Philosophical thoughts (?) About FreeCAD.

Have some feature requests, feedback, cool stuff to share, or want to know where FreeCAD is going? This is the place.
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Bance
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Re: Philosophical thoughts (?) About FreeCAD.

Postby Bance » Tue May 11, 2021 5:52 pm

freedman wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 5:15 pm 50% of the post are users wanting to change the way the GUI works.
That's not strictly true, they want somebody else to do it, sometimes because its a better way but mostly because that's the way X or Y or Z software does it.
vern.zimm
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Re: Philosophical thoughts (?) About FreeCAD.

Postby vern.zimm » Tue May 11, 2021 8:08 pm

There are times that I wish, with my limited Python experience, that I could be more help to the project. I use it daily in a commercial environment but I feel that I have taken away more than I have given.

Could there be some way to distribute lower-level tasks to beginners? I am very familiar with the problem where a higher skilled worker can more quickly complete a lower skill task than train a lower skilled worker to complete it for them. This is a logistical/management problem. Often the issue is that the tools or procedures are not in place that would enable passing such a task on. The higher skilled workers are too busy to implement such a system, and so the cycle continues.

Can we imagine a way that time-consuming lower level tasks could be completed in a distributed manner by lower skill level workers? Perhaps assigning something to a small group of lower skill workers to complete through cooperation, followed by review and acceptance by higher skilled worker? The feedback could then serve to educate the lower skilled workers.

Imagine the potential for the FreeCAD project if it could leverage the cheap, plentiful energies of the average user...
chrisb
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Re: Philosophical thoughts (?) About FreeCAD.

Postby chrisb » Tue May 11, 2021 8:15 pm

vern.zimm wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 8:08 pm Could there be some way to distribute lower-level tasks to beginners?
Kunda1 has these low hanging fruits in his signature. However, the link currently doesn't work anymore.
Kunda1 wrote: pinged by pinger macro
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Re: Philosophical thoughts (?) About FreeCAD.

Postby kwahoo » Tue May 11, 2021 8:36 pm

chrisb wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 7:10 am
All those people coming whith requests that FreeCAD should behave like software X, Y, or Z have probably never tried to go to one of those companies and request something that FreeCAD can do better (I'm thinking e.g. of some sketcher functions - of course :) ).
Not only Sketcher, we could easily create a long thread "What FreeCAD does and your favorite commercial CAD does not". Eg. some CADs cannot segment automatically circles in loft or does not support sweep with auxiliary curve, or their assembly does not have symmetry kinematic constraints, or builtin spreadsheet, or booleans at all, or creating involute gear requires writing equations by hand...

But there is something more important for me: avoiding vendor lock-in. Once you start using a commercial CAD you are doomed. You cannot easily migrate to an other software. Often you cannot pay only once, because there is a subscription model. And there is a "virus nature" in some packages: newer release cannot save in an older file format, so you have to buy licenses for all your PCs simultaneously.
Finally, there are cases of DraftSight and Fusion360. Advertise as freeware, make loyal users and then change to subscription model. Classic "First one is free" policy used by drug dealers...
freedman
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Re: Philosophical thoughts (?) About FreeCAD.

Postby freedman » Tue May 11, 2021 9:32 pm

I don't believe there is an advantage to having FreeCADs interface look and feel different from other software. It would be better for everyone if it resembled one of the most popular. I get no satisfaction when I write software apps. that don't conform to the norm. I think standardization is key to showing that software can be compared and it's clear that one is better or has more features than the other.
Bance
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Re: Philosophical thoughts (?) About FreeCAD.

Postby Bance » Tue May 11, 2021 9:37 pm

Advantage or not, it is the way it is until somebody stops talking about change and starts making some.
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Re: Philosophical thoughts (?) About FreeCAD.

Postby freedman » Tue May 11, 2021 10:49 pm

Advantage or not, it is the way it is until somebody stops talking about change and starts making some.
That's kind of an interesting statement. Since we are being philosophical; Lets say I'm on par with realthunders skills and I spend 6 months and come up with a whole new GUI, would that be brought into master if it worked well? I think these are some philosophical questions that users ask as they look at FreeCAD. I always presume the administrators have their own vision of how FreeCAD should work and what it should look like, and they incorporate what they want, what we use is no accident. Open source is new to me and I can see how the pressure of doing things a certain way might force someone to fork the program and do it their way, it's interesting.
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Re: Philosophical thoughts (?) About FreeCAD.

Postby chrisb » Wed May 12, 2021 6:38 am

freedman wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 10:49 pm Lets say I'm on par with realthunders skills and I spend 6 months and come up with a whole new GUI, would that be brought into master if it worked well?
That seems to be rather hypothetical. And it is probably a bad idea to hide away for 6 months and then come up with a monstrous pull request. Better start with something small which proofs your concept.
I always presume the administrators have their own vision of how FreeCAD should work and what it should look like, and they incorporate what they want, what we use is no accident.
How could they not have their own vision? But look e.g. at the development of Sketcher, and see how the communication with the community works very well.
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Bance
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Re: Philosophical thoughts (?) About FreeCAD.

Postby Bance » Wed May 12, 2021 7:27 am

freedman wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 10:49 pm come up with a whole new GUI
You mean like the modern GUI or glass.? Yes people do their own thing, and if it's coded to the appropriate standards, and doesn't cause conflicts with existing work it will most probably be accepted into the code base.
chrisb wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 6:38 am come up with a monstrous pull request.
This why incorporating RT's work is taking longer than people would like to be in core. Not only is it a large number of changes, but it also affects the very basis of FC. It must be carefully checked, else the basic application could become unstable.

