Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
jrhartley

When is a stable version of Vectorworks for mac scheduled to be released?

Recommended Posts

Hello

Just wondering if there's any way of being updated as to when Nemetshek will release a stable version of Vectorworks for mac?

Because 2008 certainly isn't - I have used it on various different mac builds at various architectural practises, and its is without compare the single most buggy application available for mac that I have used - talk about two or three bug reports / crashes per day when using it. Nothing else takes out the machine with the frequency or consistency that Vectorworks 2008 does.

And no - it is not just me - everyone in all of the firms I have worked with (normally 10-20 architects / technicians) has exactly the same opinion and the general cry is 'f&&king Vectorworks crashy crash crash crash!!!'. Have done all the SP updates up to SP3, there are no errors on the disk - so why the persistent instability from this software?

Is 2009 any more stable? Any way of signing up for an email notification as to when this program will actually be finished, as the amount of bugs I have experienced in it and crashes since I started using it 18 odd months ago would really land it in the late 'beta' camp, not a finished piece of software. Shouldn't Nemetshek be updating licenses to 2009 for free given how buggy 2008?

Share this post


Link to post
And no - it is not just me - everyone in all of the firms I have worked with (normally 10-20 architects / technicians) has exactly the same opinion and the general cry is 'f&&king Vectorworks crashy crash crash crash!!!'.

Were all those people trained by the same person ? Or are they just experiencing persistent anomalies? Do they share a LAN ?

Which OS versions are they all using ?

Share this post


Link to post

No, it has been in different firms who have learned VW from different people, and also the same experience from my colleagues working at different firms using VW - i.e. across the board on macs, people trained in different firms, working on different systems. Using OS X Tiger previously and Leopard now, and, yes, in the majority of cases this is on a LAN setup.

Share this post


Link to post

LAN or not, what you describe seems far removed from the the Norm. Over the 8 years I have been at my firm, we have been through 6 versions of vectorworks, 6 Mac OS versions, 3 different server configurations, transitions from PPC to Intel processors, a transition from 100Bt to 1000Bt networking.

We have varied from 15-20 employees and we are not seeing the consistent crashing that you are. Does the program crash? yes, but occasionally. Most of our employees will work for weeks without issue at all.

This is not to say all is milk and honey in the land of Vectorworks, some tools don't do what we want, we have to come up with workarounds as well.

Does there seem to be any pattern to the crashes you are having? Are they related to a tool group, e.g. section viewports, site modeling?

Share this post


Link to post

i think it is difficult to argue in either of the cases listed above. I know it sounds stupid, but crashing all depends upon what you are doing day in day out. I have suffered the frustration of constant crashing before when working with large site models for landscape analysis, it sent me insane as it took about half a day to create the model and then you would try and perform one task and it would crash. the key here is constant saving, and getting into this as a habit.

we also use high res images (400-800 dpi) in a lot of our plans which can also cause VW to crash a lot.

We also do a lot of simple 2D drafting, for which VW is seamless and does exactly what it says on the tin (well nearly anyway)

as i say it all depends on what you are doing and how you do it, everyone works differently so you cant always expect everyones VW app to react in the same way.

there are bugs in VW, but from what i have heard from others in the field using other software, VW is not alone and by no means the worst culprit.

Share this post


Link to post

I have found crashing on a number of things, sometimes just random, but the classic culprits are updating references, joining walls, importing dwgs. Those are the 'tried and tested' ones. As you say, you spend half your time doing Apple+S, but my point is, no other application I run on my mac (be it adobe, sketchup, c4d, or anything non graphics related) crashes anywhere near as much as VW. Maybe once a month with other appz if you're unlucky, whereas with VW, one crash a day would be considered lucky in all firms I've worked in. I don't know, it just doesn't seem right to me. I make a point of always submitting my crash logs to Apple (!) - they must have a log running to thousands of lines about the constant VW crashes.

Its a shame, as when it works it is a very pleasant bit of software. I would very much hesitate in recommending it to anyone to buy though, on account of this instability I have seen on the mac platform.

