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Amorphous - Julian

Speed Improvements to Title Block Border (Multi-Thread process)

Question

We want our titleblock to list all the drawings which we want to issue. 

So we have to tick the option 'This Titleblock is Active' 

This is a 30-second process, PER DRAWING! See enclosed video. 

10 drawings is 300 seconds, or 5 minutes. 
100 drawings is close to one hour. 
Please improve. 

 

Edited by Amorphous - Julian

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Well I sometimes am irritated when people post their frustrations with exclamation marks and capitals. 

 

Maybe a more polite approach to the developers would be in place. 

 

Shouldn’t have posted that in public. But too late I already did. 

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Hi Sebastiaan, you may be right in that I could have pulled back on the capitals and exclamations marks.

But they were there to emphasise a point instead of scream at someone. So if anyone was offended by my capitals and exclamations, I apologise. 

And if you, like me, are sitting at the office at 11:30pm, and clicking through titleblocks at thirty second intervals to check a box... perhaps you'd be frustrated too 😉

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Perhaps as a work around you could try our system?

 

We never deactivate titleblocks as, besides the delay, it also turns off auto drawing configuration. So we have set up our office title blocks with a custom sheet data record field which is simply called  “Include in Drwing List”.

 

Our drawing list worksheet only lists objects that have this record set as true.

 

As an extra wr also have a “Title Block House Keep” worksheet where all the various titleblock settings are listed, many of which can be edited directly from the worksheet without even touching the actual titleblocks. This is where we decide which drawings to include in the drawing list.

 

So far this system works perfectly and really helps keep our titleblocks consistent and accurate throughout our project files (and jo crazy delays). 

 

Havent tried it in 2020 yet tho.... 

 

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@Boh very interesting suggestion. Good way to get around the crazy delays indeed.
That requires us to remember to add the record to each titleblock on each sheet, though, right?

If so, I wonder if there is a script that can easily automate this Attach Record process. 
In any case, I will give that a go. Thanks for the suggestion!

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If you use title block styles you can just add it to the style so it’s always in every titleblock of that style. 

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Actually what we do is not create a new record. We just add a custom field to the already extg vw Sheet Data record.

 

So even if your not using styles this field will be added to all titleblocks in the file.

 

😀

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That looks like it.

Name: include in drawing list

Type: boolean

default: true

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Cheers... that would save us a lot of time. 

I do hope, someday in the future, there will be no more 'workarounds'. 
We can all enjoy an efficient, responsive program that just works 'out of the box'.

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As an aside we have also added other custom fields to this record such as:

”Assigned to” for the staff member allocated that sheet

”Projected hours” for an estimate of how much time this sheet requires

 

This sheet data info is then collated into (yet another) worksheet called a “Production Schedule”.

 

Here we can see what drawings are required, who is doing them and how long it takes. 

 

This really helps us track our projects. 

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Love this idea, wondering if you have tried expanding it to use a list of values for different drawing sets. (eg, Sketch, Approval, Construction,....)?

 

That way a preconfigured worksheet would always pick up only the relevant sheets.

 

PS: I still up voted as the developers need to be aware of how seemingly random delays to Plug-in objects and minor changes taking lots of time is affecting the program. 

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5 hours ago, Boh said:

”Assigned to” for the staff member allocated that sheet

”Projected hours” for an estimate of how much time this sheet requires

Brilliant thinking! Will add these to our TB styles pronto!

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2 hours ago, Matt Overton said:

Love this idea, wondering if you have tried expanding it to use a list of values for different drawing sets. (eg, Sketch, Approval, Construction,....)?

At the moment we just use it for consent, tender and construction documentation however there is no reason why it couldn't be extended and used for other stages.

 

The actual production worksheet took a little effort to get right so that it is user friendly - i.e. easily readable and editable with auto summing etc - still working on that side of it...

 

The worksheet is in the attached file and you are welcome to play with it and possibly use it as a template for your own office - I'd appreciate any feedback you may have. The "Project Info" and "Drawings" section at the top are data based and will autopopulate with data from your Titleblocks however for this to happen the titleblocks need to have  custom record fields added to the Sheet Data Record. (So when you first view it it may look empty). The fields are shown in the below screen shot.

 

The lower half of the worksheet is just a normal spreadsheet to cover all the non-drafting tasks we do on projects.

 

We've set up the schedule to accommodate 4x progress checks with up to 4x staff members working on it as that is typical for our office however that could be edited to suit your own office.

 

Edit:

Note that white worksheet cells typically require user input. Coloured cells should autopopulate.

Also note that there are some sneaky hidden columns in the project checks. These hide some formulas I needed to get it looking right.

image.thumb.png.2f2c4fd1c74c113e83a0c39a701a0cde.pngimage.thumb.png.28ea7d33fdf7a5d373302442a44727a1.png

 

 

Cheers

Documentation Schedule vw2019.vwx

Edited by Boh
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7 minutes ago, twk said:
5 hours ago, Boh said:

”Assigned to” for the staff member allocated that sheet

”Projected hours” for an estimate of how much time this sheet requires

Brilliant thinking! Will add these to our TB styles pronto!

Actually this isn't quite how we set it up - I wrote that on the bus haha! - but a very similar idea.

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Hello everyone,

 

First of all, the suggested workflow from @Boh is very nice. Thank you for sharing this here! 🙂 

 

As for the delay, the Title Block Border is a complex object. Apart from giving the ability for maximal customization of the layout, it has a couple of automatic fields that work in synchronization with other TBBs in the document. In order to keep these fields up to date, we have to go through the whole document and update the data in each TBB. We have tried to limit this to happen only when it is needed and when this happens to be as fast as possible. However, for big documents this is slow no matter how we optimize this. Clicking on This Title Block is Active is one of the operations that requires this whole process to happen, as this check is marking which TBBs are used in the automatic data synchronization.

