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Conrad Preen

Vectorworks, Inc Employee
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Everything posted by Conrad Preen

  1. Here is Niko's Data Manager video tells you how to set up a data mapping so that your custom record is added to every new Device. You can also see examples of this in the ConnectCAD templates. ConnectCAD with Data Manager.mp4
  2. @Thomas_Ok, we located this and I'm posting it to the Did You Know thread which is at least at the top of the list.
  3. Well we do a lot of trying to guess your intentions in this command... and on this occasion it looks like we did not succeed. You see, some people want the existing numeric suffix retained and others want it replaced. In this case the selection set does not have a consistent numeric suffix so one might reasonably assume that the numbers are part of the name. If you can think of a way to figure out the users intention let me know 🙂 And at the end of the day if the command helps out 95% of time I think it's OK and we should not add extra complications. Best Conrad
  4. @Thomas_ One of my peeves at this forum is how hard it is to locate answers that are relevant to your question. Sorry about this but I have a pressing deadline and try as I might I can't find it right now. It is there but I haven't the time to search it out.
  5. Well these are certainly things we discuss and think about. The question comes down to us wanting some devices to have additional special behaviours and how to make the device "understand" that. Naming conventions are one way to do this. I certainly have in mind to handle this a different way but I need to be sure we actually solve the problem and don't just move it around.
  6. Dear @Thomas_ You can attach any record to a socket or a device using the normal Vectorworks procedure. Please check the help for details about creating record formats and attaching to objects. You can also place additional text inside your socket and link it to the attached record fields to display the value. I think there's an artcile on this in the Did You Know section. Finally all this can be automated see Niko's video on the subject. Best Conrad
  7. @pcoleman @cessnaflyer and everyone generally - if you are having a problem you can always call Tech Support and they will guide you through diagnosing it. By all means feel free to report problems here too. But, we can get to a solution a lot quicker if you supply some basic information: What's the problem. What you were doing when the problem happened What you were expecting to happen What actually happened Screen recordings / screen shots are useful A sample file and steps to reproduce the problem are great Information about your system Mac / Win, Vectorworks version etc. Being able to reproduce the problem is key to resolving it. Best Conrad
  8. @TomBass The device database is a tab-separated text file that you can open and edit in a spreadsheet. You will have to get your head around the format. If you create a device in the Device Builder and then look in the folder ConnectCAD_Data in your user path, you will find the file ConnectCAD Devices DB.txt. If you enter data in the same format it will be accessible to the Device Builder and Create Devices from Worksheet. Obviously we can't validate this data so you may break stuff. That is price you have to pay. Regarding user contributions to the database, I very much appreciate your offer. We used to do it that way. Unfortunately not everyone was very careful about the data they entered so it became a bit of a mess. For now we have brought this in-house but of course I realise that we are in a fast-moving industry and we need to keep up. I have some ideas to fix this but they are still under wraps. Conrad
  9. @sbecraft Well, Spotlight Numbering was not designed to handle the particular case. It is a limitation of Spotlight. The destination end of a cross-layer circuit is a proxy object, not the actual circuit object itself. ConnectCAD's own numbering command takes care of this 'cos we know about it. So why not use that instead? Conrad
  10. @CharlesD Again please be patient - we are on the same page believe me!
  11. Dear @CharlesD We are in the process of reviewing and revising the signals, connectors and device data. These are all related so it has to be done in one go. The question of turning off default content has already been discussed at length in another thread. It would have to be all or nothing and I believe would create its own swathe of problems when people who have gone their own way want to work together again. It's that time of year when you all start to bring up matters that we are already tackling but we can't tell you about yet. Please be patient, we are constantly working to improve ConnectCAD. Kind regards Conrad
  12. @CharlesD Not a bug in my opinion. You can select <space> as a delimiter in the dialog. Please tell me if there is a case where this doesn't give you the result you need. Conrad
  13. We are already testing our workflows to support this kind of thing. Conrad
  14. Sorry, but that doesn't work. As you have realised. Conrad
  15. And finally, and hopefully to close this thread at last... Everyone has the right to their own opinion and the right to express it. But... I ask you: does it move the conversation forward to just say that you disagree without being specific as to WHY? Looking forward to engaging with you all in a constructive manner.
  16. @Thomas_ If you want to get active in scripting for ConnectCAD we will help support you. Conrad
  17. Please do feel free to come and discuss with with me live! https://www3.vectorworks.net/vectorworks-open-house-registration I'll be around during the US morning session.
