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Amorphous - Julian

Ongoing Project Sharing Issues: A record from one issue to another.

Question

We have getting a chronic project sharing problem . Model objects, viewports and sheets regularly disappear from our shared project file. 

 

No matter the size and complexity of the file, we get this problem.

 

This happens between 1-2 times a week across different projects. 

 

Anyone else getting this issue? Is this something Vectorworks can fix in upcoming releases?

 

----------------------------------------

 

Some background:

- Our shared server runs Mac OS Server 5.2 on Mac OS 10.11.6 El Capitan, with 'SMB Sharing only' turned on in File Sharing.  

- We tried upgrading our server to Mac OS 10.13 and Mac OS 10.14, but permission issues were even more severe (in both SMB and AFP).
- We then downgraded back to Mac OS 10.11

- Previously, when we ran File Sharing on AFP in Mac OS 10.11, this 'disappearing model' issue didn't seem to occur. 

- Due to other services we have to run, we had to switch File Sharing over to SMB from AFP

- Sharing files in Mac OS with both 'AFP and SMB' turned on doesn't work, and not recommended by our Vectorworks distributor.

 

 

Edited by Amorphous - Julian
Changed the title to reflect the evolving project sharing issues.

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You said the Walls are missing in the Viewports. Are the Walls also missing in the model space? 

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Another viewport with another wall just disappeared (let me be clear, it is a viewport. We don't change our classes here)

As you can see, we tagged a wall here previously. The wall has now disappeared.

We are now copying the walls back from a previous version. We are not imagining this. 

10:44pm now here and I was intending to issue this drawing set. But we will no longer meet this deadline. 

 



image.thumb.png.ef6902727c3f84b37b2ad358d026574e.png

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52 minutes ago, Tolu said:

You said the Walls are missing in the Viewports. Are the Walls also missing in the model space? 

 

Yes, missing in the Viewports and also Model space. Otherwise we won't be doing 'copy-and-paste' from a previous version back into here 😆

 

This is another wall that went missing. Our team member tagged this door (door 20, type G) just a couple of hours ago tonight. After a few rounds of S&C the wall is gone. 

He's given up and will continue tomorrow. 


image.thumb.png.57ca571c85f588fca27a2fdc3cbfe888.png

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[UPDATE 13/03/2020]

 

The following issue has been bugging our file for over a year now. 

 

None' class will erratically - after save & commit- turn its default line colour to green. It is always this same green. 

We can go months without this issue, but it suddenly came back again recently. 

It is quite difficult in PS situation to change the settings of a class like 'none'. Because it is commonly used by many others on the file and causes a permission issue. 


image.thumb.png.b524092d69c57162916e89f9bf1d01ec.png
So this becomes one of those 'weekend file admin' things I come back to the office to do. 

image.thumb.png.fab34d81f451e0c36d9687f46eee988d.png

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[UPDATE 13/03/2020]

 

!!!!!!!! WHAT A FRIGGIN WASTE OF TIME THIS IS !!!!!!!!!

 

image.thumb.png.d3ce71692dabd3a14040644aff72e5e5.png

After a S&C, all tags in a viewport just went. Just disappeared. HOURS AND HOURS OF FRIGGIN WORK!!!!


I've really had it. SOMEONE NEED TO FRIGGIN FIX THIS.

I can't have Vectoworks waste my project time like this!!!!

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Posted (edited)

WE HAVE REPEATED THE ABOVE STEP FOUR TIMES BETWEEN YESTERDAY AND TODAY BECAUSE OF THE S&C DISAPPEARANCE!
 

FOR FRIGGS SAKE! 

WHY CAN'T THIS WORK LIKE A NORMAL PROGRAM SO OUR DRAWING ISSUES NOT DELAYED?


Very very very very annoyed. It is Friday night and my team just wants to leave!!!

Edited by Amorphous - Julian

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[Update 3 13/03/2020]

 

More wall disappearances. These are viewports, so there are not confusion about 'turning on classes'

 

The existing wall (indicated in RED) and the new wall (indicated in GREEN) just disappeared from viewport and model. 

