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Gilbert Osmond

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Posts posted by Gilbert Osmond

  1. The major changes in the VGM for 2017 are primarily for Top/Plan speed, I do not think they affect 3D performance.

    With apologies for emotionality & for veering away from the specific topic, I for one can hardly wait to see the improvements in VW2017.

    Though I'm sure there will be various new features, perhaps even some I will use, I would be perfectly happy this year with a release that had *nothing* but refinements, speed improvements, and bug fixes.

  2. Worksheets should auto calculate

    do you mean Auto-Update? I think they already auto calculate, there is a preference for that.

    If auto-updating is added as a feature, it should be optional, as there are plenty of cases where you would not want the contents of a worksheet dynamically changing every time you added/edited/changed objects.

    For example if I'm adding plants to a landscape and I have qty. 10 or 20 of say 12 different species to add, I don't need the CPU / disk overhead of having a worksheet auto-update with every batch of plants added. I only need to update the worksheet when I'm finished adding plants.

    It would be nice to be able to control-click on a finished worksheet & choose from among "Auto-Update," "Manual Update," and "Update Now".

  3. Worksheets interface desperately needs an overhaul. It's about as intuitive and user-friendly as Font-DA-Mover from System 6. (And some of the graphical hints in the Worksheet window also appear to hail from System 6.. from 26 YEARS ago....)

    VW Worksheet formatting tools appears to take their interface cues from Excel's "Cell Format" window + tabbed panes -- why not extend the metaphor & borrow Excel's handy toolbar for speeding up the most common style changes. Font styles, text/background color, cell borders, etc.

    A particular pet peeve of mine is the way the "sort" icons work. Clicking them is the intuitive behavior, but no, one must select a column, then *drag* one of the two sort icons onto the column.

  4. Support for 3DConnexions' range of hardware devices is indeed in the pipe and actively being developed now. Much of it specifically for the Enterprise model but apparently any work done for it will directly benefit any hardware that uses the 3DxWare software package's controls.

    This is encouraging to hear. I sure hope most or all of the older 3D Conn. Space Pilot series are mostly or fully supported. WADR for 3DConnexion they sure do seem to rev hardware a lot with few, perhaps *no* changes to the basic innovation of the 3d nav knob itself.

    As far as VW's support for / use of 3D nav using a true 3D controller, one holy grail (among several, I'm sure,) is simply to be able to use the full 6 degrees of freedom exactly as one does in the demo app that 3DConnexion provides with their driver software package.

  5. Resource Manager!

    Browsing improvements

    Search enhancement

    Structural Member Object

    Irrigation Tools


    Cloud Services

    VGM Continued Upgrades:

    - Same speed enhancements we saw come to OpenGL will be brought to Top/Plan views.

    - Large or highly complex files will perform more smoothly, even in extreme cases.

    - You will be able to perform additional operations without having to wait for the previous operation to finish.

    - MULTITHREADING - screen redraws will be split into separate threads, so that user input can be taken without the user having to wait, or without making Vectorworks stop what it was already doing.

    As an ongoing Designer + RW VSS subscriber I am relieved & encouraged to see that NM/VW is taking time to revamp, revise, polish, correct, clean up, streamline, and generally improve important parts of VW's core functionality. As a landscape designer I will appreciate the new Irrigation tools (if they make it into the 2017 release) too.

    The 2016 release (point cloud, Energos, etc.) had plenty of attention-grabbing power, 2017 appears to be some follow-through in the bread-and-butter minute to minute core functionality.

    Looking forward to downloading VW2017 -- SP2! I'll let the bleeding edge people work out the initial round of bugs. :)

  6. Important for me is that email Notifications of watched posts come

    only one time, until you logged into the Thread again.

    Many forums have user-configurable preferences to accommodate a range of needs. I like systems that offer each forum user a range of choices:

    • Instant email notifications to every reply in every watched thread, OR

    • Daily, or weekly: 1 Summary email notification per watched thread, including headlines for all replies on that watched thread, OR

    • 1 weekly summary notifications of ALL watched threads, i.e. just 1 email per week listing which threads have changed, but not showing or summarizing the individual new replies on those threads.

    Some forums go so far as to allow this setting individually for every watched thread, but to me just having a single global preference would be fine.

  7. As a work-around until it gets fixed in VW you can use a 3rd party utility like Default FolderX to set a specific default folder for any app, including VW. Also has a lot of other useful features such as Favorites, Recently-Opened, etc., all accessible from within any open/save dialog box. I like the Sets feature, allows you to configure arbitrary Sets of bookmarked folders which you can switch to using a keyboard shortcut.

