Author Topic: Autodesk and Surveyors  (Read 20377 times)

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sinc

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Autodesk and Surveyors
« on: April 16, 2008, 11:21:50 AM »
I hear that Carlson 2009 will be available using Intellicad instead of Autocad, and the price for the Intellicad version is far lower than for the Autocad version.  And the Autocad version is already priced significantly below Civil-3D.

Given Autodesk's very twisted support for surveyors (i.e, their concentration on useless things like the Equipment Database, while simultaneously creating an erroneous implementation of Grid coordinate systems, failing to data ref parcels, ignoring support for construction stakeout, the horrendous FBK process, and all those other things we talk about so much in the Autodesk DGs), and the fact that they keep jacking up the price of software that continues to be plagued with a terrible quantity of bugs, I have to wonder where we're going with all this...

I have to seriously question the value of Civil-3D for Surveyors.  If we didn't have such a hefty investment in Civil-3D, and if we hadn't already reached the point where we've learned to work around and through so many problems, I would be seriously looking at dropping Civil-3D for Carlson 2009 on Intellicad.

In fact, if Autodesk keeps raising the price of Civil-3D, I think we'll have to look at that other option anyway, despite the fact that we really like some aspects of Civil-3D.  But we reach a point where we actually need software to work for our every-day workflow, without convoluted and twisted workarounds, and without constant crashing.  Sure, I've managed to fix an awful lot of the problems with the Sincpac-C3D, but that is merely a band-aid over a gaping wound.  And at the rate I see Autodesk "fixing" things, it's going to be years before they make significant progress.  Right now, it looks like they are continuing to try to patch the patches, when they need to do some serious reworking of errors.  And they don't seem to have any interest in that.

Not sure where I was going with this...  Maybe just venting.   :realmad:

mjfarrell

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Re: Autodesk and Surveyors
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2008, 11:31:17 AM »
How is working or not for the design side of life?
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Michael Farrell
http://primeservicesglobal.com/

surveyor_randy

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Re: Autodesk and Surveyors
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2008, 08:53:17 AM »
I have to seriously question the value of Civil-3D for Surveyors.

It has no value to me, I am just forced to use it buy our engineering department.  We totally ignore the 'survey' portion of C3D.  We don't use figures or networks.  All of our traverse adjustments are still done with an MSDOS based application.  CSV PNEZD baby!  Working with parcels is absolutely horrible.  Nothing is worse then spending several hours getting the labels the way you want them for a plat only to have them all reset for one reason or another.  Sequential line/curve tags is still buggy and it periodically will skip a bunch of numbers.  Sometimes moving the parcels to a new site will fix that problem, sometimes not.  Civil 3D is slow and crashes often.  Don't even get me started on having to use 'audit' all the time with annotative mtext.

Honestly, we wouldn't be using it anymore either had we not had so much money spent on the application.  I really wish that Autodesk would just keep a version of C3D and work on fixing what is broken or not working properly instead of releasing new, buggy features in the next version.  There are so many *tricks* and workarounds that need to be used in order to be productive that it makes it nearly impossible to teach anyone who has no Autodesk experience how to use the application.

just my $0.02.   

mjfarrell

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Re: Autodesk and Surveyors
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2008, 11:09:36 AM »
Say guys, perhaps we can use our 'connections' here at THE SWAMP to get something done with some of this stuff.  We could ask http://www.theswamp.org/index.php?action=profile;u=57 to fly to our rescue; now I know that she is officially in the LT department perhaps she might accidentally funnel us some email addys of the right peoples to open lines of communication with. It's a long shot.
Be your Best


Michael Farrell
http://primeservicesglobal.com/

sinc

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Re: Autodesk and Surveyors
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2008, 11:26:28 AM »
The big thing is, it's not like Autodesk isn't aware of all this stuff.

But we get a 2009 release that does little to address the issues.  I'm glad we can place parcel labels on parcels in XREFs now, but that's really just a patch on the greater problem of not being able to DREF our parcels.  And really, we need parcels to be redesigned from the ground up.  We don't need more and more stuff built on a faulty foundation.

