OpenSCAD call for developers

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OpenSCAD call for developers

kintel
Administrator
Dear OpenSCAD community,

One-liner:

  I'm the new maintainer, and this is a call for contributors!

TL;DR version follows.

First of all, sorry for the long downtime - both Clifford and I have been kept away from OpenSCAD for considerable time due to other aspects of life requiring our respective attention.

Secondly, we want to open up OpenSCAD development and try to build a more vibrant developer community. Therefore, I'm boldly asking the user community if there are anyone out there who wants to get their hands dirty and help out making OpenSCAD a better piece of software.

Also, due to Clifford having too many other projects in his pipeline to be able to contribute much to OpenSCAD in the foreseeable future, I've accepted the honorable task of taking over as the OpenSCAD maintainer.

Some ramblings of current plans follows:

I've been working behind the scenes getting to know the code better and is close to finishing a larger refactoring job which in theory should make the code more manageable in terms of less tight coupling and hopefully improved turnaround time (reduced compilation times due to fewer CGAL-dependent components). This should also open up for experimenting with more performant backends or optimizations. This is by far not my only project, so things are moving forward a bit slowly.

To facilitate having a tighter developer community, I'm planning on moving the OpenSCAD source code repository to git, and publishing it on some hosted collaboration platform (opinions on platforms of choice are welcome) which should make it easier to manage developers. Future steps would be moving mailing lists, establish web forum, establish developer wiki, public web CMS/wiki etc.

In anticipation of your reactions, input, ideas, flames, insights, visions, patches and anything else worth a response,

~/= Marius

--
We are Elektropeople for a better living.


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Re: OpenSCAD call for developers

Giles Bathgate-2
Marius,

This is great news!. I am just wondering if this in reaction to my
recent posts about RapCAD.
The goals of my project as I have stated on www.rapcad.org, is to
create an all-in-one tool
that is designed especially for RepRap printers. I assumed that
OpenSCAD would not want to
take development in this direction. (I also want to put gcode
generation and comms into my software)

So its great news, because I can see that there could be a much better
synergy between our projects
now that they are both actively being maintained. I can now work on
rapcad as merely a frontend to
OpenSCAD rather than what I originally stated I would be doing:
duplicating a-lot of work, that you and
Clifford have already done.

If by making OpenSCAD less tightly coupled you mean that projects like CloudSCAD
and RapCAD will be able to use OpenSCAD as a back end component then I
will be willing to contribute
any patches or ideas that come about from developing my own project.

If you want to host OpenSCAD on gitorious I have already registered
gitorious.org/openscad, and cloned
your git repo there I can hand this over to you immediately, if you would like.

Anything else Just IM me

Regards

Giles.


On 29 October 2010 14:29, Marius Kintel <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Dear OpenSCAD community,
>
> One-liner:
>
>  I'm the new maintainer, and this is a call for contributors!
>
> TL;DR version follows.
>
> First of all, sorry for the long downtime - both Clifford and I have been kept away from OpenSCAD for considerable time due to other aspects of life requiring our respective attention.
>
> Secondly, we want to open up OpenSCAD development and try to build a more vibrant developer community. Therefore, I'm boldly asking the user community if there are anyone out there who wants to get their hands dirty and help out making OpenSCAD a better piece of software.
>
> Also, due to Clifford having too many other projects in his pipeline to be able to contribute much to OpenSCAD in the foreseeable future, I've accepted the honorable task of taking over as the OpenSCAD maintainer.
>
> Some ramblings of current plans follows:
>
> I've been working behind the scenes getting to know the code better and is close to finishing a larger refactoring job which in theory should make the code more manageable in terms of less tight coupling and hopefully improved turnaround time (reduced compilation times due to fewer CGAL-dependent components). This should also open up for experimenting with more performant backends or optimizations. This is by far not my only project, so things are moving forward a bit slowly.
>
> To facilitate having a tighter developer community, I'm planning on moving the OpenSCAD source code repository to git, and publishing it on some hosted collaboration platform (opinions on platforms of choice are welcome) which should make it easier to manage developers. Future steps would be moving mailing lists, establish web forum, establish developer wiki, public web CMS/wiki etc.
>
> In anticipation of your reactions, input, ideas, flames, insights, visions, patches and anything else worth a response,
>
> ~/= Marius
>
> --
> We are Elektropeople for a better living.
>
> _______________________________________________
> OpenSCAD mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://rocklinux.net/mailman/listinfo/openscad
>

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Re: OpenSCAD call for developers

kintel
Administrator
On Oct 29, 2010, at 16:12 PM, Giles Bathgate wrote:

> This is great news!. I am just wondering if this in reaction to my recent posts about RapCAD.

