Writing a Book on Simulation Takes Time
By Jakob Engblom
For the past half a year, I must admit to slacking off badly in my Simics blogging. The reason is that I have been directing my creative energies into writing a book about Simics together with Daniel Aarno, a long-time Simics colleague from Virtutech and Intel. The book is coming out towards the end of 2014, and we are now on the final stretches of the project. I look forward to sharing pieces from the book with you, as well as getting back to regular Simics blogging.
Why did we do the book? Because it was needed. We have had lots of users asking for some kind of textbook to help them better understand how to use Simics and how to build their simulators. Not just a manual, but more of a book on concepts and design patterns and architecture. We have universities ask for a textbook appropriate for courses involving Simics and Simics-style virtual platforms. The upcoming book is trying to address those needs.
What we have tried to capture in the book is all that we have learned in our long experience building, selling, and using Simics. Over the years, Daniel and I have been in many customer meetings and discussions with users, explaining similar concepts and design issues over and over again. When you get the same question for the tenth time and you can whip out a slide and an answer almost without thinking, it is time to capture that knowledge in writing and make it available for users to find and read on their own accord.
Compared to writing manuals or FAQs, the textbook format is much more suitable for this kind of content. It allows for longer explanations and telling stories about what has worked and what has not worked in the past. We have also included a long list of references in the book, which we hope will lead the readers on to dig even deeper into the principles, mechanics, and history of virtual platforms and simulation technology.
Over the next months, we will be posting some sample contents and chapters from the book, starting with a piece on continuous integration and Simics. Also, do not forget to check out the Intel Technology Journal that was published last year, and which also contains a lot of Simics usage experience.