Running GAMA for the first time requires that you launch the application (
Gama.app on MacOS X,
Gama.exe on Windows,
Gama on Linux, located in the folder called
Gama once you have unzipped the archive). Other folders and files are present here, but you don’t have to care about them for the moment. In case you are unable to launch the application, of if error messages appear, please refer to the installation or troubleshooting instructions.
Note that GAMA can also be launched in two different other ways:
Gama.app/Contents/MacOS/Gama path_to_a_model_file#experiment_name_or_numberon MacOS X
Gama path_to_a_model_file#experiment_name_or_numberon Linux
Gama.exe path_to_a_model_file#experiment_name_or_numberon Windows
Past the splash screen, GAMA will ask you to choose a workspace in which to store your models and their associated data and settings. The workspace can be any folder in your filesystem on which you have read/write privileges. If you want GAMA to remember your choice next time you run it (it can be handy if you run Gama from the command line), simply check the corresponding option. If this dialog does not show up when launching GAMA, it probably means that you inherit from an older workspace used with GAMA 1.6 or 1.5.1 (and still “remembered”). In that case, a warning will be produced to indicate that the models library is out of date, offering you the possibility to create a new workspace.
You can enter its address or browse your filesystem using the appropriate button. If the folder already exists, it will be reused (after a warning if it is not already a workspace). If not, it will be created. It is always a good idea, when you launch a new version of GAMA for the first time, to create a new workspace. You will then, later, be able to import your existing models into it. Failing to do so might lead to odd errors in the various validation processes.
As soon as the workspace is created, GAMA will open and you will be presented with its first window. GAMA is based on Eclipse and reuses most of its visual metaphors for organizing the work of the modeler. The main window is then composed of several parts, which can be views or editors, and are organized in a perspective. GAMA proposes 2 main perspectives: Modeling, dedicated to the creation of models, and Simulation, dedicated to their execution and exploration. Other perspectives are available if you use shared models.
The default perspective in which GAMA opens is Modeling. It is composed of a central area where GAML editors are displayed, which is surrounded by a Navigator view on the left-hand side of the window, an Outline view (linked with the open editor) and the Problems view, which indicates errors and warnings present in the models stored in the workspace.
In the absence of previously open models, GAMA will display a Welcome page (actually a web page), from which you can find links to the website, current documentation, tutorials, etc. This page can be kept open (for instance if you want to display the documentation when editing models) but it can also be safely closed (and reopened later from the “Views” menu).