I've had this email lying around as a draft for about a month, but I had to handle some urgent life issues which kept me from getting around to finishing and posting it. I just noticed your rapcad site yesterday and this definitely made me speed up this process ;)

Just a quick personal opinion on rapcad: I strongly believe that modeling should be separate from the actual machining.
I'm also not a huge fan of all-in-one tools, but I see the place for them, and I would in case prefer them to be thin wrappers around (unmodified) existing tools/libraries.
If you're merely interested in read-only opening and 3D printing of parametrized models, I agree that this is a good step ahead of the current STL solution. For this to be useful, it's IMO primarily a question of improving evaluation speed of SCAD models.

In any case, having access to OpenSCAD evaluation in library form would be a good thing. The same goes for GCode generation. I believe multiple in-development projects could benefit from both of these.

> I assumed that OpenSCAD would not want to take development in this direction.

This hasn't been on the radar no - primarily due to other projects in more or less active development handing these things (ReplicatorG, RepRap host software and prob. several others which I haven't used).

> So its great news, because I can see that there could be a much better synergy between our projects

There are ways of increasing this synergy, depending on what are your tools of choice for programming language, GUI and other libraries. A plug-in interface comes to mind as one natural way of extending output options, but we can discuss this further.

> If by making OpenSCAD less tightly coupled [...]

I was referring to internal design. Of course, this would make it a lot easier to split out self-contained components. One next step could be to rewrite use of non-GUI Qt to standard C++ or boost, getting Qt out of the way of librarification. I assume RapCAD will be Open Source. In case, sharing code is trivial. If CloudSCAD goes Open Source in the future, this could also be an interesting take on providing an OpenSCAD GUI, also for local operation.

> If you want to host OpenSCAD on gitorious I have already registered gitorious.org/openscad
Thanks!
I have no experience in using neither github or gitorious. I used indefero.net just because they had an easy way to map my own domain, but I have no intention to keep using it unless it turns out to be the preferred platform also for other reasons. In the end, it would be nice to collect mailing list/forum/wiki etc. in one place for minimal maintenance, unless there are people who wants to get involved in more active community maintenance for OpenSCAD.

Cheers,

 -Marius


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Re: OpenSCAD call for developers

l0b0
On Fri, Oct 29, 2010 at 4:51 PM, Marius Kintel <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On Oct 29, 2010, at 16:12 PM, Giles Bathgate wrote:
>> If you want to host OpenSCAD on gitorious I have already registered gitorious.org/openscad
> Thanks!
> I have no experience in using neither github or gitorious. I used indefero.net just because they had an easy way to map my own domain, but I have no intention to keep using it unless it turns out to be the preferred platform also for other reasons. In the end, it would be nice to collect mailing list/forum/wiki etc. in one place for minimal maintenance, unless there are people who wants to get involved in more active community maintenance for OpenSCAD.

2 cents on this: GitHub has a wiki and issue handler for each project,
so that would be three in one with no extra hassle. I haven't tried
it, but it also lists "Email" in the service hooks, so maybe the
mailing list is as simple as that?

Cheers,
--
Victor Engmark

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Re: OpenSCAD call for developers

Steve Klabnik
I cannot speak highly enough of GitHub, but I'm only incidentally a member of this community, so... it's possibly because I'm primarily a Rubyist, but GitHub is where every project that I've ever cared about is hosted. (with a few notable exceptions ;). And the new pull request feature is phenominal...


It's super useful.
 
2 cents on this: GitHub has a wiki and issue handler for each project,
so that would be three in one with no extra hassle. I haven't tried
it, but it also lists "Email" in the service hooks, so maybe the
mailing list is as simple as that?

That just sends an email to an address on every commit.

Also, GitHub's wikis are also Git based, which is nice. The issue tracker is a bit basic, but totally useful.

For mailing lists, as far as I'm concerned, librelist.com is the best possible one. Totally free, hosted by them, but they still let you just grab all of the emails if you'd like to move somewhere else. I use them for two projects, and haven't been happier. Google Groups sucks.
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Re: OpenSCAD call for developers

tbuser
In reply to this post by l0b0
This is all great news!  I'd also suggest github.  I've used beanstalk and gitorious, but I still prefer github.  Also: I'd love to see a libscad and a libskein that the GUIs could be built around.

On Fri, Oct 29, 2010 at 11:02 AM, Victor Engmark <[hidden email]> wrote:
2 cents on this: GitHub has a wiki and issue handler for each project,
so that would be three in one with no extra hassle. I haven't tried
it, but it also lists "Email" in the service hooks, so maybe the
mailing list is as simple as that?

