Proposal for a set of wiki beginner tutorials

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heda
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Proposal for a set of wiki beginner tutorials

Postby heda » Thu Dec 31, 2020 12:59 pm

hi,

before I spend too much time on this and it ends up in the waste basket, I would like to get peoples opinions.

The thought is to have a set of tutorials with exactly the same model dealt with in different ways,
that set of tutorials could serve as the "goto" introduction for newcomers to fc regarding the very basics including different modelling concepts.

It is based on GlouGlous tutorial, which is the first one on the wiki.

This is just a very rough draft, but should be enough to give an idea of the finished product.
Never mind the language / spelling errors / missing icons or layout for now, it is more about the general idea and direction.

a) is this something that would be accepted to do on the wiki?
b) is it about the right balance of different functionalities to reveal enough of the capabilities (here you will have to imagine the 3 different tutorials together...)
c) should I continue to complete this?

Looking forward to comments.

PS: if I would go ahead and work towards completion (which I will if given positive feedback), it would take a while - I simply will have limited time to spend on it once the new year starts.

edit: updated attachment to version 2 - which from my point of view would be the finished tutorial for part wb (formatting and icons would follow the convention with icons etc when on wiki, it is not there in the pdf though)
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rewrite_v2.pdf
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Last edited by heda on Sat Jan 09, 2021 5:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
kisolre
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Re: Proposal for a set of wiki beginner tutorials

Postby kisolre » Thu Dec 31, 2020 1:53 pm

Good idea. Showing different ways to achieve the same final goal helps better understand and differentiate what are the tools and what is the data/objects they work on.
But then there will be a bunch of questions "Which path should I choose towards this, not very clear goal?" :D
heda
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Re: Proposal for a set of wiki beginner tutorials

Postby heda » Thu Dec 31, 2020 3:20 pm

I see it as learning by doing, much easier to get subtle differences if there are examples to reference to, hopefully providing a somewhat common base to stand on.

Probably just me, but I view the goal as being clear enough - making a model,
how to make it is in the end a mix of personal taste (which tends to evolve over time) and how the final model actually looks like which by itself can render a specific approach more favourable than another.

I would probably say that if the discussion goes over to "which path should I choose" the set of tutorials have fulfilled the purpose, but am of course secretly hoping that the majority are resolute enough to decide that for themselves. Anyways, I tend to think that there is a clear difference between - "I don't get it - just tell me a way to do it" and "which approach is suitable for what I want to do", the first tends to be blanketed with frustration - the second one can lead to more fruitful discussions (as long as one does not get stuck in a my-way is the best type of trench war).

time will tell...

I will continue working on it in a slow pace.
GeneFC
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Re: Proposal for a set of wiki beginner tutorials

Postby GeneFC » Thu Dec 31, 2020 3:48 pm

This may or may not be a good idea for the end user. Some folks like choice and analysis, and others want a fixed recipe. I cannot hazard a guess to what percentages of FreeCAD newbies might fall in either category. There is an old saying, "I just want to know what time it is. Don't tell me how to build a watch."

One thing to keep in mind is that any tutorial is a bit obsolete almost instantly. There are changes daily, as all experienced users know. I would certainly wait until 0.19 is released before spending a lot of effort.

A single good tutorial is may be better than several varying tutorials with different modeling strategies. (And a lot less work.)

Gene
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Roy_043
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Re: Proposal for a set of wiki beginner tutorials

Postby Roy_043 » Tue Jan 12, 2021 1:58 pm

heda wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 12:59 pm
The thought is to have a set of tutorials with exactly the same model dealt with in different ways,
Piffpoof (no longer active on the wiki) has tried to do something along those lines, but left the result as unfinished sandbox pages:
https://wiki.freecadweb.org/Sandbox:Piffpoof
heda
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Re: Proposal for a set of wiki beginner tutorials

Postby heda » Tue Jan 12, 2021 9:57 pm

Roy_043 - thanks for the tip.
they seem to be quite old since there is a todo comment to mention differences for v0.16.

not a lot of descriptive and/or screen pictures, which I think is a reasonable expectation that should be cared for.

gives some ideas for a bit of tweaking on my side.

