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Christiaan

Separate application for reading and converting older file formats

Question

There's a thread here complaining about VW's shortcomings when it comes to dealing with older file formats.

But rather than clog up VW with the interface and all the features one really needs to read and convert older files efficiently I'd like to see NNA acknowledge the seriousness of this area and produce a separate application dedicated to the job.

We're not just at risk of losing information of potential monetary value but we're ultimately at risk of losing large chunks of our culture, or entering a "digital dark age" as Jerome P. McDonough puts it.

What I'd like to see is an application that is able to read and print all older file formats without losing any fidelity, assuming this is possible. Secondly, it should be able to convert all older files to the latest version. (If I could only have one of these I'd go for the later, as a small loss in fidelity is a small price to pay for all your data to remain in a workable format.)

Either way it would be super stable, it would be good at working over networks, it would have a very simple interface, and it would be better at recognising files than the batch convert feature currently in VW.

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Hey Christiaan,

i just looked at your link to McDonough's page and was particularly impressed by the following:-

To avoid a digital dark age, McDonough says that we need to figure out the best way to keep valuable data alive and accessible by using a multi-prong approach of migrating data to new formats, devising methods of getting old software to work on existing platforms, using open-source file formats and software, and creating data that?s ?media-independent.?

This is something we could ALL benefit from!

i'd love to be able to run "Alias Sketch" and "Infini-D" on OS X!!! MiniCAD!!!

:)

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I agree VW 2009 should be able to open all old files - not that I have any past VW 11

It should not be a separate application ? who would want to download and install and do all that

I should happen from within VW 2009 - KISS

I wonder too if this in part is because of how Mac OSs have changed and /or how Macs deal / dealt with their files

Should be fixed though but from within VW ? loyal long time users should be looked after

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Ozzie,

Don't you think Wintel users could also benefit from being able to access ancient files from bygone OS's and programs too? Photoshop, i think, seems to manage reasonably well.

Please correct me if i errr!

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AndiACD,

If you read my above post

Very clearly it says

I agree VW 2009 should be able to open all old files

It has nothing to do with Windows or Macs

VW should be able to open all old files

Just needs to happen from within VW

Why would we need a new application?

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Sorry if i've expressed myself inadequately, Ozzie, i was of course assuming everyone can read my trail of thoughts telepathicaly.

As such i've ineptly omitted points from the last post.

i'd hoped my reference to Photoshop would have made more impact than the rest. It certainly wasn't intended to start Wintel-Mac WW3.

So i'll just include that which i left out in the Adobe reference and start a war with NNA instead.

Maybe that's a bad idea too . . . .

Just read between the lines . .

:)

Edited by AndiACD

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Why would we need a new application?

Simpler interface, less overhead, potentially more stable, could be more fully featured without complicating VW, and you could run file conversions directly on a server without having to install VW on the server.

I've given up trying to convert the files on our server because VW keeps crashing.

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i like the "stability/less overhead" points Christiaan.

It would certainly avoid the "Bucket of Bolts" factor.

Nice one.

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You guys have to be joking with this seperate application stuff

Think into the future - what have to update it too!!!

NO NO - just do it in VW - KISS

And yes the last "S" in KISS = STUPID

Think about it!!!

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Now , Now children!

Ozzie,

Whilst at 1st i was unconvinced with Christiaan's suggestion, i considered your same long term effects/upgrades. i'll come back to a full list of reasons when i have checked if they've already been looked at. But, if you REALLY want to "Keep It Simple, Stupid", Chris' option is far and away the best option. A standalone stops NNA having to rewrite pages of text every time they move a comma elsewhere.

Christiaan, i've already attempted to defuse WW3 rearing it's ugly head once . . . . don't start it up again! DIplomacy, Christiaan, diplomacy.

Same goes for you Ozzie.

Edited by AndiACD

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Christian, I really like you and your input here and really do not care a hoot about Macs versus Windows - VW runs on both and that is great

There is talk about Barack Obama being the first computer savvy US president maybe ever - he apparently already has and uses a Blackberry thingy and has said will have a laptop on his desk ? cool ? big question is - will it be a Mac or PC?