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Re: OpenSCAD call for developers

Giles Bathgate-2
In reply to this post by Steve Klabnik
Although this is probably a wasted effort I feel that I must point out
that GitHub *is* propriety software. It does have some nice features
which is probably why everyone uses it, but its not Open Source. This
probably doesn't matter to most of you but if you really care about your
projects ideally you should host them on your own server running
gitorious, or if you don't have your own server then at least host them
on gitorious.org The worst thing you can do is put it on GitHub. imho.

Regards

Giles.

On Fri, 2010-10-29 at 12:33 -0400, Steve Klabnik wrote:
> I cannot speak highly enough of GitHub, but I'm only incidentally a
> member of this community, so... it's possibly because I'm primarily a
> Rubyist, but GitHub is where every project that I've ever cared about
> is hosted. (with a few notable exceptions ;). And the new pull request
> feature is phenominal...




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Re: OpenSCAD call for developers

Steve Klabnik
A very, very large part of GitHub's code is open source, though. It's not 100% pure, but very few people are. It's a valid concern, if that bothers you.

GitHub has the least lock-in of any proprietary service I could ever imagine.
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Re: OpenSCAD call for developers

Dan Zuras 3D
In reply to this post by kintel
> Date: Fri, 29 Oct 2010 15:29:37 +0200
> From: Marius Kintel <[hidden email]>
> Subject: [OpenSCAD] OpenSCAD call for developers
> To: [hidden email]
>
> Dear OpenSCAD community,
>
> One-liner:
>
>   I'm the new maintainer, and this is a call for contributors!

        Marius,

        While I doubt I qualify to be a full contributor
        to OpenSCAD, I do have some experience with both
        mathematics & floating-point (specifically with
        IEEE-754).  And I find I like OpenSCAD & have
        many opinions on how to improve it.

        So if those limitations are acceptable to you,
        I would be honored to contribute to this effort.

        Yours,

                           Dan Zuras

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Re: OpenSCAD call for developers

John Griessen
In reply to this post by Giles Bathgate-2
On 10/29/2010 11:46 AM, Giles Bathgate wrote:
> Although this is probably a wasted effort I feel that I must point out
> that GitHub*is*  propriety software. It does have some nice features
> which is probably why everyone uses it, but its not Open Source.

A way to get collaboration features along with FOSS is use gitorius or just put
git repositories on a server someone runs, (I've done it and not sooo hard),
and also use FOSS tools for collaboration such as  http://status.net/open-source
for updates, and chatter on your cell phone if you want it, and a web interface
RSS, groups, file sharing, interface with twitter and facebook....
many features good for collaboration that github doesn't have...

John Griessen

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Re: OpenSCAD call for developers

Steve Klabnik
This is the last I'll say at this, because I don't want to sound like a GitHub shill. GitHub has all of those features with exception of groups.


Okay, I'm done. Just pick something! Git is much better. :)
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Re: OpenSCAD call for developers

Giles Bathgate-2

Well all this GitHub vs Gitorious vs something else is a bit pointless. One of the main features of git is that its de-centralized. You can host a clone of the repo on GitHub another on Gitorious another on Indefero.net and easily keep them all in sync easily using a cron job. Personally I think you would be bonkers not to host an "official" clone on your own server even if this is not the primary origin that people push to.

Regards

Giles

On 30 Oct 2010 00:23, "Steve Klabnik" <[hidden email]> wrote:
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Re: OpenSCAD call for developers

l0b0
On Sat, Oct 30, 2010 at 8:33 AM, Giles Bathgate
<[hidden email]> wrote:
> Well all this GitHub vs Gitorious vs something else is a bit pointless. One
> of the main features of git is that its de-centralized. You can host a clone
> of the repo on GitHub another on Gitorious another on Indefero.net and
> easily keep them all in sync easily using a cron job. Personally I think you
> would be bonkers not to host an "official" clone on your own server even if
> this is not the primary origin that people push to.

I guess the main point is where to keep everything *except* the code -
Wiki, mailing lists and bugs. GitHub's wiki repo certainly counts in
its favor; I don't know if it's possible to "fork" the bugs there (or
anywhere else for that matter)?

--
Victor Engmark

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Re: OpenSCAD call for developers

Bryan Bishop
On Sat, Oct 30, 2010 at 5:18 AM, Victor Engmark wrote:
> I guess the main point is where to keep everything *except* the code -
> Wiki, mailing lists and bugs. GitHub's wiki repo certainly counts in
> its favor; I don't know if it's possible to "fork" the bugs there (or
> anywhere else for that matter)?

http://bugseverywhere.org/

Unfortunately the BE developers do not presently believe in versioned
releases. It works, though.

- Bryan
http://heybryan.org/
1 512 203 0507