Getting started with Thoughtflow

Setting up the GUI demo

So this Thoughtflow thing is interesting, right? Lots of potential, but… is there any substance? Or is it just a bunch of hot air coming from two and half years of a bunch of European modelers shooting the breeze for an hour every week?

There’s still a long way to go, but we have things to show.

If you’d like to see, the first thing you need to do is go along to our site on GitHub and download a few things. You can download from GitHub a few different ways, but the easiest is to go to ThoughtflowGUI and click on the green “Clone or Download” button on the top right of the page. If you have git, you can just use the link that appears when you click on the green button to clone the repo on your local machine. If not, just download a zipped copy instead, and unpack it into an empty folder on a drive with lots of space. Before you start, make sure you have a recent version of Java installed. No Java, no Thoughtflow. (At least for now.)

Now you’ll need to open a command window in DDMoRe-BWF-Distribution/dist/bin. If you have Java 8 or newer and are running under Windows, you’ll need to enter

set _JAVA_OPTIONS=-Xmx2048M

at the command prompt to ensure the Thoughtflow demo server will start. Afterwards, or if you have a less recent version of Java installed, enter


to start the server. Without closing the command window, open a browser and point it at http://localhost:8080/bwf/. If all has gone well, the Thoughtflow login page will open. You have access to three test accounts:

  • admin (password: admin)
  • manager (password: manager)
  • scientist (password: scientist)

These are designed to illustrate the subtle differences in functionality. We have included a very simple test project in the demonstration engine to show how the system works - have a play around!

It’s quite limited at the moment, put together just to show what the interface might look like, and to visualize our thinking. Tell us what you think! There’s some more detailed documentation in /DDMoRe-BWF-Main and DDMoRe-BWF-Main/doc if you’d like to take a deeper dive into the GUI demo.

Setting up Eclipse

If you want to have a deeper delve into the inner workings of the system, you’re going to need Eclipse. Start by fetching the Eclipse Neon installer from here. Run it, and select Eclipse IDE for Java Developers.

When Eclipse has finished installing, launch it, skip the splash page, and select Open –> Open Projects from File System –> DDMoRe-BWF-Main. Wait for all the GUI projects to load in (takes a while for Maven to update project configs), and you’ll be good to start poking around inside the system. Fair warning: if you’re not a Java developer, the learning curve gets a bit steep at this point…

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