    I.e. "Current Design" set might take you to a set configured to show the top folder level for all active design jobs.

    There is also a handy "last-visited" feature, you can hit up-arrow and it will take you back to the folder you selected *the previous time* an open/save dialog came up.

    I've been using Default FolderX for many years and have found it to be reliable, very stable, and well-maintained.

  8. Could Vectorworks have a global filter or control to resolve issues of design detail vs lag in navigation, rendering and view adjustment? Continuous monitor of hardware status to only reveal or calculate what is required up to some global user settings for zoom, distance, general detail or other parameters?

    Huge ++1, I've made other comments similar to this in other threads & a few days back I started my own Wish-List thread on it.

  9. I'm sure this has been requested before; I couldn't find the older posts though:

    Would like to be able to ESC out of any extended CPU operation, e.g. let's say I'm looking at a high-poly-count object (like a 3D plant model) with 50K or 100K polys, in OpenGL mode, and I switch (either by mistake or on purpose) to "Hidden Line" -- beach ball for 2 to 10 minutes while VW recalculates.

    At least VW2016 64-bit doesn't crash; that is an improvement, but being able to cancel / revert any long CPU-intensive process mid-stream, the way you can interrupt a Render operation, would be very useful. As it now stands the only options are to wait, or to force-quit.

  10. +1 on automatic jargon expansion, there's no way regulars are going to type out "Object Information Pallette" every time, nor should they be expected to.

    +1 on better searching, agreed that Google often does a better job than the forum search engine.

    +1 on long-term Wiki with well-curated articles, so many questions occur over and over again.

    Also, a well-ordered keyword "tag" system so posts can be easily cross-referenced over multiple sub-forums. (E.g. a post can be tagged with, for example, "Architect" and "Spotlight" if both of those tags are relevant.)

    And, a thread-display system that shows replies in a sensible indented form, the way for example Reddit.com does. (Or, at least an option for the user to select that display format.)

  11. Bumping this thread --

    I very much want to buy a 3DConnexion SpaceMouse (one of these, pictured below, to be clear -- their product names are very confusing.)

    How is support under VW2016 SP2?


    - Can this be used effectively for 3D modeling, making edits & changes to the model with most or all major tools without excessive automatic/forced shifts in view mode? Or is it just mainly for display purposes in Walkthrough mode?

    - Are the various short-cut side buttons directly supported in VW? Are they configurable? If they are not directly supported, can they be effectively re-mapped either through the 3DConnexion driver or through a 3rd party driver like USBOverdrive?

    I called 3DConnexion tech support about this and got the impression that their Mac support is a bit of an afterthought so I am hesistant to jump in and buy.

    Thanks for your replies.

    ubbthreads.php?ubb=download&Number=14690&filename= 3dconnexion_spacemouse.png

  12. Thanks for the suggestion, I was able to track it down quickly.

    I had a corrupted workspace in /Users//Library/Application Support/Vectorworks/2016/Workspaces.

    I removed the offending custom workspace and launch times are back to normla. In this case the workspace showed a pallette from the 3rd party plugin "Extensio," which is used to produce various kinds of piping & drainage runs. I'm not certain but it seems likely the Extensio plugin has something to do with it.

    And/or, what it might be is that I did *not* reinstall the Extensio plugin with my clean install of VW 2016. So probably VW 2016 was just searching for the plugin and then timing out, resulting in long delay.

  13. From dock click to splash screen: 18 seconds.

    Splash screen to "Untitled 1" document open & ready to work: 35 seconds.

    Grand total startup time, 52-56 seconds (range.)

    That's incredibly slow! Create a new admin account on your machine:


    Then once loaded in, time it twice, the first time you launch it then shut it down and time the second time as well in the same manner you did for your previous test, please.

    Hmm, a bit embarrassed here -- did as you suggested, in the clean user account I did have to re-enter my serial number & re-activate. Once that was done, on the 5th consecutive launch I am getting:

    Time to splash screen: 16 seconds

    Time to Doc open/ready to work: 19 seconds.

    What do I need to examine in my main user folder(s)?

  14. How many seconds would you say, on average?

    The very FIRST launch will be significantly slower than a normal launch often, but yes normally after that a clean install's launch should be fairly snappy, only slowing down once you add a number of favorite files to the resource browser.

    I just did some tests on this. This is on an clean install that has now been launched ~15 times total, working out any "first-launch" setup issues, and getting the OS caching to an optimal state.

    From dock click to splash screen: 18 seconds.

    Splash screen to "Untitled 1" document open & ready to work: 35 seconds.

    Grand total startup time, 52-56 seconds (range.)

    This is with the default Architect workspace selected, and with an empty Resource Browser.

