Open Rocket vs RockSim

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Alby

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Has anybody (or hobbyist website) done a side by side comparison of
the two simulators on all the features? It just seems that, unless you
really need a super granular piece of software, Open Rocket's price tag
and features are more than enough for the everyday Joe.

It just seems that $120+ is a waste unless there is that one function that
RockSim has over Open Rocket.
 

Buckeye

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What I don't:
It allows you to lanch a rocket without vital components installed. For example, I made a rocket and forgot the centering rings and launch lug; it allowed it to launch anyway!
Keep in mind that a rocket simulator only needs a mass, diameter, Cd, and thrust to calculate the trajectory. This is what wrasp, thrustcurve and other basic flight predictors do. All the other stuff you add in RS and OR are design elements to help you build the rocket, like a CAD software. I am not a big scratch builder or designer, so RS and OR do a lot more than I need.
 

Buckeye

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Has anybody (or hobbyist website) done a side by side comparison of
the two simulators on all the features? It just seems that, unless you
really need a super granular piece of software, Open Rocket's price tag
and features are more than enough for the everyday Joe.

It just seems that $120+ is a waste unless there is that one function that
RockSim has over Open Rocket.
A kick-ass feature OR offers is the automatic optimizer function Sampo released a few months ago. I haven't tried it yet, but that sounds like the right direction for the software to go to distinguish itself above the rest. Anybody have success with that?
 

jpummil

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A kick-ass feature OR offers is the automatic optimizer function Sampo released a few months ago. I haven't tried it yet, but that sounds like the right direction for the software to go to distinguish itself above the rest. Anybody have success with that?
It IS a real neat feature. Reminds me a bit of a product I used in Computer Aided Engineering days called Optistruct from Altair.

I think it needs some additional parameterization to be really useful as it makes some erratic guesses at the moment. BUT...it has the makings of a really useful tool and COULD be the real difference between OR and Rocksim in the future.
 

Buckeye

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It IS a real neat feature. Reminds me a bit of a product I used in Computer Aided Engineering days called Optistruct from Altair.

I think it needs some additional parameterization to be really useful as it makes some erratic guesses at the moment. BUT...it has the makings of a really useful tool and COULD be the real difference between OR and Rocksim in the future.
Cool. I used to dabble in optimization programming. The numbers can quickly get nonsensical if the problem is not properly bounded.

Ah, yes. My company uses Optistruct heavily. I know Altair well.
 

FastCargo

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...too many fins - it apparently maxes out at 8 fins.
OR doesn't have that limitation as far as I can tell. I built a sim of a Black Brant 12 with 12 fins...didn't seem to phase OR in the slightest.

FC
 

Sampo

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Hi,
Has anybody (or hobbyist website) done a side by side comparison of
the two simulators on all the features? It just seems that, unless you
really need a super granular piece of software, Open Rocket's price tag
and features are more than enough for the everyday Joe.
I created a feature comparison on the OR wiki. I know I'm biased, but I tried to make a fair comparison of the features. If you think something is misrepresented or some feature is missing, let me know.

https://sourceforge.net/apps/mediawiki/openrocket/index.php?title=Feature_comparison

Cheers,
Sampo N.
 

Buckeye

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Hi,


I created a feature comparison on the OR wiki. I know I'm biased, but I tried to make a fair comparison of the features. If you think something is misrepresented or some feature is missing, let me know.

https://sourceforge.net/apps/mediawiki/openrocket/index.php?title=Feature_comparison

Cheers,
Sampo N.
Good summary. Rocksim is somewhat "extensible by own code" in that the XML file structure can be used by anybody and there is a console executable of the simulator (rocksimc.exe) that can be hooked into other programs. I know this because I used it in my software! Clearly, the open source is most extensible of all.

Here is the bottom line conclusion I draw from the table. If you want a CAD package to design your rocket, then RS is the choice. If you are more interested in simulation and the physics of flight, then OR seems to be the way to go. Either way, enjoy!
 

