Fusion360 and OpenSCAD

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Fusion360 and OpenSCAD

jon_bondy
My local maker space (Generator VT) has been polite when I offer to
teach OpenSCAD, but the makers at Generator seem focused on Solid Works
and also on Fusion360.  Some of this has to do with "I need to get a job
so I need Solid Works credentials" and some has to do with "I'm doing a
complex build and need a bill of materials and other features that Solid
Works offers".

I recently read a brief description of how to get started with Fusion360:

http://bit.ly/fusion_intro

I immediately set out to write a comparable OpenSCAD script, to show
them what the alternative was.  After a while, I began to really
understand how more difficult OpenSCAD is than Fusion360 (and its ilk).  
I think that showing them my complex script would only push them away
rather than draw them in.  This is due mostly to the large number of
translate() and rotate() invocations that are required to move the
various parts around to build the final object.

I wonder whether there is any way to add facilities like "attach this
object to that one at the mid point" or "extend this object in the
positive X direction from the X surface of that object" to OpenSCAD.  
That is, are there any lessons which we can learn in terms of usability
and/or convenience?

Jon


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Re: Fusion360 and OpenSCAD

RobWLakes

This is a curious challenge jon,

I am a retired (well almost!) teacher and I can see a lot of value in trying to encourage students with young agile minds to exercise their potential with this kind of thinking.  To me it a great fusion of abstract mathematics with reality ie  3D shapes and it can be printed out as an object.  The various arguments put forward about how to extend the language in a productive way always on these discussion groups, make very interesting reading to me, however my understanding of matrix algebra has always been primitive, so I get lost easily.  Thanks to all those who discuss and explore the many and varied topics at length.

I would like to encourage my current students to use openSCAD, and to that end, I will be producing a number of short tutorial work sheets that may be of use to other beginners, or maybe even people in Jon's situation, needing a starting point to introduce the benefits of this way of thinking at a very low entry point. So would these worksheets - come challenges, be a useful starting point for beginners to see the potential of openSCAD?  I am happy to contribute my efforts so far and over the next few weeks submit a few more???

I find openSCAD some what challenging like a crossword or a jigsaw puzzle, only at the end, one can print it out and have some of value at the end that is really unique!!!  Students respond very positively to this sort of thing.

In short, should we have a "kids" section for openSCAD?

Cheers, Rob


On 01/10/16 04:05, jon wrote:
My local maker space (Generator VT) has been polite when I offer to teach OpenSCAD, but the makers at Generator seem focused on Solid Works and also on Fusion360.  Some of this has to do with "I need to get a job so I need Solid Works credentials" and some has to do with "I'm doing a complex build and need a bill of materials and other features that Solid Works offers".

I recently read a brief description of how to get started with Fusion360:

http://bit.ly/fusion_intro

I immediately set out to write a comparable OpenSCAD script, to show them what the alternative was.  After a while, I began to really understand how more difficult OpenSCAD is than Fusion360 (and its ilk).  I think that showing them my complex script would only push them away rather than draw them in.  This is due mostly to the large number of translate() and rotate() invocations that are required to move the various parts around to build the final object.

I wonder whether there is any way to add facilities like "attach this object to that one at the mid point" or "extend this object in the positive X direction from the X surface of that object" to OpenSCAD.  That is, are there any lessons which we can learn in terms of usability and/or convenience?

Jon


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tp3
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Re: Fusion360 and OpenSCAD

tp3
On 10/01/2016 11:02 AM, Rob Ward wrote:
> So would these worksheets - come challenges, be a useful
> starting point for beginners to see the potential of openSCAD?
> I am happy to contribute my efforts so far and over the next
> few weeks submit a few more???
>
That would be awesome. Maybe it could be the beginning of
a tutorial next to the manual?

There are great resources scattered around on the web, as
Blog posts or on Thingiverse. Some of those with licenses
that confuse me (e.g. what about people who want to use
OpenSCAD to create a 3d printer design they want to sell.
Are those people allowed to use the code from CC-NC
tutorials? What about Makerspaces wanting to use it in
courses that have an entry fee? I don't know... ).

