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.bejant wrote: ↑Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:36 amto 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".
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.