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Working with model diagrams : Saving and re-running a Simile editing session

Simile v6 introduces the ability to save and re-play the actions that are carried out in a model editing session. This is useful for presentation and training purposes.

Normally, when editing a model, the 'undo' and 'redo' buttons will move the process back or forwards one operation each click. But during re-play of a session, they can move the action forwards or backwards between pre-defined points. This is useful to skip to important points in the model development process.

To record a session, open a previously saved model or start with a blank desktop. While making changes to the model, when you reach a point at which you want the replay to pause, select View -> In replay -> Pause from the desktop menu. Do not save the model while recording a session, as playback will start from the last point at which a model is loaded or saved. When you have completed the session, select Export -> Session record, and choose a file name for it. It will have the .ssn extension.

To play back the session, in an empty model window, simply select Import -> Session record and navigate to the session you saved earlier. If the session started with opening a model, Simile will re-open the model. It will run through the session to the first point at which you selected a pause while creating it. Note that if you want to start with a view of the model you initially loaded, you should select a pause immediately after loading it.

You can now use the 'redo' button to jump forward through the session between the saved pause points. After the last pause, the model will jump to the end of the session. The 'undo' button will jump back to earlier pauses and eventually to the beginning of the session. You can navigate backwards and forwards through the session with the two buttons. If you start editing the model directly during a session playback, the part of the session after where you were when you edited it will be lost -- the 'undo' button will now take you back through your edits as normal, then back through the session jumping between pause points, and 'redo' will take you forward through the session and then into the new edits at the point at which you made them.

Long sessions can be recorded in several stages. After recording the first stage, you can save the model if required, then in a new empty desktop, play back the session and continue to work on the model, creating further pause points. When you save the session again, it will consist of the two sessions running one after the other.

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