About this Guide

This Guide presents an overview of the Swarm simulation toolkit. It is intended to be used in conjunction with other materials, which include the sample programs and tutorials provided by the Swarm team and the Swarm Documentation Set. Since this is a user guide, it is intended to be less formal and not so encyclopaedic as the Reference Guide to Swarm. When there is any doubt, the Reference Guide (and the source code itself) is the final, most appropriate, authority.

The inspiration for this Guide was provided by Benedikt Stefansson , who prepared a series of lectures for the 1998 and 1999 SwarmFests. Benedikt generated a series of slides and illustrations and many of them have been adapted for this Guide. He has also provided help in the form of sample code and advice about many topics.

Conventions used in this document:


Interesting fact(s), not necessarily of vital significance to the user.


A coding tip, a suggested convention to adopt or suggested usage.


Important fact(s) you should know before proceeding to the next section.


A note of caution, generally regarding a changed usage, deprecated functionality or other compatibility issue.


Vital information that a user needs to be aware of before proceeding.