[OpenSCAD] multmatrix expands the input matrix to 4x4?

adrianv avm4 at cornell.edu
Wed Jul 3 08:14:17 EDT 2019

boxcarmib wrote
> I have a friend who does a lot of volunteer shareware software
> development. His programs get downloaded about 20K 
> a month, but in the 12 years he’s been doing it, he’s gotten about $200 in
> total whereas on the other hand the request 
> for new features or complaints about how his programs don’t do one thing
> or another are endless. I know for a fact he’s pretty 
> pleased when he gets that very infrequent email of thanks and/or praise.
> So for part I try to let the developers know how much I appreciate the
> time and effort they put into this project.

The project I wrote and and have supported for the last 23 years is on most
or all linux computers and also (in a very early version) on all mac
computers.  It's kind of hard to tell how many users there are.  I've gotten
exactly $0 from my efforts.   On doesn't undertake volunteer work with the
expectation of getting money out of it.  

> Secondly… there’s cash. :) To show my support I make a (currently very
> modest) monthly donation to OpenSCAD which
> I hope to increase as my own resources permit. I’ve spent far more on a 3D
> printer than I’ve spent using the program that
> I consider indispensable to creating object to print on it… I don’t think
> that’s quite right.
> Thirdly, there’s bounties and I know if I’m really serious about an
> extension or feature, I could offer a reward. I note that some
> feature requests with a bounty will sometimes even see others joining in
> to up the ante and make it even more
> worthwhile for someone with the knowledge and expertise to actually do the
> work. Granted most of the bounties offered 
> seem to be in the < $50 range… but I wonder how excited one of the
> developers might be If one were to offer something like
> $200, $500 or $1000 for something to be implemented.
> Something at that level might be out of my range, but I’ve been toying
> with the idea of offering a bounty that would serve
> as a serious thank you for the time and effort it would take for a feature
> I’d very much like to see.

I have no idea how this sort of cash award affects developers.  I mean, if
the developers have day jobs then offering $50 for a feature that takes ten
hours of work is sort of insulting, since it means $5/hour.   There are
studies done about how offering money for things can shift perception and
behavior as it moves the behavior from a friend interaction to an economic
one.  (Do you offer your friend money to help move a piece of furniture?)  
Of course, if a developer does not have a paying job perhaps getting $50 is
a big draw.   And I wouldn't suggest that people don't offer money if they
choose.  But ultimately, working on a project like mine, or like OpenSCAD is
volunteer work, and one must choose to do it for the interest, enjoyment,
and/or feeling of making a contribution to the community. 

In the case of OpenSCAD, there's no roadmap that I've seen describing which
features the developers are interested in actually implementing.  In my
experience, if I have an idea of how the program might be improved and I
suggest it first it's met with a kind of hostile reaction about how I
shouldn't expect anything, and secondly, it's already been suggested many
times by others.  I found what seemed to me to be a major bug and discovered
it was already reported and had been open for years.  So all of this makes
it seem like change is unlikely.   This is an observation, not a criticism
of the developers.  And it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to wait around
for the 2023 release.  

That's why the question is: what does OpenSCAD do now, so I can use it best?  
How does multmatrix() work?  How are we supposed to use it?  I didn't start
this discussion to be a debate about OpenSCAD development, but rather to
figure out how I can and should use multmatrix().   And also possibly I
thought I might improve the manual to better describe how multmatrix()
works, since that's something I *can* do to help others.  But it looks like
maybe this effort is also not appreciated, or is controversial---the
response that seems to arise for all efforts to help the OpenSCAD project. 
So I guess I won't bother.  It's pretty hard to make a contribution.  

Sent from: http://forum.openscad.org/

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