AutoCAD Civil 3D General Discussion

AutoCAD Civil 3D General Discussion

Reply
*Rizzo, Jon
Message 21 of 44 (96 Views)

Re:

12-06-2003 11:12 PM in reply to: *news.bs.webusenet.com
I could not disagree more. Are you saying that LDD is easier to use than
Civil3D? Hardly. You really need to try using it. The menus are well
organized and SHORT. Most of the functionality is available by right
clicking on the object you want to modify. You don't have to be a guru with
Civil3D the way you must be with LDD. Many concepts have changed, but if
you're saying that most people don't know how to use LDD, then they
shouldn't have to re-learn much.

Your comment are a bit puzzling. It sounds like either the demo you saw was
not very good, or you were sleeping through it. The problems you mentioned
with tweaking your vertical profile & having to redo a bunch of steps are
the exact problem that Civil 3D is designed to avoid. Your alignment,
profile, & dtm are all tied together. Changing one object causes the others
to be automatically updated. In addition, labels are also tied to the
object and are plan readable, regardless of the view's UCS and update
automatically when the object changes. These are the EXACT things that LDD
users have been asking for.

Jon Rizzo
Langan Engineering and Environmental Services, Inc.


"Dave Lewis" wrote in message
news:cor9svobe1kb5hb37ghlukj0jeaiu7nq7v@4ax.com...
> I know I'm a little late to this thread but here is my nose errr I mean
opinion
>
> After seeing the UI (not using) I would agree that it has gotten alot more
complicated
> compared to LDD. In the last 4 companies I have worked for very very few
people really
> had a good handle on LDD. Most just don't know how to use it. Civil
engineers don't seem
> to make strong computer users in my experience. Civil engineering is not
rocket science and
> thus does not need a rocket science's program. Most people I know want a
simpler experience
> using LDD, not more complicated.
>
> I really wish Autodesk would do more to ask its LDD users before hand what
they want. Maybe
> I am in the minority, but I want a product that will help me design on a
computer. I want at the least
> a program that does away with the repetitiveness off LDD. For example.
If I want earthworks on
> a new road alignment, I design a hor/ver alignment, do templates, create a
surface and then do
> my earthworks calcs. Now if I tweak my vertical profile, I have to
basically redo every step again
> to get my new earthworks numbers. That is ridiculous. Like the
mechanical programs, I should be
> able to tweak one area and everything else automatically adjusts, thus
killing the receptiveness.
> That would be such a huge time saver and would really be helpful.
>
> Sure drafting aids would be nice, but I think most companies have already
developed their own
> methods / tools to draft plans according to their needs. This isn't such
a big issue to me nowadays.
> I don't think you could really program an automatically drafting plan set
making product.
>
> One thing I do get constantly asked is how can I do this or why doesn't
LDD work like Terra Model
> or Microstation or whatever program. Really I wish Autodesk would
recognize competitors like them
> and evaluates some of the great ideas that those programs can do.
>
> After these things are addressed then the UI can be tweaked, but just
don't make it a drill down hell
> interface, no one likes hidden options that you have to hunt for to find.
>
> -----------------------
> Dave Lewis
> CAD Manager
>
> Just say no to HTML Posts!
*Lewis, Dave
Message 22 of 44 (96 Views)

Re:

12-08-2003 12:52 AM in reply to: *news.bs.webusenet.com
The jury is still out on C3D cuz there is no shipping product yet. From what I have
seen there is a totally new interface to get used to. That could be good or bad, not
sure yet. But I do hate having to drill down a bunch of cryptic icons/options to find
stuff. Then there is the problem of going 2 or 3 different places to accomplish the
same thing. I don't really like that, it seems like the software designer could not make
up their mind. We will see about the complexity with the final product. But so far the
options look a little complex.

As far as LDD goes, yes I agree its a pain and hopefully C3D fixes its short commings.
Yes I know about the auto updated featurs of C3D. My point was that it should have
been in LDD years ago.

