Do we need another LDraw building program?

Re: Do we need another LDraw building program?

First, let me apologize by posting into an old thread, but I couldn't find a more appropriate one.

I was searching around looking to see if I could run LDCad on my Mac. The LDCad site directed me to the forums, so here I am.

I might be able to get LDCad running on my Mac, with some fiddling. Running it natively would be a stretch, but running under XQuartz seems more likely.

But I can't, because I cannot access the source code.

There may to be a misconception or misunderstanding about open source software in the LDraw community. LDraw as a standard is open, and that's great, but it seems many of the projects are not, and that makes me sad.

I'm hoping to argue for licensing of more projects under open source here; I apologize if I'm about to offend anyone.

Making a project open source does not mean "setting it free". It does not mean anybody can come along and change it. It does not mean you lose control over your project. It's still your project, and you still own it. It has your name on the copyright.

All it really means is that others can contribute to your project. For example, would a Mac build of LDCad be appreciated? If not certainly by the author of LDCad (I'm assuming this is you), but certainly others in the community.

Why a binary for Mac has not been released, I do not know. If it's simply because the author doesn't have the time, resources, or test machine to get a Mac version running--please know that others _do_ have the time and resources, and they are happy to contribute.

I write a ton of code. It's all open source. I still own it, and nobody can screw with my projects without my say-so. That doesn't mean someone can't copy it and make it better if I start slacking off, though. Generally, this doesn't happen without very good reason. 95 out of 100 times, code someone else writes to improve your project will be presented to you, and you can choose to include it--or not.

If more authors opened their tools up, I think we'd see an influx of contributions. Many developers would rally around the best projects and make them even better.

Regarding LDCad specifically, I'm reading that the author is happy to release the source under an open-source license if he's not able to work on it any longer, for whatever reason. But there's no need to wait. What will happen is the project will be released into the wild without a proper maintainer, and there will be a vacuum where there were once ideas and visions. If you release it now, while you still have interest, it will help you ensure another maintainer--or team!--will take the reins if you no longer have the time or desire. People aren't going to crawl over each other to learn a completely unfamiliar codebase of a dead project!

So no, you won't have to relinquish control, but you will need to: collaborate, be responsive, and listen to ideas. If someone calls your code into question and you disagree, you must be prepared to defend your decision. If you've done code reviews, then you know there's a lot to learn from others. Even if the codebase is a complete mess, someone will help clean it up, because they like the project.

I don't know the reasons for not releasing LDCad under an OSS license. But if I'm lucky, I've addressed a concern or two. I'd love to contribute to a project like LDCad if I could. And there are many others like me...

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Re: Do we need another LDraw building program? - by Christopher Hiller - 2015-09-15, 8:13

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