Trivia and history

"Reso" refers to both the circuit description language and the simulator.

Reso is not a cellular automaton, because regions of cells update neighboring regions, allowing them infinite reach, whereas cellular automata operate over a finite neighborhood.

Reso instead defines a digital logic circuit graph. That is to say, the visual language is used to define a logic graph.

Reso is called "visual" rather than "graphical", because saying "the visual language is compiled to a graph" is less confusing than "the graphical language is compiled to a graph".


In 2015, took a digital logic design course at UConn and came up with the initial sketch for Reso. This course lifted the veil on the fantastic Minecraft Redstone computers I had seen years prior. I proposed the idea as a senior design project in 2017, but it was rejected.

Early 2018, I implemented a custom three-species Game of Life and a three-species Brian's Brain-esque cellular automata. Implementing these gave me good enough chops at working on a grid to implement Reso.

So I ultimately implemented Reso in Python in the summer of 2018. You can see the original Python implementation here.. I tried learning Rust this summer with the intention of reimplementing Reso, but I didn't get too far.

In 2021, I reworked Reso, updating the palette and logo and cleaning up the code for presentation at the 2021 BangBangCon (!!Con).

In 2022, ashirviskas made a Rust implementation, but I honestly did not know enough Rust to understand it! I went back to doing my own implementation.

Early 2023, I was able to start writing Rust in earnest. I learned a lot while writing Phantasm, a fantasy assembly language.

Over this whole time, Reso was stewing in my mind, and I realized a number of improvements that could be made. So, when I reimplemented Reso in Rust in late 2023, I did a complete overhaul, with very little translation from the original Python source.

Honestly, I am not great at Rust. If you're someone who thinks they know better, I'd happily welcome improvements and criticism!