I have gotten LDD dumbed down to a few simple toolbars and it works well for what
civil drafters need. But stray from that and you have to be a guru to use ldd :smileyhappy:



"Jon Rizzo"
|>I could not disagree more. Are you saying that LDD is easier to use than
|>Civil3D? Hardly. You really need to try using it. The menus are well
|>organized and SHORT. Most of the functionality is available by right
|>clicking on the object you want to modify. You don't have to be a guru with
|>Civil3D the way you must be with LDD. Many concepts have changed, but if
|>you're saying that most people don't know how to use LDD, then they
|>shouldn't have to re-learn much.
|>
|>Your comment are a bit puzzling. It sounds like either the demo you saw was
|>not very good, or you were sleeping through it. The problems you mentioned
|>with tweaking your vertical profile & having to redo a bunch of steps are
|>the exact problem that Civil 3D is designed to avoid. Your alignment,
|>profile, & dtm are all tied together. Changing one object causes the others
|>to be automatically updated. In addition, labels are also tied to the
|>object and are plan readable, regardless of the view's UCS and update
|>automatically when the object changes. These are the EXACT things that LDD
|>users have been asking for.

-----------------------
Dave Lewis
CAD Manager

Just say no to HTML Posts!
*Rizzo, Jon
Message 23 of 44 (96 Views)

Re:

12-08-2003 02:10 AM in reply to: *news.bs.webusenet.com
> The jury is still out on C3D cuz there is no shipping product yet. From
what I have
> seen there is a totally new interface to get used to. That could be good
or bad, not
> sure yet. But I do hate having to drill down a bunch of cryptic
icons/options to find


Yes, and I suppose you hate long menus, too. I have some bad news for you:
in windows programs, you have to choose: icons or menus. If you can come up
with a 3rd option, you will make a lot of money. A new interface is not a
bad thing - LDD's UI is extremely clunky. If learning something new is
what's bothering you, then I would recommend finding a career that doesn't
involve computers.


> stuff. Then there is the problem of going 2 or 3 different places to
accomplish the
> same thing. I don't really like that, it seems like the software designer
could not make
> up their mind. We will see about the complexity with the final product.
But so far the
> options look a little complex.


Is it so difficult to just ignore the 2 or 3 different ways, pick one, and
run with it? If there was only one way to do certain things, you would
probably be complaining about the way that they chose. Everything that you
hate about one way, somebody else may like. There is no way that 1 method
for everything will make everyone happy. Look at AutoCAD - there are 10
ways to do everything, and that's one of the things that people like about
it. If you don't want to use the other ways, DON'T! Sure, there is a
certain amount of complexity to the program, but I would challenge you to
come up with something better that also satisfies the diverse needs of
Autodesk's customer base. What you need out of the program is not
necessarily the same thing that I need from the program, even though we may
both work for civil engineering consultants.


> As far as LDD goes, yes I agree its a pain and hopefully C3D fixes its
short commings.
> Yes I know about the auto updated featurs of C3D. My point was that it
should have
> been in LDD years ago.


Why do you think these features should be in LDD, if you agree that LDD is a
pain? I think a ground up rewrite was the best choice. Shoe-horning
features into a 20 year old product is what got us to where LDD is today -
it is by no means an answer for tomorrow! Look at Windows, for example.
For a long time, Windows was just an extension of DOS. It was not nearly as
useful or powerful (or STABLE!) until they took the best features and
integrated them into an operating system that was written independently of
the DOS based program. All of the features of DOS are still there (often in
a different form), but Windows is no longer an extension of DOS. Try to
look at Civil 3D with the same open mind.

> I have gotten LDD dumbed down to a few simple toolbars and it works well
for what
> civil drafters need. But stray from that and you have to be a guru to use
ldd :smileyhappy:

The era of the "civil drafter" is almost over. Once Civil 3D is
feature-complete (and stable!), there will be little or no need for
non-engineers to use it. Drafters/designers can use AutoCAD, and engineers
will use Civil3D. The mindless, repetative tasks simply won't exist (or at
least they will be dramatically reduced). The drafting is a "byproduct" of
the design work being accomplished. It's an afterthought, since it happens
automatically as you work. The Civil 3D guru will be the one who knows how
to configure the styles properly to have the desired information shown on
the plans. Most users will not have to be "guru"s to use it, they will just
choose a predefined style that a guru has set up for them.

As I said, it would be better to reserve judgement until you actually use
it. There are plenty of things wrong with the current state of Civil 3D,
but you don't seem to have touched on any of them. Complaints that
"such-and-such isn't available in LDD" will fall on deaf ears, so if you
wish to remain sane, it would be best to just let it go.


