calling all Linux hackers...

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We don't have a cutlist program. My shop is all but closed for the winter, and I'm just not finding a lot of things to do on the Rosegarden project anymore, owing to the rather meager skillset I can bring to the table, and the rather involved nature of the outstanding bugs.
I'm looking for something to distract me until spring, and a recent thread about using a cutlist program got me to thinking...
So let's think about this... I'm not terribly gifted, but QT/KDE isn't rocket science. I could probably knock out a basic framework in a couple of months. Especially if I use QT Designer to prototype and machine code the GUI elements. I usually don't, but I've been thinking how much easier it would be if I did. (Three weeks for one fscking dialog box. Gack! I'm not eager to do that again!)
I'm a mathematical retard (seriously, a total brain damaged how did he get a college degree retard), and I haven't done any sort of graphic work (drawing lines, boxes, that sort of hands on, computer-calculated vector thing) since Turbo Basic. I can knock out a GUI framework for the thing, but I will need real help with the math and graphics to make the thing perform a useful function. I'm very weak on OOP design too. Getting better, but I still have a fundamentally procedural mindset to trip over.
It would help if I knew what a cutlist program is supposed to look like too. I don't own any copies of Windows, so even if there's a free one or a demo out there, it doesn't do me much good. (I got rid of Wine a long time ago, and am not particularly interested in fooling with it. It never worked worth a damn anyway.)
So, we all know there are about a half million projects out there just languishing in vapor land, with bold promises of features to come last updated in 1999. The chances of our getting this off the ground and turning out something useful are very slim. But it *could* happen.
If we have a user base for this, it will likely be centered right here on the Wreck. Woodworking Linux users are a pretty specialized subset of both the woodworking and computer using breeds. If there's any interest to be drummed up, much of it will likely be right here.
So how about it? If this sounds like something you want to have, speak up. If you want to hack on it too, speak up loudly. If you're a Linux hacking god and my meager skills would just stand in your way, then speak up very loudly. I'm much better at testing/debugging and writing docs than I am at coding. I only open a source file out of necessity, because no one else is getting around to whatever needs doing fast enough to suit me, and about half the time I don't get it fixed before someone with real skill gets a chance to take a crack at it.
(If you think "hacker" means someone who breaks into computer systems illegally, you probably have no idea what the hell I was just talking about anyway. Fear not, gentle Wrecker, there is no evil conspiracy afoot here. We're talking about creating a cutlist program to run on our operating system. Nothing more insidious than that, I assure you.)
--
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
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Silvan wrote:

Silvan count me in. But like you my computer skills are limited. I can probably do something in Qt3 but I will have to look into it again, I havent messed with code either for some time. I'm more into scripting at this point.
Rich
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but you can't make them THINK"
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EvoDawg wrote:

I *vastly* prefer scripting too, but some things have to be done the hard way, I'm afraid. I hate GUI stuff, but QT/KDE is pretty easy to get the hang of. If you know what you want to do, it's just a matter of grazing the ample docs long enough to find the example code you need.
I'll think on this hard and long on my trip. I'm heading for Savannah, GA tonight, back sometime around 24 hours from now.
If I think I can really do something, I'll go ahead and register a project with SourceForge, so we can get a devel list (to get all this traffic off the Wreck) and a CVS repository, then we can go from there. (If nothing comes of it in the end, we won't be the only useless project on SourceForge... :)
So, important things first, what should we call this thing? The first thing popping into my mind is "Kutlist."
What, *exactly* should it do? KISS. Get something working, then make it pretty. What's the minimum it needs to do in order to be useful?
I'll come back with my answer to that last question after I've had a day to ponder it.
--
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
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Silvan wrote:

Brilliant name!!!!

Check some of the links that have been mentioned in the post.

