Jedicut just passed an important milestone with major changes in its core, which opens up many new features thanks to plugins.
What is a plugin ?
A plugin consists of one or more files you can add to a software in order to add it new features. They have the particularity of not being required for the main software, and sometimes plugins live independently (with a self cycle of development).
An example: If Jedicut can't control the CNC board you have, maybe someone has developed a plugin to add compatibility ?
The types of plugins supported by Jedicut
Jedicut v2.3 supports two families of plugins:
- Plugins of communication: This is the famous "dll" that allows you to choose a mode of communication for your CNc board.
- Plugins of file: it's new. They are used to manage open files in Jedicut. Example: Jedicut can't open the dxf file. Special plugin "opening dxf" would be interesting is not it?
All plugins on which I have personally worked are available in open-source LGPL (see sources for more information about this license). I will publish the sources of new plugins soon, after a little reorganization of the SVN.
A special forum is available for developpers who can want to program their own plugins : Discussions on Jedicut plugins (a french forum but you can also post in english ;).
Plugins of communication
The plugins of Jedicut allowed to make far Jedicut compatible with many CNC boards. These plugins of communication have also been published in open source, allowing many developers to try to develop plugins for Jedicut in order to :
- Add a new card type CNC,
- Improve the compatibility of Jedicut with different versions of Windows,
- Improve existing plugins.
Currently all plugins were developed in Delphi, and some data formats that I used did not allow you to program a plugin in another language.
After some research on the compatibility of programming languages, I adapted some data formats. For you, the behavior of Jedicut should not change over previous versions, against the potential for development and evolution are now much bigger !
Plugins of file
There are currently two plugins of file. The first one you found in an earlier beta version of Jedicut. It can open dat files.
Nothing new you say. For you it's true. But for me it was a lot of work since it allowed me to validate the structure of the plugins of file, and I was able to validate all internal developments, essential to use this new type of plugins.
The novelty is here : Jedicut can now open DXF files!
This was made possible through the work of Pascal Langer, a member of the team-5X Project (http://5xproject.co.nr/), who developed a dll named CNCTools.dll, to manage the dxf files (among other features, as it also supports file formats dedicated to milling).
He offered to use his dll, and this is where the concept of plugin has simplified our work.
I still does not exploit all the features offered by Pascal's dll, but there is currently a major limitation: this plugin only works on Windows XP and above. Pascal is aware of this problem and it will work on it when he will have time.
For now Jedicut can open dxf files with a single profile. To provide a friendly interface in the case of a dxf file containing more than one profile, I have to find a good idea, and I have to program it.
Other changes Jedicut
There are big developments like the introduction of plugins, and there are smaller changes but are nonetheless important. Here's what changed.
- Configuring the Parallel Port: previously only the signals of the motors were freely assignable. It is now the case for all signals.
- Copy / paste: I accidentally deleted this feature a long time ago. It is now restored.
- Bug in the display profiles to the profiles in "x" whose coordinates range from 0 to 1, and when you configure a thick skin and twisting. Not easy to explain, but it's fixed.
- Bug when launching Jedicut when Jedicut.ini is in read-only mode : it is corrected.
- Bug when external timer is absent and it's checked in options Jedicut : Jedicut could freeze sometimes . This is fixed.
- Bug opening "jdc" file on a french Windows, when they were created on English Windows (problem of unity). It's a case difficult to describe, but it's fixed.
I joined the new translations that were posted on the forum. Jedicut is now translated into Czech and Polish. Spanish and English translations were also updated.
Note in passing: The translations have always one step behind, it is normal if you see some new messages not translated in Jedicut.
This new version is rich in innovation and bug fixes. As usual, in case of error or issue, the forum is here : http://www.aeropassion.net/forums/list.php?6
Go to the download page to find Jedicut : http://www.aeropassion.net/download/download-jedicut.php
If you like Jedicut and if you want to support it, you can do many things :
- Add a link to Aeropassion's website on your own site
- Share your CNC project on Jedicut's forum
- Translate Jedicut or improve existing translations
- Program new plugins
You can simply talk about Jedicut around you