Community Publication Portal

Revision as of 16:41, 8 December 2010 by Sean (talk | contribs) (add final draft revision of 7.18.0 release notes from cliff, ready for review)

Welcome to the BRL-CAD community publication portal. This page is dedicated to the preparation and editing of community publications for BRL-CAD.

This is the place to learn what publications are proposed or upcoming, which are actively being worked on, and their individual editorial status. You are welcome and encouraged to help share news about recent events or current activities taking place within the BRL-CAD community.

Note: if you see a comment indicating that a section is FROZEN, any changes you make in that section may go unnoticed. If you find errors in a FROZEN article, contact Sean (brlcad on freenode IRC) who may be able to incorporate changes during final publication.

Formatting & Editing Standards:

Feel free to fix if you see something non-standard.

  • Beginning quotations are italicized and placed between double quotes (wiki formatting requires 2 single quotes, space, double quote to achieve this)
  • All acronyms need to be defined (Like This) upon first use; further use can use the acronym only
  • Titles and Section Headings are bold (achieved by placing text between three single quotes); each should be Title Case (Meaning UpperCase the Major Words)
  • Use the serial comma. One, two, and three; not one, two and three.
  • Prefer first person for release notes, third person for everything else.
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  • Cite references and/or include hyperlinks.
  • Keep it brief.

Distribution Channels:

For release publications, follow HACKING. For everything else, distribute to the following:

Ready for Publication

These are articles ready for publication. Release notes should follow a release and get published within the first week of the month. Other publications should be scheduled one or two weeks later, ideally on the third week of the month.

Final Editorial Review

These should be "complete" articles. The author is done with the content and all that remains is a review of structure, grammar, voice, punctuation, and spelling. Images may be added as well.

Cliff Yapp, 2010DEC8: Release 7.18.0

We are pleased to announce the availability of the BRL-CAD 7.18.0 source release. Since our last announcement the final patch release of the 7.16 line was released (7.16.10) and we have now begun development on the 7.18 release line. There is a possiblity of a relatively quick follow-on patch release if development warrants, but we will be attempting to return to our monthly release schedule with the 7.18 line.

Support for NURBS raytracing continues to steadily improve. Improved algorithms for surface preparation have resolved the grand majority of previously observed raytracing issues.

In MGED some troublesome bugs have been resolved, including the nirt line formatting issue, the attribute deletion problems associated with the red command, and garbage output in results from the idents, solids, and regions commands. Other fixes include a long standing bug in CSG boolean tree processing, infinite loop bugs in tessellation routines, and a tessellation bug when processing pipes with maximum bends. Enhancements to NURBS wireframe drawing do a much better job at illustrating the shape of various types of surfaces. The rt command is now capable of outputting its image in the popular standard image format PNG instead of the customary PIX format.

Thanks to contributions from Jesica Giudice and Luciano Lamaita BRL-CAD now includes a Spanish translation of all 16 MGED tutorial lessons.

A new plugin has been added to both Archer and MGED to consolidate and organize the multitude of BoT processing tools into one unified, easy-to-use interface. This interface and the tools it utilizes will see more testing in coming releases as work continues to improve the robustness of BRL-CAD's tessellation routines. A sophisticated new test script is available for those who wish to test their geometry and follow progress in this area - this script will attempt to tessellate all object in one or more .g files and report the results in a concise and organized manner, helping to identify problem cases.

Since release 7.16.8, the categorized changes are:


  • improved NURBS wireframes with interior surface lines - Keith Bowman
  • improved support for unlimited object counts in mged - Sean Morrison
  • fixed 'erase_all' behavior so 'who' gives correct lists - Bob Parker
  • fixed idents, solids, and regions output - Bob Parker
  • fixed running mged external tools (e.g., rt) after 'cd' - Bob Parker
  • new BoT editing interface for mged and archer - Nicholas Reed
  • fixed mged zap crash while using preview - Keith Bowman, Bob Parker
  • added ability to toggle mged status bar via .mgedrc - Rob Shinn
  • new mged 'bot' command for accessing BoT properties - Nicholas Reed
  • fixed nirt output formatting in MGED - Cliff Yapp
  • rt can now output directly to PNG, among others - Erik Greenwald
  • mged 'red' command no longer deletes custom attributes - Cliff Yapp
  • fixed crash using bot_split on non-"plate mode" BoTs - Bob Parker
  • improved NURBS curve evaluation for mged brep command - Keith Bowman
  • fixed OpenGL framebuffer Mac refresh bug - Sean Morrison, Bob Parker

Ray Tracing & Analysis

  • additional NURBS raytracing robustness improvements - Keith Bowman
  • fixed NURBS raytrace bug grazing nearly flat surfaces - Keith Bowman
  • fixed 'pnts' point cloud primitive memory access bug - Richard Weiss
  • improved robustness of CSG boolean tree processing - Sean Morrison
  • added ray bundle shooting capability to rtshot - Keith Bowman
  • increased optimized package run-time performance - Sean Morrison
  • fixed crash when raytracing multiple frames - Keith Bowman


  • increased performance of facetization and export - Sean Morrison
  • fixed infinite loop bug converting to NMG and BoT - Sean Morrison
  • fixed crash during BoT decimation - Nicholas Reed
  • improved robustness of facetization and export - Richard Weiss
  • cleaner logging of facetize command BoT failures - Sean Morrison
  • fixed crash-on-exit bug with iges-g importer - Richard Weiss
  • fixed crash tessellating pipes with maximum bends - John Anderson
  • fixed extrude object tessellation failures - Östen Lundahl


  • ported benchmark suite to Windows (requires 'sh') - Erik Greenwald
  • improved Windows installer desktop shortcut creation - Bob Parker
  • improved loading of Pro/E export plugin on Windows - Bob Parker
  • added all remaining shape tools to the Windows build - Sean Morrison

External Dependencies

  • libpng updated from version 1.4.1 to 1.4.3 - Sean Morrison
  • Tcl/Tk updated from 8.5.6 to 8.5.8 - Cliff Yapp
  • added Tktable 2.10 external dependency for archer - Cliff Yapp


  • expanded rtarea documentation with examples and detail - Cliff Yapp
  • spanish translation for tutorial 9 - Jesica Giudice, Luciano Lamaita
  • spanish translations for tutorials 4-5, 7-8, 10-16 - Jesica Giudice
  • added manual page for 'random' number generator tool - Sean Morrison


  • restored archer view commands to work without a .g file - Bob Parker
  • improvements to the primitive creation menu in archer - Bob Parker
  • improved archer object list view - Bob Parker


  • removed pl-sgi plot tool - Sean Morrison
  • removed 'query' command line prompting tool - Sean Morrison
  • fixed framebuffer shutdown and memory management bugs - Bob Parker
  • fixed pixhalve memory leak and corruption on exit - Sean Morrison
  • fixed heap corruption writing NURBS sketch objects - Östen Lundahl
  • added fullscreen display mode via F5 keybinding to ISST - Cliff Yapp
  • fixed memory leak in ISST during window resizing - Erik Greenwald
  • fixed running multiple framebuffer servers concurrently - Bob Parker

Please visit the Sourceforge project website to download the latest version:

See the BRL-CAD website at for more information.

Initial Drafts

These are incomplete articles being worked on. Most articles should be between 250 and 500 words (not counting tables, labels, and diagrams) before they have enough content to be considered complete.

Idea Hopper

These are ideas for interesting or useful publications. We need someone to at least write a draft.