I'm off to check links, talk with you when you return from your trip.
Rich
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Silvan wrote:

I'd be interested in a program like this, but I'm afraid it may prove rather difficult to write it. Unfortunately I have neither the expertise nor the time to be of much help with the program.
I did a Google search and found a number of links dealing with the "stock-cutting problem" or "2-D bin packing problem." This seems to be an active area of research. See, for instance, <http://circuits.cf.ac.uk/hopper/hopper.html#top .
There is a GPL'd program called Linpacker which deals with the problem of fitting rectangles into a rectangular region of fixed width. This might be a good starting point. See <http://linpacker.tuxfamily.org/index.html .
-- Steve
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Steve Dunbar wrote:

Just testing it would be of great help.
Rich
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Steve Dunbar wrote:

Wow, after reading a few lines of that, I think I should go find some place to hide real quick like. :)

Very interesting. That bears looking at for sure!
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Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
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Silvan wrote:

Hope you realize what you have gotten yourself into!
Rich
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EvoDawg wrote:

Yeah, really. Well, maybe not. It looks like you guys have everything under control now, and I can go hide and start bitching about when is it finished. :)
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Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
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Silvan wrote:

what a minute you started this now youre going to run and hide? Just think of how much you will learn.
Rich
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snipped-for-privacy@verizon.nospam.net says...

Good, somebody asked the question I was going to ask (don't know why Steve Dunbar's post didn't show up). i.e., it looks like a number of folks have volunteered to work the coding issue, has anybody looked into the algorithm design issue? Looking at the above referenced site, it appears that the guillotineable layouts are those that meet the constraint for not having any stopped cuts (in one dimension).
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On Sun, 07 Dec 2003 12:43:19 -0500, Silvan
I'm not a linux user but I applaud your thoughts on this.
If you go to http://www.sheetlayout.com/ there are features and screen shots to help you get an idea of what a cut list program should do.
Also check http://cutlistplus.com for additional ideas.
Good luck on this. I'm all for anything that will help bring linux to the mainstream. I know at least one linux user who would be grateful for something like this and I'll certainly bring your post to his attention.
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On Sun, 07 Dec 2003 12:43:19 -0500, Silvan
Just another thought; if you and whoever need a way to discuss this project in real time, feel free to use the #woodworking channel on IRC.
I dont know what the linux IRC client is called, but I do know there's one out there. If you can locate it, just point it to the AccessIRC network, and join the channel #woodworking.
A ready-to-go windows client can be downloaded from
http://ww.wood-workers.com/users/chipsndust /
and there is some additional info about the channel/irc that might also be helpful to you.
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LP wrote:

It's called KSirc (IRC Client) I haven't used it only because I don't do IRC. But maybe that would be a great resource.

Great idea, thanks.
Rich
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On Mon, 08 Dec 2003 07:02:43 +0000, EvoDawg wrote:

xchat is another Linux IRC client.
A start on this project that doesn't require any coding skills would be to write a requirements document, followed by a design document.
-Doug
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Doug Winterburn wrote:

That would be the first step, indeed.
Rich
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On Mon, 08 Dec 2003 16:21:54 +0000, EvoDawg wrote:

This ain't a requirements doc, but here's a start at a list of requirements:
- should work with sheetgoods and other wood products of various type and sizes
- should allow for saw kerfs
- should take as input part#/material/thickness/width/length in a common order. This is necessary for proper grain orientation, even with sheetgoods.
- should be able to import parts list from design applications such as lignumcad. Since lignumcad is open source, if it does not contain an export facility, one could be contributed using a standards based approach such as XML.
- should not produce any stopped cuts, i.e. full rips and then crosscuts
- open source development model would be desirable as speed of development and bug fixes/enhancements could draw on a large pool of developers, as well as using existing open source package(s) as a jump start.    
- should provide a project database for storing results and be able to recall and edit the parts list.
- should be able to produce postscript or other printable output along with fully qualified/sorted parts list.
I'm sure there are many more points, so feel free to rip into it and produce a real requirements doc.
-Doug
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May have missed it in your list - Ability to maintain a material inventory for rough, dimensioned, wood type and dimension, sheet goods, and cost based on board foot, lineal foot, square foot, and sheet, etc.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com says...

Would it be more effective to do this development in phases? First phase concentrates on sheet goods, second on dimension lumber? Otherwise, price inputs and costs is a great idea.
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On Tue, 09 Dec 2003 01:40:03 +0000, Mark & Juanita wrote:

Probably - the Saturn V wasn't the first rocket :-)
-Doug
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