I always wanted to get something like this going, but I
don't have the didactic knowledge to give it a good
outline where one topic leads to the next. This means I'm
always getting stuck trying to sort the things to
discuss. The quite sad looking page with some notes is
gathering dust at
https://github.com/openscad/openscad/wiki/Ideas-for-Tutorial

> In short, should we have a "kids" section for openSCAD?
>
Yes, please!

We could start with a single page, similar to the tips &
tricks page at
https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/OpenSCAD_User_Manual/Tips_and_Tricks
and start moving things to sub-pages once it grows.

ciao,
  Torsten.


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Re: Fusion360 and OpenSCAD

mprogers

> On Oct 1, 2016, at 3:28 PM, Torsten Paul <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> On 10/01/2016 11:02 AM, Rob Ward wrote:
>> So would these worksheets - come challenges, be a useful
>> starting point for beginners to see the potential of openSCAD?
>> I am happy to contribute my efforts so far and over the next
>> few weeks submit a few more???
>>
> That would be awesome. Maybe it could be the beginning of
> a tutorial next to the manual?


Doubly awesome, with an extra helping of awesomeness on top 😀 I'm teaching a course, Foundations of Computing, and my one indulgence is a module on 3D printing (which I have justified/rationalized because OpenSCAD is programming-based). So any resources that would help a group of decidedly non-programers be able to use this package would be great.

Michael
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Re: Fusion360 and OpenSCAD

Ronaldo
In reply to this post by jon_bondy
jon, I do not used it but it seems that the obiscad library does something that may help you.

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Re: Fusion360 and OpenSCAD

RobWLakes
In reply to this post by tp3

Thanks for the encouraging response Torsten.  Over the next few weeks I will be following up last term's work and building on my small collection of 2 worksheets.  I am not full time and at the moment just finding out what depth of projects suits students.  Plus building in a way for the teacher to monitor student's progress is also a useful addition (ie just adding sign-off points strategically placed in the document as the project is developed), and should not be obtrusive for someone doing self instruction.

I am hoping that we will be able to publish these in a wiki manner where they can be polished up by others as time goes on.  I can see parents being enormously impressed if their child began working productively with openSCAD, I know I would be (even though mine are now +35 years old, haha). I will need help with the publishing process to ensure this goal is accomplished.  I am not expecting many tutorials at this level will be required as once a child's imagination takes off, much of the existing helpful information will kick in.

Cheers, stay tuned,

Rob


On 02/10/16 07:28, Torsten Paul wrote:
On 10/01/2016 11:02 AM, Rob Ward wrote:
So would these worksheets - come challenges, be a useful
starting point for beginners to see the potential of openSCAD?
I am happy to contribute my efforts so far and over the next
few weeks submit a few more???

That would be awesome. Maybe it could be the beginning of
a tutorial next to the manual?

There are great resources scattered around on the web, as
Blog posts or on Thingiverse. Some of those with licenses
that confuse me (e.g. what about people who want to use
OpenSCAD to create a 3d printer design they want to sell.
Are those people allowed to use the code from CC-NC
tutorials? What about Makerspaces wanting to use it in
courses that have an entry fee? I don't know... ).

I always wanted to get something like this going, but I
don't have the didactic knowledge to give it a good
outline where one topic leads to the next. This means I'm
always getting stuck trying to sort the things to
discuss. The quite sad looking page with some notes is
gathering dust at
https://github.com/openscad/openscad/wiki/Ideas-for-Tutorial

In short, should we have a "kids" section for openSCAD?

Yes, please!

We could start with a single page, similar to the tips &
tricks page at
https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/OpenSCAD_User_Manual/Tips_and_Tricks
and start moving things to sub-pages once it grows.

ciao,
  Torsten.


