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David Aynardi

Chain of reference links

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I'm looking for a way to prevent VW from checking every reference link in a set of linked files and to restrict the update to the "last generation" only of reference links.

When VW opens a file, it updates the information referenced from other files then follows the links attached to those files in a progressively growing regression. On a large project this takes an inordinate amount of time, network traffic, and memory space. I want to prevent VW from updating beyond the first generation of links.

This is not the same as preventing automatic updates. It makes no difference if the update is initiated automatically or manually, I am looking for control over the depth of the update, not the timing.

To restate this in detail:

Assume 3 files:

File 1 includes graphic information.

File 2 includes a design layer viewport which references file 1.

File 3 includes a design layer viewport which references file 2.

When file 3 is opened, in addition to updating the referenced information from file 2 VW also follows the reference links from file 2 back to file 1 and updates this "indirect" information as well. This ensures that file 3 is not cut off from the latest version of the info from file 1 even when file 2 has not been opened or updated.

Is there a way to restrict VW to review only the last generation of reference links without pursuing the chain to increasingly remote drawing files? (When file 3 is opened, read only the direct links from file 2, do not pursue the links from 2 back to 1).

Edited by David Aynardi

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Hi David,

Vectorworks will follow the reference links from file 2 back to file 1 only if the needed information from file 1 is not already present in file 2. If you do not want this, you will have to edit the reference in file 2 and select "Save Reference Cache". This will guarantee that the reference data from file 1 is always saved with file 2. As such, when file 3 attempts to update its reference from file 2, all the needed data from file 1 will always be present in file 2.

Let me know if that helps. BTW, what version of Vectorworks are you using?

Regards,

Tolu

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Thanks for your suggestion. Unfortunately, this does not address my concern.

I don't want file 3 to read file 1 information under any circumstances, whether or not the information is cached in file 2.

I have the file 1 layers turned off in the reference view-port between 3 and 2, but this does not prevent 3 from reading the layers even though they are not displayed. I want to prevent this.

Edited by David Aynardi

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We would not suggest you do what you are proposing as it will cause issues. Even though you can, you should refrain from linking to a Design Layer in another file containing a Design Layer Viewport from another file, thus a Reference you have no control over for updating or visibility configuration.

This method of referencing will eventually create a visibility management problem as a user in the file with the Design Layer Viewport can change its Class or Layer Visibility settings which will propagate to all files you have set up this way using the Reference of a Reference, which most likely will not be the work you wish to represent in the file target file.

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Do you mean that there is no way to reference a common grid file (file 1) from each of my plan files without sacrificing the ability of the plan file 3 to reference plan file 2?

I am not attempting to display a reference of a reference. The problematic reference layer in the link between file 3 and 2 is turned off and is exactly the reference I am trying to break. My question is: Even though the layer is turned off and not displayed, VW still reads the data. Can I prevent VW from reading this turned-off layer?

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One solution is to create a separate discreet Master Grid File which is then referenced by all files, as required. The Master Grid File is a stand alone component which must not contain links to other files.

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This is what I am already doing.

One master grid file referenced by all floor plans. But I also want to reference floor plan 1 from floor plan 2 without floor plan 2 seeing the grid file referenced in plan 1. I have the grids turned off in the link between plans 2 and 1, but can't prevent VW from reading the grid info even though it is turned off and not displayed.

Is there a way to keep VW from reading reference links beyond the first generation?

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Hi David,

Could you send me your files or sample files (tfapohunda at vectorworks.net)? Vectorworks should only follow the reference links as I described above.

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I am happy to send a copy of the files if you think this will help, but I don't think that it is necessary. My question is about VectorWorks generally, not about my particular files.

I do not intend to use the file 1 information in file 3. The file 1 information is turned off in the viewport in file 3 but Vectorworks wastes time and network resources reading it anyway. I want to prevent this.

