Life after/beyond PowerCadd?

PowerCADD & WildTools
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joseph
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Re: Life after/beyond PowerCadd?

Post by joseph » Wed Jun 16, 2021 2:21 pm

Dreaming of "opened sourced" PowerCADD... "NextCADD"... :D

fred johnson
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Re: Life after/beyond PowerCadd?

Post by fred johnson » Wed Jun 16, 2021 3:38 pm

Just wondering.. would a cross-platform PC/WT written in CPF (Xojo) be such a bad thing if feasible? I know its not just the initial translation/rewrite but the future upgrades, features, compatibility, translation, etc.. which must also be considered, as well as a meaningful cost increase. I don't know how much of PC/WT is "Mac " dependent for features and performances.

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patrickm
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Re: Life after/beyond PowerCadd?

Post by patrickm » Wed Jun 16, 2021 3:39 pm

I am running PC9 on a late 2015 iMac using Sierra. Much as I'd like to have PC updated, I probably can squeak another year out of this machine/setup. I have been lucky with my Apple stock in my SEP IRA and hope to "retire" in a year. I had been planning on retiring before the next building code cycle hits in California in January 2023, so this PC development might hasten my timeline. I just don't have the time/interest/desire to learn a different CAD program at this point in time. I do appreciate everything about PC and WT and appreciate everyone's contributions towards my user experience, from Bill Stanley, to Todd, to Alfred, to the users of this forum, the old Design Community forum, and (if I am not mistaken) an earlier AOL forum. The PC news is bittersweet to me -- as a small time operator myself, I understand Todd's frustrations with Apple and how it must feel to have the rug constantly pulled out from under him.

Peace and love, and I'll continue to use PC/WT and this forum as I have been doing until I ride off into the sunset.
patrick

poolvibe
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Re: Life after/beyond PowerCadd?

Post by poolvibe » Wed Jun 16, 2021 3:40 pm

I think Todd mentioned the "magic" of the interface was all the carbon stuff that is Mac specific.... I wish I knew what the programming labor cost would be for a rewrite. I think there are enough of us that need it that we could fund it.

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patrickm
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Re: Life after/beyond PowerCadd?

Post by patrickm » Wed Jun 16, 2021 3:45 pm

fred johnson wrote:
Wed Jun 16, 2021 3:38 pm
Just wondering.. would a cross-platform PC/WT written in CPF (Xojo) be such a bad thing if feasible? I know its not just the initial translation/rewrite but the future upgrades, features, compatibility, translation, etc.. which must also be considered, as well as a meaningful cost increase. I don't know how much of PC/WT is "Mac " dependent for features and performances.
In the past, I had similar concerns (to PC's situation) about the impending demise of Quicken, in that I was running a 2007 version all the way up to 2017 and was afraid of falling off the back of the cart, when investors swooped in, bought the software and created Quicken 2017. At first I was dubious, but it has worked out well and I have been impressed with the functionality that has been added to Quicken since 2017. Rather than dying on the vine, it has remained current, with a yearly subscription to help pay for that development. Maybe there are some other angels out there who would/could do something similar with PC. Cross-platform functionality would certainly increase the marketplace, but there is no way I'll ever buy a PC and operate under Windows.

joseph
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Re: Life after/beyond PowerCadd?

Post by joseph » Thu Jun 17, 2021 3:24 pm

The only way to survive the loss of PC is to jump to 3d, as an architect, I say Archicad, form best "drawing" (PC) to best "modeling", learning to automatically get all views from 3d model in real-modeling-time.

pjmeli
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Re: Life after/beyond PowerCadd?

Post by pjmeli » Thu Jun 17, 2021 4:03 pm

joseph wrote:
Thu Jun 17, 2021 3:24 pm
The only way to survive the loss of PC is to jump to 3d, as an architect, I say Archicad, form best "drawing" (PC) to best "modeling", learning to automatically get all views from 3d model in real-modeling-time.
If you're doing small-office work Sketchup is hard to beat…except it's gone to a subscription model…
…which I don't so much mind but it raises the annual upgrade by $100 for stuff you don't need and from then on we'll be marketing targets.