Alby

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The comparisons appear to show that both programs have their
strengths and weakness, but the factor that tips the scale most in
favor of Open Rocket is this one: Free

Plus one other factor I just noticed. If there is a new upgrade to
RockSim, you have to pay for it. Existing RockSim Users - Upgrade
to RockSim version 9.0 = $41.20


 

Sampo

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Hi,
Good summary. Rocksim is somewhat "extensible by own code" in that the XML file structure can be used by anybody and there is a console executable of the simulator (rocksimc.exe) that can be hooked into other programs. I know this because I used it in my software! Clearly, the open source is most extensible of all.
What can you do with it? There's very little info, but what I gather is that you can run simulations from the command line - that's not what I mean by simulation extensibility.

In OR you can hook into the simulation and actually affect it. I have simulated an active roll control system with it, where the simulation data is fed into our roll controller over a serial link, and it provides commands back to the software which changes the fin cant mid-flight. Similarly you could simulate other control systems, air-starts, custom wind profiles or any other weird scenario you can think of.

Cheers,
Sampo N.
 

Pat_B

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Has anyone ever mentioned the fact that the OR software so obviously copied RocSim's interface? So much for open source.

I also like the fact that RockSim is supported by hundreds of newsletter articles on the Apogee website.
 

Sampo

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Has anyone ever mentioned the fact that the OR software so obviously copied RocSim's interface? So much for open source.
So what? Windows was copied from Mac. Netscape copied from Mosaic, IE from that. The world of software is copying the best pieces of a UI and improving from there.

I think the way RockSim and OR structure the UI is quite natural, and I couldn't think of a better way to structure them (I did think of it!). I copied the parts I liked, and tried to improve on the parts I found lacking. What's the point of creating an inferior interface just for the sake of it?

I'm always open for new and innovative suggestions for improvement.

Regards,
Sampo N.
 

Alby

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Has anyone ever mentioned the fact that the OR software so obviously copied RocSim's interface? So much for open source.

I also like the fact that RockSim is supported by hundreds of newsletter articles on the Apogee website.

Hahahahah.... Of course Apogee will have tons of favorable articles.
They are the ones making the money off selling it. The last thing from
apogee you'll hear is any praise for OR. lol That would be like Microsoft
singing the praises of Linux.
 

Buckeye

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Has anyone ever mentioned the fact that the OR software so obviously copied RocSim's interface? So much for open source.

I also like the fact that RockSim is supported by hundreds of newsletter articles on the Apogee website.
Exactly. By paying for RockSim, you have additionally stong support from the software vendor and some assurance that the product will be around for a while and continually improved. If Sampo and his band of volunteers decide to quit, then that's the end of OR's support and growth.
 

Sampo

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Exactly. By paying for RockSim, you have additionally stong support from the software vendor and some assurance that the product will be around for a while and continually improved. If Sampo and his band of volunteers decide to quit, then that's the end of OR's support and growth.
This is getting into a philosophical debate between open source and proprietary software, but I just want to point out the obvious counter-argument:

If Apogee would go belly up, support and selling of RockSim could quite literally stop. The only way to get it would be to pirate it. If it doesn't work with the next version of Windows, then tough. On the other hand if me and the others would drop development, you could still copy the software. At any point in the future anyone else could pick up where we left off. If there's some future compatibility problem, anyone could fix it.

Regarding support of commercial software, that completely depends on the vendor. I don't have any experience with Apogee/RockSim support, but my general experience is that an active community provides solutions much faster and readily.

Both open source and proprietary software can be well-run or miserably run. I'm hoping OR will fall into the former category. Choose which one you will. :)

Cheers,
Sampo N.
 

Alby

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Exactly. By paying for RockSim, you have additionally stong support from the software vendor and some assurance that the product will be around for a while and continually improved. If Sampo and his band of volunteers decide to quit, then that's the end of OR's support and growth.

Buckeye:

Would you feel better if Sampro created an LLC and charged $$$ to give
the appearance of future sustainability? RockSim's future depends on the
future success of Apogee making money off rocket related goods. After all,
Apogee is more Retailer than Software developer. And retailers come and
go like the wind. Not to mention the massive competition in the eRetailing
space could see Apogee here today and gone tomorrow.

In any case, it is hard to get around the price tag of $0.00 for OR and
$120+ more $$ for upgrades to new versions with RockSim, considering that
both software choices are pretty good at what they are designed to do.
And its only at the margins where you get into debates about the details of
one verse the other.

