Life after/beyond PowerCadd?

PowerCADD & WildTools
Derek
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Life after/beyond PowerCadd?

Post by Derek » Wed Jul 07, 2021 5:30 pm

Eduardo,
No, Parallels Desktop 16.5 does not run Mojave on an M1 Mac. It says this at that link.

Supported Guest Operating Systems (Apple M1)
Windows 10 on ARM Insider Preview
Windows on ARM can run most of the regular Windows x86 applications. You can download the Parallels Desktop trial and install the application you need. If it doesn't work, let us know at Parallels Forum.
Ubuntu 20.10, 20.04
Fedora Workstation 33-1.2
Debian GNU/Linux 10.7
Kali Linux 2021.1

EduardoJB
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Joined: Sun Jun 09, 2019 4:49 pm

Re: Life after/beyond PowerCadd?

Post by EduardoJB » Wed Jul 07, 2021 6:00 pm

Thank you... It will be a few months before I try that...

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todd@engsw.com
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Re: Life after/beyond PowerCadd?

Post by todd@engsw.com » Thu Jul 08, 2021 3:46 am

For those who are interested in the XML translator...

The translator application is not quite ready, but here is a link to the XML preliminary specification for PowerCADD files.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/93v887zywgu8 ... l6-8a?dl=0

Included in the linked folder is an introductory file, the complete specification and a sample PowerCADD file in PC9 format and in the XML transfer format.

PowerCADD Dictionary Spec.text
PowerCADD Dictionary Intro

Groups 5.PC9
Groups 5.plist

dlbates
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Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2021 9:08 pm

Re: Life after/beyond PowerCadd?

Post by dlbates » Sat Jul 10, 2021 2:25 am

Hi @Todd,

It's been a long while and I'm saddened by the news I can still see remnants of some of the things I created in the interface and that brings me some joy even though I'm sure it's all completely different from when I left. I'd love to chat with you about what happened offline some time. I hope everyone has been well.
I was looking at the spec you provided and had a wild idea to try and build an iPad renderer for this intermediate file format and had a couple of questions.
  • How do you calculate scale in the file? I see layers have a scale factor but in the sample file it's always 1
  • Will there be a document-level element with scales and other global settings?
  • I see some binary data in some of the objects in the 5groups.plist will there be a follow-on definition for parsing this data?
  • What about objects that are made up of complex points and weights?
  • Is z-order still an object order and is the object list in z-order? EG: object0 is below object1?
I just took a glance at the plist and was trying to manually parse how it was written out. (From 5 Groups.plist) From what I see there's a single layer in the file with 9 items in it. The first object in the list is a group of two items. Those two items being lines. (with different attribute ids)

Again I wish you the best and was mostly playing with the file to just see if I could create a viewer mainly to validate the intermediate format.

tomearnist
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Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2021 9:52 pm

Re: Life after/beyond PowerCadd?

Post by tomearnist » Sun Jul 11, 2021 4:36 am

I couldn't post on the new topic saving PCadd for some reason, server error 500. I am a more than two decade user working with graphic designers on branding and wayfinding. PCadd transparency to Illustrator is really important to me. Is there another M1 compatible 2D cad as good as PCadd that can import or cut/paste AI files and PDF's?

EduardoJB
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Re: Life after/beyond PowerCadd?

Post by EduardoJB » Sun Jul 11, 2021 9:01 pm

Unfortunately, after trying at least three other similarly-prized programs in trial mode, none comes close to PC. Not-friendly, feature-lacking. And when I’ve written to them, the attitude has been “take it or leave it”. Totally frustrating. But now I understand why most of the people I know who use AutoCad haven’t even bothered to fully know how to use it. Clunkiness breeds laziness. No, I don’t know of any other program that could work with Illustrator, or for that matter, that can do much of what PC does…

S. Shubin
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Re: Life after/beyond PowerCadd?

Post by S. Shubin » Mon Jul 12, 2021 8:01 pm

Like a lot of you guys — my use of PC/WT goes back to the powerdraw days. But now what I do with CAD is for personal reasons or just as a hobby

I am using a different program now for my 2D because I wasn’t sure where things were going with PC. What I’m using now is not the elegance of PC/WT. But it ain’t too bad

I have kept my formZ up-to-date. And I also got V-ray (the rendering app) not too long ago. And that’s why I’m posting now — because some of you guys have been using formZ.

