it to Javascript. We plan to use the latter functionality to showcase some cellular automata on the website, which incidentally is looking a little less dire these days.

The version bump also cures two unpleasantnesses which are pet peeves of mine: ALPACA is no longer hanging out at version 0 (which sets it apart from, say, node.js), and the meaningless version numbers like 0.94 are now history. (It's not like it was the ninety-fourth iteration of anything.)