The more stuff they tie to these errors, the less and less likely it gets that anything will be fixed.  Take the terrible Project Management support.  We desperately need a way to create a PROJECT in Civil-3D, where we can set all those important project-level parameters like Coordinate Zone, Units, Project-Type settings (e.g., Grid or Localized, and for a Localized Project, the grid/elevation scale factors or combined scale factor and additional translation/rotation parameters to get to Project Coordinates, if applicable), Project identifier information (name, job number, client name, etc.), the CAD Standards (if any) to be used for this project, etc.

What we get instead is absolutely nothing in Civil-3D, and we are told to use the Vault for PM.  However, using the Vault to control all that stuff I just mentioned is an extreme error in design.  It makes the Vault highly-coupled with Civil-3D, and means that any change in C3D can require a change in Vault, and vice-versa.  Now add in the fact that Autodesk is trying to use Vault with other products, such as Revit, where they will undoubtedly be doing similar things.  If Autodesk continues that trend, eventually all of their products will use the Vault.  And if every product is as tightly-coupled to the Vault as Civil-3D is becoming, then we have a giant nightmare on our hands.  Changes to Revit will end up creating bugs for C3D users, and so forth.

And there are quite a few issues like this.  Just getting C3D to work properly for Grid-based projects will take a huge amount of work.  But every new release of C3D is simply patches and more features pasted onto a bad foundation.  And I think we all know what happens to buildings when the foundations are bad...  We need to start seeing some fundamental, significant changes to C3D or the whole thing will collapse.

Where we're heading now is that, in five years when Autodesk builds themselves into a nightmare with C3D, they'll go buy some other competitor or third-party app, and then we'll have the whole transition-from-LDD-to-C3D thing all over again, but this time it will be the transition-from-C3D-to-MoreOfTheSameAfterAnotherHugeLearningCurve.

mjfarrell

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Re: Autodesk and Surveyors
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2008, 11:42:30 AM »
Trust me I know, they know. Only they don't know how truly bad it is. The reason being they dissuade open dialog on the News Groups, and at that other Brand Portal. And just because they don't want to discuss the problems openly doesn't mean they will go away. At this point they need to accept that they are off track, and open up the dialog about what is wrong with the product. I don't think the beta program is effective at discovering the flaws; as too much time is wasted rediscovering the interface.
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Michael Farrell
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sinc

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Re: Autodesk and Surveyors
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2008, 11:56:55 AM »
I think the biggest flaw with the Beta program right now is the incompatibility issues.

Since no version of C3D is compatible with any other version, there are very few people who can actually try to use the Beta product for a real project.  Most people have to maintain compatibility with the rest of their team, or with people at other companies, and working on a project in C3D 2009 renders it unusable in C3D 2008.

This issue severely impacts the value of the Beta testing.

One thing that still has me incredibly confused is why Autodesk releases new versions for their entire product line all at once.  One thing we keep hearing is that it's difficult for them to make any changes to a dialog box, because even a small change means they must change 13 different localized versions of the product.  Well, why do they have to release all 13 versions at once?  Why can't they do an initial release in only one or two languages, then release the rest around the time they get the first SP working?  That would save them a HUGE amount of time right there.

And why do they need to release Civil-3D 2009 at the exact same time they release Autocad 2009?  Why not stagger them, so that the C3D team doesn't even start developing on the new version until after they have a release candidate?  I mean, it's not like we need new core features so badly that we must have them (and all their bugs) as soon as the feature is introduced in the core product.  (And if the problem is compatibility, well, we already have huge compatibility issues between C3D and vanilla autocad...  What's one more?)

I realize that these are probably pointless questions, and everything at Autodesk is driven by the business-services side of the company.  But does that mean I have to like it?   :cry:

dfarris75

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Re: Autodesk and Surveyors
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2008, 01:25:05 PM »
Maybe disgruntled users of Civil 3D should start donating to the projects like SiteTopo and see what developers can do with the funds. You never know, they might be able to develop a much more stable software package over time (that has as many capabilities or more than Civil 3D), especially if a few more developers would volunteer some time and effort into the projects. I am noticing more and more open-source cad packages available. Open-source projects have really busted into the mainstream. Perhaps it is time for a good civil/survey project to hit the tracks.

