FreeCAD BIM development news - September 2019

Hi friends,

A quick update for this month, as I told you in the last report, I have been away of home/work most of this last month, so there has been little work done by me (The travel was super cool though, spent plenty of time with family and old friends, so batteries are now fully charged!)

I've mostly been able to do bug fixing, and am now working on the documentation (both doxygen-generated and on the wiki) to get the BIM, Arch and Draft up-to-date. I'm also finishing writing the built-in BIM tutorial. I also made a little additions to Draft dimensions, which now have a "Show Line" property that you can switch off, to only show the dimension text, not its lines.

But on the general FreeCAD front, things have not been idle while I was away! There have been 353 commits to the FreeCAD source code in September alone. Most of the work done by Realthunder is now in, thanks once again to the herculean review work done by Werner. Most of these commits are bugfixes, code cleanup, better unit tests, work on the automated CI builds, and a lot of fixes and improvements in FEM and TechDraw which I still didn't have time to fully look at. There are now a few people working actively on Draft too, and several tools are getting worked on.

One of the improvements brought by Realthunder that I hadn't noticed before, is in the expressions engine. Before, you could only link a numerical value to another in FreeCAD, this now works with a much wider range of data types, such as text. Try it! For BIM specially, this can have many useful consequences, as much of the non-geometrical data in a BIM model is in text form (materials, specifications, etc...). Being able to link that data from one part of FreeCAD to another is precious.

There are still instabilities due to the Link branch merge, but these are getting addressed nicely, no doubt we will very soon get back to the former level of stability. I'm myself already using 0.19 for production work, all the remaining issues are now minor and can already be worked around easily.

So, that's it for this month, sorry about the lack of new features, next month we're back with full power!