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Lake Tyers Beach Website
XP to XUbuntu


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Re: Fusion360 and OpenSCAD

Richard Urwin
In reply to this post by jon_bondy
jon_bondy wrote
After a while, I began to really
understand how more difficult OpenSCAD is than Fusion360 (and its ilk).  
I think that showing them my complex script would only push them away
rather than draw them in.  This is due mostly to the large number of
translate() and rotate() invocations that are required to move the
various parts around to build the final object.
But once you have that complex script, changing bits of it such as the wall thickness, the overall size or the number of doobries in the whatsit is a simple editing exercise.

It can also be effectively held in version-control systems.

tp3 wrote
Some of those with licenses that confuse me (e.g. what about people who want to use OpenSCAD to create a 3d printer design they want to sell. Are those people allowed to use the code from CC-NC
tutorials?
The answer is to contact the author and ask them. Most of the stuff I produce (nothing relevant to here yet) have CC_BY_NC licenses because I don't want someone else making money from work I am giving away free. However if someone wanted to offer me a reasonable cut, or if their case was charitable or their use was negligable, I would be more than willing to give them a commercial license.

mprogers wrote
I'm teaching a course, Foundations of Computing, and my one indulgence is a module on 3D printing (which I have justified/rationalized because OpenSCAD is programming-based).
Have you considered that OpenSCAD is to all external purposes a Data Flow language that bears striking similarities to languages such as SISAL? (In fact making OpenSCAD more like SISAL would be wonderful -- there's more orthogonality and more powerful structures there, but little chance of it happening.)
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Re: Fusion360 and OpenSCAD

nophead
>because I don't want someone else making money from work I am giving away free.

Why? If you aren't intending to make money from it yourself, why stop others?

On 3 October 2016 at 10:19, Richard Urwin <[hidden email]> wrote:
jon_bondy wrote
> After a while, I began to really
> understand how more difficult OpenSCAD is than Fusion360 (and its ilk).
> I think that showing them my complex script would only push them away
> rather than draw them in.  This is due mostly to the large number of
> translate() and rotate() invocations that are required to move the
> various parts around to build the final object.

But once you have that complex script, changing bits of it such as the wall
thickness, the overall size or the number of doobries in the whatsit is a
simple editing exercise.

It can also be effectively held in version-control systems.


tp3 wrote
> Some of those with licenses that confuse me (e.g. what about people who
> want to use OpenSCAD to create a 3d printer design they want to sell. Are
> those people allowed to use the code from CC-NC
> tutorials?

The answer is to contact the author and ask them. Most of the stuff I
produce (nothing relevant to here yet) have CC_BY_NC licenses because I
don't want someone else making money from work I am giving away free.
However if someone wanted to offer me a reasonable cut, or if their case was
charitable or their use was negligable, I would be more than willing to give
them a commercial license.


mprogers wrote
> I'm teaching a course, Foundations of Computing, and my one indulgence is
> a module on 3D printing (which I have justified/rationalized because
> OpenSCAD is programming-based).

Have you considered that OpenSCAD is to all external purposes a Data Flow
language that bears striking similarities to languages such as SISAL? (In
fact making OpenSCAD more like SISAL would be wonderful -- there's more
orthogonality and more powerful structures there, but little chance of it
happening.)



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Re: Fusion360 and OpenSCAD

Richard Urwin
nophead wrote
>because I don't want someone else making money from work I am giving away
free.

Why? If you aren't intending to make money from it yourself, why stop
others?
It's complex.
I could say that if you were working in a soup-kitchen, you would be displeased to find that people were taking your food and selling it on. But software is not an expendable resource so the analogy fails. To reach the real argument we need to get into more esoteric language.

The CC/GPL/whatever is the basis of a gift-economy. In such an economy, status is gained by giving stuff away. You see it in Beowulf, where the king gives his favoured warriors gold rings. I have put time, energy and expertise into generating a product with worth. It must have worth, or you would not want to use it. I give this away for no cost because it pleases me to help other people and in return I receive recognition. The people who receive it recognise that it is a gift with worth. The fact that it is free has value to me.

