Access to information outside of a body [Part Design / Sketcher]

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GrantRobertson
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Re: Access to information outside of a body [Part Design / Sketcher]

Postby GrantRobertson » Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:36 am

bejant wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:36 am
to me the noun "shape" would be too broad and imprecise.
...
Clones, maybe? We can also Carbon Copy a Sketch, but the things inside the Sketcher Carbon Copy are still Elements.
...
If I were to write an instructional on using FreeCAD my use of the word "shape" by itself would be very infrequent - I'd probably try to avoid it completely. Of course, these are just my thoughts from afar - I don't know the specifics of what your are writing nor do I know in what contexts you might intend to use the word "shape".
Yes. The word "Shape" would be mistaken to be synonymous with what I now know is called a "solid." So, I would also avoid using that word at all.

When you create a clone the clone does not get placed into the active body. If you drag that clone into a body, something called a "BaseFeature" is then created in that body while the clone is set to not visible. If you modify the body from which the clone was created, then the "BaseFeature" is also changed. That "BaseFeature" seems to be functionally equivalent to a "solid" within the body. So, that is why I haven't been mentioning "clones" as being possible items/components within bodies. Once you put them into a body, they become a feature, which can then be modified like any of the other features that culminate in a "solid."

I looked at the "Carbon Copy" feature, and it appears this is "simply" a copy-and-paste of a sketch where all the dimensional constraint values have been replaced with expressions that refer to the original sketch's constraints. So, yes, this would be just the same as a sketch. (If there is a bit more to it, we can discuss that later. We have gone far enough off-topic for this thread as it is.)

As a technical writer, I can tell you that you need a single term that refers to all the different things that go into a body. Something like "body components" would be good. But everyone would have to agree that they would always use the full term "body components" and not shorten it to just "components" because that would then be assumed to mean all kinds of other things. You can't just use the term "Part Design Components" because there are some part design components that cannot go into a body. So, "Part Design Components" would include all the things that Part Design creates, including things that can and cannot go into a body.

FreeCAD is a complicated program, with lots of different aspects that can create lots of different "things." Therefore, you cannot use simple, one-word terms like "features" or "shapes" or "solids" with no modifier-terms unless you want to see lots of people get really confused. As a community, you would be well served by choosing slightly longer terms that are more descriptive and very specific to the part of the program where those terms are used. Preferably, by prefixing more commonly used (and possibly misinterpreted) words with the name of the context within which that word is used. For instance: Say, "body feature" rather than just, "feature." Say, "body component" rather than just, "component." Say, "sketch element" rather than just "element." It will save a lot of confusion down the line.

Often, one of the first tasks of a technical writer is to rework the entire glossary and make it consistent. The second task is then conning and cajoling everyone else into using those terms and definitions. (If you ask me, that second one is the hardest part of being a technical writer.) Usually, people eventually come around, if the technical writer did a good job of choosing consistent, easy to remember terms.
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bejant
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Re: Access to information outside of a body [Part Design / Sketcher]

Postby bejant » Sat Aug 18, 2018 1:49 pm

GrantRobertson wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:36 am
bejant wrote:
Clones, maybe? We can also Carbon Copy a Sketch, but the geometric things inside the Sketcher Carbon Copy are still Elements.
(I edited a couple of my posts in an attempt to remove some ambiguity and used blue text so that the edits might be more noticeable)

GrantRobertson wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:36 am
As a technical writer, I can tell you that you need a single term that refers to all the different things that go into a body. Something like "body components" would be good.
I suppose it would be best to find a term that isn't used in another WB, and "Component" might not be unique to Part Design. I *think* that "component" is used somewhere else in a FreeCAD WB but I'm not sure.

Collectively those "different things that go into a body" remind me of ingredients. But although a Body contains these ingredients, not all ingredients contribute to the resulting model:
Image

GrantRobertson wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:36 am
you cannot use simple, one-word terms like "features" or "shapes" or "solids" with no modifier-terms unless you want to see lots of people get really confused.
I agree that there are other one-word terms that are too ambiguous to be used without a modifier, but also think there are some one-word FreeCAD terms that specific enough to be used alone:
  • "Feature": I think people who have become fluent in FreeCAD understand a Feature, but for beginners the concept of a Feature can be difficult to understand.
  • "Shapes": usually too ambiguous.
  • "Solid": usually too ambiguous to be used alone; better used in some description.
  • "Element": In FreeCAD an Element is a Sketcher-only thing, but that distinction isn't evident to beginners.
GrantRobertson wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:36 am
Often, one of the first tasks of a technical writer is to rework the entire glossary and make it consistent. The second task is then conning and cajoling everyone else into using those terms and definitions. (If you ask me, that second one is the hardest part of being a technical writer.)
I'm no writer but I see those as secondary tasks, with the overall task being to inform and educate the reader; help the reader understand.