  18. Hi @TomBass The command creates devices as defined in the Device Builder database. So all you need is a worksheet with columns containing the make, model and optionally the quantity, and name of the devices. The command is not fussy about the worksheet format - whatever it cannot guess, it will ask you. If there's a header row in the sheet it will attempt to assign columns. If the make and/or model in your sheet is not in the database a fuzzy match will be attempted that takes account of mis-spellings and abbreviations. These guesses are presented to you for approval in a second dialog. If the make/model are unknown then a blank device will be created. If you know that the devices you want do not exist in the database then you can create them yourself in the Device Builder. Once created they will be kept in your user folder device database and will be used by Create Devices from Worksheet. Don't forget to check out the Vectorworks help pages - lot's of useful stuff in there. Conrad
  19. Be assured that your positive input is appreciated and is actively considered in our ongoing development. I have already filed enhancement requests based on some of your comments. You will see this in future versions. If we have diverged from the original topic it is owing to your question/assertion that a basic design choice in ConnectCAD (devices not being symbols) is incorrect. Since this is absolutely not the case, I took the time to explain some of the reasons for and advantages of the way we do things. I am beginning to feel that this was not time well spent since you dismiss my detailed exposition just by saying that you cannot agree based on your experience. I welcome rational debate and believe me I constantly re-examine my assumptions, even those which have so far stood the test of time. But if you cannot accept my line of reasoning and you cannot explain yours then I think we are stuck. Kind regards Conrad
  20. This is the problem with forums - you explain and after a month it is buried under a heap of other posts and no-one can find it. So... "why are devices not symbols?" a) because editing a symbol changes EVERY instance of that symbol and you may not remember everywhere it was used until your installer/technician comes up against the problem b) it is very useful to re-order the connectors of the same type of device in the schematic to reduce the number of circuits crossing over c) it makes for much clearer drawings if you do not clutter them up with unused connectors d) you may well want to have the same device on multiple layers e.g. and audio / video switcher will appear on the audio schematic and the video schematic but with different sockets showing e) you need multiple instances of the same device (but different sockets on that device) in different areas of a schematic to have a clear signal flow - example: patch panels. That's the first 5 arguments that come to mind. There are more. There is nothing arbitrary about it. It is a conscious design choice on my part and I stand by it. I know that this means that editing every instance of a device is a bit harder but that saves you from unintended consequences for which YOU as the designer will be responsible. To assist with making changes to multiple device instances we have created the Device tool eyedropper mode. It handles the issues that some of the sockets you may be changing will already be connected - symbols don't have the brains for that. This is not an issue I intend to revisit. I have to say that I take exception with this tone which implies that I do not think things through. Believe me I have spent a lot longer exploring the options than you have.
  21. Hi @Thomas_ as I replied in another thread this idea is definitely on our list.
  22. WOW! @Thomas_ How much of ConnectCAD are you not getting? From what I see you are going the long way round. It is pretty alarming to realise that you didn't discover that the Socket tool happily places the socket directly into the device you just created with the device tool! No need to enter the device at all unless you want to shuffle things around. I'm wondering how we can make it clearer that the Socket tool places the socket inside the device? We do highlight the device in red. Ok it's not drag and drop... but I thought the highlighting would make it pretty obvious. Obviously not - you got me worried! Love the idea of favourite socket configs - that is going in! Let's keep the conversation going! Conrad
  23. Yes this is becoming one of those long threads. @hihosilvey Chad - I have already noted that the pop-up lists are getting unwieldy and we are doing something about that to make sure that the stuff you are always using is at the top of the list. When I was a designer I always created my own devices, signal and connector types so I could be sure that there would be no surprises when it came to installation. Using other peoples work meant checking it exhaustively, which took just as long as doing the work myself. But, the market wants ready-made content, quick fixes etc., and competitors boast about their huge device libraries. People are swayed by these arguments. They find out later that the massive library is not that useful because in fact the buck stops with you the designer. So ConnectCAD has had to tick that box. Life is too short to sit and fight with people. Bottom line - I hear what you are saying but we have to live in the real world. We will do our best to make it comfortable for all 🙂 @elc George - ConnectCAD is 22 years old (it can buy itself a drink in America!). The Device Builder is only 8 years old. We had no device database for decades - our focus was always on making it so easy to create your own devices that you wouldn't need a library and you could create what you need right now. So I am concerned by your comment "But making device creation a bit more comfortable could be a huge help". What do you find difficult? It is quite possible to have a database of device specifications that everyone can use. We just have to use the same codes for signal and connector types. As in all human communication a common language is more important than the perfect language. I mean look at English! It sucks - the spelling is madness - grammar is all over the place - but here we all are talking it. German and Greek are way better but what to do? This is why such a "switch" would have to be for everything signals, connectors, devices etc.. It would isolate your ConnectCAD in its own little world where you may start using terms in different ways from other ConnectCAD'ers around the planet. Not an easy place to return from if you need to share documents with another office. Personally I would say don't go there. Best Conrad
  24. @hihosilvey Well, this became a subject of internal discussion too. Basically we are not going to be able to expand the device database content we offer without moving towards a standardised set of signal and connector designator codes. We have plenty of demand for more and better content and our challenge is to produce and maintain that without it becoming a major drain on our resources. We are pursuing some ideas to achieve that. We also see plenty of demand for being able to share ConnectCAD designs between offices all around the world as more and more people collaborate internationally. That again drives us towards establishing a common language. So I think that gives you a picture of where we are heading. There is nothing to stop you from "rolling your own". But as Nikolay says, it will be hard for Vectorworks to support you if decide to edit the app folder files. With great power comes great responsibility. We give you that choice - other software does not. We could debate the idea of a switch in the settings to turn off all app folder content, but I would like to see several more votes for that before it goes on the road map. Anyone in favour of that please raise you hand here. Conrad @Pat Stanford my 2c worth on this
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