Chapter 1: Introduction
Electric plug-ins are additional pieces of code that can be downloaded separately
to enhance the system's functionality.
If you are building from the java.net repository or are using Java Web Start to run Electric,
then all of these plug-ins are already available.
If, however, you are running from the GNU download,
then these plugins are not present and must be downloaded separately.
Currently, these plug-ins are available:
- Static Free Software extras (IRSIM, Animation)
This plugin contains all of the pieces of Electric, written by Static Free Software, that are unable to be packaged
with the GNU download (for licensing reasons).
It includes the IRSIM simulator and interfaces to the 3D Animation options.
The IRSIM simulator is a gate-level simulator from Stanford University.
Although originally written in C, it was translated to Java so that it could plug into Electric.
The Static Free Software extras are available from Static Free Software at
- Bean Shell
The Bean Shell can be added to Electric to enable Java scripting and parameter evaluation.
Advanced operations that make use of cell parameters will need this plug-in.
The Bean Shell is available from www.beanshell.org.
Jython can be added to Electric to enable Python scripting.
Jython is available from www.jython.org.
Build a "standalone" installation to create a JAR file that can be used with Electric.
The 3D facility lets you view an integrated circuit in three-dimensions.
It requires the Java3D package, which
is available from the Java Community Site, www.j3d.org.
This is not a plugin, but rather an enhancement to your Java installation.
Please note that if you are using a 64-bit version of Java, you must install a 64-bit version of Java3D.
Also note that your video card driver must support OpenGL 1.2 or later in order for Java3D to work.
Another extra that can be added to the 3D facility is 3D animation.
This requires the Java Media Framework (JMF).
The Java Media Framework is available from Oracle at
(this is not a plugin: it is an enhancement to your Java installation).
To attach a plugin, it must be in the CLASSPATH.
The simplest way to do that is to invoke Electric from the command line, and specify the classpath.
For example, to add the beanshell (a file named "bsh-2.0b1.jar"), type:
java -classpath electric.jar:bsh-2.0b1.jar com.sun.electric.Launcher
Note that you must explicitly mention the main Electric class (com.sun.electric.Launcher)
when using plug-ins since all of the jar files are grouped together as the "classpath".
On Windows, you must use the ";" to separate jar files,
and you might also have to quote the collection since ";" separates commands:
java -classpath "electric.jar;bsh-2.0b1.jar" com.sun.electric.Launcher
The above text can be placed into a ".bat" file to make a double-clickable Electric launch.
You can also add Java switches and special Electric controls mentioned in Section 1-3.
For example, to add in the SFS extension and extend the memory to 1GB, you can put this line in the ".bat" file:
java -classpath "electric.jar;electricSFS.jar" -mx1000m
To find out which plugins are installed, click the "Plugins" button in the "About Electric..." dialog
(in menu Help).