[OpenSCAD] feedback on "C-style for"

Ronaldo rcmpersiano at gmail.com
Thu Jun 2 02:10:39 EDT 2016


@ Jamie K
I can't agree more.
Before OpenSCAD, I worked with Sketchup for almost two years. I think the
success of Sketchup relies on the elementary set of operators it provides.
Everybody is able to select an edge, extend a line, close a face, extrude a
rectangle. You don't need more than elementary geometry for that except... a
lot of manual work.

After using OpenSCAD for a little more than an year, my Sketchup
installation is outdated and unused. If you intend to do more than basic
cube and cylinder assembly in Sketchup without a enormous effort you will
have to find a plugin or write one yourself. But that means to write Ruby
code, deal with a enormous and confusing API and event oriented programming.
In short, you will have to divert a lot from your modelling focus.

What I found in OpenSCAD was the opposite. I am all the time concentrated in
my problem. And since geometric modelling is geometry, it is mathematics. In
the OpenSCAD world, again, if you only intend to assemble a few cubes and
cylinders, extrude a DXF, generate its stl file, you have support to do it.
But for me the main strength of OpenSCAD is to play with mathematical
objects. And in a mathematical framework.

I had not any previous experience with functional programming before. My
programming background was structured programming (anybody out there knows
what is that? :) ). I am still a Pascal programmer that tried reluctantly to
code in C and Ruby. But neither one fulfill my expectations. I would not
like to see the OpenSCAD language follow that roads. Now that I am about to
master list comprehension I don't want to step back.

I agree that OpenSCAD should be easy to learn but I think its main target
should be the more mathematical minded people. I have been writing a lot of
OpenSCAD code oriented to modelling with Bezier surfaces. I started a
experiment with f-rep, a modelling system based on implicity surface. Those
are examples of very powerful modelling framework but they require a good
mathematical background to be useful.

I feel some constraint in the OpenSCAD language possibly due to my limited
programming experience. What I would expect is a richer set of operators for
lists, first class functions and more efficiency both in the programming
interpretation and preview and render. I can live without mutable variables.



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