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3.1 The coNCePTuaL GUI

The coNCePTuaL graphical user interface (GUI) is the easiest way to get started with coNCePTuaL. Instead of writing code in the coNCePTuaL language (documented in detail in Grammar), a user merely draws a communication pattern using the mouse, and the coNCePTuaL GUI automatically produces a coNCePTuaL program from that illustration. The generated program can then be compiled just like a hand-coded coNCePTuaL program as per the instructions in Compiling coNCePTuaL programs.

The coNCePTuaL GUI is written in Java and therefore requires a Java virtual machine (JVM) to run. However, the coNCePTuaL GUI is quite portable and should run identically on every platform for which a JVM exists. The following is a typical command for launching the coNCePTuaL GUI from the command line:

java -jar ncptlGUI-1.5.jar

The coNCePTuaL GUI is split into two main panels. The program panel displays the components that make up the program and how they interact with each other. The dialog panel displays fields for setting the options of selected components. Furthermore, a menu bar provides access to various GUI-wide operations, and a command bar includes buttons for creating new components in the program panel.

Screenshot of the coNCePTuaL GUI

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Scott Pakin,