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6 hours ago, Nol Twigt said:

However the point is that Nemetscheck forces users to upgrade VectorWorks, which costs each user more than  € 1.000,-


I totally disagree with your statement and I believe this is caused by a misunderstanding of the application development. Every program depends on the OS to build the correct code that will run in a particular version. If the OS changes the calls to certain functions, the developer needs to change its code accordingly so the program can run without crashing. Now, it is possible to introduce IF..THEN statements to be compatible with older OS such as if version X do this but if version X+1 do that but how many versions back is the developer responsible to maintain? After a few of these IF..THEN statements, the code becomes a nightmare. 


I have created many vectorscript programs in a span of 20 years and a few still work because the functions calls used have not changed. However, the majority had to be updated over time because the function calls used were either deleted or changed. The same goes to changes in the OS where some programs may still run while others need to be updated.


It is also possible to run previous OS with a virtual environment such as VirtualBox. I still have a dBase  program from the 1990's that I run under a windows 2000 OS in VirtualBox and I also have a windows XP environment just in case I ever need to run older versions of VW. I believe that VirtualBox is available for the Mac OS too.

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On 4/19/2017 at 3:21 AM, Nol Twigt said:


However the point is that Nemetscheck forces users to upgrade VectorWorks, which costs each user more than  € 1.000,-


You are missing the point that it is Apple who is forcing you to upgrade because older VW versions will not run on current Mac OS.


By the way, even though I have VW 2017 through SS, I am still working with 2014 because it is more stable with less powerful graphic cards and also as a civil engineer, there is nothing in more recent versions that will benefit me. So if I did not have the subscription, I would not be forced to upgrade as you claim.

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The only time anyone is truly "Forced" to upgrade is is their hardware breaks and the new hardware requires a newer operating system. Even then there is a vibrant market for used hardware to allow a machine to be replaced with like.


If you need other software that requires a newer operating system then you need to consider the cost of upgrading everything required. In some cases this can be other software, in others it could be hardware (printers) that are no longer supported by the new operating system.


If you just like the new and shiny latest and greatest operating system because it is new and "free", then you need to remember that free is not always free. If this is your livelihood, you should not be making changes to your kit without understanding all of the impacts those changes will have.  Caveat Emptor.

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Dear JimW 

Thank you for your comprehensive response and for correcting my figures. No intention on my part to miscalculate or overdo the facts. Even with your corrections I think the numbers are outrageous. 

Everybody can make his own calculation on this. I myself have just lost my self confidence in these matters, but my gut-feeling remains the same. Just think of how many hours of programming can be done with the profit of the VectorWorks upgrades.


Maybe professional architects and draftsmen accept the prices for VectorWorks updates, but for people like me, who make drawings only now and then, they are unaffordable. This is the consumer point of view. You all seem to look at it from the producers point of view. 

I have been thinking about the reasons why we disagree. This must be one of them.


A second reason I see is that you, Nemetscheckians, think only of professional users. There must be a market for CAD users that want a simpler and less expensive kind of VectorWorks.  

I am not a marketeer, I just look around in my own environment. I know that ‘light’ versions of other CAD applications have not been very successful but that may have reasons that are no longer applicable if it is done in the right way.


The other thing is that there is a point where a CAD system outgrows its market. 

It becomes harder and harder to come up with new features that impress your clients.

The less professional ‘simple’ users like myself will be the first ones to feel that this is happening.

Better to be aware of these signs and react wisely on them, than to reason them away.


Reason, that is another issue here.

It seems that you, JimW, reason very well, but you feel very little.

When I miscalculate, and you correct my figures, your mind will say ‘You see, I am right, he is wrong’.

And so you can write that my theories are baseless:


On 19-4-2017 at 3:57 PM, JimW said:

Criticism is welcome, complaints are welcome, frustration is welcome, but accusations of corruption and collusion especially when these theories are baseless, are not beneficial to anyone.



I found an invoice for a VectorWorks upgrade in my mailbox that I do not want and will never download. 

That is no theory, that is reality.

I think that a firm who charges clients for things that they don’t want and don’t ask for don’t live long.

This kind of ‘marketing’ provokes a lot of anger, that will sooner or later work against you.

Still I do not I accuse Nemetscheck of any of the things you say I do. I wrote that Nemetscheck misuses it's position.


