A page to help those completely new to open source software.

As Discussed in the monthly meetup it may be helpful to have a page in the Wiki that helps those completely new to Open Source Software, and a clear link to that page from the main page of the Wiki could be very helpful. The "Open Source Software beginners" page could help make clear how Open Source Software can be relied upon for professional use and that programing knowledge is not a requirement. It could also define a short list of the essential stable and reliable Open Source Software that could be used, particularly for more standard office administration task which could be explored as a first step towards an AEC practice using a full Open Source Software suit. The "Open Source Software beginners" page might also link to
resources like this from
The Frugal Computer Guy video course on LibreOffice-Writer

or embed videos such as this one from @yorik
titled: "Open-source BIM applications"

and this one from @Moult
titled: "Free / libre & Open Source software in AEC, and how it impacts OpenBIM - buildingSMART Summit 2020"

@duncan I would not envisage this being too in depth or complicated and I'm happy to help put it together but input and assistance with getting it started and refining it would be useful.
any thoughts?

CGR
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Comments

    1. It's always a bit hard to judge after some time what the newcomers are looking for, feel free to start with the page
    2. An issue with these things is, that you always have to be careful not to duplicate content too much, as it gets hard to keep up to date. For example in the case of "stable, ready for professional work" I'd suggest instead to add a tag to each app in our AEC directory and a filter function and then link to the filtered list, rather than to create a sublist again.
    3. But than again it might really be useful to have something like a blog post talking about the standard os replacements, I always wonder why people keep pirating ms office instead of using libre office. I started the wiki page for you: https://wiki.osarch.org/index.php?title=Open_source_software_beginners so you can go wild. If you need help formatting it, https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Help:Contents should have everything you need.
    CGR
  • @RWA108 I've made a link to the page from the top of the AEC Software Directory: https://wiki.osarch.org/index.php?title=AEC_Free_Software_directory

  • edited November 9

    Thank you JanF and Duncan, I'll do my best to find time this week to work on the page.

    duncanJanF
  • @JanF said:
    I always wonder why people keep pirating ms office instead of using libre office.

    They either don't know about any other alternative or are afraid of compatibility issues. It could be useful to have an "Open source alternative to X" page. An open source alternative to Office, an open source alternative to Autocad, etc. It might seem obvious to us but it's not so obvious from a new or future user perspective.

    And I think it's very important to set the expectations for each software. Raise issues like compatibility or learning curve or whatever roadblock a new user might encounter. Otherwise what happens is: they download a CAD software to replace Autocad, realize it doesn't support DWG, get frustrated and never consider FLOSS again.

  • @arquiguru that is a great idea to highlight open source alternatives. Can you please help edit these pages to list open source alternatives, and this can help create a standard of how to present this info on the wiki?

    arquiguru
  • @Moult I have no idea how to do that but will figure it out (that's the spirit, right?)

    Jesusbillduncan
  • @arquiguru - just press the edit button on the top right of the page (you don't even need an account!) and go nuts! (well, not too nuts!) That's the spirit!

    Jesusbill
  • @arquiguru on the new page https://wiki.osarch.org/index.php?title=Open_source_software_beginners there is now a link to alternatives.to which is the best place I know to find alternatives to specific software packages.

    arquiguru
  • @duncan said:
    @arquiguru on the new page https://wiki.osarch.org/index.php?title=Open_source_software_beginners there is now a link to alternatives.to which is the best place I know to find alternatives to specific software packages.

    I was thinking about the same site! I edited both Archicad and Revit pages to include Open Source Alternatives. Took me a while to figure out but I think it looks ok.

    I wanted to add a new page for Autocad and list the open source alternatives since this is a very common topic among fellow architects but couldn't figure out how.

    Moult
  • @arquiguru to add a new page, there are two ways. The first way is simply search for your desired page title (check spelling and case sensitivity!) in the search bar, and then when it finds no results, there is a link to create a new page.

    The second way is to link to it from another page (this is recommended, as links are how a wiki connects). If the link doesn't exist, it will turn red, which you can then click to create the page.

    Thank you so much for your contributions! If you want to be known for it, feel free to register an account!

  • Thank you, @Moult . Sorry to bother, I checked the documentation before asking but for some reason I couldn't see the red link. Here's my humble contribution.

    Moult
  • There is this section on the wiki which describes how to contribute: https://wiki.osarch.org/index.php?title=How_to_contribute_to_OSArch#Knowledge_sharing_in_the_Wiki - maybe from your experience on things you needed to lookup or having to hunt for documentation you could improve that paragraph to describe where to find information and answers to common questions. That will help future contributors.

    duncanarquiguru
  • @RWA108 just wondering if you needed some help on how to add content to https://wiki.osarch.org/index.php?title=Open_source_software_beginners ? Maybe you can create a table similar to the software directory?

    Also, if I recall you (or was it someone else) was doing a PhD on this topic - are there any academic papers related to FOSS and AEC that you think you can add to https://wiki.osarch.org/index.php?title=AEC_academic_paper_directory ?

  • Great work @arquiguru - I've added links to alternatives.to and the category [[Category:Proprietary software]] Maybe in the autocad page you could write something about DWG / DXF support in other software and if you get enthusiastic you could write briefly about the disgusting way Autodesk has tried to bully other firms out of refering to DWG in their products. There's plenty about that on the wikipedia DWG page.

