Frequently Asked Questions

You know, questions some people did or might ask. Please feel free to ask your own questions (for that matter, feel free to ask them frequently if that's your thing.)

  1. Aren't there already enough file converters? I have several programs that can import and ...
  2. Why the name VectorSection?
  3. When will it be done?
  4. Can I help?
  5. In which programming language is VectorSection written?
  6. Can I write connectors in language X?
  7. I don't have a subversion client. Do you have snapshots?
  8. Is there a C API?
  9. There should be a C API.
  10. Will Perl/Python/Ruby code be fast enough?

Q:  Aren't there already enough file converters? I have several programs that can import and export files.

A:  No. There may be a lot of converters, but we wanted some quality with our quantity. If conversion is done only from an import/export menu in software with a graphical interface, this makes it difficult to create automated processes and distracts you from the task at hand. VectorSection is built from reconfigurable components, so it can be included in GUI menus as easily as in a batch process.

Q:  Why the name VectorSection?

A:  Vector + Intersection => VectorSection. This system is the crossroads for vector graphics formats and the developers and programs that use them.

Q:  When will it be done?

A:  Never. This project is completely ongoing. It is usable now, and always will be. Because of its distributed, modular design, VectorSection is able to grow without destabilizing any of the existing connectors.

Q:  Can I help?

A:  Yes! There are even more ways to help with VectorSection than with typical open-source projects. If you can write code, you can write a connector. It doesn't matter what language you know. See the task list for open items.

If you are not a programmer, you can certainly help with testing or documentation. We could also use help with building binary packages and other distribution stuff. Just ping me or one of the mailing lists and tell us how you want to help. Of course, donations and sponsorship are always welcome.

Q:  In which programming language is VectorSection written?

A:  Lots. Due to the loosely-coupled architecture, any language is fair game (though choosing a language with YAML libraries makes things easier.) Given the cross-platform and open-source nature, a connector is most useful if the language has a well-supported open-source toolchain. The project maintainers speak Perl, Python, Ruby, C, C++, Fortran, Lisp, and Objective C. Java and C# might work, but you have to prove that we won't have trouble integrating it with our test and install setups.

Q:  Can I write connectors in language X?

A:  Yes!

Q:  I don't have a subversion client. Do you have snapshots?

A:  If you are a developer, it will be difficult to keep up without a subversion client. For everyone else, install-able packages will be available when the time is right.

Q:  Is there a C API?

A:  No.

Q:  There should be a C API.

A:  That's not a question.

Q:  Will Perl/Python/Ruby code be fast enough?

A:  File conversion is not a highly interactive operation, so waiting 5 seconds is certainly tolerable and that is a really large file in most practical applications. Average times run in the neighborhood of ~0.5s. The primary goal of this project is to provide as much functionality as soon as possible. If something is really too slow, we will cross that bridge when we come to it. Better to wait 15 seconds for a big job than to wait 15 years for it to run in 5.


All material Copyright © 2005-2008 Eric L. Wilhelm.