I think maybe you are missing the simplicity of what this should be. I'm not trying to get an older version of ACAD to open a newer version file but simply recognize the newer file, which it already does, and convert it. This saves the hassle of the company that's using the newer version from having to downgrade their drawing to send it out or forcing customers who either don't have the funds or the need to upgrade to the newest version at release.
What I'm thinking of could be a plug in to ACAD 2010-2012 that installs with TV2013 that recognizes that a ACAD2013 DWG is being opened in the older ACAD and offers to convert it. Then it uses TV2013 to run the 'Save As' in the background offering you a dialog box to rename the file or even just tacks on R18 to the end of the file name and proceeds to open the file. It really wouldn't be "wasted effort all 'round" as much as making you more productive. By not having you open up TV2013, open the drawing, save as, close TV2013 and open ACAD 2010-2012 you could save yourself 5 mins more or less depending on the machine you use. Also by the method I just thought of you could easily have it recognize even older versions of ACAD and convert (Save As) to them as well.
I'm not trying to say Autodesk doesn't have a right to make a profit, but if the best excuse for not allowing a previous version to recognize a more updated version of itself, is because at that point, 'why bother making a newer version?'
When you cut to the chase, all that is saying is that it's a newer version, with basically nothing new added, but you need to have it because previous versions can't open it.
I hope the programmers at Autodesk realize the importance of receiving a file from a client that you can open, and insert your own engineering work into.
In my opinion, NOTHING is worse then having to go to a client, make that a potential client, to trouble them to dumb down the version to a copy that our office can use.
If nothing else, please consider this for your next platform.
Your first paragraph says it all:
"I'm not trying to get an older version of ACAD to open a newer version file but simply recognize the newer file, which it already does, and convert it."
From a programming perspective it is almost exactly the same, even more so now that many functions have been moved to the core console. The only difference is the latter doesn't need to send anything to the display system, which has nothing to do with file versions.
Trying hard not to be a **** about this guys, really I am. I do a lot of work with programming and data files for a living and a hobby. Updating older software to read newer data sounds simple but the implementation is a lot of work. Even more so when the old versions of the software are on obsolete/nearly obsolete operating systems and using older programming technology which can't be programmed against anymore because the tools have advanced several versions since then.
There is a very handy (as far as I am concerened) facility in Rhino which finds the intersect of 2 solids or a solid and a plane, and draws the curve of intersection without cutting or booleaning the objects.
I find it extremely useful when creating components & assemblies and positioning components in 3D can Autocad do this to save me exporting and aligning and then re-importing please.
I have done a quick screenshot from Rhino
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