Well a few days ago, they announced that the new beta for V-ray is out. People have been waiting for this for a long time. And so far, the reports sound like it’s pretty good

So if any of you are interested in that type of rendering — you might want to wander over to the formZ forum and take a look at that

I’ve never been that good at rendering. But I got V-ray, hoping that it could give me some of that realism. You know —some of the imperfections that help to make something look more real

Anyway I modeled this in my preferred 3-D app for the time being, which is Onshape (free for us hobbyists). Then brought the model into formZ and then rendered it in V-ray
17E7541C-BAD2-483A-AB26-F3372C36D2F7.png
17E7541C-BAD2-483A-AB26-F3372C36D2F7.png (317.14 KiB) Viewed 2463 times

fred johnson
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Re: Life after/beyond PowerCadd?

Post by fred johnson » Tue Jul 13, 2021 3:23 pm

I have never used FZ but, to me, that is one very realistic job of object rendering. My complements.

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todd@engsw.com
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Re: Life after/beyond PowerCadd?

Post by todd@engsw.com » Tue Jul 13, 2021 9:37 pm

dlbates wrote:
Sat Jul 10, 2021 2:25 am
  • How do you calculate scale in the file? I see layers have a scale factor but in the sample file it's always 1
  • Will there be a document-level element with scales and other global settings?
  • I see some binary data in some of the objects in the 5groups.plist will there be a follow-on definition for parsing this data?
  • What about objects that are made up of complex points and weights?
  • Is z-order still an object order and is the object list in z-order? EG: object0 is below object1?
I just took a glance at the plist and was trying to manually parse how it was written out. (From 5 Groups.plist) From what I see there's a single layer in the file with 9 items in it. The first object in the list is a group of two items. Those two items being lines. (with different attribute ids)

Again I wish you the best and was mostly playing with the file to just see if I could create a viewer mainly to validate the intermediate format.
Thanks, David. I hope you are well.

Answering in order:

So far the dictionaries aren't complete, so there are some gaps in data. My intention is for the format to be a 100% representation of a PowerCADD document. Document scale isn't there yet though layer scale is. I am able to write an read these dictionaries into PowerCADD. What I have is pretty complete, but I haven't released the new spec yet. I'll likely do that this evening.

PowerCADD objects can carry binary data. The objects which have binary data in this file are objects associated with hatches from the hatch menu. There are 138 hatches in the hatch menu each has at least one associated object, and that object is usually a group. Some of those group have many additional objects with them. I see there are 1400 or so items in the drawing. MOST are associated with the hatch. menu. In the case where a hatch is a simple cross hatch, there is object data (NSData) with holds a custom record of data representing how the hatch looks. That is not documented in the specification yet.

Complex objects are fully described in the spec. All objects will carry a variant dictionary which includes object specific data, and all variants are documented in the spec. If you get a group object for example, that object has a variant which describes the group, which has a ID(lists) which in turn is a list of ID(objects). It just so happens that the objects reside in a flattened structure in the dictionary. Of course when reading the dictionary, you would need to reconstruct the PowerCADD hierarchy.

The objects array simply contains objects, which are unordered. in order to reconstruct the object order, you must start with layer and process the list to which it refers. That list will contain ID(objects) for the layer's objects, in order. If the objects contain groups, you would construct those as your go along.

Andrea_S
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Re: Life after/beyond PowerCadd?

Post by Andrea_S » Thu Jul 15, 2021 9:07 am

Hi everyone,

I am the main developer of HighDesign by ILEXSOFT. First let me say that PowerCADD is a great software and the end of its development is a loss for the Mac community. I totally understand the huge difficulties of updating the source code with all the changes and transitions that Apple has imposed on developers in recent years.

Thanks Engsw for making the plist format available, that is welcome news. We already created a module inside HighDesign to load it and are now beginning to translate the various parts. Hopefully the next update will be able to import PowerCADD projects.

We'd also like to thank everyone for the interest in HighDesign. We are flexible with the development and open to feature requests, so don't hesitate to contact us for any questions!

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