Instructions for installing and starting SDML
SDML is implemented in VisualWorks
Smalltalk release 5i.2 Non-Commercial. The Centre
for Policy Modelling gratefully acknowledges the support of Cincom
Systems in providing us with VisualWorks, and allowing us to distribute
the VisualWorks object engines and SDML images based on the standard VisualWorks
image for non-commercial purposes.
Note that although SDML is free software distributed on the terms of
the GNU General Public License, the underlying
VisualWorks is distributed on the terms of Cincom's
license agreement, which you must also accept in order to use SDML.
You can use SDML on any of the platforms listed below:
You need at least 32Mb of RAM and around 40MB of disk space.
MS Windows 3.1/95/98/2000/NT
All of the files you need to install SDML can be downloaded by clicking
on links from this web page.
Please let us know you are downloading SDML
We would like to know of anybody who is trying SDML out. Please let us
know by subscribing to the SDML-users mailing list
or by sending an email message to Steve Wallis (S.Wallis@mmu.ac.uk).
Using anonymous ftp
We have provided an alternative way of downloading SDML using anonymous
ftp. If you have difficulties downloading SDML from this page (perhaps
due to how your web browser is configured), then you might want to use
anonymous ftp instead. Full instructions are provided in the plain text
Installation program - Windows platforms
If you are using MS Windows 95, 98, 2000 or NT (4.0 or above), then the
easiest way to install SDML is to download and run the
SDML installation program. This program installs all the files you
need to run SDML (including all the tutorial files) and adds items to the
start menu and desktop to make it easy to start SDML, read the tutorial,
uninstall SDML, etc. It also installs a "Readme" file which contains further
instructions (consult it rather than the remainder of this web page).
Downloading VisualWorks and SDML
First, create a directory (folder) in which to install SDML. This directory
is known below as the SDML installation directory.
Download one of the following VisualWorks
object engine files, depending on your platform, into the SDML installation
Create a sub-directory of the installation directory called "extras"
(in lower case if case is significant on your platform). Then:
Download the SDML image, "sdml4-1.im", and place it in the SDML
installation directory. You can download it simply by clicking
(9.3MB). Alternatively, you can fetch the image compressed
(4.5MB) or zipped
Optionally create another sub-directory of the installation directory called
"sheets" (in lower case if case is significant on your platform).
If you create this directory, you will be able to place Excel spreadsheets
in this directory, saved as ".CSV" (comma separated value) files,
so that they can be read into SDML using the "excelTable"
Download a features file, which contains some release notes for the current
release of SDML. The release notes are fairly technical, so they are most
useful for modellers who have already used a previous version of SDML (but
you may like to read them after working through the tutorial).
It is a text file, so you will probably need to use the "Save" option
in your web browser to save it in the "extras" directory, after
Ensure that you save it with the same name ("feat4-1.txt").
Optionally download features files for previous releases of SDML, and also
save these files in the "extras" directory. These files can be downloaded,
or viewed in your web browser, by clicking here.
Download a patches file, which contains lists of bugs together with patches
to this release of SDML (bug fixes and enhancements). Download the current
patches file for this release by clicking here.
Ensure that you save it with the same name ("sdml4-1.pat").
Download a help file, which contains some documentation that can be read
from within SDML (using a browser called the "navigator"). Download the
current help file for this release by clicking here.
Ensure that you save it with the same name ("sdml4-1.hlp").
In order to start SDML for the first time, it is necessary to extract the
Smalltalk object engine from the downloaded file and start it with the
SDML image as an argument. Platform-specific instructions to do this are
Launch WinZip 7.0
(or later), open Options->Configuration->Miscellaneous, and uncheck
"TAR file smart CR/LF conversion".
Open the downloaded object engine file in WinZip,
and extract it to the SDML installation directory. This creates the necessary
subdirectories and copies the files into their proper location.
Use the Windows Explorer to create a file extension
association for VisualWorks:
Switch to the installation directory, and double-click
on "sdml4-1.im" (or select it, shift right-click and choose "Open
With" from the menu, if ".im" files already have an association).
Click the "Other..." button, then find and
Check the "Always use this file ..." checkbox,
and click "OK".
Launch SDML by double-clicking on "sdml4-1.im".
Unix and Linux
Make the SDML installation directory the current
Expand the downloaded object engine file using these
This creates the necessary subdirectories and copies
the files into their proper location.
%tar -xvf filename_prefix.tar
Launch SDML using this command:
(where <plat> is the directory for
The object engine file may have been expanded when
downloaded. If the "bin:powermac:visualnc" file (the object engine)
is not present, open and extract it using StuffIt Expander 5.5 (available
Open Expander's preferences dialog to Cross Platform options, and
"Never" for "Convert Text Files
to Macintosh text format". Then for the
options, select "Same as original" for
for "Create Surrounding Folder".
Launch SDML by dragging "sdml4-1.im" and dropping
it on the application "visualnc" in the "bin:powermac" folder.
[When you have finished the customisation process described below,
the new image should have appropriate type and creator codes to enable
it to be restarted by double clicking on the icon.]
If you have installed and started SDML correctly, a window called the "SDML
launcher" should appear on the screen. If this does not happen, and you
can't solve the problem by consulting the installation instructions, contact
You may be prompted for the SDML installation directory and image filename
when you start up SDML for the first time. However, you will not be prompted
if you have set the current directory to the SDML installation directory
(by following the above instructions) and placed the image with its original
filename in that directory.