 

image.thumb.png.7836743fa82812d41fd489a5c3d7f366.png

 


 

image.png

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[Update 4 13/03/2020]

Just to top off a terrible Vectorworks Project Sharing workday, my S&C is stuck on 'Updating Story Bounded Objects'

image.thumb.png.ad5c88d4d8ced8f4ff3de8e6edd6ceb2.png

It has been stuck here for 10 minutes now. No one else can work on ANYTHING in the meantime.

I have a few options:

- Force Quit now- and everyone loses ONE HOUR of work 

- If we Force Quit, the Project File remains in the LOCKED state, and no one else can connect back into it. 

- Wait for this to be over-  and don't know when this will end 

FRIGGIN LOSING HOURS OF WORK AGAIN...ARRGGGGHHHHH!!!!

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[Update 5 - 13/03/2020]

 

I forced my Vectorworks to quit, it didn't 'lock up' the project file like it often does when you force quit in the middle of a save and commit. 

 

The other team members are able to commit their changes to the project file, but my working file now wouldn't open. 

My last save and commit was at 4:30pm, 3.5 hours ago. So I am losing 3.5 hours of work. 

Not happy. 

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[Update 6 -  13/03/2020]

 

Just as we are going to 'publish what we have', we find that in sheets after sheet our data tags are disassociated (we are publishing 30 sheets today).

I have just been told by another VW employee that if I don't check out both the tag, and the object it tags, then the disassociation is certain. 

We  were given a workaround that is simply infeasible. 

So are we meant to re-do the work we have done over and and over and over again everytime we save and commit?


image.thumb.png.45cc74e03e8d7f2f4948ebded58b0231.png
 

 

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After what my team has been through today. I may just answer my own questions. 

 

On 3/12/2020 at 5:23 PM, Amorphous - Julian said:

Lately, with all the issues we go through, I can't stop asking myself....

(1) If I didn't run this practice, and haven't already invested/committed so much time and resources into Vectorworks, would I work in an office that uses Vectorworks?

 

I have worked in an ArchiCAD office before, and at no time have I ever experienced chronic, ongoing project sharing issues like this. For the purpose of project sharing, I would prefer to work in an ArchiCAD office if the choice was my own. 

 

On 3/12/2020 at 5:23 PM, Amorphous - Julian said:

(2) Weighing everything up, does Vectorworks aid, or hinder, my work?

 

For my team's work today, it has without-doubt been more hinderance than aid. 

 

On 3/12/2020 at 5:23 PM, Amorphous - Julian said:

(3) Is it unrealistic to expect Vectorworks to become a snappy, responsive, efficient & stable program? When may that happen?

 

I just wish for Vectorworks to throw all resources it has at its disposal to make it robust, efficient and stable. It can't happen quickly enough.

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11:00pm. We are trying to untangle the myriad of working files after the crash. 

Some bits appear on one file and not another... other pieces appear on another one. Some have titleblocks, some don't, some have tiled floors, others don't. 

This is making our work impossible. I'm exhausted and just want to publish drawings and go to rest.

If we never went with the route of project sharing we'd never be mired in this mess. 

Please either swiftly fix PS once and for all, or release it when it's truly ready and reliable. 

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[Update 17/03/2020]

And again today....


image.thumb.png.7e74f91fa1b301b48f04cb16bc46ca26.png

 

For heaven's sake! Why am I wasting my time to fix damaged files and checking for data loss constantly!!!

 

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[Update 18/03/2020]

 

And yet again today. RIDICULOUS!

 

image.thumb.png.4b0959dd3e406f9b9c0d8c2019fab80f.png


Seriously. Project Sharing is broken. It is not working. 

THIS FOLLOWING ISSUE REALLY NEEDS TO BE LOOKED AT! DO NOT LEAVE IT AND HOPE IT WILL GO AWAY!
 

