Again, the feature itself takes less than one hour to develop, but trying to hack it into Easel is very time consuming. I understand Inventables would not like to compromise Easel itself with experimental stuff, but having a fork maintained by the community would make the whole thing more seductive for everyone. No other CNC carving software would have this capabilities (being cloud + community).
For now, as a workaround, here is an old guide for how to “hack” features onto Easel:
My honest guess is because it would impinge on Inventables’ ability to have a paid subscription version. The hypothetical community-maintained free version (which, if it went open-source, it’d have to be free) would conceivably blaze past the paid version in terms of functionality and feature set, which would render the paid version moot.
I understand your frustration. I developed quite a few apps last year, and I’d love to develop a lot more, but it’s been very difficult to get apps approved. It’s not that they reject the apps, they just don’t seem to have the time to review and approve them.
I can understand why Easel isn’t open source, but I agree they need an experimental or community version where apps and features and be rapidly developed and shared. I’ve got half a dozen apps I’d like reviewed and released that have been sitting in my private app section for almost half a year.
I would absolutely LOVE to be able to have users request an app, and in less than 24 hours, have a member from the community be able to give them an experimental version to work with.
However, I think part of the reason this is not the case is that the apps can easily undermine some of their pro features like fonts. I have an app that allows me to use any google font, but it was denied because it interferes with their pro version. I have a similar app that allows you constrain text to any curved line, but again it would interfere with the pro version.
Don’t get me wrong. I really like EASEL software, its d*** easy to use, looks nice, and accomplishes almost everything i need it to do.
Personally, I’d like to see the community be able to have a lot more say with the CAD portion of easel through apps or UI improvements, and have Inventables work more on the CAM portion (more toolpath options, optimization, work surface probing, work offsets, ATC, etc.).
And you’re right about the turtle mode. I’d love to know what Inventables’ plan is for the future. What improvements do they plan to release this year? What do they want to accomplish? Why should I stay with this platform going forward?
We can make an unnoficial repo for those apps, with some “loader” like as a tampermonkey script your apps the main thing that makes easel cool.
Yeah that might be the case. Would not make more sense to give some real value rather than putting a paywall on super basic functionality? i.e. all projects are public on the free accounts, pay for make them private.
The project paywall is a possible idea. That’s how onshape works. You can use their platform all you want, but unless you pay, all of your projects are public. So those that want to protect their IP will pay.
How do you add the apps? Manually? I was thinking on making a macro or even an app similar to EaselReflector to parse your github and directly add the apps to easel… But maybe it would not be very welcomed by Inventables
You sign up and get approved to use their developer portal. Then anything app you develop will show up under your “private apps” section. Once an app is approved, then it moves into general availability.
So it there a way to build apps and use them ‘privately’, meaning that they are not part of the Easel app library for everyone to use, but available if the user themselves connects them?
If that’s possible, why not make a repository of apps on Github with instructions for how we can all connect to them and use them? We could then circumvent Inventable’s lockout for not approving the apps that conflict with their Pro abilities.