    The rest of the system operates very fast indeed -- new Samsung EVO 850 SSD boot device (500GB, only 20% used,) which is on the internal SATA-III bus of the Mac Mini. VW 2016 and all associated files & content are also located on this SSD. No other storage devices connected or mounted.

    Safari launches in <1 second, Mail (with 40,000 messsages and 300+ subfolders) in 3 to 4 seconds, LibreOffice v5 (a pretty cantankerous mass of code) in 3 to 4 seconds. Again, all of these are "cached/optimized" after several launch/quit cycles.

    Let me know if I can do other testing or submit logs on this.

    The hardware & OS config in my profile signature is up to date.

  15. I also notice that VW 2016 is slow to launch in 10.11.2.

    Particularly so because it is *slower* launching a clean install of VW 2016 SP2 on a clean install of 10.11.2 on a brand new, mostly empty Samsung EVO 850 SSD located on the internal SATA-III bus --- than launching a year-old install of VW 2016 on my mucked-up, well-used Yosemite 10.10 setup on a much smaller, older, almost 95% full SSD.

  16. I doubt I'd ever have become a VW user (and lately, aficionado) if there wasn't an a la carte option. I don't like companies that offer software ONLY on a subscription basis.

    That said, as a now-committed VW user [to the program, not an insane asylum.. :) ] I am a VSS subscriber. I do consider the cost carefully each year, and I will say that last year's early-ish and in-depth previews of VW2016 features were quite important in convincing me to remain with VSS.

    I hope April 2016 brings similar previews of VW 2017 features, and that that pattern holds through future years.

  17. Just chiming in here -- if your budget is limited and/or you just prefer extracting maximum value from your older hardware, if you have any Mac with a Thunderbolt port (Mini, iMac, any laptop, even a Mac Pro for that matter,) there are fairly well-tested eGPU (external GPU) solutions now available.

    The best of them are custom-built and do require some hardware hacking. I can say that I am completely satisfied with the 3D & OpenGL performance of the Nvidia GTX970 card I have running with/on my 2012 Mac Mini. See the link in my signature below if you want more details.

  18. In general, moving to a back-end that supports the full capabilities of modern browsers.

    Especially, for example, not having to go to separate "confirmation" web page for every action, before being taken back to the previous page.

    I agree ++ with the remark that long-term accessibility should be prioritized. Of course good content has to be curated to remain good. The StackExchange model (see http://www.stackexchange.com if not already familiar) of vetting content and questions seems to work very well. And SE also vets users as well.

    Other large org's like Apple/Filemaker seem to have official discussion boards which are semi-moderated by well-respected and experienced users who are not employees. Maybe use a system that allows multiple levels of moderators so that experienced users can help with the work of funnelling & sorting posts by quality and importance.

    I would like to be able to set a default posts-displayed time horizon of more than 3 months. I realize this default may have been chosen in an earlier era when server & network bandwidth were more precious. It is a drag to have to continually choose "Show posts 1 up to 1 year ago..." or longer.

    I look forward to whatever the new forums solution turns out to be. I am confident it is going to be an improvement over what now exists.

  19. I really appreciate your frankness & confirmation on this JimW.

    Having this info helps me avoid fruitlessly throwing a lot of money at hardware in an attempt to make VW faster -- i.e. in "core" computation it's not going to make a revolutionary difference using a Mac Pro w/ multiple Xeons vs. a core i7 2.6Ghz. Only an incremental difference not worth ~$3-$4K.

    Of course VW remains fantastic in so many other ways, I'm not complaining, just hoping that in the not-too-distant VW gets full multi-threading/multi-CPU awareness in the "Core" functionality.

    As far as marketing & the annual product cycle go, of course this is not as sexy a feature as, for example, ENERGOS, point-cloud import, curtain walls, and much else -- but for the existing user base of VW it would be a *major* boon to take full advantage of existing hardware.

  20. Leica now sells the Disto S910, which is basically a miniature total-station with alt/azimuth + distance measuring.

    It's what I had hoped I could turn my D810 into; I wish I had waited 6 months or a year for the release of the S910 but you can never tell with product releases, so.

    However -- on careful consideration, actually a tape measure is still a lot faster than a Disto for accessible areas & dimensions under 15 feet or so. For example I would not want to use a Disto S910 to shoot points to capture a) a house wall b) 2 different windows and 1 door in that wall, c) the eave height & foundation height for that wall d) electrical outlets & hose bibs in that wall, and e) perhaps a small set of wood or concrete stairs on that wall.

    That would be a lot of complex pointing & shooting along with notes to link the points to actual features. I think much faster to just drag a tape measure.

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