Escalator Boxcar Train - Software

Over the last years I have developed a new version of the graphical user interface, which runs natively under Mac OS X, Linux and Windows using the Qt widget libraries. The package is now integrated into a single executable. Instructions to download and install the package can be found below. The program is in an on-going state of development. A manual is a most-wanted feature, which I unfortunately can not write due to a lack of time. Please give the program a try and let me know your experiences. If you encounter bugs (you may!) please report them to me by email. You can test your installation of the windows version, using the test programs. For information about changes that have been implemented from one version to the next, please consult the CHANGELOG file.

Mac OS X

EBTtool, Mac OS X version March 21, 2020

This is compiled on a Macbook Pro running Mac OS Mojave using the open source Qt 5.10.1 and Qwt 6.1.3. The program is dynamically linked, but all necessary libraries and frameworks are included. No further installation steps are required, just move the EBTtool.app into your /Applications folder.

EBTtool, Mac OS X version November 14, 2017

This is compiled on a Macbook Pro running Sierra using the open source Qt 5.9 and Qwt 6.1.3. The program is dynamically linked, but all necessary libraries and frameworks are included. No further installation steps are required, just move the EBTtool.app into your /Applications folder.

One common problem that you may encounter is that the program generates a module for the wrong type of architecture. If after compilation the program does not correctly load and run a particular model, try adding the flag '-arch i386' or '-arch x86_64' to both the compiler options and the linker options (of course without the '-characters). This forces the compiler to generate either 32 or 64 bit code. These options can be set on the ‘Advanced’ tab of the compilation window.

If in addition to the graphical user interface, you also want to be able to compile and run models from the command-line you have to define the EBTPATH environment variable as ‘/Applications/EBTtool.app/Contents/Resources’ (for example, by adding the line ‘export EBTPATH=/Applications/EBTtool.app/Contents/Resources’ to your .bashrc file). In addition, you should add the directory ‘/Applications/EBTtool.app/Contents/MacOs’ to your PATH variable. This will, for example, allow you to use the 'ebt' script for compiling a model executable that can be run from the command-line. See the manual for a description of these scripts.

Windows

EBTtool, Windows MinGW32 version (last modified October 12, 2016)

This is the latest version that is compiled with the MinGW32 compiler on a Windows 10 machine using the Open Source edition of Qt 5.7 and Qwt 6.1. The program is dynamically linked, but all necessary Qwt and Qt libraries and frameworks are included. No further installation of Qt DLL files is required. This package file contains not only the EBTtool program but also a very minimal set of components of the MinGW32 compiler that is sufficient to compile model files. Therefore, this package is completely self-contained, no further installation of files or modification of your Windows environment is required. Just extract the contents of this ZIP file of a directory of its own and start using the program "EBTtool.exe" that can be found in the directory.

EBTtool, Windows MSVC 2015 version (last modified October 12, 2016)

This is the latest version that is compiled with Microsoft Visual C++ Build Tools 2015 on a Windows 10 machine using the Open Source edition of Qt 5.7 and Qwt 6.1. The program is dynamically linked, but all necessary Qwt and Qt libraries and frameworks are included. No further installation of Qt DLL files is required. To be able to compile models with this version, you'll need the freely available Microsoft Visual C++ Build Tools 2015 compiler that you can download from here. After installation you have to define a number of Environment Variables to be able to use the compiler from the EBTtool. Find the “Advanced systems settings” tab for your version of Windows and choose “Environment Variables”. Make sure that the upper panel contains definitions for at least the following 4 environment variables:

Environment variable definitions for a default installation of Microsoft Visual C++ Build Tools 2015
VariableValue
VCINSTALLDIRC:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 14.0\VC
INCLUDE%VCINSTALLDIR%\include;C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\10\include\10.0.10240.0\ucrt
LIB%VCINSTALLDIR%\lib;C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\8.1\lib\winv6.3\um\x86;C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\10\lib\10.0.10240.0\ucrt\x86
PATH%VCINSTALLDIR%\bin

If these variables are not defined, create new environment variables with these names or edit existing variables to include the paths that are appropriate for your installation. Unfortunately, the settings of the INCLUDE and LIB environment variable will be dependent on the version of Windows that you are using, in particular the bit following the %VCINSTALLDIR%\include and %VCINSTALLDIR%\lib parts. The values above work on the Windows 10 system that is used for the compilation of this package. For your own system you will have to find the appropriate values under the directory C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits.

EBTtool, Windows MSVC 2010 version (last modified November 18, 2014)

This version is compiled with Microsoft Visual C++ Express 2010 on on a Windows 7 machine using the Open Source edition of Qt/Windows 4.8.4 and Qwt 6.0.1. The program is statically linked and hence does not need the Qt DLL files. To be able to compile models with this version, you'll need the freely available Microsoft Visual C++ compiler. If you do not have this compiler installed yet you will have to download the most recent version of the Microsoft Visual C++ Build Tools (see above for instructions). Otherwise, the only thing you have to do is to define a number of Environment Variables to be able to use the compiler from the EBTtool. Find the “Advanced systems settings” tab for your version of Windows and choose “Environment Variables”. Make sure that the upper panel contains definitions for at least the following 5 environment variables, but change the value of VCINSTALLDIR and potentially SDKINSTALLDIR depending on your version of Microsoft Visual C++.

Environment variable definitions for a default installation of Microsoft Visual C++ Express 2010
VariableValue
VCINSTALLDIRC:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0
SDKINSTALLDIRC:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v7.0A
INCLUDE%VCINSTALLDIR%\VC\include
LIB%VCINSTALLDIR%\VC\lib;%SDKINSTALLDIR%\lib
PATH%VCINSTALLDIR%\Common7\IDE;%VCINSTALLDIR%\VC\bin

If these variables are not defined, create new environment variables with these names or edit existing variables to include the paths that are appropriate for your installation.

Warning

Some note of warning about where to place the directory with the EBTtool program and its subfolders: The program is developed on a Windows machine with the US-English language. As such, it is not tested on machines that use foreign languages and we have indeed encountered problems on machines that use a language other than US-English. The program may, for example, not run properly if the complete path to the EBT directory contains non-standard ASCII characters, e.g. Japanese characters or accented characters. If you are working on such a machine, your safest option is to place the EBT directory directly at the root of your hard disk, i.e. in C:\ebttool. The same remarks may hold for where you place model and run files. If these are located in a directory, the complete path of which contains non-standard ASCII characters, the program might not function properly.

To start using the EBTtool, simply create a shortcut to the executable and place it on your desktop or start menu.

Linux

Please build the package from the source code (link provided below). I do not have access to a Linux machine any longer.

Source code

escbox-src.tgz or escbox-src.zip

These files have identical contents and contain the source code of the entire EBTtool package. It is the latest version of the source code, which is based on the Qt 4 Open Source widget library and Qwt 6. Follow the instructions in the COMPILE file to compile the package for your own system.

Test suite

EBTtest.zip

This zip file contains a model, run, graph and project files for testing purposes. Follow the instructions in the README.