The JeLSIM Builder toolkit is a FREE toolkit for producing educational simulations. The tools are written in Java and allow the user to create Java applets which can be delivered through a standard web browser. Creating simulations requires experience of the Java programming language to create a numerical model of the system/concept being simulated. Once the model has been written, simulation interfaces can be developed by teachers and content developers who have no knowledge of Java. Using the tools is little more difficult than using a drawing package.
Why Free? How Free?
The core value of these tools is in creating interactive and engaging educational content. As such we do not believe they should be sold as commercial products.
If you have downloaded a copy of JeLSIM Builder from the JeLSIM Web Site you have been given the right to use the JeLSIM builder tools subject to the conditions in the End User License Agreement (EULA). The EULA encourages you to use the tools but asks that you leave all trademarks and JeLSIM logos in place when the applets are deployed. Copies of JeLSIM Builder downloaded from the JeLSIM Web Site, are fully functional but include a small "Powered by JeLSIM" logo that appears below the applet. You are free to distribute applets produced using the JeLSIM tools however, we require you to display the "Powered by JeLSIM"
logo on any web page incorporating a JeLSIM applet. This highlights the fact that the tools were produced with the JeLSIM builder and provides a link back to our tools.
Pay to Protect
An extension to the standard deployment license can be purchased from JeLSIM. This can be used to lock the applets that you produce to named web servers to discourage unauthorised copying. Of course we would rather you made the applets you develop freely available, and indeed tell us about them so that we can link to them from the JeLSIM web site so that other users can find them and benefit from them too. Please contact JeLSIM for more information.
Although the JeLSIM Builder tools are not yet Open Source, releasing the source code under an Open Source license is something that we are keen to do and are currently investigating. The choice of Open Source license is critical because the software is quite mature (it is already fully functional). Also, preparing the software code and documentation for Open Source release will require a considerable amount of effort and we are still investigating ways to finance this activity.
The benefits of Open Source are numerous:
- The software immediately becomes available for the whole community to use. For instance, although the software is written in Java and is in principle cross platform, no installers have been built for macintosh or Linux (it does 'run' on both platforms)
- We are a small team and can't hope to code all the features we'd like to implement in the JeLSIM tools ourselves. Watch out on the web site for some of the ideas we've had but not implemented.
- The tools underlying structure and concept means that new visualisation objects made for one purpose may be re-used. Opening up the code should encourage this to happen.
- Extending the tools to interface with other technologies is also a possibility.
We've become a member of java.net and set up a jelsim project there: https://jelsim.dev.java.net/
. Our space on java.net will be used to support the tools when they make the transition to Open Source. We also have a discussion space on the java.net site - linked to from our menu.