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I heard an interview recently with the owner of a listed software start up explaining why his company, which is continuing to make a loss, is experiencing incredibly strong growth.

The software is accounting software. It is 'sticky' software. Once the user is using the software, there is cost to move to another package.

R&D is the main cost to the software company, in the early phase there is a lot of expense on innovation to attract new clients. A mature software company is one with a stable user base. As the main cost is R&D you can easily cut this expense which then catapults the company in to high profitability.

A client, faced with high cost to move software, ie loss of database and training, the client will stick with the software until there is a clear and obvious innovation provided in another offering.

This explanation certainly rings true for me. My reason not to move from VW is due to the libraries and templates that we have set up...

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

To understand the usefulness of the so-called "X-ray Select" you have to understand how the new "Fast Interactive 3D" viewing works. X-ray select is a complementary mode to Fast Interactive (FI). In some ways, the more fundamental (and useful) change is FI viewing. With FI viewing, all selection is done using familiar methods, but now face selection is enabled. You can select only objects whose faces (or partial faces) you can see.

This is a little hard to explain with just words, but suffice it to say it's a much more intuitive and natural form of viewing / picking / editing. And it is fast--when you edit, scenes are rebuilt so much more efficiently, there's no need to ever work in 3D wireframe.

All of which is great until you need to pick or snap to something that's hidden. That's where X-ray Select comes in. Just by holding down the x-ray key, you can now see and snap to anything (in wireframe) around the cursor and pick anything (using the edge-select mode). You don't have to change your tool or mode or whatever it was you were doing. Just hold down the B key, drill in, do your thing, then go back to what you were doing.

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Thanks Robert. Usually wireframe view is hard to work in for me, because the individual objects become a visual jumble of lines. I guess it can work if the individual wireframe objects can "auto-hilight", so we can perceive the outline of the object. Auto-hilight makes selecting objects fast and easy.

Up to now, I've had to use the new Clip Cube to get behind walls, so this X-ray selection tool looks like a time-saver.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Fast interactive is -sort of- like the SU interface. In SU you highlight and select faces (polys). In Vectorworks, when you point at a face in the drawing, the object that the face belongs to highlights. So it's a little different, a little more object-oriented.

Also, in Sketchup, the x-ray is an alternate viewing mode that you choose and, once chosen, is the standard transparent-ish working mode. (Lots of visual clutter for a complex model.) Vectorworks solves this in a different way. By making the "x-ray select" as a key enabled mode, you can stay in your "natural" fast-interactive viewing mode and "drill down" instantly and momentarily, do the operation on the "hidden thing" and pop instantly back.

I would say they're pretty different workflows.

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I'm up for the Flattened DL Section Viewports.

I have to mix 3D sections with 2D imports and then draw on top of that. Going in and out of annotations is a pain.

Add in true elevation markers (finally!) and sections become far better.

Yes, stability is a BIG point. Waiting to see if this version is solid, while seeing the hopefully cool new stuff is frustration defined.

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When working with it in testing it was more stable than any of the previous releases by far.

Winner of the most important "new" feature award!

From the Architosh article, this will be very welcome - "New for Mac users will be a new support for multi-threading for hidden line rendering, increasing this rendering type by up to 40 percent. "

I wonder why it's limited to 40 percent faster, shouldn't it be proportional to the number of threads available?

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