That is why it is recomended to leave this field checked and use other fields for more regular modifications and inclusions in worksheets, as other fields will not trigger the whole synchronization process.

 

Best Regards,

Nikolay Zhelyazkov

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Hi @Nikolay Zhelyazkov

 

Thanks for responding to this thread. 


I appreciate that there may be engineering challenges that non-engineers like myself and other users may not appreciate. 

 

But at the same time, for interior design/architecture practices, a large number of sheets in a Construction Documentation Set is Fact of Live.  

For some projects, there is no way to avoid this. Hence- there is no way to skirt around the problem that a slow Title Block Tool takes a lot of our precious time. 

I am sure you can appreciate our need for efficiency.

 

Today alone, simply clicking on 'the OK' button on the 'Title Block Manager' dialogue window (without any changes) resulted in the computer thinking for 10 minutes. 
In the end, I had to force-quit Vectorworks, which causes all kind of 'permission' issues with the shared Project File.  
This is a replicable issues, and I can record a video of this and post it up later. 
 

So, I would hope that together we can find the way out of this quagmire.

 

I'm confident that there is a solution that helps us achieve efficiency as users, but is still possible for you from an engineering point of view. I do recall some earlier forum posts that says by 'multi-threading' certain processes, there is a marked improvement of speed. Is the Title Block Manager a single-thread process, or multi-thread?

Thanks again,

 

Julian 

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Hello Julian, @Amorphous - Julian

 

Currently we are not using multithreading for the TBB and its functionalities, so we could check if this is possible as an improvement for the future, but I am not sure about this because we have some sequential data, such as the Page Number, which will not work well with multithreading at all.

 

It is sad to hear that you have such difficulties and delays with the TBB... We will see if we are able to think of any improvement in the future and hopefully we could speed this up.

In the meantime, maybe you could take advantage of the worksheet editing of TBBs, which should be faster?

 

Thank you for your feedback!

 

Best Regards,

Nikolay Zhelyazkov

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Hi @Nikolay Zhelyazkov, thanks for your prompt feedback.

 

Excited to hear that TBB may be up for getting the multi-thread upgrade. I really think lots of users would benefit from that. 

 

You make an interesting point about the sequential nature of certain data, which I hadn't considered. 

 

I suppose the sequential page numbering example you mentioned refers to the situation when a drawing set is to be numbered, for example, 'Page 55, 56, 57.....' of '105 total ' in the Titleblock, right?

If so, I may just mentioned that page numbering may be necessary or preferable to some, in larger projects or large Drawing Document sets, they are generally not used. From my experience, numbered pages for a drawing set is not convention.

Personally, I will be willing to trade sequential page numbering function for improved speed (would like to hear what others think). What other examples of sequential data is present in TBB?

As with using worksheet editing of TBB data- there are some operations that simply cannot be edited that way, such as adding 'Issue' data to the Titleblock (correct me if I'm wrong).

Just now- I had another crash. I tried to check out TBB in a Project Shared file to add 'Issue' to a new sheet. However, Titleblock was checked out by another use for one of the sheets, so I was forced to 'cancel' the operation.

 

Cancelling in this way causes Vectorworks to crash, time is wasted then to reboot and start over where I was.

 

Really looking forward to multithread improvements to this great tool. Please keep us updated. 

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@Amorphous - Julian,

 

3 minutes ago, Amorphous - Julian said:

I suppose the sequential page numbering example you mentioned refers to the situation when a drawing set is to be numbered, for example, 'Page 55, 56, 57.....' of '105 total ' in the Titleblock, right?

- correct

 

4 minutes ago, Amorphous - Julian said:

What other examples of sequential data is present in TBB?

- I think there is nothing else that relies on the sequential order

 

4 minutes ago, Amorphous - Julian said:

As with using worksheet editing of TBB data- there are some operations that simply cannot be edited that way, such as adding 'Issue' data to the Titleblock (correct me if I'm wrong).

- once again, correct

 

4 minutes ago, Amorphous - Julian said:

Just now- I had another crash. I tried to check out TBB in a Project Shared file to add 'Issue' to a new sheet. However, Titleblock was checked out by another use for one of the sheets, so I was forced to 'cancel' the operation.

 

Cancelling in this way causes Vectorworks to crash, time is wasted then to reboot and start over where I was.

- If you could send me the project file with the TBB  still checked out, I could check what caused the crash if I am able to reproduce it

 

Will keep you tuned here when there is progress about this topic.

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@Nikolay Zhelyazkov.

As much as I'd like to share our file with you, we are bound by confidentiality agreements (NDA) with our clients.

Right now, we are trying to work out the best way to share confidential client information with Vectorworks staff. Our lawyers are drafting back-to-back NDAs for this. 

 

In the meantime, I have recorded a video to show you the situation with the Titleblock in Project Sharing, so you can try to replicate the issue. 

Note the following time marks 
0:07 - 'Edit Title Block' button pressed
0:07 - 0:35 (~30 seconds) [thinking] 
0:35 - 0:46 (~10 seconds) Title Block Manager dialogue box opens

2:05 All modifications made and 'OK' button pressed

2:05 - 3:37 (~1 minute 30 seconds) Title Block Manager recognises a permission clash in Project File
3:37 'OK' button pressed to dismiss permission clash alert
3:37-33:45 (~30 minutes) Vectorworks crashes. Note the cursor is spinning beach ball on screen. I chopped the movie to cut down on size, I can send you the full version (33:45) if you wish. 

 

As you can see in the video, the current workflow to merely add an 'issue' or 'revision' is really slow for us. Your offer to multi-thread this process to speed it up would be a most-welcome improvement.

 

It would make a massive difference for us, and we would appreciate this a lot. 

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