Jon Rizzo
Langan Engineering and Environmental Services, Inc.
*Lewis, Dave
Message 24 of 44 (96 Views)

Re:

12-09-2003 12:43 AM in reply to: *news.bs.webusenet.com
"Jon Rizzo"
|>Yes, and I suppose you hate long menus, too. I have some bad news for you:
|>in windows programs, you have to choose: icons or menus. If you can come up
|>with a 3rd option, you will make a lot of money. A new interface is not a
|>bad thing - LDD's UI is extremely clunky. If learning something new is
|>what's bothering you, then I would recommend finding a career that doesn't
|>involve computers.

opening dialog after dialog or drill down is a bad interface, just because microsoft
does it, does not mean its a good way to go. Interfaces should be intutative, not
oh I remember this setting in this dialog, now where is that dialog?

|>Is it so difficult to just ignore the 2 or 3 different ways, pick one, and
|>run with it? If there was only one way to do certain things, you would
|>probably be complaining about the way that they chose. Everything that you
|>hate about one way, somebody else may like. There is no way that 1 method
|>for everything will make everyone happy. Look at AutoCAD - there are 10
|>ways to do everything, and that's one of the things that people like about
|>it. If you don't want to use the other ways, DON'T! Sure, there is a
|>certain amount of complexity to the program, but I would challenge you to
|>come up with something better that also satisfies the diverse needs of
|>Autodesk's customer base. What you need out of the program is not
|>necessarily the same thing that I need from the program, even though we may
|>both work for civil engineering consultants.

Yup and I always seem to explain the same thing 5 different ways to people
then they look at me and say what's the best way?



|>Why do you think these features should be in LDD, if you agree that LDD is a
|>pain? I think a ground up rewrite was the best choice. Shoe-horning
|>features into a 20 year old product is what got us to where LDD is today -
|>it is by no means an answer for tomorrow! Look at Windows, for example.
|>For a long time, Windows was just an extension of DOS. It was not nearly as
|>useful or powerful (or STABLE!) until they took the best features and
|>integrated them into an operating system that was written independently of
|>the DOS based program. All of the features of DOS are still there (often in
|>a different form), but Windows is no longer an extension of DOS. Try to
|>look at Civil 3D with the same open mind.

My point was that LDD has been the same ol thing for what 10 years now.
A change should have happened a long time ago.

|>The era of the "civil drafter" is almost over. Once Civil 3D is
|>feature-complete (and stable!), there will be little or no need for
|>non-engineers to use it. Drafters/designers can use AutoCAD, and engineers
|>will use Civil3D. The mindless, repetative tasks simply won't exist (or at
|>least they will be dramatically reduced). The drafting is a "byproduct" of
|>the design work being accomplished. It's an afterthought, since it happens
|>automatically as you work. The Civil 3D guru will be the one who knows how
|>to configure the styles properly to have the desired information shown on
|>the plans. Most users will not have to be "guru"s to use it, they will just
|>choose a predefined style that a guru has set up for them.

Ya I've heard that my entire career. You will always need lower paid tech's
to clean up and do busy work because the engineers are too busy. Also
typically in my experience the sr level drafters know the programs better
then the engineers. It seems that engineers want to engineer and drafters
want to run software.


|>As I said, it would be better to reserve judgement until you actually use
|>it. There are plenty of things wrong with the current state of Civil 3D,
|>but you don't seem to have touched on any of them. Complaints that
|>"such-and-such isn't available in LDD" will fall on deaf ears, so if you
|>wish to remain sane, it would be best to just let it go.

This whole thread was about the UI, not stability issues or actual problems
with the beta software. From what I have seen options / settings are
very well hidden thus making the software appear to be simpler. All I know
is I'm gona have to spend a bunch of time developing standardized settings
that I hope I can roll out to all the installations, cuz the number of settings /
options are dizzing.
-----------------------
Dave Lewis
CAD Manager

Just say no to HTML Posts!
*Rizzo, Jon
Message 25 of 44 (96 Views)

Re:

12-09-2003 01:59 AM in reply to: *news.bs.webusenet.com
> opening dialog after dialog or drill down is a bad interface, just because
microsoft
> does it, does not mean its a good way to go. Interfaces should be
intutative, not
> oh I remember this setting in this dialog, now where is that dialog?

