Thursday, March 26, 2009

The silence of the lambs on Archimedes

It has a been a while since no news were posted, but, as in the movie, silence doesn't mean nothing is happening. Actually, quite a few things happend since the last post.

First, a new team of 6 undergrad students is working on Archimedes again. As for the past 4 years, they'll work on Archimedes as part of an eXtreme Programming laboratory course. This semester's goal is "Portability".
I'll have them focus on making Archimedes compatible with other software. This basically means file support for SVG (exporting only for now -- in order to have post project work on Inkscape), native support to DXF (importing and exporting without file losses -- should allow to work with most of other CAD systems) and working on a few more essential elements such as Spline and Groups. I've also asked them to finish the work that was started on Trim, Extend and Fillet. I am not sure they will manage to do it all, but I'll help them the way I can so we might actually do it.

Other than that, I am happy to say Archimedes' new website is pretty good. It is currently pretty featureless but I intend to improve this with time. My next step is to add a release system plugged into the repository in order to easily generate new versions of Archimedes. If I manage to do it by April, 1st, I'll use it to release the new version with several improvements. For now, please report or request anything you want from Archimedes in the SourceForge website. I hope to remove this dependency with the new website but it will take some time.

Less exciting news. I recently discovered that Archimedes had a few licensing issues. I've spent two months trying to get in touch with every code contributor of Archimedes so far to change the License of Archimedes and had a partial success. The output is: Archimedes cannot be GPL (any version) because it uses code licensed under EPL v1.0 and changes it, which would mean it should be licensed under GPL which isn't allowed by the EPL license. Therefore, Archimedes code is now licensed under EPL. The only implication of this change is that Archimedes' code is no longer as viral as GPL code so people can use parts of it on commercial application as long as they keep Archimedes' code free. This change also implied that every project of the current Archimedes project is now distributed with a License.TXT file. I was also forced to create a small header-inserter ruby script which I made available at rubyforge as a library. The library makes it really easy to list all files within a directory that match a certain pattern and also retrieves subversion data for each file if there is one. The code can also be found at my github page.

Last notice, Jhonny warned me that it wasn't clear which page of archimedes should be check. Please, always refer to! The incubadora's page is abandoned. Their link is awful and the support is getting thinner and thinner so I guessed it would be better to handle ourselves. That's it for now.
More news soon with the new version.

1 comment:

João Wiciuk said...

Oi cara, tudo bem?
Eu sei que a postagem é meio antiga, mas aqui foi o único lugar onde pude escrever para ti.

Eu uso bastante o Archimedes. É uma ótima opção quando o assunto é CAD livre.
O único problema é que ele tem um bug desconfortável. Às vezes, quando alguma entidade é selecionada, aparecem dezenas de linhas por toda a tela e todo o trabalho feito depois da última gravação no HD fica comprometido. Você sabe como posso solucionar ou contornar este pequeno defeito?