st_phan wrote: ↑
Sun May 17, 2020 11:52 am
I am curious to hear your thoughts ☻
Hi, and welcome!
Of course there's interest in improving the UI/UX around FreeCAD. User difficulty is a frequent topic and most of us are well aware of the problems.
UI/UX tends to lag in open source projects. FreeCAD is not exceptional in that regard. There's a lot of reasons for that but mostly it happens because contributors make contributions that 'scratch their own itch'. We're all volunteers working on whatever interests us because we like it. Unfortunately that means the big picture often gets neglected. In the world of commercial software, the organizational hierarchy makes sure all the development is done according to a consistent vision but that hierarchy doesn't exist here.
A lot of contributors also work on FreeCAD to improve their technical skills. I myself am not a trained programmer or a machinist. I have a degree in psychology but worked in software development in my career. Now I coordinate development of the Path workbench (CNC/CAM)
I would encourage you to get involved but I would caution you that your involvement will NOT look like it does during your day-job. The FreeCAD community is not like a company and that can be frustrating if you're used to working commercially.
The best thing you can do is pick a particular area or problem that 'itches' YOU. Thoroughly understand it. Study the code, even just to see who wrote it. Propose a solution or better yet implement one and let people see what you're doing.
But most of all, START SMALL! Build up trust over time. Learn your way around the community, application, and some of the source. Search the forum and wiki thoroughly before you propose specific solutions because there very well may be reasons why things are the way they are and the developers who wrote it may be long gone.
The good news is that if you want to make changes, you don't have to get permission. Just implement the change. If it doesn't break things, it'll probably get accepted. If, on the other hand, you want to propose changes and have other people implement them, it's going to be a a much harder process. Drawings, proposals, mock-ups, flow charts, etc are good but they require time from the developers to understand and are always incomplete. Actually attempting an implementation, even if it's poorly executed is much more effective. You'll get loads more support to improve your own source code than you will to get someone else to write code for you.
Also, be patient. Unlike a commercial software, time is on our side and most of us are in this for the long haul.
BTW, if the Path workbench is is an area of interest, I'd be happy to help get you started. The 2D CNC workflow is one that I'd specifically like to improve and it fits with your LaserHub experience.