Share this post


Link to post

If you already know any of this stuff, I apologize for reminding you. But then, I ask, if you are doing ALL of this stuff, why are you crashing? In my experience (which includes three years as the network and support guy for a design firm), most computers crash for two reason only:

1. When there are resource conflicts such as missing, corrupted or relocated file data;

2. A lack of adequate clean RAM. Having plenty of memory is important.

I'm sure there are others, but these are the two most popular, in my experience. If you are working on OS X, you probably know that you are working in a Unix environment. While the improvements to the OS due to multi-threading and protected memory are terrific, there is nothing in the automatic process of a Unix environment that clears out old cache files, RAM mappings and so on, unless you implement the daily, weekly and monthly maintenance scripts that are built in to the OS. These scripts are accordingly and automatically run every time you restart the machine.

Also, Macs are very particular about font technology, as well they should be. Just take a look at the mess that Windows users deal with. Fonts are built using vector (bezier) math. If font files are corrupted (bad math, incomplete/incorrect glyph maps, etc), then you can run along just fine for a long time and then have a "mysterious" crash because an application is trying to access a corrupted face, glyph or hint in the font family. This is exacerbated when you have a LAN, because unless you use a centralized font server (which can create its own set of troubles), each user is accessing a local version of a font face that may be called for in a file. With the myriad TrueType fonts out there, there are bound to be conflicts.

Here are my suggestions to you to help ferret out and reduce/avoid crashes:

1. Restart your machine on a regular basis. Use tools such as OnyX to automate maintenance routines and clean out corrupted data caches. I restart my machine automatically every night, using the routines in OnyX. My machine works great, every day. To be quite honest, I cannot remember the last time I had a crash (he said, knocking on wood and winking at the OnyX icon).

2. Get a font analysis software application and use it to manage and repair corrupted fonts. Linotype has a free font management app called FontExplorer X, and it's the best free utility I've seen for helping fix and manage font files. If you share your files with a design team and/or colleagues, be sure to give them the font file(s) that YOU used to build the file. This is a standard practice in the printing industry for a good reason. Just because we're not printers doesn't make the source problem disappear.

3. Have adequate RAM for the files you are working on. I mean a lot. I think a minimum of 4GB is required for VW to work relatively smoothly. More is better.

4. Keep your activities to a minimum while working on complex files. Vectorworks is complex software. Shut down apps you're not using. If you have a monster building file in VW, and are running iTunes, a web browser, Photoshop, Acrobat and Illustrator all at the same time, then you're asking your RAM resources to do a lot of bit-shuffling. Eventually, a byte or two is going to get mis-directed with all that going on.

5. Consider your hard drive. Is it near full? Keep in mind that each software app carves out a virtual memory (VM, or swap) file from your hard drive to store recently used functions. This usually doesn't show up on the drive's Get Info palette (you can determine how much is being used by simultaneously running Activity Monitor, which lives in [your hard drive] > Applications > Utilities). If you have limited RAM, the situation becomes compounded, as the drive is working constantly to move data in and out of the swap files not just for normal use, but also because the system is carving out another swap chunk just to keep its own resources going. If your drive is close to full, then you WILL have crashes that do not have an immediately obvious reason. Crashes in this scenario are not an "if", they are a "when". Is the drive fast enough? If it's a 5400 RPM drive, consider looking at a faster drive (7200-10Krpm).

6. Backup. Save your work. Backup. Backup. Did I mention saving and backing up? I save my file after every operation that I feel is critical, and before any operation I feel might be risky. At this point, it's habit, and it's served me way better than some other habits I have. I use backup software religiously. The first time I lost data to a dead hard drive, I was horrified. I lost some good work, some photos and other important data, both professional and sentimental. Years later, another drive died, but I had a backup of the whole thing, and lost only about an hour of work on the most recent file. I have never since considered not using a daily (or hourly) backup scheme. Thank you, Apple, for finally including Time Machine in the OS.

