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The JHDL documentation is divided into four main parts:

1. An Overview of JHDL

The first part is an overview of the history and current state of JHDL.

2. The JHDL Getting Started Guide

The second part is a JHDL Getting Started guide. Without going into much depth it leads you through the design and simulation of a complete circuit. Carefully working through this at the outset will help you see the big picture. As you do so don't fret about any of the details - everything in there is repeated in much more detail in the Users Manual. Again, the purpose of the Getting Started guide is to let you see the big picture of what JHDL can do.

3. The JHDL Users Manual

The JHDL Users Manual is meant to provide the in-depth discussion you will need to effectively use JHDL. The first three major sections are required reading before you start in on any real design using JHDL. First, JHDL Cells and Wires will discuss how JHDL elements (components and wires) are Java objects and may be instanced to create circuitry. The second section, Introduction to Creating Logic Descriptions with JHDL, and the four sections on levels of design which follow it continue by teaching you how to create logic descriptions in JHDL using various libraries of building blocks.

Once you have mastered those sections, you need to work through the section on verification tools to understand how the JHDL tool suite works for simulation, circuit browsing, and netlisting. After that, there are sections on some more advanced topics which you can read as the need arises.

4. The API Documentation

JHDL contains a number of libraries and packages. The documentation on those libraries and packages must be consulted to learn how to use them. While the Users Manual sections talk about them, there simply isn't enough information provided there to learn their use. Collectively these sections of documentation are called the API Documentation. This documentation is all automagically generated using the Javadoc utility.

To access the API Documentation for the Logic package do the following:

  1. Follow this link to the API Documentation.
  2. A frames-based Web page will come up. In the upper left corner you will see a list of Packages. Scroll down through the list. The interesting ones to you as a designer will be byucc.jhdl.Logic, byucc.jhdl.Logic.Modules, and byucc.jhdl.Xilinx.Virtex. Click on byucc.jhdl.Logic link.
  3. In the lower left corner of your browser window, a list of classes from the selected package will appear. In this case, the interesting classes will be Logic and LogicGates. Click on LogicGates.
  4. In the right half of your browser window the documentation for class LogicGates will appear. The interesting and useful part of this window is the Method Summary. As you can see, there are many, many methods in the class. These are the subroutines you can call to build circuitry. After scrolling through that, you will come to Method Detail. For each method in the class, this provides a detailed synopsis of the method. If you find a method you are interested in Method Summary, clicking on the method name will take you to its description in Method Detail.
  5. Now go back to the lower left pane and click on the Logic class. In the right half of the screen you can scroll down through the summary of the methods in this class. After that you will come to a section labelled "Methods inherited from class byucc.jhdl.Logic.LogicGates". In this section are listed all the methods from the LogicGates class. Together, these routines and those defined in Logic itself make up the Logic API as described in the Users Manual.
Continue to experiment. It will be time well spent to wander around through the API documentation sections to learn how to navigate and quickly find what you need from them.

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