You, mr JimW accuse me of changing my position all the time. 

My position has never changed. I just used different words to describe the same thing. 


I will give it one last try and then I am out of here.

This time I will do it the Zoomer way. I hope that this is the way that you rational digital people can understand:


- Is there a future for a firm that tries to sell  a product that the consumer does not want?

- Is a firm that tries to force a client to pay for a product that he does not want and that he does not consume on the right track?


If you say Yes to one of those statements, I don't think you’re for real.

If you agree on 2x No, then make Nemetscheck change their marketing policy, so VectorWorks can live a little longer.

For that is what we all want, isn’t it?






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I think that we understand your point of view and that you are suggesting what you think is in the best interest of VW and that your heart is in the right place. But it is very hard from the outside (me included) to understand all of the competing interest that drive the design and marketing decisions made for Vectorworks.


There are a huge number of items that are considered in making decisions on the general direction of VW. Profit versus Market Share. Needs of each market (Architecture, Landscape, Entertainment, Others.) Overall computing directions.Speed of technology change. Speed of regulatory change and requirements. Piracy. Student license requirements. Available capital. Patents. Staff availability. Staff skills. Staff interest. Etc. Etc. Etc.


For some of us, even those of us who have been long term users of VW, it is very possible that the current incarnation of VW does not match with current goals and capabilities of Vectorworks (the software) or Vectorworks, Inc. (the company.) If that is the case, then the only real option is to vote with your wallet and either find a way to not upgrade (keep old hardware/OS for VW, run an emulator, etc) or switch to different software that better meets your needs. But when making those choices, you need to be careful to keep your emotions in check so you don't end up hurting yourself. If you have 20 years of old files and you decide that you will switch software, make sure you consider the learning curve on the new software as well as a path to either migrate the old files or at least have access to them when you need them.


If you are not a full time user of VW, I can easily see how the costs of upgrading can seem very high. But VW is a professional program designed for professional users. The target market mainly consists of people who draw every day for a large part of the day. For these people a cost of less than (1€/$ per hour of annual use) is a very reasonable cost for a professional tool. Many people are driving cars that cost almost as much per month as VW does for the year. Many consider this a cost of doing business. The same applies to running current software.


Since you say you will not upgrade any more, perhaps I can offer you some solutions that appear to be more in line with your budget.


If you only need 2D, Cadintosh from Lemke Software is only €30. 


If you only need 3D, perhaps some version of Sketchup would meet your needs.


Turbocad is another option. But a quick glance at their forums shows they have the same issue and will not be making the previous version compatible with Sierra, so you might be jumping from the frying pan into the fire.


If you are doing achitechure occasionally, you could look at the Archicad rental option.


I would consider suggesting something from Autodesk, but they are all subscription only.


All trade offs. The market and any given software company is going to do what they are going to do based on the (far more complete) information they have (than you as as individual user have.) You as the user need to decide what is best for you. This could be sticking it out, switching hardware, switching software, giving up on computers and becoming a blacksmith living off the grid or anything else. But an ongoing complaint  thread is extremely unlikely to get a change made. A better possible option if you want to stick with VW would be to post a Wish in the proper forum that VW be made compatible with X previous and Y next versions of the operating system and see if you can get enough support to have some influence.  I think there are about 21,000 people registered on the forum. If you posted such a wish and got 2100 (or even 210) up votes, that would probably be enough to at least start a new conversation inside VWI. If you only get a couple, it may show that not many people care about the issue the way you do.


I would love to have everyone stay and love VW as much as I do, but that is not going to be reality.  Best of luck to you in whatever you decide to do moving forward.




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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee
15 hours ago, Nol Twigt said:

- Is there a future for a firm that tries to sell  a product that the consumer does not want?

- Is a firm that tries to force a client to pay for a product that he does not want and that he does not consume on the right track?

The clarification here is that there are many users who want Vectorworks, it just seems you are not one of them according to the set of needs you have. Just because we don't have a pricing model that fits your needs might mean you need to seek a product with a different one. Vectorworks is not for everyone certainly, and we absolutely cater to professional and students seeking to become professionals above all market segments, I won't dispute that at all. As suggested above, there are numerous other packages that cater towards a more infrequent or enthusiast level of interest and need at much lower price points. The market is huge, Vectorworks has its niche, it simply may not align with yours.

