Assembly3, A2plus, Assembly4? Get united!

Discussion about the development of the Assembly workbench.
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Zolko
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Re: Assembly3, A2plus, Assembly4? Get united!

Post by Zolko » Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:56 am

ColdAK wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 4:12 am
I think the biggest worry and concern is wondering which one or ones will be around long term, not that there are multiple options ... I use freecad for business and I actually would like the peace of mind that the method I use will still be supported years from now
yes, I agree, I have been saying this same thing often (for example here). But this being software, developers prefer to work on features because it's more exciting than working on code stability/maintenance. And this is very unfortunate as long-term user-data accessibility could be FreeCAD's strong selling point, because that is something where commercial CAD vendors really suck. And even more so with the current tendency of SAAS (Software As A Service) where the software is "rented" and not "owned".

ColdAK wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 4:12 am
For example, drawings I make today need to be valid or accessible with minimum tweaking to bring it up to date 10 years from now
well, this is the Assembly forum, for drawings you should address your queries to the TechDraw forum :-) That being said, my concern is to be able to access my model at-all ! I always export my finished drawings to PDF so they're accessible for ever, and if needed I can re-implement them in another drawing software. If your business is dependent upon these drawings then you should have some product lifetime management system anyway, you can't rely on the CAD software for that (even though some pretend to do that, I know). But if I can't open my assembly, then I'm really toasted. Which is what happens if you use a commercial CAD software, and it's called vendor lock-in: you won't have this with FreeCAD.

On the other hand, what you'll have is that some feature depends on a single developer, and when he's not around anymore that feature might disappear: see Assembly2 (not A2+). That's why Assembly4 only uses stock FreeCAD things without any magic, so you'll be able to access your data as long as FreeCAD exists. You don't even need the Assembly4 workbench to be installed to open Assembly4 models !

Hum, now that I actually get to tell the story, I'll be even more careful about this, thank-you for your comment.
Last edited by Zolko on Mon Jan 13, 2020 11:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
try the Assembly4 workbench for FreCAD v0.19
install with Tools > Addon Manager > Assembly4 — tutorials here and here
chrisb
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Re: Assembly3, A2plus, Assembly4? Get united!

Post by chrisb » Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:24 am

Zolko wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:56 am
That's why Assembly4 only uses stock FreeCAD things without any magic, so you'll be able to access your data as long as FreeCAD exists. You don't even need the Assembly4 workbench to be installed to open Assembly4 models !
That's indeed a big advantage.
When asking about a single Assembly workbench I was hoping for something finally belonging to the FreeCAD core system. That would mean two things: It has more taste of reliability as it is most probably around as long as FreeCAD is; and it will be respected by changes in other workbenches.
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Petert
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Re: Assembly3, A2plus, Assembly4? Get united!

Post by Petert » Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:10 am

vocx wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:53 am

Sure. It's free software, so the code is there for anybody to maintain and keep alive forever.
And that is a giantic bonus. I kept some older versions just to be able to use my designs in the future.
vocx wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:53 am
The problem, as you know is that you get what you pay for. You don't pay anybody for the software, then you can't expect much in return. If this is a deal breaker for you, then you shouldn't be using this system in the first place. Pay your dues to FreeCAD, sponsor a developer, and you can see this situation improving rapidly.
You are missing the point here and being very obnoxious about it too.
We are trying to make a point about some future direction for the assembly system. Since the assembly systems are not compatible with each other and it is very unlikely that there will be multiple systems in the future, the solution for being able to continue the assembly wb lies in a single system. That way we can keep our investments in time and effort save.

It takes considerable time to learn the wb's, each has his/her own quirks and it would be really bad for FC if we had to learn a new approach just because there is no clear direction.
I am a refugee from Fusion 360, have been using Fusion for almost 4 years now and after the latest debacle with the licensing stuff I had enough of AutoDesk.
Eager to switch over to FreeCAD and spread the word.
vocx
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Re: Assembly3, A2plus, Assembly4? Get united!

Post by vocx » Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:37 am

Petert wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:10 am
... it is very unlikely that there will be multiple systems in the future, the solution for being able to continue the assembly wb lies in a single system. ...
You are the one missing the point. Why should there be a single system? There is no basis for this statement. I'm sure there should be a single Linux distribution, right? And that one should be Ubuntu, right? Then, why do we have all these Linux varieties? Why don't they just create a single one? Because that's how free software is. People decide what works for them or not freely.

That you take a long time to learn something is not a going to go away, that's just how life is. Complex systems take time to learn. If we never innovated on the first solution that was made available we would not have progress. There is no point at which you would say, "this is finished, no more is necessary". I mean, you could arbitrarily say that, but that won't stop progress in realistic terms.
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Zolko
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Re: Assembly3, A2plus, Assembly4? Get united!

Post by Zolko » Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:14 pm

Petert wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:10 am
the solution for being able to continue the assembly wb lies in a single system. That way we can keep our investments in time and effort save.
That depends on what you call "system". What really matters I think is the data structure: that a user can re-ope designs made in old FreeCAD versions, and still re-use them in new versions. Else, nobody will ever use FreeCAD for serious stuff.

The tools, on the other hand, can change and evolve. Should, actually, evolve, even though it will need some new learning. But the data must be preserved.

So my take on this subject is to document the data structure used in Assembly4 and see if it's possible to make it converge with other assembly workbenches. On the other hand, I'm also quite sure that there is not 1 and only 1 best solver for all problems, and we should not try to force a single solver on every user, as long as all solvers use compatible user data structures, so that the user can keep his investment on the long run.
try the Assembly4 workbench for FreCAD v0.19
install with Tools > Addon Manager > Assembly4 — tutorials here and here
fcaduser
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Re: Assembly3, A2plus, Assembly4? Get united!

Post by fcaduser » Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:21 am

Couldn't the constraints solver at least be shared using a common module ? Or are the data structures so different there is nothing meaningful to do ?
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