Can VW be prevented from attempting to read referenced information more than one step away? In file 3, I want to read information from file 2. I don't want information from file 1. I don't want to help VW read the information (by caching it in 2) I want to prevent VW from trying to read it. Can this be done?

If after this clarification, you still want to look at the files, let me know, I'll send them on.

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Hi David,

Besides the suggestion about saving cache, there isn't a setting available that will prevent file 3 from accessing the information from file 1. If you do not want file 3 to access file 1, then make sure that the Design Layer Viewport (DLVP) in file 2 of file 1 is placed on its own layer and that that layer is NOT visible in any DLVP that you create in file 3.

>The file 1 information is turned off in the viewport in file 3

How are you accomplishing this? The DLVP in file 3 has no direct access to the information in file 1.

>but Vectorworks wastes time and network resources reading it anyway.

Again, I am not sure exactly how your files are setup, but because layers from file 1 exists in file 3 does not mean that VW is reading them from file 1. VW will read and use the layers from file 1 that are present in file 2 if it finds that those layers are up to date.

In order to correctly determine the slowdown you are seeing, we'll need your files and your server configurations.

Thanks,

Tolu

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Thank you for confirming our suspicion that there is no way to prevent VW from wasting time trying to find information from remote files that is turned off in the DLVP.

This should be fixed in future versions of VW.

To help explain the problem I've attached four files:

Untitled1.vwx

Untitled2.vwx includes a DLVP looking at file 1. This viewport is located on a separate layer so that it can be turned off in file 3

Untitled3.vwx includes a DLVP looking at file 2, with the layer containing the file 1 information turned off in the viewport.

Untitled3.vwx also contains a utility script that writes a list of the layers contained in the file. the output of this utility is the attached file:

file3layers.txt

This shows that Untitled3.vwx contains 5 layers

The first two are the layers actually in the file and reported in the VectorWorks layer menu.

1:1 Design Layer-1

1:1 Ref 3-2

The next two are the layers brought in from file 2 by the design layer viewport. Although the utility script reports these, they do not show in the VectorWorks layer menu.

1:1 NNA#1_Design Layer-2

1:1 NNA#1_Ref 1-2

And the last one is the layer from file 1, brought in by the viewport EVEN THOUGH THE VIEW OF FILE 1 IS TURNED OFF!

1:1 NNA#1#1_Design Layer-1

On our large projects, Vectorworks bogs down on these "invisible" layers. In our project files the VectorWorks Class-Layer Mapping tool flashes a message box stating that the file contains "over 500 files". The Class-Layer Mapping tool is seeing the cumulative total of layers in all of the turned-off viewports throughout the project. This is confirmed by my layer list utility. (I posted the output for one of these projects on this message thread a few weeks back).

This should not be occurring. VectorWorks should give us the ability to prevent VW from hunting for information more than one link away. When I turn something off I want it really off, not just not displayed.

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Hi David,

Thank you very much for the sample files.

>Thank you for confirming our suspicion that there is no way to

>prevent VW from wasting time trying to find information from

>remote files that is turned off in the DLVP.

As I stated in my previous post, because layers from file 1 made it into file 3 does not mean that VW is reading them from file 1. VW will read and use the layers of file 1 that are present in file 2 if it finds that those layers are up to date. Specifically, when you update the reference in ?Untitled 3.vwx?, NNA#1#1_Design Layer-1 is read from ?Untitled 2.vwx?, NOT ?Untitled 1.vwx?. Furthermore, NNA#1#1_Design Layer-1 is an empty in ?Untitled 3.vwx?; therefore it is not a contributing factor to your slow down. As such, if you purge "unused layers" and run the script, you will not see NNA#1#1_Design Layer-1 listed because it would have been deleted because it is empty.

I currently unable to determine what is causing your slow downs. If you are still seeing slow downs, I had be glad to take a look at your files and your server configurations. You can also contact tech support.

Best Regards,

Tolu

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