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PVA - Jim

Teaser Tuesday - Unicode Support

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For this Teaser, I wanted to share one of the extremely non-flashy, but important upgrades; Unicode Support Phase 2. This feature not only allows easier improvements going forward, but also addresses a number of long standing concerns for tens of thousands of users across the planet.

 

In older versions of Vectorworks, we had basic support for unicode characters, but only within Text objects. It was difficult or impossible, depending on the language, to add alternate characters as file names, layer/class names, or within other character strings elsewhere in the application.

 

Screen Shot 2017-09-05 at 9.40.13 AM.png

 

In Vectorworks 2018, we now have full UTF-16 unicode support throughout the application. Unicode support provides the ability to add different languages, special characters, and emojis to worksheets, layers, classes, dimensions, callouts, record formats, resources, the importing and exporting of files, and the saving and opening of Vectorworks files.


Screen Shot 2017-09-05 at 9.40.05 AM.png

 

You can now open files created in different languages and characters are displayed correctly.


Screen Shot 2017-09-05 at 9.47.25 AM.png

 

This technology upgrade is extensive and has a broad impact across the following:

 

1) Vectorworks document structure elements:

  • Worksheets
  • Slab Drains
  • Dash Patterns
  • Layers and Classes
  • Document header
  • Dimension Standards
  • Record and Format Nodes
  • Vectorscripts
  • Dimensions
  • Font Table
  • Working Planes
  • Viewports

 

2) Names of Objects and Layers – All objects in Vectorworks can have a name.  Those names will support Unicode characters.

 

3) Resources – All string resources will be stored in UTF-16.  Localization tools will be updated to handle the resources properly.

 

4) SDK – All of the SDK functions that take a string parameter will be updated to accept Unicode characters.

 

5) Import/Export – All of the file types that are supported in Vectorworks will work with Unicode characters in their data (where relevant), the names of their files, and their file paths.

 

6) Saving/Opening Vectorworks files – All Vectorworks files will support Unicode characters in their data, the name, and file path.

 

Finally, an ancillary benefit of this feature; Vectorworks now supports the use of Emoji in all areas:

 

Screen Shot 2017-09-05 at 11.11.37 AM.png

 

If that sort of thing floats your ⛵.

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Ha.  

I am sure we will come up with some emoji based class hierarchy.  As silly as it sounds - might actually make it easier to find things in long lists.

 

Does this upgrade include the ability to have sheet layers with the same sheet number?

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wth, hell freezes over ?

 

 

So no more need for students creating new macOS user accounts to make

their VW user settings or installations work again.

No more fear of clients filling their IFC Exports and Symbols with umlauts ?

 

 

So my current teased Feature List Hierarchy

 

1. Unicode Support

2. Direct Editing of Sections and Elevations

 

 

Edited by zoomer

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17 minutes ago, Tom Klaber said:

Does this upgrade include the ability to have sheet layers with the same sheet number?

This does not affect that, no.

 

1 minute ago, zoomer said:

wth, hell freezes over ?

This was always intended, just an extremely extensive upgrade so it was spaced out over a number of versions. Might be a record holder for most number of participating engineers for a single feature from what I hear. 

 

2 minutes ago, zoomer said:

So no more needs for student creating ne macOS user accounts to make

their VW user settings or installations work again.

If this was done to correct incompatibilities with the user folder structure naming, then yes this feature should resolve that. 
 

3 minutes ago, zoomer said:

No more fear of clients filling their IFC Exports and Symbols with umlauts ?

This should indeed be a problem of the past now!

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Given that I teach students this is an awful addition. I will have to work my way through an ocean of emojis :(:(:(

 

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Just now, barkest said:

Given that I teach students this is an awful addition. I will have to work my way through an ocean of emojis :(:(:(

 

When I first saw the feature, I thought something to the effect of: "First I'll say You're Welcome, and then probably have to issue a formal apology." 

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This is super exciting and a great teaser! Does it solve the fractional display issues?

 

(There's some stuff going on in the upper right of some of your screen shots again. The new " ? " has morphed into an " i " in a circle.)

 

Kevin

 

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23 minutes ago, Kevin McAllister said:

This is super exciting and a great teaser! Does it solve the fractional display issues?