So imagine that you were running that soup-kitchen in the basement of an apartment block and you hear that the landlord is advertising that the apartments come with a free restaurant and thereore gets more applications and can charge higher rents. You might feel that this is wrong. You might tell him that you are slaving away in that kitchen for hours and that work has a value that he would otherwise have to pay for. You would be happy to provide restaurant services to his tenents for a reasonable sum, and if they were to find their way to you on their own you would be happy to feed them, but he should not be making money off your free gift.
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Re: Fusion360 and OpenSCAD

Alan Cox
On Mon, 3 Oct 2016 03:59:51 -0700 (MST)
Richard Urwin <[hidden email]> wrote:

> nophead wrote
> >>because I don't want someone else making money from work I am giving away  
> > free.
> >
> > Why? If you aren't intending to make money from it yourself, why stop
> > others?  
>
> It's complex.
> I could say that if you were working in a soup-kitchen, you would be
> displeased to find that people were taking your food and selling it on. But
> software is not an expendable resource so the analogy fails. To reach the
> real argument we need to get into more esoteric language.
>
> The CC/GPL/whatever is the basis of a gift-economy.

<pedant>
CC is pointedly not that. It's a range of standardised licences that
model typical internet use cases to make transactons and re-use low
friction. That is why it includes CC-NC and the like. It spans everything
from public domain (CC0) to commons (CC-SA) to non-commercial (CC-NC) as
well as attribution/gift models.

GPL is a commons economy which is not the same thing as a gift economy at
all.

The examples you probably want are the BSD/MIT style licences.
</pedant>


Alan

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Re: Fusion360 and OpenSCAD

Richard Urwin
Alan Cox wrote
<pedant>
CC is pointedly not that. It's a range of standardised licences that
model typical internet use cases to make transactons and re-use low
friction. That is why it includes CC-NC and the like. It spans everything
from public domain (CC0) to commons (CC-SA) to non-commercial (CC-NC) as
well as attribution/gift models.
Some people like to give anonymously. They still take value from their giving.
Alan Cox wrote
GPL is a commons economy which is not the same thing as a gift economy at
all.
</pedant>
While the GPL license doesn't forbid it explicitly, it is widely considered the height of bad manners to remove an attribution from a GPL'd file.
http://www.catb.org/esr/writings/cathedral-bazaar/homesteading/ar01s03.html

The choice of the license is not a choice of economy; it is a pragmatic evalutation of the forces at play in a particular scenario. I have certainly used public domain when my input was low and I felt that demanding an attribution would be burdensome. I still received benefit from that initial post. I have used attribution-only licenses when my input was larger but many of the users I wanted to benefit would  be commercial and, in so doing, knowingly gave up any rights to profit. I have used BSD, GPL, LGPL, various versions of CC and all-rights-reserved on a case-by-case basis in order to protect my brand and intellectual property while benefitting the maximum number of people. That is a gift economy.
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Re: Fusion360 and OpenSCAD

Felipe Sanches
In reply to this post by Richard Urwin
Making soup is nothing like making software.

Once you wrote a piece of code (should I called it a "soup recipe" ?), it is eternally useful - while probably also broken to some extent of course - without the need for you to continue working on it. That specific version can benefit people without any further input from you. So the comparison to the "slave soup maker" is not fair, even if there's future economic activity based on your piece of freely distributed code (recipe).

The comparison to soup making would be fair if you were talking about software maintainance. I.e. if you were talking about a programmer who continuously provides the service of tweaking, improving, bugfixing, packaging, etc. For that kind of work there are indeed companies hiring developers/maintainers/packagers and paying them to develop and maintain free software. So, the "soup maker" is paid for the service of actually preparing soup on a daily-basis. The obvious name that comes to mind is RedHat. But there are plenty of other companies that also work that way nowadays.

Off course, there must be plenty of soup makers in the world still complaining that someone "stole their soup recipe". But that's not the point.