To get back to the original post, CAD in my opinion is a software for technical purposes and is therefore most likely to be used by technically minded/trained people. The fact that it is simple enough to use for anybody with a little patience and perseverance, is a testament to the developers. Could it be more so? Definitely, should the flexibility/precision be sacrificed for automation? Probably not. Just my opinion,YMMV.
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jpg87
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Re: Philosophical thoughts (?) About FreeCAD.

Postby jpg87 » Wed May 12, 2021 8:15 am

Thank you all for your interventions.
But hmmm, I don't know if my words were not clear or if the translation left some doubts!
I will try to complete.
The current development of 3D printers and small CNCs opens up exciting horizons for lots of people who initially know little or nothing about CAD.
Learning to use CAD software can be very difficult for a newbie. This is why I observed that an operation that would approximate a very concrete approach would undoubtedly be a facilitator for learning, without harming seasoned professionals.
I resume my text by modifying some turns of phrase :
“The average user must have in their hands a tool that allows them to best represent their project, based on the most natural and instinctive reasoning possible.
For me, a mechanical designer who has worked with many novice learners, the workshop that comes closest from this point of view (at least as soon as the topological naming problem is resolved) is PartDesign WB.
PartDesign allows direct application of its functionalities from faces, edges, reference geometries ...
Any beginner (provided they dare to try or experiment) can get started quickly. Of course, learning to analyze his needs and organize his approach will allow him to progress faster, but let's not forget that it is the first step that costs.
...
The assembly workshop responds to a similar approach: for a beginner, assembling objects in a virtual project is a building game.
Bring two objects into contact on a flat face, align two bores to insert a hinge pin or a screw, prohibit movement by a stop, allow an object to rotate around an axis or a point. .are natural and instinctive actions.
We have to keep in mind that the goal is to build a project in the real world, therefore to start from real shapes, even if initially these shapes are modeled by "exact" geometric shapes.
The assembly tool, like the design tool, must therefore remain as transparent as possible for the user in order to allow him to think "concrete" and to be as close as possible to the material on which he is working.
Once the CAD "virus" has triggered the user's passion, it will always be time for them to dig deeper and seek to understand in order to go further. ")


Zolko wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 6:47 am ...
"FreeCAD" as a such doesn't "want" anything. As for FreeCAD developers, what benefit is there for them in a lot of users ? The benefit can come either from paying customers or from contributing users. But the stream of ex-fusion users who can't pay for their software and come here with requests that FreeCAD devs should work for them for free is something I can easily do without.

I think it should not be forgotten that this is free/open-source software, and that this has some philosophical meanings beyond the sheer numbers.
I am not a professional who monies his work from free use of FreeCAD. I share your point of view, that people demand results from volunteer developers when they are going to make money at their expense annoys me the most.
My use of FC is limited to my personal beliefs in which I always discover with great pleasure the possibilities added daily by developers. I admire and thank these frequently, especially since it is, as you aptly recall, free / open source software.
This is why I also invest myself without waiting for feedback in the creation of tutorials made available on my website, just to share the pleasure of working with FreeCAD and show that we can create with so many things, and help those who find answers to their questions there.

chrisb wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 7:10 am
Does FreeCAD want to address only specialists or does it want to excite the greatest number?
I don't think it is one of them and not both either. What it needs are enthusiasts. People being delighted by what they get, or at least happy. That's one of the important rewards the developers and helpers get for their important investment of time and brains.
I share this point of view.
Trying to reach the greatest number leads to a consumer approach where everything should like in a top level pay software, possibly even better, but at no cost. And please faster.
All those people coming whith requests that FreeCAD should behave like software X, Y, or Z have probably never tried to go to one of those companies and request something that FreeCAD can do better (I'm thinking e.g. of some sketcher functions - of course :) ).
I naively prefer to see it as a possibility of sharing the pleasure of building.
I would like to ban the notion of a "feature request" completely from the tracker and every discussion. There is nothing to request! A far better notion would be "feature proposal", which means "I have an idea how to improve FreeCAD, and I hope others think the same, and hopefully there is a developer who can and will implement it".
Again I share this point of view.


Zolko wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 1:25 pm
jpg87 wrote: Sun May 09, 2021 8:15 am Does FreeCAD want to address only specialists or does it want to excite the greatest number?
an interresting read on this subject:
https://www.theregister.com/2021/05/10/ ... y_problem/
...
So I would answer your question in a Darwinian style: FreeCAD, as any ecosystem, wants to survive.
Of course, but is this not the consequence of the current functioning of our societies which want to earn as much money as possible by paying the least possible for the work of those who enrich them ?


freedman wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 5:15 pm ...
Currently only realthunder has ventured out, but after topo-renaming is fixed there could be a dozen or more completely usable applications of the program. The core will be solid so the user can build a solid modeling system and make it work their way. I know I would like things set up differently like many others so maybe in the future we will be discussing the new/best GUI.
Same observation: it is always easier to use the work of others than to do it yourself!


vern.zimm wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 8:08 pm ...
Could there be some way to distribute lower-level tasks to beginners? I am very familiar with the problem where a higher skilled worker can more quickly complete a lower skill task than train a lower skilled worker to complete it for them. This is a logistical/management problem. Often the issue is that the tools or procedures are not in place that would enable passing such a task on. The higher skilled workers are too busy to implement such a system, and so the cycle continues.
Excellent proposition. Thanks for the community.
My website : http://help-freecad-jpg87.fr updated 2021/05/27