autocad and solidworks

Bas Wijnen wijnen at
Sat Aug 27 07:52:58 EDT 2011

Werner Almesberger schreef op wo 24-08-2011 om 17:23 [-0300]:
> Having non-Free elements in a process of a Free project
> weakens the project, because it increases the barrier for
> participation.  People who don't have access to these
> elements will then simply be limited to shouting from the
> sidelines while some of them could play a much more
> productive role otherwise. I've seen this happen in practice
> over and over again.

Indeed. What I think Ron means, is that it may be acceptable to use
non-free software to actually accomplish things while waiting for
acceptable free alternatives.

Personally, I agree with this for hardware (like putting a proprietary
SoC in the NanoNote), but not for software. In the case of software,
using it actually makes it better and fast, too (assuming you are
reporting bugs and/or sending patches). For hardware this is much
slower. Also, for the SoC the problem isn't that the quality is not
enough, but that there is no free alternative yet.

> What surprises me a bit about those CAD tools is that people
> make all the effort of developing those interactive tools,
> but then don't go the comparably small extra way of actually
> turning them into something that would make it a considerably
> more powerful tool.
> I wonder if it's them just somehow overlooking this
> possibility, of if this has been tried and they ran into
> unsurmountable practical difficulties I'm not aware of.

I'm currently trying to finally finish some projects. I've been starting
lots of projects, but finishing hasn't been my strength. I see the same
problem with many other software developers. I think this is what you're
seeing. "the problem can be solved, let's move on to the next


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