N.B. The current directory is normally used to specify the installation
directory, but a full path or relative path (relative to the current directory)
may be used instead. The syntax for the path is platform dependent. PCs
use the "\" separator whereas Unix platforms use "/". On
a Mac, a full path is of the form "Hard Disk Name:Folder Name:...:Folder
Name"; if the SDML folder (installation directory) is on the desktop,
the hidden folder "Desktop Folder" is used as the first folder name.
You will also be asked to specify the organisation that you work or
study for. Type it in and click "OK".
Some other message boxes may also appear, reminding you to customise
SDML. If any such boxes appear, click "OK".
You also need to accept Cincom's
license agreement for the underlying VisualWorks.
On most systems, the left button on your mouse is used for making selections
(e.g. in text, lists or buttons) and the right button (called "the command
button" in the tutorial) causes a menu specific to the pane in the window
to pop up. If you have a three-button mouse, the middle button may cause
a general window menu to pop up (common to all SDML windows). However,
on some systems you may need to hold down the "shift" or "control" key
while pressing a mouse button.
To finish customising SDML:
Now save the image, so that you will not have to customise this release
of SDML again. Do this using the "save image" option from the "File"
menu of the SDML launcher. You can either overwrite the existing image
or generate a new image file by specifying a different name. Note that
the image consists of the entire state of SDML, including all the windows
on the screen, and occupies several megabytes of disc space. Also note
that SDML automatically creates some additional files associated with the
image (such as ".ops" and ".vm" files). Therefore, the easiest
way of copying an image is to save it with a different name from within
SDML, ensuring that SDML copies and keeps track of all necessary files.
Open the settings tool, by choosing "settings" from the "File"
menu of the SDML launcher. This window has several different panes, that
can be opened by clicking on the tabs at the right hand side. Ensure that
the "Memory" tab is selected. It is important that you set the "preferred
image size" to a suitable value for your platform; this setting can
make a very big difference to the speed of SDML. Click on "Help"
in the settings tool for an explanation of the options. If you want to
change the default value, click in the appropriate box, edit the value
and click the "Accept" button. You may like to alter other settings,
but these are not so important.
Open the release browser, using the "open release browser" option
from the "File" menu of the SDML launcher. If you have downloaded
the features file correctly (into the "extras" directory without
changing the filename), the release notes for this release will appear
when you select it in the list of releases. Release notes for other releases
should also appear if you have downloaded them.
Click on the tabs at the bottom of the release browser labelled "Enhancements",
"Bugs" and "Fixes" in the release browser. If you have downloaded
the patches file correctly, lists of these should appear in the browser
(some lists may currently be empty). You are recommended to file in all
patches immediately, by choosing "file in all fixes and enhancements"
from the pop-up menu of the list of enhancements or fixes. [If this menu
option is greyed out, ignore this step since all available patches have
already been filed in.]
Create an account for yourself and log in. You can do this using the menu
of the middle pane of the SDML launcher (labelled: "Users:"). [Click
on the "Users" tab if necessary at the bottom of the launcher, so
that the appropriate panes appear.]
Installing and starting the tutorial
The tutorial starts with
a different image, so exit SDML (by choosing "exit SDML" from the
"File" menu of the SDML launcher.
You need to fetch some additional files for use with the tutorial -
all those here,
or in tarred
and tarred (6.0MB) or gzipped
and tarred (4.6MB) formats. [If you have PKZIP, you can fetch the image
(4.6MB), but you also need to fetch the other files here.]
Place all these files in the SDML installation directory.
One of those additional files is another SDML image called "sdmlintr.im".
Start up this image in the same way as described above, but use this image
filename instead of "sdml4-1.im". Again, you may be asked to specify
the SDML installation directory and filename.
Another of the additional files is a "virtual memory file" called "sdmlintr.vm".
This file contains some data generated during a simulation run. SDML will
look for this file in the installation directory when it starts up - if
it cannot find the file, it will warn you that the file is missing and
that the results of the simulation will be discarded. If you get this warning,
exit SDML and place this file in the installation directory - since the
simulation results are needed for the tutorial.
SDML may also suggest that you adjust the memory settings in order to
get good performance. The model you will construct in this image (on "day
1" of the tutorial) is very small so you should be able to safely ignore
this warning. However, the settings are important for "day 2" of the tutorial,
and for any further modelling you do. You will return to the original image,
that you should have already customised (as described in the section above
on customising SDML) when you reach "day 2".
You are now ready to start the tutorial. You can download the tutorial
as a PostScript file or view it in your web browser. Click here.
The SDML-users mailing list
This list (firstname.lastname@example.org)
is intended to facilitate discussion and mutual support for those who use
SDML. For example, it can be used for requests for help, hints and suggestions,
and general discussion of SDML's features.
The mailing list also enables users to be informed of new releases and
fixes and enhancements to the current release as they become available.
You are therefore strongly recommended to subscribe to it.
For more information about the mailing list, including how to subscribe
to it and browse its archive, click here.
If you have any problems downloading SDML, then please contact Steve
Wallis. Also mail him if you
think you have found a bug, or if you have any other problem with SDML
that you don't want to send to the mailing list.