Excited to see the ball rolling with this
To start: The forums are a great place to look for this info. It seems like most people just use simple (and more precisely free) 2D g-code generators. Although i only looked through the x-carve and carvey forums, most of the people interested in an improved gcode sender see 3D capabilities as the biggest advantage of using UGS.
With this in mind, I would first concentrate on making/perfecting a post processor for the most popular 3D gcode generators. Autodesk has a huge user base since it's designed for both modeling and CAM. It uses the same code generator as Inventor HSM, it's cross platform (Mac and PC), and it's free for all students (myself), start-ups (like inventables) as well as hobbyists (A good majority of X-carve and carvey users).
Features: As far as editing, goes it's a big NO.
I completely agree with most of the people on the topic. Ease of use is the absolute best part of Easel. I would call it easel's "Power Feature". The sense of reliability for the user (ranging from the beginner to the expert) is most likely the reason why anyone is fed up with UGS and is looking/praying for an alternative. Giving the user a chance to ■■■■ something up in easel would undeniably diminish that sense of reliability.
Similar to the way easel works now, there should be a visualization of the motions being applied to the workpiece. UGS does it, but once again some times it works and other times it doesn't. If I had a CLEAR visual indication that something is not going to go right, i would stop immediately and re-assess. This goes hand in hand with gcode verification.
If by "homing" you mean setting grbl's coordinate systems properly, yes.
I would personally like it work in a similar way easel does atm. hit carve, set 0,0,0 , verify bit size, lift spindle an go.
If not, then i'm sure there are many people interested in monitoring their machine while it does a homing cycle, but i think homing is already pretty straight forward if you have limit switches.
@paulkaplan I suggest you try out using the x-carve or carvey with UGS. If you dont have the time, ask around inventables. i'm sure some one will tell you what they hate about the java app. Concentrate on all the bad things there, find solutions and apply them to easel. You hit the nail on the head with "homing" and gcode verification... not so sure about spindle control. the people who would use UGS, and have spindle control through gcode would know that they must include that M3 command. If easel notices there is no M3 (start) AND Z+ (lift) AND a M5 (stop), make a pop-up which allows you continue with manual spindle control, or cancel operations allowing user to fix the mistake.
It's hard to give a straight up yes or no answer to having control over your machine.
I hope i gave some good suggestions. In the end, i am not tooooo picky, and i would be utterly content to know there is a simple alternative to UGS or chillipeppr.
Thanks in advance and apologies for any topic where i did not elaborate properly,
p.s carbide motion's sender for Shapeoko 3 looks pretty good. there would be something to learn there for sure.
edit: another thing that is great about easel and goes completely un-noticed is the materials library.
I pretty often refer to it when picking feeds and speeds on my cam programs. It is a good base conception for what the inventables machines can handle. Having never milled anything but steel in my professional career i was completely lost when i started working with woods and DIY built CNCs. Easel really helped to pinpoint the capabilities of my x-carve. I hope with an interest in advanced usage easel can also support a library for such information.