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Suggested changes to this forum

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CADTutor

The "AutoLISP, VBA, the CUI & Customisation" forum has become a very lively part of the AutoCAD Forums and probably needs a structural review in order to acommodate growth in the future. I'm currently undertaking a review of the structure of the whole board prior to a major upgrade to be implemented shortly (next few weeks).

 

Is seems to me that we probably have too many topics grouped in this forum and there are some topics missing (.NET and Object ARX?).

 

My initial thought is to create a new section of the forum entitled "AutoCAD Customization" and have perhaps 4 forums within that section:

1. The CUI, Custom Hatches/Linetrypes etc.

2. AutoLISP, Visual LISP and DCL

3. VBA, .NET, Object ARX etc. (all programming other than LISP)

4. Application Archive (new name for the AutoLISP Archive to include for other APIs)

 

The temptation is to have one forum for each API but experience has taught me that it's better to allow forums to grow organically and split them as required rather than create a forum for every different topic and end up with some very quiet areas.

 

I'd very much welcome your thoughts on this and let me know if you think I've missed anything out.

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Lee Mac

My thoughts are that as time has progressed the nature of the members whom frequent this forum has changed from willing to learn an API to more requesting/demanding that code be provided; and perhaps I have encouraged this shift due to my willingness to post complete programs. This has led me to post less frequently and rather post hints of how to get to a solution (or link to code I have already written), rather than complete programs.

 

I think the majority of members are oriented towards LISP/Visual LISP, and only a small proportion are versed in .NET and even fewer in ObjectArx; and so many threads relating to these topics are commonly referred to theSwamp where more members can help out - having separate forums for these API's can only increase interest and be beneficial.

 

Well, those are my thoughts,

 

Lee

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The Buzzard

I love that idea David,

 

If anything, It will make it easier to find what you are looking for as well as reduce an overcrowding situation on this forum. I was just wondering how existing threads and posts already on this forum for any topic will be separated or will they remain as is?

 

The Buzzard

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Lee Mac
I was just wondering how existing threads and posts already on this forum for any topic will be separated or will they remain as is?

 

Good point - the Mods have a lot of work on their hands... I would be happy to help out in any way that I could :)

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CADTutor
I was just wondering how existing threads and posts already on this forum for any topic will be separated or will they remain as is?

 

I would aim to move threads to the most appropriate forum. Obviously, the bulk are LISP and would remain in this forum but others would be moved. Probably not necessary to go back into the mists of time but maybe the last 6 months or so.

 

This idea was partly prompted by a member who wanted to post a .NET tutorial but couldn't find the best place to post it - hopefully, a new more inclusive structure would encourage more activity and .NET is an obvious omission.

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dbroada

as one of those who prefers VBA and is trying to get to grips with .NET I would welcome anything that separates the threads - if for no other reason than I would be able to find my posts more easilly :D

 

The one drawback is that often people come asking for a XXXX solution when that may not be the most appropriate way but I think that confusion is mainly through people wanting finished code, not those asking for help.

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SEANT

It may have changed but, at one time the “AutoLISP Archive” was a restricted forum: Will the new Application Archive be open to all?

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Lee Mac
It may have changed but, at one time the “AutoLISP Archive” was a restricted forum: Will the new Application Archive be open to all?

 

I was wondering about that too :wink:

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CADTutor
It may have changed but, at one time the “AutoLISP Archive” was a restricted forum: Will the new Application Archive be open to all?

 

Good question. I'm open to suggestions. How would you like to use it? My initial idea was to keep that forum closed to general postings so that any completed routines could be moved there after doing the rounds in the other forums but maybe it should be open so that anyone could contribute. I think we need some logical system in order to keep things tidy but you guys would know best what would work. What I'm saying is "this is your forum, how would you like it to function?"

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Lee Mac

Not trying to sound arrogant/elitist but I don't think it should be open - as we don't really want erroneous LISP routines in there...

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alanjt
Not trying to sound arrogant/elitist but I don't think it should be open - as we don't really want erroneous LISP routines in there...

