"List of High priorities FLOSS projects for AEC industry" published by OSArch.org

edited December 2020 in General

In the same way FSF has its list of "High priorities software projects" , OSArch could publish a short list of "High priorities FLOSS projects for AEC industry", with the intention of highlighting crucial areas of development of strategic importance and highlights specific projects within these areas.
The goals for this initiative could progressively be:
1) Information about the current status of freedom in AEC industry.
2) Clear definition of the problems of a priority area, to help as a starting point in the development of FLOSS solutions.
3) Orientation for volunteers, developers, funders about where their support and collaboration is needed.
4) Creation of possible financial initiatives by OSArch for developer funding: creation of bountysources for specific solutions, organization of crowfunding, direct donation from OSArch's budget, etc...

Tagged:
jtm2020hyoduncanpaullee

Comments

  • I wish a more friendly environment between FOSS software, I mean just a unique FOSS format and collaboration between they.

  • edited December 2020

    @jtm2020hyo I think that's what we're trying to do when we try and bring different 2D formats in and focus them on DXF and SVG. For 3D formats the focus is on IFC for data exchange.

    @bitacovir I totally agree with you. Personally that is on my list of things to spend time on after OSArch has a legal structure and a governance structure so we can make decisions and handle money. But starting the work now is also great - go for it!

  • edited January 6

    Please to the list add impulse .STEP and IFC in all 2D and 3D software, we need a standard and if we already can use .STEP and IFC for 2D then I think should impulsed in all FOSS

  • @jtm2020hyo what do you mean by impulse step?

  • @jtm2020hyo said:
    I wish a more friendly environment between FOSS software, I mean just a unique FOSS format and collaboration between they.

    This will hardly be possible and is IMHO wasted effort. As XCKD already pinpointed about standards. - (Please prove me wrong.)

    There can and should be a common exchange format between software (IFC in the case of the AEC industry?). But that's it, an exchange format. Each program should work in its own format, as each program serves a specific need and has unique features. It would be very difficult to integrate all the metadata of all the different programs into one single file format. Just imagine that task with finding a common file format for Blender and FreeCad, which works in both programs equally well.

    I would see the priorities more on developing and promoting procedures and software which uses this open common standard and does this as cleanly as possible. The internal file structure and functionality of a program can be unique and only be done within this software, but the base information should be exportable and openly readable. For example I would always work in a .blend file, only on export to other stakeholders of a project the software would use the IFC file format or if printed SVG.

    Jesusbill
  • @Moult said:
    @jtm2020hyo what do you mean by impulse step?

    .STEP format

  • edited January 6

    @doia said:
    There can and should be a common exchange format between software (IFC in the case of the AEC industry?). But that's it, an exchange format. Each program should work in its own format, as each program serves a specific need and has unique features.

    I mean add an option to export import to .STEP and .IFC in each software, no matter if 2D or 3D, additionally, if theorically is not possible create since zero an All in one format for FOSS, then my suggestion is add option for create or translate our info to tables/schedules and add an option for export import any info in .CSV format, this should be possible because, as excel proves, any data should be possible to be converted to list as tables, this is the easy and lazzy way.

    I think this is priority because the humanity is in checkmate just using DWG/dxf as exchange format, literally this is stopping all possible progress, I think autodesk should be prosecuted because they created a monopoly, we are in 2021 and we already should stop this.

  • edited January 6

    ... And finally I think interoperability and interconnection between software is high priority because is the future, just check dynamo with revit and robot structural, imagine if we could create automatic documents with a similar workflow between blender or freecad with libreoffice, is a lot of work saved, and creating friendly APIs could create a more powerful environment compared to private software

  • Speckle like approach may overcome format limitations.

    duncanMoultJesusbill
  • I'd like to bump this thread to help create a list of high priority tasks that would greatly benefit OSArch objectives. This list is something I will show during FOSDEM, hopefully which can create some exposure around it. The criteria is that is must a significant undertaking, and little to no options are currently available as free software right now.

    • Robust 2D drafting with good DWG & DXF support (I couldn't recommend LibreCAD / QCAD to an AutoCAD power user, can I?)
    • Commercial-grade 3D to 2D drawing generation capabilities (TechDraw in FreeCAD is perhaps good enough for residential scale development, but doesn't compare to the commercial grade stuff most firms now expect)
    • Asset libraries (steel profiles, door and windows, furniture) and convenient UX in using them
    • Building energy model authoring tools
    • Visual programming nodes that make computational design easy (Sverchok and PyFlow aren't at the same level as Grasshopper)
    • BIM web viewers with measurement, tagging, and comparison tools (IFCJS and BIMSurfer still quite new, need something more like a Xeokit)
    • Cloud-based BIM project management (OpenProject BIM module is closed source, it seems)
    • Improved free software UI integration for environmental and structural simulation
    • Paper space layouting tools for drawings

    Stuff where no free software option exists

    • Construction sequencing planner and animation generator
    • Cost schedule generator
    • MEP system design (does anything exist?)
    • PDF markup tools (nothing exists?)
    • Climate change projection analysis (something I came across at work)
    • Swept path analysis

    Please let me know your thoughts and how to improve this list.

    CyrilbrunopostlepaulleeJesusbillJQL
  • @stephen_l said:
    Speckle like approach

    Could you explain that?

  • @doia said:

    @stephen_l said:
    Speckle like approach

    Could you explain that?

    Nevermind. Got it. Haven‘t heard of Speckles.systems before. Looks interesting.

