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Author Topic: Mach 4 Feature Request  (Read 309801 times)

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Offline simpson36

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Re: Mach 4 Feature Request
« Reply #110 on: May 28, 2014, 11:50:58 AM »
Guys, we are simply not going to have API documentation until Mach 4 is done.  We already tried documenting it, spent nearly a whole month doing so, all to have it become totally useless because Mach 4 changed so much.  4 weeks blown to high heaven!  A lot of the changes have been based on your comments, suggestions, and feature requests.

But the docs that we did were really nice for the two weeks they were valid.


It a little difficult to understand how MACH4 could change so drastically this late in the game when MACH3 has existed for so long. It not like the topic was new and unfamiliar. Just sayin'

There are a couple of hundred calls that are just in a list. All of these changed? Can we get a one sentence description at least of the ones that are less-than-self-explanatory?

Specifically can we get USER FIELDS added to the tool table or other data structures for use by Lua scripts to do clever and amazing things?

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So docs will come in time.  And we are WELL aware that everyone wants them.  But we are not a 500 employee company.  We don't have someone to put on the documentation task full time, as bad as I wish it we were able to do so.  That and the fact that whomever it is that does the documentations will also need to be a C++ programmer.  So it will be Brian or myself doing the documentation.

Just as a suggestion, you might consider that the skill set for documentation writing is different from Technical expertise. Being able to put a complex process into layman's terms is what is needed, methinks. At least for the hobby version. This typically involves the skilled use of analogy.

You hired my friend Ray Livingston to write the desperately needed programmer's reference for MACH3. Prior to that document being produced, MACH3 was nearly impossible to comprehend . . at least for me.

Why can't you guys hire Pappabear or other qualified person to get something moving?

This is the fear: the reality is that there will always be bugs. There will always be new features to add. When will this time materialize to concentrate on documentation . . .  I mean realistically?

You guys are programmers. Writing docs is about like being poked in the eye with a sharp stick. I got that clearly from you comments where 'well I REALLY ENJOYED my 4 weeks writing documentation, but it is unusable, so I get to do it AGAIN . .yippee!  . .  was missing from the paragraph.

No need to preach to the choir . . I hate writing docs. I'd rather do dishes than write docs.

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BTW, I was the poor sap that did the month long documentation stint that became relegated to uselessness.  Has anyone else experienced working a solid month on something and having it all be for naught?  It is NOT cool.  Not at all.  :(


You definitely don't want to live in my world. Proof of concept, cost/benefit analysis, failure analysis, etc, can take a long time and often result in the decision to abandon a project. I guess it is debatable if that constitutes 'for naught'. My criteria is 'did I get paid for the work'. If yes, then no harm no foul. If no, then I picked the wrong horse . . or chicken in this case, I suppose.

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Which came first, the chicken or the egg?  All I can say is the guy developing the egg was pissed when the guy developing the chicken changed the chicken.  Or vice verse.  Even if it was the same guy developing both!


Unless the Chicken Change was adding a live birth feature . . . in which case the whole egg issue was for naught . . . typically right after I finally designed a perfect award winning egg.

Offline simpson36

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Re: Mach 4 Feature Request
« Reply #111 on: May 28, 2014, 12:01:39 PM »
You sir, are as slippery as an eel - changing your argument as you go and making out that's what you said in the first place. I quoted the bit that I disagreed with - nothing more - nothing less. I'm not going to follow you around the block as you pretend you said something else and worse, pretend I said things that I didn't.

This nonsense is not as important to me as you may think. I would rather talk about something useful. Can't you do that even if you don't like me?

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As far as a personal attack is concerned - I don't recognise that at all. could it be that that's just the way YOU see it whenever anyone has the bare faced cheek to disagree with you?


"This is not a PERSONAL attack, its just that I don't like the way YOU see things!"

Too funny.

You are mistaken. I like it when people disagree with me because that makes for a good debate. A debate is intellectual. You ignore facts and focus on personalities. That's an argument, not a debate. You'll have to sit in that sandbox by yourself, I'm afraid.

Bye now!  :D

Offline smurph

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Re: Mach 4 Feature Request
« Reply #112 on: May 28, 2014, 05:18:25 PM »
We picked LUA because it was the fastest script language available.  And it was written in C which means it is portable and can run on any platform that has a C compiler.  We looked at Python because it seems so popular.  But it was rather slow when compared to LUA.  I don't like the "looks" of LUA very much.  It is true that it does have some C constructs.  But it also has some BASIC like elements to it as well.  And then it has some stuff that really can't be labeled as being like anything else on the planet!  It is bizarre in a lot of ways.  But it is fast and powerful.  The next best thing to true compiled code. 

I wanted to use AngelScript, which is more C like in syntax.  It was pretty fast too.  Not as fast as LUA, but it was faster than Python.  But with AngelScript, we would have had to write all of the wxWidgets bindings and that would have been a real pain.  Plus LUA is so versatile as far as embedding it was concerned.  So LUA won the script battles.

Steve

Offline simpson36

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Re: Mach 4 Feature Request
« Reply #113 on: May 29, 2014, 06:09:08 AM »
I don't like the "looks" of LUA very much.  It is true that it does have some C constructs.  But it also has some BASIC like elements to it as well.  And then it has some stuff that really can't be labeled as being like anything else on the planet!  It is bizarre in a lot of ways.  But it is fast and powerful.  The next best thing to true compiled code.