I have not had a single crash using VW2009. Not one. Bugs and weird tool "features" notwithstanding, it does what I need it to do, and quite well for the price, I have determined. I back up my work. I save my file a lot. I use the "save multiple backups" feature in the preferences. I implement religiously all the methods I just outlined, and I'm happy to say that I have fewer problems with my machine(s) than many people about which I hear. I can only attribute it to my methodology, because I'm no better or worse than anyone else. In short, I try to work smartly, remembering that I'm using a computer and computers crash. But, if I take the time to learn WHY computers crash, I can minimize those experiences and protect my valuable work (and time).

Hope This Helps.

Share this post


Link to post

Hi Charlie

Thanks for your comprehensive replies. Yep, doing all that aleady, crone tasks, Onyx, running VW2008 on its own (no other appz running at the same time), Apple+S almost on a minute by minute basis, making backups, shut down most evenings, 4GB RAM max in most macs in the office, 8GB on a few, plenty of HDD and server space, fonts sorted across the LAN. As I said, funny how it happens on my MBP (4GB RAM), funny how it happened at two other firms as well as my current firm (different training, different LAN setup), funny how no other appz do this.

Guess I, and all my colleagues at previous firms, and all my friends at different firms are just terribly unlucky when it comes to VW. That's all I can put it down to, as some people here seem adamant that it couldn't possibly be down to the way VW is coded.

My feeling - VW is probably OK for fairly simple drafting of 2D projects. The minute you get into referencing, large projects with numerous design files / viewports, it struggles a lot more than other CAD packages.

Edited by jrhartley

Share this post


Link to post

jrhartley - you couldn't by any chance have accidentally created circular references? From what I have read that does make things go pear shaped.

Another thing to look at is file and folder names. Make sure these only contain alphanumeric characters and underscores. File names should also only have one period in them (before the vwx file creator code), and shouldn't be too long. Folder names should never have a period in them.

Share this post


Link to post

I just want to say that if you are running Vectorworks on an Intel dual core IMAC.

That your best served by running OS 10.5.4 and no further, just my 2 cents.

Share this post


Link to post

I'm running several versions of VW2008 and VW2009 on a first generation 17" MacBook Pro with 2GB RAM and OS 10.5.6. I have many files, models and drawings that range the gamut in complexity and don't see "a lot" of crashing. I can also go days without problems.

If you are crashing, are you filing bug reports and submitting the files? If not, why not? All software applications rely on users to varying degrees to report their experiences and any problems so they can be fixed. Our users have a couple means to do so. 1) the Bug Submit webpage and 2) Beta-testing [not for the weak-of-heart].

VW2009 has added a new automated crash reporting system so that our engineers can better track, diagnose, and, ultimately, fix problems related to user application crashes.

If your issues are primarily related to DWG import and references, I know many bugs were addressed in VW2009 initial release and subsequent SP1 and SP2.

Share this post


Link to post

If you are crashing, are you filing bug reports and submitting the files? If not, why not?

I post as many bug reports as I can, but sometimes, VW is just crashing. It's can be just so random. At such times, you can't fill in a bug report because you don't know why it happened.

From my personal experience with 2008 and now 2009: Version 2008 crashed once a month and if it crashes, it is on a file that is too huge (600MB+). It seems know that 2009 is crashing a lot more, more than once a day. (We have SP 1 of 2009. Still waiting for a translation of SP 2.)

Most problems always seem to happen because of memory. Vectorworks does not always releases memory. Maybe I should bug report this. If this should be resolved, most problems will never happen again.

Just my 2 cents.

Share this post


Link to post

As Mike m oz states ... naming conventions are hugely import especially across sensitive networks. The other day working on a Title Block DLayer... I inserted a simple text line with an href> URL which then could have an embedded PDFlink via Acrobat.

That little line of text on the TitleBlock PIO unraveled the file structure ! But it didn't crash the app ; )

Removing the 'href' tag and restarting recovered the file.

Share this post


Link to post

the issue of stability in our small office is getting bad...