I agree that the second task you mentioned is harder, it seems I might need come applied conning and cajoling myself...

And yes, we've strayed from the title of this thread but I think that we need to get the words right first. Sometimes that might entail helping the reader understand a FreeCAD term or concept and sometimes we might have to begin using new words or definitions. (This is all simply my perspective.)
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NormandC
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Re: Access to information outside of a body [Part Design / Sketcher]

Postby NormandC » Sun Aug 19, 2018 2:59 pm

bejant wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:36 am
Yes - to me the noun "shape" would be too broad and imprecise.
Shape is a word that defines most types of object in FreeCAD based on the Part module. Any object that shows in the 3D view is a shape, except for meshes. Another exception, the Part container (Std Part) has no shape attribute. The term is used in many areas, for example in the Part CheckGeometry tool where you can see a shape's content, and in some error messages. It is also used in Python. I don't think this word should be eliminated completely from FreeCAD's vocabulary.

To me, a feature is specifically a PartDesign element. PartDesign is the only workbench that does not generate new objects, but "steps" that modify the existing... shape. This shape is held by a Body container. The term feature is widely used in parametric CAD software, and I believe it was pioneered by PTC Pro Engineer decades ago, adopted by SolidWorks and other competing programs. PartDesign is the only workbench in FreeCAD that replicates the work flow of these programs, and the only one that creates a lineal tree. Therefore, I'd say it would be logical to keep use of this feature term exclusively to the PartDesign workbench.

I do understand, though, that in English feature is also a generic term that can have multiple meanings.
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bejant
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Re: Access to information outside of a body [Part Design / Sketcher]

Postby bejant » Tue Aug 21, 2018 3:58 am

I wasn't sure about "shape"- thanks Norm for your input.

For me too, "Feature" exists only in Part Design.
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Re: Access to information outside of a body [Part Design / Sketcher]

Postby wandererfan » Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:48 pm

bejant wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 3:58 am
I wasn't sure about "shape"- thanks Norm for your input.

For me too, "Feature" exists only in Part Design.
Part::Feature and Part::FeaturePython?

Mind you, I'd be perfectly happy if Part workbench became something like Shape workbench, PartDesign became Body Design and App::Part became App::PartContainer.
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bejant
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Re: Access to information outside of a body [Part Design / Sketcher]

Postby bejant » Tue Aug 21, 2018 1:11 pm

wandererfan wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:48 pm
Part::Feature and Part::FeaturePython?
Are those something you'd only see when looking at the code or maybe in the Python Console, or would the text "Part::Feature" and "Part::FeaturePython" or even simply the word "Feature" in those two terms be seen by someone using FreeCAD via the GUI?


wandererfan wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:48 pm
Mind you, I'd be perfectly happy if Part workbench became something like Shape workbench, PartDesign became Body Design and App::Part became App::PartContainer.
A big +1 from me. As a user, I think we have too many things named "Part" in FreeCAD: Part container, Part WB, Part Design WB. More unique names where "Part" is currently used might avoid confusion for FreeCAD newcomers.
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Re: Access to information outside of a body [Part Design / Sketcher]

Postby wandererfan » Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:13 pm

bejant wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 1:11 pm
Are those something you'd only see when looking at the code or maybe in the Python Console, or would the text "Part::Feature" and "Part::FeaturePython" or even simply the word "Feature" in those two terms be seen by someone using FreeCAD via the GUI?
You're right. Took a quick look at the PartModule Gui and wiki. Didn't come across "feature".
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bejant
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Re: Access to information outside of a body [Part Design / Sketcher]

Postby bejant » Wed Aug 22, 2018 3:36 am

wandererfan wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:13 pm
You're right.
Hee hee ... until you replied I really didn't know (and thanks!).