On Mon, Oct 3, 2016 at 7:59 AM, Richard Urwin <[hidden email]> wrote:
nophead wrote
>>because I don't want someone else making money from work I am giving away
> free.
>
> Why? If you aren't intending to make money from it yourself, why stop
> others?

It's complex.
I could say that if you were working in a soup-kitchen, you would be
displeased to find that people were taking your food and selling it on. But
software is not an expendable resource so the analogy fails. To reach the
real argument we need to get into more esoteric language.

The CC/GPL/whatever is the basis of a gift-economy. In such an economy,
status is gained by giving stuff away. You see it in Beowulf, where the king
gives his favoured warriors gold rings. I have put time, energy and
expertise into generating a product with worth. It must have worth, or you
would not want to use it. I give this away for no cost because it pleases me
to help other people and in return I receive recognition. The people who
receive it recognise that it is a gift with worth. The fact that it is free
has value to me.

So imagine that you were running that soup-kitchen in the basement of an
apartment block and you hear that the landlord is advertising that the
apartments come with a free restaurant and thereore gets more applications
and can charge higher rents. You might feel that this is wrong. You might
tell him that you are slaving away in that kitchen for hours and that work
has a value that he would otherwise have to pay for. You would be happy to
provide restaurant services to his tenents for a reasonable sum, and if they
were to find their way to you on their own you would be happy to feed them,
but he should not be making money off your free gift.



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Re: Fusion360 and OpenSCAD

Richard Urwin
Felipe Sanches wrote
 the comparison to
the "slave soup maker" is not fair, even if there's future economic
activity based on your piece of freely distributed code (recipe).
Your soup recipe analogy fails because a recipe, in its fundimental parts, would probably be subject to patent, not copyright. The expression of the recipe on a page is of course copyrightable and by all means try selling photocopies of Jamie Oliver's recipes and see where you find yourself.

It is a feature of copyright that a work created once can be monetized over time. Nobody much argues against copyright in books or music, why would it be a bad thing for software?
Software would never be profitable if the first sale ever made must pay back all investment. They sell many copies and reap the profits over time. Few people would argue that pirating music, video or books was legitimate.

Similarly, when I give away one copy of a work, I do not achieve much increase in respect and I have not helped many people. It is only by giving away many copies over an extended time that I achieve value. It is precisely analogous to the monetary profit achieved by mainstream authors and musicians.

Let's suppose the slave in the kitchen made all the meals for a year and sealed them away in a magic stasis bubble before a single customer received one. The work has still been done and the value will still be received in the thanks of the customers over that year. The fact that the work has been completed does not mean that the creator has or should forfeit all interest in it.
tp3
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Re: Fusion360 and OpenSCAD

tp3
In reply to this post by Richard Urwin
On 10/03/2016 11:19 AM, Richard Urwin wrote:

> tp3 wrote
>> Some of those with licenses that confuse me (e.g. what about people who
>> want to use OpenSCAD to create a 3d printer design they want to sell. Are
>> those people allowed to use the code from CC-NC
>> tutorials?
>
> The answer is to contact the author and ask them. Most of
> the stuff I produce (nothing relevant to here yet) have
> CC_BY_NC licenses because I don't want someone else making
> money from work I am giving away free. However if someone
> wanted to offer me a reasonable cut, or if their case was
> charitable or their use was negligable, I would be more
> than willing to give them a commercial license.
>
I'm sorry, but no, that's is not the answer. We might talk
about quite different things though. I'm talking about *the
code snippets* shown in tutorials/books, NOT about the whole
tutorial or the whole book.

If you are not prepared to let people use code snippets given
as learning examples, what's the point at all?

I would like the OpenSCAD documentation and very much specifically
tutorials useful for education to be usable in any way. I've
seen quite a number of references to OpenSCAD used by teachers
and that's what *I* want to support. And I want them to use the
stuff without even a remote risk of someone saying "you need
the school lawyer to acquire a license before you can use it".
(Yes, may still happen, there's no ideal world yet, but that's
not the point).