In my opinion, Apogee might want to rethink the pricing model for its
software. Maybe outsouce the coding to India for pennies on the dollar
and lower its price to make it more competitive, otherwise without any
major issues that say OR just sucks against RS, chances are price will
do the talking and OR will gobble up the marketshare.
 
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jpummil

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While I appreciate both sides of the coin, it would be prudent to veer back to the technical discussion of the features and lackings of both packages...not to throw mud, but to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of both.

For those of us old enough to remember the Burger King commercial: rocket designers are free to "have it your way...."
 

Pat_B

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This Sampo character is located overseas where it's difficult for Tim to sue him; and that's why he is able to get away with stealing Tim's interface. His reponse of 'so what' is pretty remarkable and shows that he doesn't respect the laws of our country.

This idea that it's Ok to copy someone's interface is hilarious. Sure, anyone can give away free software when the steal someone elses interface and don't have to pay for the initial work that was done to develop it.

It's really sad that he gets any support at all. OS my butt, it's called copyright infringement.
 
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jpummil

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This Sampo character is located overseas where it's difficult for Tim to sue him; and that's why he is able to get away with stealing Tim's interface. His reponse of 'so what' is pretty remarkable and shows that he doesn't respect the laws of our country.

This idea that it's Ok to copy someone's interface is hilarious.

It's really sad that he gets any support at all. OS my butt, it's called copyright infringement.
So much for my efforts to get back on track...let the absurdity begin :eyeroll:
 

Alby

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This Sampo character is located overseas where it's difficult for Tim to sue him; and that's why he is able to get away with stealing Tim's interface. His reponse of 'so what' is pretty remarkable and shows that he doesn't respect the laws of our country.

This idea that it's Ok to copy someone's interface is hilarious. Sure, anyone can give away free software when the steal someone elses interface and don't have to pay for the initial work that was done to develop it.

It's really sad that he gets any support at all. OS my butt, it's called copyright infringement.


I don't think Sampo is out of reach from the law. Sampo Niskanen is
in Finland, an EU member nation. If whomever from Apogee wanted to
make a case over Copyright Infringement, there is an avenue to pursue
that claim.

Email: sampo.niskanen@iki.fi
WWW: https://www.iki.fi/sampo.niskanen/
Phone: +358-50-3414128
Snail-mail: Kilonportti 1 A 23 FIN-02610 Espoo Finland


But seriously, I doubt a similar interface stands a chance. Just look at
something like FreeBSD. You'd think that FreeBSD's interface looking
similar to Microsoft Windows would have shut down that software in
a heart beat.

https://www.freebsd.org/gnome/images/ss224-2.png


You never know.. Might make for an interesting international legal case.
 

Disaster_Guy

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Headed straight into the realm of how IP laws hurt inovation...

anyway, Sampo- If you ever decided to move forward with a parts db, I would be happy to help populate it. I can't code or do db development but I can data enter into something structured or tabular.
 

stantonjtroy

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This Sampo character is located overseas where it's difficult for Tim to sue him; and that's why he is able to get away with stealing Tim's interface. His reponse of 'so what' is pretty remarkable and shows that he doesn't respect the laws of our country.

This idea that it's Ok to copy someone's interface is hilarious. Sure, anyone can give away free software when the steal someone elses interface and don't have to pay for the initial work that was done to develop it.

It's really sad that he gets any support at all. OS my butt, it's called copyright infringement.
This post shows you realy have no practicle knowledge of how it all works. The code is TOTALY different and that is where the copyright lies. Just because the interface is similar dosn't mean it's a rip off. That would be like saying GM can sue Ford because they have a car with a similar shape, wheel base, seating arangement and color. It's not realistic.