Swift

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Re: Autodesk and Surveyors
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2008, 03:55:42 PM »
I hear that Carlson 2009 will be available using Intellicad instead of Autocad,

It's EVEN BETTER than that

http://www.model-this.com/archives/16

http://www.model-this.com/archives/18





sinc

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Re: Autodesk and Surveyors
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2008, 04:08:06 PM »
Maybe disgruntled users of Civil 3D should start donating to the projects like SiteTopo and see what developers can do with the funds. You never know, they might be able to develop a much more stable software package over time (that has as many capabilities or more than Civil 3D), especially if a few more developers would volunteer some time and effort into the projects.

Well, the simple reason we don't do that is that we are surveyors, not venture capitalists.  Ostensibly, the company we are already paying to provide the software we need will be using our money to do that.  After all, they claim to be the leaders in the industry.  If they can't do it, then it will be mighty hard to convince my boss to give even more money to an informal group with no set schedule.

We just paid our annual tithe to the masters, but I can tell already that when next year rolls around, I'm going to have to justify continuing with Civil-3D, when we can license our entire office for Carlson 2009 for about the same price as one seat of C3D.

We find ourselves in a difficult position.  We've already fought through the learning curve, setup our template, and everything.  We're productive with C3D.  We REALLY LIKE C3D.  We think it has an incredible amount of potential that we have only begun to tap.  But that horrendous learning curve... we have to go through it every time we hire a new person.  And we just don't know if Autodesk will ever get us a program that doesn't crash constantly, and works for our line of work without the constant convoluted workarounds.  They are making lots of changes to C3D, but there is very little in the way of real improvement over the last several releases.  It is very apt to say that we are really on Civil-3D 2005 SP 20 or whatever it is now.  The dramatic things that are wrong are not being fixed; only the little things.  I get the impression that Autodesk has thrown up their hands in despair over the thought of things like making right-of-way dynamic to alignments and subdivision boundaries, and wonder if they even have a plan on fixing things like that.

But I think we are also addicted to Autodesk.  It's very difficult to consider life not "on Autodesk", we've been on it so long.  Maybe we need to start attending 12-step meetings, so we can learn how to function when we're not "on Autodesk"...

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Re: Autodesk and Surveyors
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2008, 03:54:47 AM »
I hear that Carlson 2009 will be available using Intellicad instead of Autocad,

It's EVEN BETTER than that

http://www.model-this.com/archives/16

http://www.model-this.com/archives/18






Interesting, strange they didn’t partner with someone like Bricscad, they offer a better /faster API (BRX,DRX) than Icad 6.4 which still uses SDS.

It's Alive!

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Re: Autodesk and Surveyors
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2008, 03:56:40 AM »
I bet this might be fun to play with too http://opendesign.com/node/94

Dinosaur

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Re: Autodesk and Surveyors
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2008, 06:51:32 AM »
. . . Interesting, strange they didn’t partner with someone like Bricscad, they offer a better /faster API (BRX,DRX) than Icad 6.4 which still uses SDS.
Bricscad is used as an optional core engine for EaglePoint.  That may have prevented a similar move with Carlson but it is unfortunate.

Dinosaur

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Re: Autodesk and Surveyors
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2008, 06:55:32 AM »
I bet this might be fun to play with too http://opendesign.com/node/94
And I just resigned my membership there because they started demanding a yearly fee.  ODA has been making some significant progress with their Civil 3D geared projects per their monthly updates.

Swift

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Re: Autodesk and Surveyors
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2008, 08:19:25 AM »


Interesting, strange they didn't partner with someone like Bricscad, they offer a better /faster API (BRX,DRX) than Icad 6.4 which still uses SDS.

I NOT NOT KNOW but would guess that Carlson has joined the IntelliCAD Consortium, purely a guess through.

Another thing to remember is that the Bricscad release numbers doesn't match the Consortium's numbers..The IntelliCAD Technology Consortium Announces IntelliCAD® 6.4 Beta.
The IntelliCAD Technology Consortium Announces IntelliCAD® 7.0 Alpha


They did say they'd be moving to Intellicad 7.0 upon it's release