So I'm considering Form Z…Archicad costs a fortune

Paul

bellarchitect
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Re: Life after/beyond PowerCadd?

Post by bellarchitect » Thu Jun 17, 2021 6:21 pm

poolvibe wrote:
Wed Jun 16, 2021 3:40 pm
I think Todd mentioned the "magic" of the interface was all the carbon stuff that is Mac specific.... I wish I knew what the programming labor cost would be for a rewrite. I think there are enough of us that need it that we could fund it.
We could always start a "Go Fund Me" account.....I'm happy to contribute...any thoughts....anybody

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

Post by todd@engsw.com » Wed Jun 30, 2021 6:53 pm

Eric Pousse wrote:
Wed Jun 16, 2021 1:10 pm
todd@engsw.com wrote:
Tue Jun 15, 2021 2:21 pm
Now, to answer your question regarding PowerCADD's file format. First, be aware, PowerCADD files are not trivial! I am not opposed to sharing PowerCADD's file format, but the specification is only fully defined by the code. Engineered Software would be unable to provide technical support regarding interpreting its files.

Todd
Bonjour Todd,

I understand and it is not a problem for me.
My mail is eric(at)adx-online(dot)com

Thanks.
After giving this extensive thought, I have a potential solution with regard for migrating PowerCADD data that may provide relief. Reading PowerCADD data files is no small endeavor, and the format is not well documented. Reading PowerCADD files without access to Engineered Software's code-base in my estimation is simply not feasible. However, it is possible for Engineered Software to write a standalone translator which can read PowerCADD files and write them to a fully specified XML format, which can then be used by any third-party wishing to access PowerCADD's document data. I imagine this would be done as a bulk file translator.

I am working on the XML specification now, and should have a working translator based on the PowerCADD 11 file I/O machinery (meaning 64-bit and M1 compatible) working within a week or two. This translator would likely read PowerCADD 9 and possibly PowerCADD 8 files, nothing earlier. Anyone wishing to beta test this translator should let me know through Engineered Software technical support email.

Before I am pummeled with responses saying that this would not be useful, let me say, I am aware that this translator has little value until a third party writes a reader for the XML DOM format. It does however provide a way to get PowerCADD data out and into a public format thereby providing a potential way forward with your PowerCADD data. It would be up to third-parties to read this data.

Best,
Todd

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Alfred Scott
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Re: Life after/beyond PowerCadd?

Post by Alfred Scott » Wed Jun 30, 2021 8:19 pm

This is VERY interesting!

We already have OpenClip which provides for copy-and-paste with FormZ, and it works by putting the geometry of a PowerCADD drawing into XML, but it is limited to the geometry of the objects and leaves out text and dimension object text. However, OpenClip relies on copy-and-paste and there is no direct translator with everything. I do however write out the file to an OpenClip path, which is all described at

http://www.openclip.net/Paste/Paste.html

You can use the OpenClip Viewer app to see the contents of the file.

I signed on as a SketchUp developer and did some initial things, but the SketchUp SDK is 64-bit only so I didn't pursue it without a 64-bit way of dealing with PowerCADD.

Using XML is a super way of creating a bridge between two programs. It took Tim Hanes at AutoDesSys just 12 hours to hook it up in the Carbon version of FormZ.

I started the concept of an OpenClip Bridge app to create a bridge between PowerCADD, SketchUp and FormZ as well as ShapeFiles. Find it at

http://www.openclip.net/Bridge/Bridge.html

Where possible, it would make sense to use the same tags for data, which we worked out with Todd and David Kropp at FormZ. By the way, Todd and David went to the same university in North Carolina where Todd got a degree in Computer Science while David got a degree in Computer Science and Architecture.

It would be trivial for David to handle FormZ and SketchUp and for Todd to handle PowerCADD. We already have ShapeFiles handled in WildTools and I already import DXF.

Let's also recognize that it's possible and likely that Parallels Desktop will have a 32-bit world that will run on M1, M2, M3 machines. I believe they've been talking about this possibility.

Alfred

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