[PythonCAD] VectorSection

Eric Wilhelm scratchcomputing at gmail.com
Sat Oct 18 20:24:18 CEST 2008

Hi all,

I'm breathing some life back into the VectorSection project (previously 
known as the "Uber Converter") starting with the website, a mailing 
list, irc channel, and hopefully soon support for the .dwg format.

VectorSection aims to be a universal vector graphics format translator 
(doing for vectors what imagemagick does for raster graphics) as well 
as a simple mechanism for accessing geometry and meta-data from the 
wide diversity of existing 2D and 3D vector graphics formats.  The glue 
for storage and translation in this system is a serialized data 
structure (in YAML format) which can be used via a wide variety of 
programming languages and allows components to be connected via pipes.  
A "universal data structure" would be terribly unwieldy, thus there are 
multiple central hub formats, each of which addresses a different data 
paradigm (this is where VectorSection has a bit bigger task than 
ImageMagick because we can't simply reduce everything to pixels.)

So far, we've implemented support for .svg and .xar formats, and made 
some headway into .pdf, .dxf, pythoncad's xml format, and a bridge to 
the gdal/ogr GIS library.

I'm partnering with Linux Fund to raise funding for adding read support 
for the .dwg binary format as well as read/write .dxf support.  If you 
or someone you know is able to donate toward this, please see:


Your department's end-of-year budget surplus would be very helpful :-)

This will be a big milestone for the VectorSection project and the open 
source CAD world.  The industry has a huge number of binary .dwg files, 
which currently cannot be accessed with open source tools (and even the 
cross-platform proprietary solutions are very limited.)  This is an 
effort to open that flood gate, which I hope will foster a lot of 
innovation in the open source CAD space by allowing "a weekend's worth" 
of code to provide functionality to ordinary users without the 
developer needing to deal with (or even spend much time considering) 
the file format issues.

  website:      http://vectorsection.org
  mailing list: http://groups.google.com/group/vectorsection
  irc:          irc://irc.freenode.org/vectorsection

Feel free to reply with questions on this list, or come join the 
VectorSection list and ask there.


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