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  • Showing only topics with the tag "open source". Back to normal view
    1. How would you write a GUI? Seeking opinions, recommendations, and what to avoid.

      Hi all. I am asking this open-ended question (bottom of this post) because I am considering making contributions to an open-source project that would directly benefit me and other users. Some...

      Hi all. I am asking this open-ended question (bottom of this post) because I am considering making contributions to an open-source project that would directly benefit me and other users.

      Some background:

      I have worked with an engineering simulation software called Ansys MAPDL basically everyday for the last 4 years, in both an academic and a professional capacity. It's not necessarily relevant whether you are familiar to that program to participate in this discussion. The relevant thing is that the GUI for MAPDL is written in Tcl/Tk and I don’t imagine it is going to be modernized (because of more modern, but distinctly different, replacements). This is a screenshot of the GUI for reference.

      Why do people put up with such an old interface?

      The power of the program is not its GUI, but the scripting language that can be run to setup and solve simulations. The program name is really the scripting language name, Ansys Parametric Design Language (APDL). It's somewhat like Matlab. The program also offers an enormous amount of control when compared to the more modern GUI that's been released, since the modern GUI holds a totally different philosophy.

      The older GUI is really helpful in certain circumstances because it will spit out a file containing commands that were used in the session. This is a great demonstration of how to run a command or use a setting/config command, but a lot of newer features are buried in the documentation and aren't available in the older GUI.

      My coding experience

      I know the MAPDL language very intimately, but my experience beyond it is limited to some Perl scripting, and a bit of Python exposure.

      Motivation

      Open-Source Ansys API

      Recently, Ansys started supporting an open-source Python project called PyAnsys. MAPDL is otherwise fully closed source, and this is really the only public-facing API. PyAnsys has basically converted a lot of MAPDL script commands to a pythonic format, hence Python can now be used to interact with MAPDL. This is great for several reasons, but is limited regarding interactivity. Interacting with MAPDL via Python is basically happening in a fancy console via Jupyter notebook or IDE like Spyder. Certain commands will bring up Python-based graphics displays of solid models and results plots, but there isn't a dedicated GUI open all the time.

      The Question(s)

      My question is whether it is feasible to write a frontend GUI to a bunch of python commands. If you were going to do it, how would you do it? What might you write it with? Would you even do it? Is this a stupid endeavor?

      7 votes
    2. How do I give proper credits in a documentation site

      I'm currently working on a site for learning MonoGame: https://learn-monogame.github.io/. The front page alone is a collaboration between 3 people. Do you guys know of a good way to give credits...

      I'm currently working on a site for learning MonoGame: https://learn-monogame.github.io/. The front page alone is a collaboration between 3 people. Do you guys know of a good way to give credits for each page? Is that a good idea? I'm currently thinking of adding a section at the bottom of each page with categories like:

      • Written by
      • Edited by
      • Corrections by
      • Brainstormed with

      With a link to each contributor's preferred social medial. I'm not sure where to look for inspiration for giving credits in a documentation site.

      From a reader's point of view, I think it can be nice to get introduced to members of the MonoGame community. Perhaps check out their released games or the ones they are working on.

      5 votes
    3. Is Firefox still a good (enough) browser for privacy?

      Someone posted this on the privacy subreddit. I also ended up finding this and this after doing a bit of searching. As someone who isn’t in the CS/IT spheres (chemical engineering is my...

      Someone posted this on the privacy subreddit. I also ended up finding this and this after doing a bit of searching. As someone who isn’t in the CS/IT spheres (chemical engineering is my background), Firefox has been my go-to browser for awhile, although I’m being made aware of the flaws of Firefox (most of which go over my head) and behavior of Mozilla. What can be done to fix this, especially considering that Firefox is the only FOSS browser with a significant user base?

      22 votes
    4. Recommend a self-host, open source URL Shortener

      At my day job at a non-for-profit, I direct the digital services and platforms (among other things). One thing that I've seen in my org. is the widespread use of the Bitly URL shortener (free...

      At my day job at a non-for-profit, I direct the digital services and platforms (among other things). One thing that I've seen in my org. is the widespread use of the Bitly URL shortener (free plan/tier) for the sharing of our many online and offline campaigns. The myriad departments in the org. for the most part operate quite autonomously, though I can influence the use of digital platforms (at least the majority of the time). I'd like to get away from using Bitly. Would anyone kindly recommend alternatives to Bitly? Self-host and open source options would be preferred, but not required if the price is right (read: low enough for a non-profit).

      I've used YOURLs many years ago, and it worked great; did everything that I needed and was straight-forward to install and use. (The only cost was a cheap $5/month Digital Ocean droplet, that I happened to run other things on too.) However, I have also heard of - but never used - the following other options:

      So...Are any of the above worth considering (or avoiding)? Are there any other, perhaps better alternatives not listed here? I'd appreciate any suggestions and recommendations! Thanks in advanced!

      4 votes
    5. Is there a website to propose/join open source groups?

      I'm interested in working on an open source project from scratch with a group of like minded people and curious how to get something like that started. Does anyone know of any websites that...

      I'm interested in working on an open source project from scratch with a group of like minded people and curious how to get something like that started. Does anyone know of any websites that facilitate that kind of thing? Like where people might propose an project and others can tentatively join?

      12 votes