A question (as usual I don't expect and answer)

Hi !

I still havn't figured this out.

When I say "you" in this text I do mean the folks that is running the show at the moment, I guess that would be the OpenCascade company, (a little information about the future would still be interesting, hint, hint, hint).

You complain that we don't contribute anything to OCC, the one and only time I tried I was told that my changes sounded ok and I should make the changes and send it to you, then you tell me that you are not interested, now I can understand that, that's up to you of course, a lot us "users" of OCC are interested in using it and simply don't have the knowledge to fix bugs in OCC (it's a pretty complex and messy beast +40000 files, a pretty huge part of the comments are in french, if there are any, which in my case makes it a little bit tricky to read.

You don't want to help the ones asking questions on the forum, "let other users do that, we don't make any money on them", but at same time you expect us to contribute to OCC with bug fixes and new features the you can put into OpenCascade and sell to your paying customers, but then you do make money on us, don't you ? and in that case, wouldn't a little help from you folks be valid ?

And even if you don't make any money on us, it does look like you do want people do download OCC and use it (for free), the problem is that a lot of people expect to get help on the forum, the forum is on www.opencascade.org and is managed by the Opencascade company (or is this wrong to ?) but there is no info that you actually will not get any help there (unless you get some from another OCC user, and they can be very helpful but many times lack the required knowledge because many questions are about things that are missing in the documentation), if you do want non paying customers to use OCC then I think you do need to change a few things, don't take my word for it, take a look at the forum and read the last 100-200 message or so (you can ignore the ones from me if you think I am just being a pain in the rear end), there are lot's of questions that are close to impossible to answer without inside knowledge of OCC, and guess what, big surprise, there are no replies to them... but I don't think I am the only one finding this a bit odd, if you arn't interested in the non paying customers, then just say so and make it clear, as it is now people think that you welcome even non paying customers of OCC and that is a very nice gesture of you, but if you intend to do that you do have to go all the way, you can't stop halfway, you will just piss people of and scare them away from OCC without doing any good.

It is possible that I am alone or one of very few that thinks this, but if you look at any other commercial open source project you will find that they only work if the users get professional help (a very good example is the Qt forum www.trolltech.com) just to pick one.

Now I have said that and I must say that I do not have any interest in using OCC in my project as it is at the moment, or to be correct, it wouldn't be possible without a little support or at least good documentation, if I am going to use it I am going to need to more help then what's available at the moment, better support on the forum or improved documentation, I know you don't make any money on me so you don't care, but that's what I mean, either shutdown the whole thing and stick to the paying customers or make something useful out if it, just putting the whole thing up on the internet and expect the user to do all the owrk have never worked and will never do, the only times this work is when the users have control over the software itself (truly non commercial projects that is), it never works with commercial software, if you would give the right support and documentation I think you could expect more contributions and bugfixes from the us to...)

That was my 50 öre (smallest coin in sweden, about $5c)


walter steffe's picture

Hi Mikael

I agree with you. It appears to me that the OpenCascade Company is not giving sufficient informations in this forum.

That is quite strange because it should be in their interest to give the highest visibility on the Opencascade Project in order to attract the highest number of developers.

I can understand that OpenCascade has to be a profitable Company and that some part of their services should be reserved to the paying customers. Nevertheless the boarder between the free stuff and the paying area should be better clarified. Of course the basic informations such as the ongoing activities and the planned product releases should not be in the restricted area.


Marcel Janer's picture

Hi Mikael,

I agree with you, too.

//Marcel janer

Stephane Routelous's picture

I basically agree with you exept the last point.

I really don't want the OpenCASCADE company to shutdown the Opensource things.
I think OpenSource can really be a big advantage for OpenCASCADE.
Of course the fact that it is quite impossible to contribute at it ( I had the same experience as you when they rejected or not integrated my changes ).
But if the OCC Cie contribute for a good part on the OpenSource part ( not only with the code, but also with good working materials ( documentation ), minimum help in the forum, giving the OpenSource users informations like roadmaps, etc... ), it can be a very good advertising for the product.
Let's say a student is learning OpenCASCADE for its university project. Later, in a cie, if he had to choose a geometrical kernel, and that OCC fits the needs, perhaps this cie will become a paying cutomer.

But for the moment, I'm quite sure it is impossible ( or required a lot of time ) to learn OpenCASCADE from scratch good enough to use it in a real project. And without anyting but the code, you cannot get this knowledge. ( Perhpas I'm wrong, because I didn't learn OpenCASCADE only with what is provided in the OpenSource distribution ).

Denis L\'Espérance's picture

I sure hope you like the large, free documentation as you are unlikely to get any more than what already exists.

I used to be the tech writer there and despite requests from the OCC community for better documentation (a top request from the satisfaction survey last year), they still found a way to lay me off. Documentation is a luxury and OCC needs to make more money to afford that luxury. So I wouldn't try to see anything logical in the OCC approach.

The tool is very good and you get a lot of fun for the money (free download !) but as a well known comedian of yesteryear eloquently said :


Mikael Aronsson's picture

Hi !

Do I detect a small amount of sarcasm ?


webmaster_2's picture

Dear all,

We carefully follow the forum and kindly ask for your patience in awaiting the upcoming release of the 5.0 version (which is a matter of weeks now). We are going to publish a more detailed and elaborate message prior to release but please be assured that documentation issues have received good attention from our team. In particular, we are currently preparing a substantially improved documentation on Data Exchange, Shape Healing, and other Open CASCADE modules, that were numerously asked by our customers and community members.

Stay tuned

Patrik Mueller's picture

Hi all,

thats nice to hear. But it would also be very nice hearing what a matter of weeks means....