News from the OSArch wiki

News from the OSArch wiki

Part of our mission at OSArch is bringing people together & sharing knowledge. The OSArch Wiki plays an important role in this goal. In the OSArch Community Forum we discuss topics and on the wiki we document them. At least that’s the idea, but it takes a lot of dedicated work.

I had some free time this week so I’ve been working on the OSArch wiki. Read on if that sort of information goldmine is interesting for you … maybe you’d like to help.


I’ve reorganized a number of pages so they are now in a hierarchy with sub pages. This is the case now for BlenderBIM Add-on, FreeCAD, IFC – Industry Foundation Classes, MVD – Model View Definitions, MicroMVDs for information exchange & Revit Setup for OpenBIM. This means some categories will be removed over time.

We can see in the site statistics that the pages on OpenBIM with Revit really deserve more attention, supporting people in liberating their projects from this proprietary format.

Revit Setup for OpenBIM now uses sub pages

Software pages

Quite a few software pages have also had a quick clean up. Sverchok (programming nodes for Blender), Ladybug Tools (programming nodes for analysis in Rhinoceros 3D & more recently Blender), MeasureIt Arch got a cleanup, IFC.js had no Infobox – how embarrassing!

MeasureIt Arch screenshot (Blender Add-on)

Software maturity can be worth browsing for, so now the Software Maturity categories are linked to software pages when the Software Infobox is filled in correctly. So now you can browse software pages by maturity level, but it will take time for software pages appear in their categories because pages need re-saving before this change goes through.

Software Infobox for BlenderBIM Add-on

OpenBIM Standards

The COBie – Construction Operations Building Information Exchange page almost didn’t exist. It’s now looking useful with description, links and examples. The IFC, IDS & MVD pages also got a bit of a general cleanup and some new links. Have you seen the IDS creator?


A new page is OSArch Style Guide where images/logos and info on colors and fonts are collected. If you’re making a presentation and want to mention OSArch – that’s the place to get a logo.

Images are great, we recognize a familiar image much faster than a name, so I add them where it makes sense, like on the Software Directory page where we’ve come a long way finding logos for projects (sometimes this is surprisingly hard). The next page to focus on for logos might be AEC Open Data Standards Directory but personally I think that page needs re-thinking. Actually I think the libre/OSS software community needs a new type of software directory.

Some small changes to note:

  • The software infobox now links back to the directory
  • COBie page has a nice image so it’s easier to understand
  • IFC has a whole section on libre/OSS software libraries, better links to the official documentation & a great link to the IFC Myth Busters videos by Leon van Berlo.
  • The Donation Directory lists 20 projects and ways to support them, the page now includes project icons – it would help with recognizable icons for each donation service …

Share Your Knowledge

If you’re ready to give a little bit of your time to OSArch and want to help with the wiki a good place to start is the Category ‘Software missing an infobox’. Just find software you’ve heard and improve the page! Pages need:

  • A Software Infobox
  • A Description
  • A ‘See also’ section linking to OSArch sites
  • An ‘External Reference’ section for external links.
  • Logo & Screenshot are great – let us know if you need upload rights.

Working on a software page is a great way to learn about the software on the wiki. If you’re ready to start a whole new page for something in the Software Directory, that doesn’t even have its own page, drop by the forum or chat and let us know if you need a hand (the Inkscape page shows the preferred setup).

So drop by the wiki and have a look around – you’ll learn something and maybe teach something to someone else as well.

Duncan Lithgow

contact me

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