Seems the choice of Lua was well studied. My initial comment on MACH4 was that it is fast. Later, I commented that running a Lua script is indistinguishable from native code. Your comments support that contention. Granted, it is subjective, but it is I my impression none the less. In any case, you don't need a test lab or even a stop watch to tell the difference between VB and Lua.

Having a good portion of 'geek' and 'propeller head' in my DNA, what goes on 'under the hood' is interesting to me, but a lot of dialogue dwelling on the differences only feeds the perception that Lua is 'new' and scary.

The typical user who develops or just dabbles with scripting in Mach4 will be blissfully unaware of the tech details of how and where Lua is connected to MACH4 or the OS. I use C# mostly and while the syntax is different here and there, the structure is similar and the code that a USER sees . . . looks like C     at least it doers to me.  i.e. NOT scary.

General support for the base Lua language is excellent with a programmers reference available on-line for less than US$25 and there is an org site specifically for maintaining and distributing the software. For anyone familiar with C, the Lua learning curve is like an hour.  That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.   
 

So, do we get USER FIELDS or not?

Offline BR549

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Re: Mach 4 Feature Request
« Reply #114 on: May 29, 2014, 02:25:24 PM »
I say just let THEM add teh tool life management and Tool changer stuff. THAT way we know it is integrated correctly (;-)

AND THAT is the rest of the story, (;-) TP

Offline BR549

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Re: Mach 4 Feature Request
« Reply #115 on: May 29, 2014, 06:30:15 PM »
Cylindrical mapping would be nice,  :o  We had it in MAch3  >:D

(;-) TP

Offline BR549

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Re: Mach 4 Feature Request
« Reply #116 on: May 29, 2014, 10:38:57 PM »
Tool Length measurement function  Gcode or Mcode .

(;-) TP

Offline simpson36

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Re: Mach 4 Feature Request
« Reply #117 on: May 29, 2014, 11:01:06 PM »
I say just let THEM add teh tool life management and Tool changer stuff. THAT way we know it is integrated correctly (;-)

AND THAT is the rest of the story, (;-) TP

The rest of the story is more bug fixes and then initial release. This little demo release is not going to be anything like the actual release. There will be a flood of bug fixes and support issues all while trying to get MACH4 industrial version completed and released. Then more bug fixes for that as well as contractual support obligations for the buyers, another flood of bug fixes for the industrial version. Consequential damages in some states, regardless of what the contract states. It will only take one of these and MACH will be frozen in time.

Two or three guys who insist on wearing all of the hats. Documentation has always been an afterthought with low or zero priority and that does look like it will change. Realistically, I see unfinished fragments scattered all over the place. After a year of this, users will start to pieces together collections scraped together from all over and maybe two years later someone other than the developers will put together a programmers reference.

There is a flurry of activity right now on bug fixes. Once the focus shift to MACH4 indusrtrial, I wager MACH4 hobby will enjoy the same leper treatment that has been given MACH3 for a long time now. ,

Tool life management and ATC . . . in the industrial version . .  maybe in a couple of years unless a very major buyer demands it. In the hobby version . . .  never.

For the last few years the excuse for ignoring MACH3 was work on MACH4. The excuse for ignoring MACH4 hobby will be MACH4 industrial. I would probably buy MACH4 industrial for US$ 1000 in a heartbeat, but I would not be able to recommend anyone sign a support contract with these guys. Their track record is dismal at best and there is no sign that will change.

As time passes, it becomes more clear to me that this demo release is all about the users giving the developers what they want . . . not the other way around.  Your feature requests make for interesting challenges that would dovetail nicely into my upcoming projects, but It will just be an exercise in frustration without support from the MACH4 team.

I jumped in here to eval MACH4. I think I have the answers I was looking for, so it is time to unsubscribe  here and get back to my projects. I will likely stay with an external processor or investigate running the new code on a Kflop.

You can wait for your features to be added by the MACH3 team.  Hope you are not in a hurry . . .   

Offline smurph

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Re: Mach 4 Feature Request
« Reply #118 on: May 29, 2014, 11:52:14 PM »
Err...  not correct.  Mach4 is Mach4.  There is no difference between Hobby and Industrial, code wise.  The only difference is the license.  The Industrial license "turns on" Industrial features.  But the code base is the same.  That demo version has the capability of running 6 planners.  But since there is no license, it only runs in demo mode with only 1 planner.

The API documentation will come.  I write good API docs.  I just can't write them at the same time I'm developing.  It turns out that I need two hands on one keyboard at a time.  :)

We don't have the resources to not wear many hats.  I guess we could go out and hire 5 to 10 more people.  But the price of the software would go up.

And what's with the ATC?  My machine has an ATC and it works fine.  The m6 macro handles it.  The m6 that is in the demo is just that, a demo.  Or am I missing something?

Steve

Offline BR549

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Re: Mach 4 Feature Request
« Reply #119 on: May 30, 2014, 12:39:24 AM »
I was hoping for a modern tool table with Tool changer support built in. Each tool that was IN the TC you assign it a slot number and the M6 calls the slot# OR if there is no slot# assigned top that tool  then call the TOOL #(For a manual change out.

THat way you load all the tools into the tool table then assign the tools you need in the TC a SLOT#

easy peasy  for the operator

Also 2 more tool table inputs     ToolLifeHRS   ,   ToolUsageHRS  Used for tracking usage and tool Life Management To be developed later on or by user

(;-) TP