If you wish to wishlist a stripped down light version of Vectorworks, which I think is a much more sensible course of action, please feel free to do so, however you may just want to add your vote to an existing one, I combined a few older threads from before the voting mechanic existed here:


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Dear JimW and Pat Stanford,


Thank you again for your reactions and your patience with me.

However your reactions make me feel the need to get back to this discussion one more time.


Your solution for me is straight forward thinking: ‘if you don’t use VectorWorks on a professional basis, so it is not worth the investment, you better switch over to another CAD application.’


This is a solution that makes perfect sense to the mind. But it is a very unsatisfactory solution for the heart.

Doesn’t your heart say something like: ‘VectorWorks is a fantastic CAD application. It is a very good tool for designers to make beautiful designs. The more people use VectorWorks the better for the designers, for Nemetschek and for the whole world?’


Now the Nemetschek marketing department has developed a policy that dries the breeding ground for VectorWorks users: students, amateurs, semi professional users. Why is it so hard to admit that this policy is stupid and unethical? 

This marketing and pricing policy is developed by people with blinders on.

For professional VectorWorks users it may not be problem to update their software and pay for that. For all others the prices are much to high and the unethical side of it provokes a lot of anger.


Let me try to make this clear by using an analogy.


Imagine that a car crashes against a tree.

Most people will judge instantly: ‘Stupid driver. Probably drove too fast or was not paying attention.’

But the driver says: ‘Brakes failed!’

Now most people may say: ‘Stupid excuse of stupid driver.’

Once they have judged people don’t like to change their opinion.


Let’s say that technical research prove that the driver was right: the brakes really failed. Can we still blame the driver?

People who really want to stick to their opinion will reason that it is the responsibility of the driver that his car in in perfect condition, although in their heart they probably already know that they are on a wrong line of thinking.

But what if the driver has had his brakes repaired only a few months ago?

Then it is reasonable to say that it is the fault of the garage.

The garage in it’s turn will probably try to blame the manufacturer or the designer of the brakes.


The deeper you look into what really happened, the more things or people you can blame.

Maybe a stone hit a brake line. Can you blame the stone, that should not ave been on the road?

Maybe you find that the tree should not have been there, so you can blame the planter of the tree or the builder of the road.

There is a certain arbitrariness in who you want to designate as culprit. 

Everyone has a well developed defense mechanism that arranges the facts so that it looks like he himself is not to blame. 


The designer of the brakes will probably say that it is technically impossible to design brakes that never fail.

The public will accept this statement until there comes a manufacturer with a car with really reliable brakes.

Then the public will change it’s opinion instantly: ‘of course we don’t buy a car with brakes that can fail any moment. A cars like that is not safe.’


This is why it is the Nemetschek marketing and pricing policy that needs to change.

A CAD application that forces users to buy updates does not feel safe and it does not feel right. 

Users want to be able to continue working with it, also when Apple changes it’s OS and also when you go through a period when you can’t or won’t invest in a CAD system.



So thank you Pat Stanford for your suggestions for alternative CAD applications. I know all applications that you suggested and you forgot the one that seemed like the best alternative to me: Rhinoceros.


These are the practical reasons why I decided a few months ago to invest $ 2.384,33 in VectorWorks, although it felt really unfair that I felt forced to pay for VectorWorks again:

1.  I would like to read and edit the drawings that I made with VectorWorks and MiniCad in the past twenty years.

2.  I am active in many different fields: houses and interiors, furniture, industrial design, mechanical products, yacht design, animations. VectorWorks covers most of these fields reasonably well and better than other CAD software that I know on the Mac platform. 

3.  I would have to invest weeks to learn to work with other CAD software on the level that I work with VectorWorks now. 

4.  With most other applications the results (renderings) would not be as good.



And thank you JimW for your invitation to write down my demands for a VectorWorks Light application.

VectorWorks itself is, like many other CAD systems, based on the outdated idea of the old drawing boards. 

If you have the chance to start from scratch, you have to reinvent design software, based on design thinking, computer screens, 3D printers and other CAM tools. 

I would really like to work on a project like that. If you are serious, you have to hire me.

Free advice does not work.



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