Title: SLIGHTLY OT: Open-Source Building Systems Engineering Solution
CORRECTION: I had described Intellicad as being
"open-source software." Actually it's not as it turns out. Intellicad is a
"technology consortium" that licenses its technology to "consortium members" who
then implement the technology in their own commercial applications. In effect,
Intellicad is a "hybrid cross" between Open Source and closed source software
As far as the end-user is concerned it is (or can be) a
good deal. I bought Cadopia's "Intellicad" product a couple of years back for
about $180 and found it to be pretty slick--although not quite ready for
No, we'll have to look elsewhere for our DWG-compatible CAD
engine--or maybe we find a CAD engine that is TRULY "open source" (http://www.opencascade.org/) or at least
nominally so (http://www.ribbonsoft.com/qcad_doc_faq.html;
be sure to scroll down near the bottom for the explanation. FWIW, QCAD looks
like an exciting product for PEANUTS. However, it is 2D
While I think I effectively rebutted his main premise, I
have to admit that he is on the right track: I DO complain about the cost of the
software tools we use. I'm no Richard Stallman (http://www.fsf.org/) but I do support the idea of
open-source software (and more specifically, open-source STANDARDS). We ought
not have to pay any more for the tools we need to do our jobs than we do for
technical manuals--well, strike that, given my ire towards ACI, but you get the
I would like to make this an avocation. I need help. I need
folks who can meet from time to time online, and we need to put together a
Project Roadmap for what we want and what we'd like it to do. Initially I'd like
to concentrate on Architectural and Structural, but I would also like to
eventually include the other building design disciplines. I would like to
ultimately--within five to eight years, say--have a product analogous to
Intergraph's PDS (http://ppm.intergraph.com/pds/) or
Autodesk's Revit (http://images.autodesk.com/gost/files/Revit_for_AutoCAD_Users0.pdf)
for building systems, then perhaps extend it to include parallel industries such
as industrial, petrochemical, etc.
Big dreams, huh? Well, I'm getting bored, folks. I'd
like to put something like this together then "retire" and spend my time running
around doing training for it. I'm not getting rich designing house foundations,
that's for sure.
(Sorry, don't mean to burden you folks with personal
junk but my struggle with illness has reached a point where something's got to
give. Change can sometimes be good).
Time to learn C/C++. Time was, this would have been
impossible just because of the tools needed. No longer. The Gnu 4.0x compiler
set just came out (http://directory.fsf.org/devel/compilers/gcc.html)
and by all accounts it is awesome. All the "flavors" work together--for example,
their "g95" project (http://directory.fsf.org/devel/compilers/g95.html)
is a mature implementation of the Fortran 95 standard. That means you can dust
off old Fortran code and include it as a module or library in your overall
software scheme. Think of the fun you can have with that!
Okay, my meds are running away with me. I'd LOVE to
hear some feedback on this subject, though.
And if there are any volunteers--especially you young
shavers who come out of school already KNOWING how to do C/C++ coding with
graphical interfaces, etc.--let me know.
(Oh, and don't look to me for "project leadership". I stink at that; I
love to concoct the ideas then take my little piece of the puzzle off to my cave
to do my bit. We need a project manager!)
So far, total silence on this subject. Any ideas?
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