10 years agoThe original goal of EduMIPS64 was running from every (student) computer, across different operating systems, by installing as few dependencies as possible. 10 years ago, the way we identified to reach this goal, thanks to the suggestion of our teacher, Fabrizio Fazzino, was to implement the simulator in Java and make sure it would run as a web applet.
EduMIPS64, indeed, today can run as a desktop application and also as a Java applet, if you really want.
But, in all honesty, it is very cumbersome to run EduMIPS64 (or anything else) as a Java applet. The user interface does not adapt well to a web page, since it's exactly the same one of the desktop application. Let's not even mention running on mobile.
Finally, today we have finalized a very crude proof-of-concept, that demonstrates running the EduMIPS64 core behind a highly simplistic user interface. It is reachable at the following URL:
The cross-compilation was executed using Google Web Toolkit (GWT), and more specifically the JsInterop features present in GWT 2.8.0 (SNAPSHOT version).
The EduMIPS64 code was not exactly ready for this. GWT supports a subset of the libraries in the standard JDK, and things like Swing or java.io are not present there. So we had - of course - to completely scrap away the Swing code, but also had to deal with more surprising omissions like java.io.BufferedReader, java.util.regex and other libraries used here and there in the simulator.
I consider this a small "present" for myself for the 10 years of EduMIPS64. I had this idea in mind for years, but never found the time or willpower to work on it. The idea that 10 years passed since we started working on the simulator was a trigger to work on this small project.
The current proof of concept is absolutely inadequate to use in classrooms, so a proper web interface now needs to be developed. I would imagine that a first milestone would be implementing a minimum, critical subset of features to make the new web interface acceptable for classroom use.
But the fun will come after that. Using web technologies opens up several new possibilities, including - for example - a good mobile experience, sharing sessions among users (real-time collaboration!), integration with cloud storage providers, and - of course - a more modern UI with a decent look-and-feel.
There is no concrete plan to deliver all this, but some things are happening in the background, with other people potentially interested in this project, so stay tuned for updates! If you are interested in working on this, please get in touch with me on Github.
Oh.. and... happy birthday EduMIPS64! You turned 10 at some point between March and April 2016 (depending on how we count). :)