[cad-linux-dev] BRL-CAD Release 7.18.2

  • From: brlcad <brlcad@xxxxxxx>
  • To: cad-linux@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2011 00:53:45 +0000 (GMT)

I'm very happy to announce the availability of another BRL-CAD release!


There have been 18(!) releases made since the last announcement sent to the cad-linux mailing list including 5 since our more recent Gentoo announcement last year.  Those 18 releases include more than 450 new features, bug fixes, and feature enhancements:


More specific feature highlights from those releases include recent efforts by Jordi Sayol to improve integration and usability on various Linux platforms including Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, and more.  He has added desktop icons, menu items, mime-type associations, and other platform-specific integration features aimed at making BRL-CAD easier to start and navigate.

This release includes a new mesh simplification interface that provides an easy means to reduce polygonal model complexity developed by Nicholas Reed.  This new GUI greatly simplifies mesh processing steps and can save modelers considerable time.  Also included is the conclusion of a phenomenal effort by Jessica Guidice who meticulously translated approximately 150 pages of MGED tutorial documentation from English to Spanish.  The majority of our 1M+ words of documentation are now in the Docbook XML format making it easier to manage, translate, and update our docs from a single source.

Development of our "next generation" modeling interface continues to progress nicely with the user interface approaching an alpha release status later this year.  This provides the first steps towards providing a vastly improved graphical modeling interface that is more familiar and easier to use.  We know a lot of people are waiting for this one, more details later.

Our support for NURBS boundary representation (BREP) geometry is similarly nearly complete.  You can import NURBS geometry via our new STEP geometry importer, visualize, and perform basic geometry editing (though not interactive surface editing).  We have ray tracing working pretty slick for rendering, too.  We're seeing our (unoptimized) NURBS ray tracing even outperform our (optimized) polygonal mesh ray tracing for most detailed models.  

On the development side, we took a break from the Google Summer of Code last year to focus on development tasks, but are anticipating applying again this year.  If you're interested in mentoring, please get in touch.  Development continues to progress on our Geometry Service which aims to be a geometry management and rendering system that can be plugged into 3rd party applications.  The BRL-CAD source code has been undergoing an extensive strict compilation compliance overhaul aimed at improving security, maintainability, robustness, and verifiability.  The build system is undergoing a massive overhaul from one of the most complex autotools builds around to being one of the most complex cmake builds.  

That, in summary, are just a few general highlights of some of the major efforts currently being worked on.  This new release is fully binary backwards-compatible with the previous release of BRL-CAD.  See the BRL-CAD website at http://brlcad.org for more information.


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