  • @Moult could you make your list numbered please?
    Is cost estimation software that important? Isn't there a good case for spreadsheet templates and ifccsv exports?

  • @duncan from the explanation given to me by @iosvarms as well as from my own firm's costing dept there is a bit more involvement :) However, it does seem technically a relatively straightforward. If solved, it could be an easy win saying "hey, free software is ready to switch to for this usecase".

    I didn't really want to number it as different points are important to different people.

  • @Moult re: Construction sequencing planner and animation generator - https://www.ganttproject.biz/ is a FOSS project. I've used it for simplistic projects and haven't had any problems. It can export CSV. GanttProject is distributed under GPL3 license.

  • @John Ah yes I forgot about GanttProject, but I should rename it to say "Model-linked construction sequencer" - since that's what makes it useful on a complex project. I think GanttProject is a generic tool. Someone here familiar with tools like Synchro should be able to review GanttProject and see what new features needs to be added.

    I should also perhaps rename cost estimation software to "cross-platform cost estimation software" since Qex Studio is Windows only: https://github.com/gorovt/Qex_Studio/issues/1

  • @Moult said:
    Please let me know your thoughts and how to improve this list.

    I'd like to see a mention of a dedicated module for landscape architecture/civil engineering. Essentially everything that is outside of the building:

    • terrain modelling (hardscape/softscape)
    • planting design
    • gravity networks (stormwater/wastewater/drainage etc.)
    • pressure pipe networks (potable water/gas/irrigation etc.)

    This is just a basic list of features. The main point would be to give some love to site design, which is typically neglected in most major CAD packages.

  • @mrhe that sounds great! Can you compress that into a bullet point for me to include on the list?

  • Sure thing @Moult. How about this?

    • Comprehensive site design tools for landscape architects and civil engineers
    Moult
  • edited January 11

    @Moult I just haven't heard of two quantity surveyors who can agree on how to do the numbers. So a useful solution might be more flexible than any single software package. A solution like LibreOffice Calc and Base hooked into IFC might be better.
    Anyway, you saw this one? https://github.com/gorovt/Qex_Studio

  • @Jesusbill wrote

    For the structural engineering part I would add the need to
    define an open-data model for representing the mesh and the analysis results (on the mesh) of finite-element models

    ... and then I moved the long discussion in reply over to https://community.osarch.org/discussion/421/open-data-model-for-fem

    Jesusbill
  • edited January 13

    @Moult said:

    • Building energy model authoring tools

    I know of idf2ph.com/ which is currently an open source plugin built on top of Ladybugtools / Rhino for driving PHPP energy performance models. https://passivehouse.com/04_phpp/04_phpp.htm is the excel spreadsheet tool used to model the performance during design and certify Passivhaus buildings.

  • @duncan Qex_Studio is unfortunately Windows-only. I'll change the wording to mention cross-platform.

    @kaiaurelienzh unfortunately Rhino is proprietary. I suspect that once I or someone else finishes the Honeybee migration to Blender, then that tool can also be ported.

  • @Moult said:
    I'd like to bump this thread to help create a list of high priority tasks that would greatly benefit OSArch objectives. This list is something I will show during FOSDEM, hopefully which can create some exposure around it. The criteria is that is must a significant undertaking, and little to no options are currently available as free software right now.

    • Robust 2D drafting with good DWG & DXF support (I couldn't recommend LibreCAD / QCAD to an AutoCAD power user, can I?)
    • Commercial-grade 3D to 2D drawing generation capabilities (TechDraw in FreeCAD is perhaps good enough for residential scale development, but doesn't compare to the commercial grade stuff most firms now expect)
    • Asset libraries (steel profiles, door and windows, furniture) and convenient UX in using them
    • Building energy model authoring tools
    • Visual programming nodes that make computational design easy (Sverchok and PyFlow aren't at the same level as Grasshopper)
    • BIM web viewers with measurement, tagging, and comparison tools (IFCJS and BIMSurfer still quite new, need something more like a Xeokit)
    • Cloud-based BIM project management (OpenProject BIM module is closed source, it seems)
    • Improved free software UI integration for environmental and structural simulation
    • Paper space layouting tools for drawings

    Stuff where no free software option exists

    • Construction sequencing planner and animation generator
    • Cost schedule generator
    • MEP system design (does anything exist?)
    • PDF markup tools (nothing exists?)
    • Climate change projection analysis (something I came across at work)
    • Swept path analysis

    Please let me know your thoughts and how to improve this list.

    Concerning PDF markup tools I've used xournal to annotate PDF drawings and okular to annotate regular text documents.

  • @Moult said:

    • Cloud-based BIM project management (OpenProject BIM module is closed source, it seems)

    It's available on github: https://github.com/opf/openproject/tree/dev/modules/bim
    I didn't know Ruby so I was just able to do some tweaks to enable it on my local install, but I could not get the models converted. They don't provide installation guides. OpenProject uses xeokit, so these tools must be present on the server: https://github.com/opf/openproject/blob/dev/modules/bim/app/services/bim/ifc_models/view_converter_service.rb#L35
    https://github.com/xeokit/xeokit-sdk/wiki/Creating-Files-for-Offline-BIM

    I might add a CDE to the wishlist. I don't know an opensource one.

  • @htlcnn yeah that's something I don't fully understand... xeokit is not open source, so how can OpenProject's BIM module ship it as open source?

  • @Moult so OpenProject BIM is not opensource. They just push their code to github for storage, "accidentally" make some people mistake it is opensource, like I did with UnrealEngine.

    Moult
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