 

(There's some stuff going on in the upper right of some of your screen shots again. The new " ? " has morphed into an " i " in a circle.)

 

Kevin

 

Excellent question!

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51 minutes ago, Kevin McAllister said:

(There's some stuff going on in the upper right of some of your screen shots again. The new " ? " has morphed into an " i " in a circle.)

 

That was an older version of the ?, but it was way too obtrusive and annoying (this was a mild variant, there was one in bright royal blue on every dialog and there was much rioting) so we went with the much more toned down "?"

 

52 minutes ago, Kevin McAllister said:

Does it solve the fractional display issues?

I do not believe it fixes the issue directly on it's own, but I was told a number of versions ago that the fractional issues couldn't be corrected until this conversion was complete, I'll check back with them again.

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51 minutes ago, JimW said:

That was an older version of the ?, but it was way too obtrusive and annoying (this was a mild variant, there was one in bright royal blue on every dialog and there was much rioting) so we went with the much more toned down "?"

 

Sounds like an interesting process...... o.O

 

51 minutes ago, JimW said:

I do not believe it fixes the issue directly on it's own, but I was told a number of versions ago that the fractional issues couldn't be corrected until this conversion was complete, I'll check back with them again.

 

Thanks for checking!

 

Kevin

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3 minutes ago, Andy Broomell said:

When backsaving, what will happen to class and layer names with special characters?

 

Previous versions will keep doing the same as they did before, this fix will only work moving forward.

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1 hour ago, JimW said:

 

Previous versions will keep doing the same as they did before, this fix will only work moving forward.

 

I'm not sure what they did before, unfortunately. If I use an emoji in 2018, for example, would it show up in 2017 as one of those missing character empty boxes, or? 

Edited by Andy Broomell

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The older versions would sometimes do boxes, sometimes wingdings, but it was never good. The badness could vary wildly.

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While underwhelming on first look, this is, in my humble opinion probably one of the most solid future-proofing moves I've seen.

 

not immediately obvious, but using it in anger will probably yield gains straight away.

 

good idea!

Edited by RussU
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This is of course the greatest VW 2018 Feature so far.

But this is VW environment only in the first place.

 

Don't forget that you may still need to exchange with other parties, OS and Apps

before you "comicize" your list structures.

(like by 3Ds that will cut your class names by ∼ to 8+3 and those things)

 

I am still a fan of separating Form from Content like HTML and CSS.

So I vote still for Navigation Palette's improvements to sort, hierarchize and colorize

Lists on a VW basis.

 

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13 hours ago, Matt Overton said:

Any problems with IFC files and the like?

 


From what I understand the only requirement is that the application opening the exported file has unicode compliance as well. I think we're one of the last few to cross that line, but I'll ask specifically. I'll also get clarification on whether there are any file formats (as opposed to the applications opening them) that cannot support unicode characters.

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23 minutes ago, JimW said:

I'll also get clarification on whether there are any file formats (as opposed to the applications opening them) that cannot support unicode characters.

 

3DS ?

older DXF or DWG ?

 

 

And while Windows and macOS support unicode since decades.

Every time I opened a Text File from macOS Text Editor in Windows Editor,

the umlauts were gone and vice versa.

So I still don't feel save to really use unicode but it is nice that what comes into VW

will no more do any harm.

 

 

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Yeah I suspect this feature will just solve the problem as far as Vectorworks is concerned. It won't create new compatibility issues it'll just draw attention to them in other applications and formats that still don't support unicode characters, which we can't do much about of course. Also: I suspect if we tried to impliment something to strip such characters from strings during export it would cause more harm than good, generally not advisable for us to go renaming items without the user's explicit consent.

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Yes, that was no critique.

I am totally happy with that feature.

 

Just that VW will not solve all problems in the world and a reminder to keep on

being cautious with special characters or even emojis, although the new freedom

in VW may be very alluring.

Edited by zoomer

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True, I also am not sure exactly how alphabetized sorting will play with emojii as they come, technically the characters are either "o.O" or ":cheeseburger:" but I think ill test and see if they sort by their first character, or as a special character at the end of the other existing ones.

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