2 new MacBook Pro laptops... maxed out in RAM...

learned the lesson of naming conventions the hard way with 2008...

small project files... 6 meg max size...

we're power users and have many Apps running, not an option to only have VW running... email... scheduling... spreadsheet... images...

VW craps out 3 or 4 times a day at it's worst... at least so far.

most of the time it's opening a file when it happens... and 95 percent of the time when trying to Open a 2008 file.

Share this post


Link to post

I have VW 2008 open most of the day, every day, along with a number of other applications. I see about 1 - 2 crashes per week. This often occurs while working with embedded .pdf files and other graphics. I don't typically use externally referenced files, but do often work with files that become somewhat large (20 -50 MB, due to amount of drawing objects more than embedded graphics). If the use of larger files causes some problems, I am willing to crash once a week for the convenience of keeping an architectural project in a single file. If I were crashing multiple times per day -as some in this discussion are- it would be a different story.

Given the occasional LAN trouble that crops up in our general computing, my experiences might also be different if I were frequently accessing files over the network. We are working on an antiquated 100 mb LAN and will be interested to see how general performance will improve one we upgrade to a gigabit switch, etc.

Share this post


Link to post

How often to Vw users restart their Mac computers? All versions from 12.0 to Vw2009 have not released memory on my iMac G5 after quitting (confirmed by Apple Activity Monitor), therefore, I restart at least once per day.

Share this post


Link to post

Quitting VW definitely releases memory for me (also confirmed by Activity Monitor.) I am, however on an Intel Mac running VW natively. I think back-porting to PPC Mac might hog resources.

Share this post


Link to post
How often to Vw users restart their Mac computers? All versions from 12.0 to Vw2009 have not released memory on my iMac G5 after quitting (confirmed by Apple Activity Monitor), therefore, I restart at least once per day.

Actually, the OSX doesn't necessarily know that when the app quits it needs to release the memory. Often a sudden crash will require an instant restart .. hence the benefit of holding on to those memory address for a few clock cycles... why not !

The OSX is smart enough to page out ti VM when required ... it's a UNIX thing.

Restarting has the added benefit of initiate cron maintenance and purging the FileVault ( if active )

Share this post


Link to post
How often to Vw users restart their Mac computers? All versions from 12.0 to Vw2009 have not released memory on my iMac G5 after quitting (confirmed by Apple Activity Monitor), therefore, I restart at least once per day.

I restart my machine nightly, using a crontab that runs some maintenance scripts and clears out caches?pretty much the same thing that Onyx and/or Cocktail do.

The exception to that practice is when my machine crashes. Then, I always restart at that point, as well. Just habit, I guess.

Share this post


Link to post

Call me crazy, but I have no schedule for restart or maintenance. I get restarts for software updates and that's about it. At one point I had 120 days of continuous uptime. I think that was running 11.5 in 10.4, but I'm not sure.

My habits are just as bad in vWorks 09 and 10.5. I do quit and restart vWorks occasionally though. There's a little signal I get when it's time to do that. The print dialog starts to take an unusually long time to appear, and if I don't quit the program soon I will get a crash. I've never checked Activity Monitor on this, but it's probably a memory thing. I do have a fair bit.

I run vWorks, tunes, officeTime, a little p-Shop, a bit of Aperture and all the usual stuff 6 to 8 hours a day. Crashes/freezes are very rare. I don't, however, work vWorks over a network or do much 3D work. Mostly on intel MacPro, with a bit of mini thrown in.

Share this post


Link to post

Just thought I'd pipe in on the stability issue with 2008. I lost a lot of data, had *terrible* instability problems with heavy 3D application. Went back to CSi Concepts Unlimited for 3D and ported SAT back into Vectorworks, where the drafting still worked all right.

In 2009, we're having wonderful stability. I'm a true believer again, in love. whew

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

 

7150 Riverwood Drive, Columbia, Maryland 21046, USA   |   Contact Us:   410-290-5114

 

© 2018 Vectorworks, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Vectorworks, Inc. is part of the Nemetschek Group.

×
×
  • Create New...