 

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[Update 2 19/03/2020]

 

So, we needed to find out what the above 'corruption' means for us. And it has left me very upset.  

 

🤬🤬🤬🤬This is a ridiculous, bad practical joke. It is wasting our Professional time!!!  🤬🤬🤬🤬

 

PROJECT SHARING DATA LOSS IS A SEVERE ISSUE!!!! KINDLY SOME FROM VECTORWORKS ACKNOWLEDGE THIS

 

This is what happened after the latest 'This File is Corrupt' (as above post) and after all users 'S&C':


(1) All Titleblocks from the file has disappeared from Computer Terminal 2 (CT2) and Computer Terminal 3 (CT3)

(2) Computer Terminal 1 (CT1) doesn't get the changes to viewports committed by CT2 and CT3

(3) New viewports created by CT2 and CT3 do not show up on CT1

(4) Annotations in certain viewports (annotations created well before today) disappeared from the viewports when viewed on CT1
(5) Annotations that has disappeared when viewed on CT1 is still present on CT2, but not on CT3

(6) Annotations that has disappeared when viewed on CT2 is still present on CT1, but not on CT3 ... etc

IN OTHER WORDS, PROJECT SHARING DATA LOSS IS A DAMED MESS!

This is what we have to do to untangle this mess (and not the first time we've gone through this process):

(A) Conduct data loss forensics (as above) to see who has lost what
(B) Create a 'new version' based on the file with least data loss, or with data loss that can be more easily replaced by 'copy and paste' operation, with data from older file.
(C) In this case, the file with the most intact titleblock is the one we choose to base the new version on, as it is an almost impossible task to copy over 300 sheets worth of titleblocks from one file to another for the working files that have lost their titleblocks. 
(D) We had to re-create a lot of the viewports that was done this morning. As these new viewports did not show up on the CT1 version, which the new version was based on. 
(E) We have to copy-and-paste viewport information that has been lost from older files. 

(F) Right now, we do not have the time to check through every sheet and every viewport to see what was lost, so, we may end up with some data losses in viewport that later causes us legal issues. (remember, drawings are legal documentation, if we issue drawings that has omissions, we are legally responsible- and guess who caused that?)

 

image.thumb.png.89be7416d33035bdd3b2bd69361e072d.pngimage.thumb.png.9036f765c73d9b71df366c1c0759e667.png

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@Julian Carr @Biplab @Tolu This is beyond ridiculous. I am an architect, NOT a data forensic person. I shouldn't have to do this on a weekly basis. This is happening way too often!

File-based project sharing doesn't work. Other softwares have gone down this path and proven it. When will this change?

I am left asking myself: 

- What is the economic loss from all my issues since September 2019 (and earlier) caused by Project Sharing issue? I can tell you based on our charge-out rates it is pretty hefty 

- How would it feel when I receive my 2021 VSS subscription invoice, given everything I have gone through and documented here. 

 

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[UPDATE 3 - 19/03/2020]

 

Second 'This File is Corrupt' in ONE day. Absolute insanity. 

 

Hope Vectorworks can show some empathy and fix this issue ASAP.

Just to recoup this is the IDENTICAL issue I reported on 19th August 2019. 

It would be, to understate it, be extremely disappointing if on 19th August, 2020, I'd still be updating this post talking about the same issue. 

 

Changing the way Project Sharing works is the way forward. 
  

image.thumb.png.e533a0c1f2cb2bf07fd611e44cd8cf7a.png

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[UPDATE 4 - 18/03/2020]

 

Saved a new version (we're now up to version v343)...

 

.... and now this error message.... 

 

image.thumb.png.633989a7a11a5981642d9736b6d4903a.png

 

Did I mention our office spend half our workdays wrangling with VW project sharing? .... or maybe it's blatantly obvious....

 

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I've just had a chance to calm down...

So I do apologise for my tone, especially to @Tolu

None of this was meant to take aim at any one persons. I was merely venting frustrations, as I am not meeting project deadlines. 

I hope everyone at Vectorworks can understand where my frustrations stem from.

