[OpenSCAD] User Poll: What do you want to see from OpenSCAD development?

adrianv avm4 at cornell.edu
Sat Nov 9 20:04:20 EST 2019

I think grouping "stability" with "squash bugs" is a bit strange.  I believe
that stability has been over-emphasized.  When we have four years pass
between stable releases it creates problems:  people who are trying to do
the most interesting things are forced to use the "development" version
which means their code cannot be run by those who are more conservative and
only run versions tagged as "stable".  

The main bug I'm aware of is the one where "use" statements cause the code
in the file to execute every time a function in the "used" file is called. 
This has a potentially big effect on libraries.  


There is a performance issue for libraries where calling a function from a
large "used" library is slow.   (In my testing 12.5s vs 0s when the function
is in the "used" library or not.)  

I don't know if there's an issue for it but having [0:-5] produce
[-5,-4,-3,-2,-1,0] is a bug in my opinion.  It seemed like there was an
effort to move away from this syntax, but this "feature" caused a lot of
bugs in the library I was working on because of its effect on degenerate

In general for features I'd like to see

1) better support for libraries (fixing the above issues, adding name spaces
of some kind)
2) lazy unions, the ability to pass multiple children down through modules
without automatic union
3) better support for efficient curved surfaces and roundovers.  Could a
minkowski type operation be faster in specialized cases?  Could we have
union that rounds the interface of the unioned objects?  Maybe there are
other ways to make curved surfaces easier.  

I think faster execution would be nice sometimes, but it's mainly a problem
for me because of trying to construct rounded objects, which either requires
minkowski that takes a long time to run or it requires complex polyhedron
code that also may be slow because trying to code non-trivial algorithms in
OpenSCAD is hard.   (For example, my offset_sweep module has to run my
offset function many times, and offset is a hard algorithm to code in
OpenSCAD; my version is O(N^2) so it tends to be slow.)  

thehans wrote
> Hi everyone,
> I wanted to get some input and have a bit of discussion from users
> here, regarding what they would most like to see from current or
> near-future OpenSCAD development.
> What do you feel is the most important aspect to focus on, or would
> have the biggest impact to your experience using OpenSCAD:
> 1) Stability, squash more bugs in general
> 2) Optimize existing code, make OpenSCAD faster
> 3) Addition of new features
> 4) More / improved documentation
> 5) All of the above should be balanced equally
> 6) Nothing, I am content
> 7) Something else not mentioned
> If you have a specific issue in mind related to your choice, please
> describe and link to it if there is an existing github issue.
> Disclaimer: I am not a project owner for OpenSCAD, I just contribute
> code when / where I can.  So this poll is not "official", just created
> out of my personal curiosity. There is no guarantee that I or other
> volunteer developers will directly address any issues raised here.
> Happy modeling,
> Hans Loeblich
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> Discuss at .openscad

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