ANN: Confluence -> Python for Hardware Verification

Tom Hawkins tom1 at
Wed Jun 4 20:24:18 CEST 2003

christopher.saunter at (Christopher Saunter) wrote in message 
> : Confluence actually originated from a Python based HDL called
> : ParaCore (
> I use a rather simpler (read naffer ;-) Python based simulater for 
> synchronous logic I wrote to help design some dspish projects.  One thing 
> I use is a GUI front end, primarily for visualising dataflow through a 
> desgin - I find visual feedback drastically simplifies aligning data 
> pipelines and control flow etc.  From a brief look at the Confluence docs 
> on the Python model, it should not be to involved to produce a GUI 
> front end for it.  Is this something Launchbird plan, or is there 
> scope / interest for a GUI front end for visualisation of the Python 
> models?  Of the various suported languages, I expect Python would be the 
> best suited to such a task.

I also believe dataflow visualization (aka. block diagrams)
greatly aids design and debugging.  Before coding, we
used to sketch out components in Simulink, just using subsystems,
ports, and wires; nothing else.  Simulink is great for this.
I just wish Matlab sold a low-cost non-simulation version.

I've search the net many times, but have never found a good
open-source block diagram editor -- a tool that is not only
invaluable for hardware design, but also very practical for
software applications, especially hard real-time systems.

For the near future, Confluence will stay strictly command line.
At one point, we did consider incorporating model visualization,
but we were just too busy to get it off the ground.

However, if an open-source Python/wxWindows block diagram editor project
were to appear on the seen, we would certainly contribute development
time.  And given the BDE's file format, we'd build up code to
translate from our internal representation.

> Also, from reading the docs, maybee it's time I revived my side project of 
> investigating Haskell...

May I recommend Ocaml?  We couldn't have gotten Confluence flowing without it.


Tom Hawkins
Launchbird Design Systems, Inc.
tom1 at

> : The first Confluence seat is free, indefinite, and
> : enables the full compiler -- no size or performance restrictions.
> : Our revenue comes from the medium to larger design firms.
> Nice one.  I hope that aproach proves fruitfull - it is certianly 
> appreciated at my end of the world.
> Cheers,
> 	Chris Saunter

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