Open CASCADE Technology 6.4 is coming soon!


OPEN CASCADE SAS is pleased to announce Open CASCADE Technology (OCCT) release plans for the second half of year 2010.

The next version of Open CASCADE Technology is scheduled for release in August 2010.

It will capitalize valuable investments of OPEN CASCADE company, its Customers and OCCT community into OCCT done during the last year and will hold a number 6.4.

Starting from this version, OCCT 6.4, OPEN CASCADE will test a new model of release management: OCCT will be distributed among commercial clients and contributors first and after a few months’ delay (in December 2010 for OCCT 6.4) as a public release, available for the Open Source community.

Our goal behind this is to set up a routine schedule with minor maintenance versions released more often, ideally each quarter.

In this way OPEN CASCADE customers and contributors will enjoy immediate access to the latest stable version (build) of OCCT and commercial products, regularly updated.
Among the list of bug fixes, new features and improvements planned to be included in the upcoming OCCT 6.4 release the following deserve special highlight:

* As a next step towards multithreaded applications, OCCT will feature some tools for parallelizing code, new memory manager options for efficient multithreading, and parallelization of some computationally intensive code.
* Display of text in OpenGL Viewer will be completely reworked, making use of FTGL library to provide easy access to all fonts available in the system.
* Topological Naming will be improved to get rid of some existing current algorithm limitations and extended by several new features including treatment of shape orientations and nested compounds.
* Reference documentation will be considerably improved, providing better organization and keyword search function.
* The list of used third-party libraries and certified platforms (OS and compilers) will be completely revised to ensure that OCCT works with the most recent stable versions of those.
* OCCT MFC Samples will be re-arranged and unified to make their use easier; new sample and relevant documentation for Voxel library will be included.
* Installation packages on Windows platform will be made much smaller and faster to install, due to the use of InnoSetup installer instead of Java-based InstallShield.
* WOK module will be separated from OCCT libraries and delivered as an independent OCCT building tool.
* Renewed e-Viewer, supporting the latest versions of IE and Mozilla-compatible browsers will be included in the binary package.

Our vital objective in this release is to make OCCT friendlier to the users, facilitate its integration with other libraries and use in modern programming environments.

Meanwhile we are constantly working on new interesting features that will be available in future OCCT versions.

We always welcome and consider bug reports and suggestions for fixes and improvements expressed by our customers and users via e-mail, OCCT Forum, or otherwise. We will do our best to consider them depending on our technical capability and availability of resources.

Tilman Leune's picture

Am I the only one who implemented textrendering through FTGL through the opnegl-Callback-routine?

QbProg's picture

Just a questions:
- with this new routine schedule to minor maintenance, the open source community will get the minor releases too (with the xxxx months delay)?

apart of the questions I agree with the previous post forum, you would get a lot of benefits with :
- A bug Tracker
- A public repository

note that it would be enought to setup a public repository for the latest public version, so open source users could post and get patches against it. You will then update the repository when a new public version comes out, you don't have to expose your internal developments.

Arthur Magill's picture

Congratulations on the continued development of Open CASCADE.

I'd like to second Thomas in his request for a public bugtracker and repository.

A bugtracker will help us in the open-source community report bugs, and narrow down the source of the problem (test 32 vs. 64 bit, Windows vs. Linux, etc), which is surely a useful service for OCC. The current system of reporting bugs in the forum is rather difficult to manage.

A public repo will make it much easier to package and patch against OCC. The current status, with different patch set for different distributions is less than ideal.

Having said that, it's good to see Open CASCADE usage within the open source community continuing to grow, and development of the codebase continuing. Here's looking forward to the new release!

tmay's picture

Good news. However, your opensource release, support and development strategy is unusual enough that I consider it counter productive for all concerned.

1. It encourages local forks and may even lead to a public fork which could be bad for OpenCascade and divisive for the community.
2. It penalizes opensource initiatives in favor of commercial initiatives.
3. It precludes effective contributions from the opensource community to OCC and by extension to the rest of the community.
4. It creates friction in developing relationships with future customers (those who start out "playing" with the opensource codes and eventually transition that expertise into a commercial implementation).

At this point, the OCC opensource initiative comes across as little more than a marketing gimmick and I would guess that it is budgeted as a marketing cost rather than an investment in development resource by your executive team.

Nevertheless, I appreciate the opportunity created through the contribution OCC is making to the community. I wish my project were big enough to warrant a commercial relationship with OCC as the software is quite good in some specific ways important to my projects. I hesitate to recommend OCC as a general 3D solution for opensource projects unless that project requires features found only in OCC.

I would encourage the OCC executive team to review superior opensource projects like OGRE, MySQL and Qt for guidance for more effective opensource models with best-of-breed release, support and development models.