At the beginning of this chapter, the importance of the GUI was emphasized from the perspective of both the novice user learning about digital circuits to the experienced user who may wish to explore different event-driven simulation techniques. The GUI must therefore be easy to use for both new users and experts alike.
This section provides a high level description of the GUI as seen by the end user; it constitutes an abbreviated user's manual, which describes how the user interacts with the GUI to layout logic circuits, specify the circuit inputs and generate simulation output. Some lower level details are also presented to describe the implementation of some of the top level interface elements. More implementation details, especially with respect to internal representations are presented in Chapter 3.
The simulator GUI employs two windows -- the circuit editor window (also known as the main window) and the signal display window. Together, these two windows provide the necessary functionality which lets the user construct and simulate digital circuits. Both of these windows are discussed in further detail in the subsequent subsections.