My team and I spend no less than 8 hours each day with Vectorworks, and being frustrated by flaws that materially affects our work -especially over such a long period of time- is somewhat inevitable. 

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Hello, I am Silje from Julian's team.

 

Just wanted to share an example of what is happening... because it happened to me this morning. 

 

Yesterday I had a detail that looks like this. 

 

image.thumb.png.b69fdd88c7a98b1a7ff7fa95f03610af.png

 

 

This morning, I come in, open up my computer, and it looks like this... Annotations, hatches, drawing title all gone from the viewport. Which means an extra 20/30 minutes of redrawing and longer if I need to comb through the file just to check that all my viewport annotations I worked on yesterday are still there. 

 

image.thumb.png.a6a26702bf16b2c11de5a68da83dc9ff.png

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I am really amazed by your patience and consistency in posting here. My office gave project sharing a couple of tries but after a few issues, that are not even close to yours, abandoned it mostly. We use it from time to time as means of providing a source file for our ressources, that is than referenced into our drawings.

When they talk about the other BIM software from Nemetschek and its collaboration capabilties they get dreamy eyed.

 

So I am also waiting for an improvement and better consistency, because I believe that it's going to be more and more essential in a BIM-focused World to have this possibility.

 

All the best!

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Amorphous - Julian, 

 

I appreciate your thorough documentation of the issues you have experienced with project sharing. 

 

While we have experienced many (if not all) of the problems you describe, we have been able to work for long periods of time in project sharing mode without the severity of problems you describe. A couple of questions. 

 

How many people are typically sharing a project? We try to limit shared projects to two or three users max. Whenever possible we convert shared projects back to regular vw files. Especially when a project file starts to misbehave. 

 

Do you encourage staff to check out layers before any making changes in the model? Checking out layers seems to make the process run smoother. I have started to never make changes to a model without first checking out the sheet or layer in which I am working. If a dialogue box asks me to check out an object, I say no until I check out the layer. Minimizing the communication back to the project file seems to result in fewer problems. 

 

Do you save working files before committing to the model?  We do this to make sure that whatever we have worked on is saved at least locally.

 

Do you coordinate saves and commits with all users? We use instant messaging as a means of communicating when changes to the project file happen.

 

Recently I've begun deselecting dialogue boxes to reset worksheets and plug in objects while printing, especially for check sets/test prints. Final prints should be made by one individual with all design and sheet layers checked out. 

 

None of this negates the need for improvements to this tool that you argue for. 

 

Cb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, cberg said:

Do you encourage staff to check out layers before any making changes in the model? Checking out layers seems to make the process run smoother. I have started to never make changes to a model without first checking out the sheet or layer in which I am working. If a dialogue box asks me to check out an object, I say no until I check out the layer. Minimizing the communication back to the project file seems to result in fewer problems. 

 

 

This is interesting - for us, the process goes much smoother and more reliably if we don't check out complete DL's. Somehow checking out DL's was too much for the system to handle. Changing to checking out individual objects on the fly removed most of the speed and reliability issues. This was with 2018 and 2019, don't know about 2020 yet. The project was a 2000sqm 4-storey residential project. Title blocks never learned to behave, though, and there were intermittent issues with shifting and disappearing walls, and opening wall joins. Since then we haven't used PS much, I've waited for it to mature to a professional reliability level.

 

It seems PS behavior can vary greatly from office to office and from project to project, which implies the technological setup is not as robust as it should be.

 

A disappearing sheet layer annotation set is a horrible bug - as Julian mentioned, everything we send out from our offices creates a legal responsibility to us, regarding the content of the documents. The documents are contract documents before the building starts, and afterwards they are construction documents that must be 100% correct. All damages resulting from drawing errors, missing information or misleading information can, in principle, be charged from us, at least from the commission. Usually the financial responsibility is not limited to commission alone, but at least some damages to 3rd parties are included.

 

 

Edited by JMR
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Do you have a sense as to what is causing the problem?

 

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