Isn't that saying that one person's contribution is more/less useful than another and thus deeming/denying them posting privileges.

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Lee Mac
Isn't that saying that one person's contribution is more/less useful than another and thus deeming/denying them posting privileges.

 

No, I was merely saying that if it was open for anyone to post we might well find it be filled with erroneous routines - I would suggest that if the user wants to post a routine, they ask permission.

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alanjt
No, I was merely saying that if it was open for anyone to post we might well find it be filled with erroneous routines - I would suggest that if the user wants to post a routine, they ask permission.

 

Then they should/could just be submitted to mods.

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CADTutor
Isn't that saying that one person's contribution is more/less useful than another and thus deeming/denying them posting privileges.

 

I'm not sure. The objective is not to only allow posting by "elite" programmers but to ensure the routines in the Archive are tested and reliable. So, it's not to do with who can post but what the forum contains. I guess it depends how we see it being used. Maybe we need 2 forums, one for vetted routines with controlled access and an open forum for all contributions?

 

It's still open to debate and I'm keen to design a system that works for most people.

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SEANT
. . . . and an open forum for all contributions? . . . .

 

 

The consequences are potentially more critical for Managed(.NET) and Unmanaged(C++) ARX as both are quite capable taking down AutoCAD when they crash (not usually a worry for either Lisp or VBA). :nuke:

 

If there is a forum with unrestricted access then it may be sensible to include a “sticky” post to conspicuously warn users of the hazard: An umbrella disclaimer of sorts.

 

Edit: After a closer look I see that the current AutoLISP Archive already has a "umbrella disclaimer" . . . . CadTutor has that situation covered in the Terms of use sticky.

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Lee Mac

Exactly my point Sean :thumbsup:

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The Buzzard

I agree also.

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BIGAL

My five cents worth any code posted must be source only no dll's dvb particuarly with .Net.

 

Whilst its user beware at least you look for hidden words "delete file" ?

 

I must agree also I try to contribute but there seems to be more and more expecting some else to write the code for them not searching for soloutions and or find the answer rather than actually learning how to program by example.

 

Finally, having a completed vetted code section is good with a few more generic key words of its use for simple searching. "Have you looked in the completed code section" may become a well used post reply.

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Freerefill

I understand the risks associated with essentially an open-source library, but at the same time, there are benefits.

 

If you restrict access, whom do you restrict it to? A slew of new mods? A few select individuals voted "best at" or "reasonably good enough at" whilst at the same time "more trustworthy than others"? The only good thing here is that it would filter out a lot of malicious or useless code.

 

If you do not restrict access, then yes, anyone can edit the code, including but not limited to removing/modifying headers with copyright information or inserting malicious code. At the same time, anyone can take a good idea and post their efforts, and anyone else with good ideas can modify it into something better, without having to wait for a moderators approval or judgment.

 

Perhaps the forum would be viewable by anyone, but limited to modification by someone who has more than X forum posts? Personally, I like the fact that anyone has the potential or capability to modify something. I think open-source is the best thing since sliced bread. Then again, I'm the kind of person who doesn't modify what's existing, so I fit nicely into that system. And I do understand the risks. A post count would be an automatic way of determining if someone has put in some amount of effort.

 

Another option would be to set up a wiki, that way all the modifications are saved, and anything could be easily reset. Then again, that opens up its own can of worms... but oh well. That's brainstorming. Technically I could suggest hooking a CNC machine up to an HTML form which, upon submission, would carve the source code into a block of wood, which would then be organized and stored by trained beavers.

 

The only other thing I want to say is that, ultimately, the people who come on here looking for and requesting programs and scripts, it's up to them to decide whether or not they want to use it. It's up to them to understand what it's doing. It's their responsibility, just like it is yours or mine when our cars break down or our wrist-watches hit daylight savings time. If there is malicious code in a script, or even if there isn't, well, it's the user's fault for blindly assuming it'll do its job without flaw.

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ReMark

The AutoLISP Archive should remain "as is". Routines included in that forum should be vetted. CADTutor does not want to risk its reputation on bad or malicious code does it?

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