It really bothers me how the big companies are pushing their
proprietary apps into schools like Apple did lately with their
Swift app. In my view applications like SonicPI should be
selected for education. It would be awesome if OpenSCAD could
become a good option too, but for that to happen, we will
need to help by providing at least a fair amount of initial
documentation/tutorials for that.

Anyway, we are using Wikibooks for the official docs, so the
license of that documentation *must be* CC-BY-SA and GFDL
anyway as that's what Wikibooks enforces.
I'm simply proposing the additional release of all the
included *code snippets* to be public domain / CC0 so that
code can be used without restrictions (which is allowed by
Wikibooks as far as I read the related Wikibooks docs).

ciao,
  Torsten.


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Re: Fusion360 and OpenSCAD

Richard Urwin
tp3 wrote
I'm talking about *the
code snippets* shown in tutorials/books, NOT about the whole
tutorial or the whole book.

If you are not prepared to let people use code snippets given
as learning examples, what's the point at all?
Which is why I have used waivers like this one:
"Unless I say otherwise in a particular instance, I hereby waive all personal copyright interest in all code and methodology examples I publish on the following sites: ..." -- http://www.wikidot.com/user:info/rurwin

It would be nice if book authors did the same.
The answer is still correct though: talk to the author. If they can give you a letter formally giving you permission to use code snippets then you would be safe. Of course a mainstream published  book has more interested parties and you would be unlikely to get a clear enough answer for your needs. That's a pain.

I have a nice little program I put together to monitor both sides of a serial conversation. Along with a special cable it's very useful for bebugging protocol issues. However it is built on top of a code example that shipped with Microsoft's Visual Studio. I can't distribute it to anyone who doesn't have a Visual Studio license. It's annoying but it's the price you pay.

You could write out the examples in your own words. Just like the soup example above, a program is only copyrightable in its creative content. So long as you rewrite it from memory and change the names and maybe the order of statements, you will be safe.
tp3
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Re: Fusion360 and OpenSCAD

tp3
On 10/03/2016 04:58 PM, Richard Urwin wrote:

> tp3 wrote
>> If you are not prepared to let people use code snippets
>> given as learning examples, what's the point at all?
>
> Which is why I have used waivers like this one:
> "Unless I say otherwise in a particular instance, I hereby
> waive all personal copyright interest in all code and
> methodology examples I publish on the following sites: ..."
> -- http://www.wikidot.com/user:info/rurwin
>
Perfect, that's essentially what I'm proposing for the code
examples in the ("official") tutorials.
Although due to German law I can't just waive the copyright,
so I have to declare it CC0 and hope that works.

> I have a nice little program I put together to monitor both
> sides of a serial conversation. Along with a special cable
> it's very useful for bebugging protocol issues. However it
> is built on top of a code example that shipped with Microsoft's
> Visual Studio. I can't distribute it to anyone who doesn't
> have a Visual Studio license. It's annoying but it's the
> price you pay.
>
See? And *I* absolutely don't want teachers to pay that
kind of price when trying to use OpenSCAD documentation.
Because I suspect in 98% of the cases it will just mean
it's not used at all. And that the worst option.
If someone decides to make other great documentation with
a different license, that's cool, and I'm still happy about
it existing. However, I won't contribute to that.
Like there's an Udemy course about OpenSCAD which is
currently available for 19€ and I saw someone mentioning
it is well done. That's nice to have, nothing wrong with
additional options.

ciao,
  Torsten.


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Re: Fusion360 and OpenSCAD

MichaelAtOz
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In reply to this post by Richard Urwin
Copyright protection is not available for ideas, program logic, algorithms, systems, methods, concepts, or layouts.

Few code snippets would not be the above, or be 'original works'.
Admin - email* me if you need anything,
or if I've done something stupid...
* click on my MichaelAtOz label, there is a link to email me.

Unless specifically shown otherwise above, my contribution is in the Public Domain; to the extent possible under law, I have waived all copyright and related or neighbouring rights to this work.
Obviously inclusion of works of previous authors is not included in the above.


