As a very new user, I've found this thread interesting.
I see posts all the time about how difficult the program is to use, here is one example.
I posted one yesterday, "Where do I start with a bookshelf?". So far, I haven't had answers that have helped.
Mixing both is a super bad idea.
And that is one of the problems for new users. In my post I said "Actually, the whole workbench thing is confusing. In some ways it seems that they are simply different sets of tools to work on the same models/drawing, but then I read that things created in some work benches are incompatible with some other work benches."
You aren't supposed to use Sketcher and Part a lot. If you are going to do that, you should use PartDesign because this is precisely the workflow intended with this workbench, that is, draw a sketch, and then obtain a PartDesign Feature from it.
Part and Part Design do different things, but there is some overlap. ... Part Design uses a Body, and there can only be one solid thing per Body. Part doesn't use a Body and multiple disconnected shapes are aware of one another. ...
So if I'm designing a bookshelf comprising multiple components, that sounds like Part Design is NOT the workbench to use.
the decision to use Part vs. PartDesign seems to me to be a rather personal one.
While undoubtedly true, for a new user that it not helpful at all.
Also, there are many users who refuse to use PartDesign. They grew up in the 1980s so the constructive solid geometry way of doing things is what they know, and is what they want to keep using. If we remove Part, that would not sit well with them.
Looking at the linked CSG article, it seems to me like the PartDesign approach would be better for a complex shape like the one illustrated in that article, but the Part approach would be better for the sort of thing I want. I see this sort of issue a lot in complex software: articles and tutorials are often (somewhat) useless because they explain how to do something very different to what I want to do. Providing tutorials for every different case is clearly impracticable, but the problem is still there. In my case, I found a tutorial on making a table, which seemed similar enough, and did well what it set out to do, and on that basis I decided to use the Part workbench. My other post, though, explains some of the problems I encountered.
What to expose to the user is a constant struggle. Too much is exposed and the user is confused by all the options, too little and it becomes an easter egg hunt to find what one needs.
A quite understandable problem, and not easily solved. However, the problem I've found so far with FreeCAD is that the workbenches and instructions seem to focus on the type of operations one will use to achieve the goal, rather than the type of goal. Do you want to design a complex shape like a mechanical component or a complete machine or house or a piece of furniture or etc.? If a new user can select what type of object they want to design (and select what they want such as just a drawing, a list of parts, etc.), then
a software wizard or instructions advise them what workbenches or approaches they should take to do that, that might be more helpful. But see also my final comments below where I'll make a couple of suggestions.
I think that switching WBs sometimes confuse users, especially newcomers like me
It need not be confusing if it was quite clear why it was necessary and what advantages switching provides. At the moment, that's a very grey area for me.
If you get confused about this, it just means you aren't experienced enough.
Of course. But how does that help a new user who, by definition, is not experienced enough?
Give that there are already a range of tuturials to cover different sorts of outcomes, perhaps that aspect is fairly well covered. However, they could do with a summary of the tutorial so that a newcomer could have a better idea of whether that tutorial is going to cover what they want. That summary should include what it does and what it doesn't do
Another useful thing would be a table of how the different workbenches compare. That is, what they can do and what they can't do
, to help a newcomer decide which one to use. That table should include such things as whether it handles 2D or 3D drawings, what sorts of designs it is best for, what interchangeability its designs have with other workbenches, etc.