As for the thread at hand. I've used both and decided to not persue upgrades of RS in favor of OR. RS does have a couple of features that are nice to have that OR dosn't. The previously stated parts database, "Fin Pods" or "T Fins" as well but I can work around it. RS has a major advantage in the amount of Sim data it can generate. MASSIVE! For a school this may be better as it's probably going to be used for Science education so a broader data reporting capability would be better; For most rocketry applications though, It's cool but overkill. I also like that Sampo has provided this in open source. Though I don't have the code skills myself, many do and this gives them a chance to create add ons and for the rest of us to benefit. I also like the instant sim feature on the main display, Gives a quick go/no go to some ideas I might try. FWIW
 
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Cyril's Scribe

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Don't be a troll, anyway, I have Rocksim V.7 and have enjoyed using it, it is a nice piece of software, and since my family already had it, it was effectively free for me. I do like the features of the new V.9, I got to use them as part of a trial version. The "scale fin by a factor" was especially useful. Though I would like to try the optimize feature from OR. This is a kind of Mac vs. PC argument, the best solution is to have both.
 

Rex R

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there are only just so many ways of doing a graphical interface that are useable to the majority of users. the fact that both programs use icons of rocket parts means that portion of the GUI will look similar.
that said...there are some bits that would be helpful to scale modelers like; having a 'pod' as a wiring conduit(wac corporal), and having it included in the aero sims would be nice.
 

bdureau

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Personally I help out Sampo in the OpenRocket project by translating it to other languages. This is something that Rocksim does not offer... my goal is to promote rocketry in my country and other non-English speaking countries and certainly not to go against Apogee. I think that Apogee does a very good job with all the documentations and videos that they give away for free and I encourage people to go to their web site.
As for the user interface if you look at the other software called SpaceCad
https://www.spacecad.com/
it has also a very similar user interface. So who copied from each other? I guess Apogee did not start from scratch they probably looked at what was around before starting any design and coding. In 10 years time they could be another software done by someone else that improve the work done in all those software. OpenRocket uses different simulations method, than Rocksim.
I think that it is good to have different simulations software so that you can do comparisons of the simulations.
I encourage you to visit the OpenRocket web site and to have a look at the development mailing list to see what is coming up and you will see that there are lots of things that Rocksim does not offer.
Boris
 

Sampo

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I do like the features of the new V.9, I got to use them as part of a trial version. The "scale fin by a factor" was especially useful. Though I would like to try the optimize feature from OR. This is a kind of Mac vs. PC argument, the best solution is to have both.
The next version of OpenRocket will support writing in RKT format, thanks to more great work by Doug Pedrick. You should be able to design in RockSim, load it into OR and optimize it, and move back to RS. As long as the components are supported in OR, it should work out relatively fine.

And in case you didn't know, you can scale individual components, groups of components or the entire design in OR using Edit -> Scale.

Cheers,
Sampo N.
 

Buckeye

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In my opinion, Apogee might want to rethink the pricing model for its
software. Maybe outsouce the coding to India for pennies on the dollar
and lower its price to make it more competitive, otherwise without any
major issues that say OR just sucks against RS, chances are price will
do the talking and OR will gobble up the marketshare.
I'll give you that, Alby. There is tension in the system. RS needs to step up the game to justify the price.

Maybe I am jaded. I had an experience with an OS product in my day job. It could not compete with the big boys in capability or robustness, and I could not afford the risk to use it, depite the appealing price.

Not so in this case. OR does just about everything RS does, and some additional stuff I really like. Sampo has a healthy volunteer base to keep it growing for now. Well done.

Remember wrasp? That source code was open since 1998 and it never went any further. Seems like the free stuff stops, outdates itself, the developers lose interest, life gets in the way, and then the next best thing comes along from somebody else. Innovation is usually strongest with a profit motive. Just my opinion.
 
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Nerull

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This Sampo character is located overseas where it's difficult for Tim to sue him; and that's why he is able to get away with stealing Tim's interface. His reponse of 'so what' is pretty remarkable and shows that he doesn't respect the laws of our country.

This idea that it's Ok to copy someone's interface is hilarious. Sure, anyone can give away free software when the steal someone elses interface and don't have to pay for the initial work that was done to develop it.

It's really sad that he gets any support at all. OS my butt, it's called copyright infringement.
You can't sue someone for making a similar interface, unless you have patented that interface. Which Apogee hasn't. Even in the US. Copyright does not apply in this case. Please try learning something about the subject before sliming other people.

And planning on Apogee supporting a product in the future has bitten enough people in the ass before that you'd think people would learn to stop relying on it next time.
 
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