Because when I started in 1991, there wasn't anything else available for Windows (or at least I didn't know of one). In fact the first version was something I did when I was a student, in 1973 on a PDP-8 with a KV8/I storage scope display. I'd often wanted to have a Life program for a more modern machine, but it wasn't until Windows seemed fairly stable that I really got the urge. Winlife was an exercise in Windows programming, using MFC V1, as well as my first C program.
See the Links page for various web sites that include many, many patterns.
The distribution includes a Windows Help (.hlp) file. This is all the documentation there is. The interface is pretty intuitive, so the best way to get started is just to run Winlife32. You can press F1 to get context-sensitive help just about anywhere, or use the Help command to browse the documentation.
All that I could find. XLife is not a "standard", more like a convention, and every pattern collection seems to have a variation. Winlife32 uses simple heuristics to deal with XLife ambiguities. If you find a variant that doesn't work, let me know about it, with as many examples and details as you can. On output, it uses a subset that seems to be the most common. Pattern library files use XLife named blocks (#B/#E) for each pattern.
It's an update of the same software - you can even download it here if you want. I originally got Winlife out in 1995 with the intention of getting something better out "real soon". Getting rid of the 16-bit addressing made a lot of things possible, and other enhancements (such as pattern recognition) came along in their turn. If you're used to the old Winlife, you'll notice the following differences:
Of course there are a lot of new features too.
See the Technical FAQ.
OK, you got me. I made up the questions. If you have another question you'd like answered, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.