GeneFC - on one hand I get the analogy with "tell me the time"/"build a watch" - but is there really a way around that or is it just a fact of 3d modelling. For me it is the latter, so the tutorials are stand alone. Judging from the beat on the street the original tutorial will by most be considered the mainstream one. And if you only want "the time" and go mainstream - no need to even look at the others, since all of them should be working standalone - if you are curious and want to expand your horizon a bit - the 2 other ones are there for your taking. We'll see how much time I end up spending on this, but the way I'm thinking now it makes sense to have deliberate differences - intended as "positive reinforcement" to actually go through all 3 of them.

Have also started to think in terms of that there should also be a bit about the draft wb - might be that I have not stumbled over it yet, but it seems like the wiki lacks on some of the basics in that wb (or links to where to find those basics are not in places where it is reasonable to expect that people are looking for that information).

as mentioned in the edit of the first post, I updated the first example with part wb so that I feel pretty much finished with the content and wording of that tutorial - if you think it is worth putting on the wiki I will do so (but will complete the 2nd one I had in mind before starting to put things on the wiki).
hmk
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Re: Proposal for a set of wiki beginner tutorials

Postby hmk » Thu Jan 14, 2021 5:09 pm

GeneFC wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 3:48 pm
This may or may not be a good idea for the end user. Some folks like choice and analysis, and others want a fixed recipe. I cannot hazard a guess to what percentages of FreeCAD newbies might fall in either category. There is an old saying, "I just want to know what time it is. Don't tell me how to build a watch."
I think what you try to do is ambitious, but that should not deter you!

I am a newbie and what you are proposing is along the lines how I approach learning FreeCAD. For example, I find it useful to think about the different ways to do a hollow cylinder. (I want to do a tutorial on that -- so this idea is taken! :)) Another example, I want to do a part that is symmetrical to 2 axes. The recommended way it seems is to make a solid first and then to mirror that. However, I also tried to mirror/merge sketches first to understand why this is not such a good idea... However, learning this way makes for (much) slower progress in the beginning and is somewhat frustrating if you need to get a design done.
hmk
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Scripting framework for tutorials

Postby hmk » Thu Jan 14, 2021 5:18 pm

GeneFC wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 3:48 pm
One thing to keep in mind is that any tutorial is a bit obsolete almost instantly. There are changes daily, as all experienced users know. I would certainly wait until 0.19 is released before spending a lot of effort.
Just a wild idea, since screenshoots are getting out-of-date easily, it would make sense to set up the scene for a screenshot programmatically. Not sure how easy the code would break though for new versions of FreeCAD. This could even lead to a scripting framework for doing tutorials...

(I could not find anything in this direction, but I would not be surprised if someone else though along these lines already.)
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Roy_043
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Re: Proposal for a set of wiki beginner tutorials

Postby Roy_043 » Fri Jan 15, 2021 9:38 am

One of the things I would like to see discussed in beginner tutorials is the topological naming problem that still plagues us. The sooner beginners know about this the better. It would be great if that could be added here.

heda wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 12:59 pm
edit: updated attachment to version 2
For the box that you use to chamfer you could also start with a 30x30x60 box that you then rotate 120°. This would avoid the calculations that you now perform using the Python console.
hmk
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Re: Proposal for a set of wiki beginner tutorials

Postby hmk » Wed Jan 20, 2021 5:06 pm

In your tutorial, I tried to follow "A different way to locate the hole". But instead of the complex solid, I try to move the cylinder onto a simple cube.

For the life of me, I cannot snap to the middle of a rectangular surface (i.e., top of the cube)! Can you describe in more detail how you managed to do it?

BTW, when you show the icon toolbar for the snap settings, it is hard to make out which tools are actually enabled (because you are using a dark theme?). Generally, because it's a beginner's tutorial it may be better to use the standard GUI when making screenshots.

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