  • @duncan said:
    if you get enthusiastic you could write briefly about the disgusting way Autodesk has tried to bully other firms out of refering to DWG in their products. There's plenty about that on the wikipedia DWG page.

    Adding alternatives.to link was a good idea! I know a bit about DWG and DXF but not enough to call them out. But I will give it a try. BTW, made a video about using BlenderBIM to do IFC clash detection. I'll be uploading it today and maybe embed it somewhere in the wiki. It's in spanish, though 🌮

  • @arquiguru said:
    It's in spanish, though 🌮

    How hard is it to add/correct subtitles? I've never tried but it would be great.

  • I don't know so I can't say but will try once it's up. I thought it was going to be easy to screencapture the process and dub it in english and/or spanish but dubbing a tutorial is harder than I thought.

  • Youtube subtitles are simple text with timing tags, the yt editor provide tools to select the time and write your text. It also is possible to add translations, but you must make it by hand as automatic translation often is wrong.

  • Tutorial for clash detection is up :) I feel badass for contributing. Thanks @Moult for showing me the way

    MoultduncanRWA108Jesusbill
  • @stephen_l @arquiguru english subtitles was what I was thinking of. I think it's great to encourage videos in whatever language people are most comfortable with and then working on translated subtitles.

  • @duncan said:
    @stephen_l @arquiguru english subtitles was what I was thinking of. I think it's great to encourage videos in whatever language people are most comfortable with and then working on translated subtitles.

    It was hard to decide whether making it in Spanish or English. Given that there's less content in Spanish I thought it could be more valuable 😀. But I will definetely look into subtitles.

  • @arquiguru Thanks for that video
    It's great to have more info on BlenderBIM as that is what I miss the most.

    I> @duncan said:

    @stephen_l @arquiguru english subtitles was what I was thinking of. I think it's great to encourage videos in whatever language people are most comfortable with and then working on translated subtitles.

    I actually think better language is English with subtitles in whatever other language. I agree that if people want to make on their own language as they feel more comfortable with it, that's great. What I also think is that this will ultimatelly drive a lot of potential users away, while english will not as we are all used to it.

    (I'm portuguese by the way, so I hope you don't feel I'm being biased.)

    RWA108
  • @JQL said:
    I actually think better language is English with subtitles in whatever other language. I agree that if people want to make on their own language as they feel more comfortable with it, that's great. What I also think is that this will ultimatelly drive a lot of potential users away, while english will not as we are all used to it.

    I agree, whatever people are comfortable with producing, and english has a larger audience.

    RWA108arquiguru
  • You know, statistically as long as you are not Chinese you are a foreigner :)
    Portuguese / Spanish / French also have huuuge audience.

    RWA108jamesjkyduncanarquiguru
  • edited November 18

    @Moult said:
    @RWA108 just wondering if you needed some help on how to add content to https://wiki.osarch.org/index.php?title=Open_source_software_beginners ? Maybe you can create a table similar to the software directory?

    Also, if I recall you (or was it someone else) was doing a PhD on this topic - are there any academic papers related to FOSS and AEC that you think you can add to https://wiki.osarch.org/index.php?title=AEC_academic_paper_directory ?

    Hi @Moult thank you for the offer of help. I have put a few hours in on the page now, You and others could maybe take a look and improve it as you see fit. I started a table but am not sure about how to get logos to work for the selected OSS. (It could be good if others wish to suggest additional options under the types). I am also not so clear about the license types for some of the selected or how best to link to the licensing type. It would be great if you and or others who are interested could take a look and maybe correct things there also. I will continue to do a little more on it myself when I have time in the coming week.
    In starting the page so far I wounder if it might make sense to separate into tow pages the part for complete beginners and the part about general AEC office OSS.
    I also wounder if it might be worth creating a page on open source operating systems?
    Maybe in time OSarch will be able to be a platform for the production of an easy to install Open Source, Operating System, with a full AEC OSS Suite included?

    PS. I was doing a Hdip in Engineering in BIM, and did some basic research into OSS as part of that. There are a few academic papers that I will add to the list.

  • Regarding a whole operating system people should check out CAE Linux where Jöel has done exactly that. I see @RWA108 has added that and I've also referenced it on the main directory.
    The page is looking good. Some really interesting links and content. Great launching pad for people to dive deeper on sites dedicated to their own subjects.

  • @arquiguru said:
    Tutorial for clash detection is up :) I feel badass for contributing. Thanks @Moult for showing me the way

    Is that added to the wiki somewhere? I can't find it.

  • @duncan no, I didn't know where to put it :)

  • edited November 22

    @arquiguru we have this page so I've added it there, and renamed the page, and and ... a short text describing the video would be great.
    https://wiki.osarch.org/index.php?title=BlenderBIM_Add-on_Clash_detection

    @Moult have you given some thought to how you would like to organise documentation for BlenderBIM Add-on? Starting on the page https://wiki.osarch.org/index.php?title=BlenderBIM_Add-on it's hard to get an overview. I'm asking you to spend more time on documentation, that's not on your roadmap just now, but when people do some documentation how do you imagine we should organise it?

  • edited November 22

    I didn't think much about how documentation should be oragnised. I see two types of documentation: "how-to" / task oriented tutorials, and UI oriented "this button does this" tutorials. Probably both should exist, just like in Blender. The former is probably more useful now, but by its nature is less straightforward to organise.

    I have no answers :) Just keep on creating and see what emerges!

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