The TPP is no simple “trade agreement.” Fight it! http://www.ourfairdeal.org/ time is running out!
tp3
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Re: Fusion360 and OpenSCAD

tp3
On 10/04/2016 04:12 AM, MichaelAtOz wrote:
> Copyright protection is not available for ideas, program logic,
> algorithms, systems, methods, concepts, or layouts.
>
> Few code snippets would not be the above, or be  'original works'
> <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Threshold_of_originality>  .
>
Yes, but that's different in various legislations and I also
expect the more advanced parts of the tutorial to very likely
reach the limit to be accepted as original work (at least in
German law).

So why take any chances? A clear statement of intention also
has a certain value.

ciao,
  Torsten.

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Re: Fusion360 and OpenSCAD

kintel
Administrator
In reply to this post by Richard Urwin
> On Oct 3, 2016, at 11:19, Richard Urwin <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Have you considered that OpenSCAD is to all external purposes a Data Flow
> language that bears striking similarities to languages such as SISAL? (In
> fact making OpenSCAD more like SISAL would be wonderful -- there's more
> orthogonality and more powerful structures there, but little chance of it
> happening.)
>
I’ve been looking into ways of using OpenSCAD as a dataflow language, but I haven’t looked at SISAL in particular.
Most of the concepts in OpenSCAD should be pretty well mappable to a dataflow or flow-based programming graph. It would be interesting to look into isomorphic representations, where text-based and a flow graph could just be two different editing modes.

So far I’ve temporarily shelved all of this in search of more resources to get this off the ground, but take a look at e.g. Antimony, which has combined flow-based programming with an f-rep kernel to achieve smth. very similar.

 -Marius


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Re: Fusion360 and OpenSCAD

doug.moen
Marius said: "It would be interesting to look into isomorphic representations, where text-based and a flow graph could just be two different editing modes."

I've thought about this too, although from my perspective it would be difficult to pull off[*]. Still, if someone manages to do it, it could be awesome.

[*] The difficulty is that the text based representation might contain information that isn't contained in the graphical flow chart, and vice versa, so what does the file format look like, how human readable is it, what happens to this information when you switch between views in the editor. An Antimony-like flow graph might contain X-Y coordinates for each block. If the flow graph is a directed acyclic graph, as in Richard's writeup, then the text version will need to introduce variable names and `let` blocks that aren't needed by the graphical view.

Antimony avoids these issues because the flow graph and the programming language representation are two different file formats.

As for SISAL, my impression is that it doesn't have too much to do with Antimony-style visual programming. Instead, I view it as "functional programming for Fortran programmers". In SISAL, there is a big emphasis on compiler technology (automatic parallelization for SMP architecture machines and efficient code generation), and there is also a lot of language design focused on providing a convenient and efficient way to write loops for array based code without using recursion or other functional programming design patterns. But SISAL is still a functional language (in the same sense that OpenSCAD is): functions are pure and referentially transparent, with no side effects; there are no mutable global variables; variables are single-assignment.

On 4 October 2016 at 16:29, Marius Kintel <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On Oct 3, 2016, at 11:19, Richard Urwin <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Have you considered that OpenSCAD is to all external purposes a Data Flow
> language that bears striking similarities to languages such as SISAL? (In
> fact making OpenSCAD more like SISAL would be wonderful -- there's more
> orthogonality and more powerful structures there, but little chance of it
> happening.)
>
I’ve been looking into ways of using OpenSCAD as a dataflow language, but I haven’t looked at SISAL in particular.
Most of the concepts in OpenSCAD should be pretty well mappable to a dataflow or flow-based programming graph. It would be interesting to look into isomorphic representations, where text-based and a flow graph could just be two different editing modes.

So far I’ve temporarily shelved all of this in search of more resources to get this off the ground, but take a look at e.g. Antimony, which has combined flow-based programming with an f-rep kernel to achieve smth. very similar.

 -Marius


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