My Vista PCs ? both ? no gadgets or sidebars and every unnecessary process disabled ? but I can open AutoCAK as I have to most days whilst I have VW running

A friend just bought one of those Mac all built into the screen thingys so I had a play with it for a couple of hours ? hated the keyboard and the mouse ? otherwise a nice machine for what it was

I betcha Barack uses a MAC - at least he will have a computer

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Yo Ho Ho!!

No one has EVER accused me of being diplomatic before today, Chris. ;)

Oz? No comment. ;)

Talking of who uses what . . . . . .

i'm going to a test drive day with the SolidWorks bunch next week, and as it's Windoz only App, i may just be jumping ship on 2 counts. VW and Mac. unless i really could get it to run on a new Mac Pro dual natively without the emulators and Windoz.

Word has it it will . . . . . never been too good on relearning habits though, which BTW reminds me, i just got a call from my local dealer to say that my new copy of Machine Design VW2009 is sitting on the shelf waiting for me to pick it up.

YIPPPPPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!

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I can see the benefit of a separate application. It could be a free download, the same as DWG true view from autocad. Unlike that application, it would be good if it can batch an entire directory including subfolders containing more than one file type...

We vectorworks users spend far too much time converting to and from DWG for everyone else, that it seems like the last straw to not be able to open our own files either!

The article by Jerome P. McDonough raises issues I've been worried about with macintosh - I think there's far too much integration between your files and applications. Look at how iphoto takes over your photo folders. Try to drag and drop your photos to an external disk or DVD and you will see the problem with integrating files into an application.

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Cal,

i've never used the Systems "put it here" attitude, and always save everything to other disks or volumes which leaves the system disk at an almost constant(more or less) size, giving plenty of room for the VM. Aliases lead the system from the folders where it expects to find them, to the actual files.

Something i've done since System 7.

it wont stop a disk from dying, but if you do have to reinstall the OS, it's simpler to rake out those bits you do need before an erase/install which ensures any bugs get splattered on the windscreen and don't come back to haunt.

Unfortunately this doesn't halt the Proprietary attitude all software companies have towards their product. If they all used the same file format we'd all have an easier time of it.

Us AND them . . . . . .

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OK Chaps, i did go for the SolidWorks Picnic Day, and i was very impressed. It didn't struggle TOO much to open small VW IGES files, but the big files were a chore as they seem to be in most foreign language Apps. Vellum, Turbo, auto, . . . . . even with SW using the same Parasolids foundation as VW, it still it had a hard time of it. Those it managed to open were perfect in all details, apart from the fact that everything has to be saved to 1 Layer. If you export a file with several layers, the layer at the top of the pile when exported is all you will get. Something i knew nothing of, but should be common knowledge, apparently.

Guess i just figured a 10K package would be "All Singing, All Dancing, make everything else look silly" sort of thing.

Almost, but not quite.

3D is a blast, once you get to grips with the Windows Specific interface, it'll model modify, attach, slide, rotate, fillet, chamfer any combination of solids quickly and easily all under a hierarchical system with full history. But there is One helluvalotoflearning to get to grips with to master it.

VW is still a much easier piece of kit to work with, even if it does take 10 years to learn how to get round those things it doesn't like doing naturally and SW accomplishes similar action with less of a struggle, i still enjoy using VW the way it works(when it works). Need to "Work Around" constantly is VW biggest failing, nevertheless, this may well be a case of "Better the Devil you know".

We'll see!

And VW defferabubbablely needs a dedicated stand alone "Import/Export" file reader that takes the stress off of VW and allows you to get on with working on open VW files while another piece of kit looks after finding out how to deal with the "0 + 1's" hidden in the file you'd like to investigate from 3 or 4 VW updates ago. Vellum after trying to open a big VW file, gave up the ghost after 5 hours.

Those that want the translator as part of VW, think about a 5 hour wait before you can get back to working with Vectoworks.

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