Actually, I find it very intuitive. You may not, but then again, you
haven't used it.


> Yup and I always seem to explain the same thing 5 different ways to people
> then they look at me and say what's the best way?

So decide which way you think is the best way, and only explain that one.

> My point was that LDD has been the same ol thing for what 10 years now.
> A change should have happened a long time ago.

Agreed, but it is here now. Why waste energy complaining about the past?
It is time to move on.

> Ya I've heard that my entire career. You will always need lower paid
tech's
> to clean up and do busy work because the engineers are too busy. Also
> typically in my experience the sr level drafters know the programs better
> then the engineers. It seems that engineers want to engineer and drafters
> want to run software.

Yes, but the amount of busy work will be a very small fraction of what it is
now. Personally, I won't want drafters touching Civil3D, as they would be
too prone to screw something up that they aren't supposed to. There simply
isn't a need for a drafter to use Civil 3D. Any cleanup that is necessary
can be done in AutoCAD without the risk of them modifying the design
information.


> is I'm gona have to spend a bunch of time developing standardized settings
> that I hope I can roll out to all the installations, cuz the number of
settings /
> options are dizzing.

As you should with ANY piece of design or CAD software. Again, you really
should work with the software before you speculate. These settings can be
shared using regular old autocad template files.

Rather than lots of options, I suppose you expect them to provide software
configured exactly the way YOU want it, and ignore what everybody else
needs? Keep in mind that you are not their only customer. If there are a
lot of options, then it is for a reason. Personally, I prefer the
flexibility because it allows us to prepare drawings the way WE want them to
look.

How do you think it should look? How would you recommend fitting all of
those options into a program in a way that would make things easier to find
than they are now?


Jon Rizzo
Langan Engineering and Environmental Services, Inc.
*Lewis, Dave
Message 26 of 44 (96 Views)

Re:

12-10-2003 04:45 AM in reply to: *news.bs.webusenet.com
its all speculation at this point because there is no shipping product. Whether you
have used it or not you do not know what the final shipping product will be like.
I can handle the software however it comes out, does not make a huge difference
either way. What my overall general comment about software design is to keep
it simple, make it easy to use, intutative user interface, so that the user does not
have to RTFM. That makes my job as tech support much easier. The better or
easier the software is to use, the easier my job is. The less I have to demonstrate,
document, explain.

Based on past experiences with autodesk software this has not been the case.
The software increasing gets more complicated, not easier to use. I still have
users who don't understand about right clicking. They are engineers with years
of experience. They know what they want the software to do, but still come back
to me asking stupid or lets say tiresome questions over and over again. That
I like to avoid.

"Jon Rizzo"
|>As you should with ANY piece of design or CAD software. Again, you really
|>should work with the software before you speculate. These settings can be
|>shared using regular old autocad template files.
|>
|>Rather than lots of options, I suppose you expect them to provide software
|>configured exactly the way YOU want it, and ignore what everybody else
|>needs? Keep in mind that you are not their only customer. If there are a
|>lot of options, then it is for a reason. Personally, I prefer the
|>flexibility because it allows us to prepare drawings the way WE want them to
|>look.
|>
|>How do you think it should look? How would you recommend fitting all of
|>those options into a program in a way that would make things easier to find
|>than they are now?

-----------------------
Dave Lewis
CAD Manager

Just say no to HTML Posts!
*S., Tim
Message 27 of 44 (96 Views)

Re:

12-10-2003 10:54 PM in reply to: *news.bs.webusenet.com
"Dave Lewis" wrote in message
news:smileysurprised:61ftvgehd6p4n0k5721cvl2542o9ld0dr@4ax.com...
> I still have
>users who don't understand about right clicking. They are engineers with
years
>of experience. They know what they want the software to do, but still come
back
>to me asking stupid or lets say tiresome questions over and over again.
That
>I like to avoid.

BWWAAHAHA! Dave, on the outside chance that you are not kidding, I just
thought I'd tell you that the problem is not AutoDesk. The problem is you
have somehow become employed by a bunch of total Bafoons.
If your engineers can't understand simple concepts, and remember them how
could AutoDesk make this lack of brains any better?
I think what you want is a piece of software that works like the Auto Parts
computer at Wal-Mart. Just click a couple of times and you have the part
number for the tail light on a 73 Cutlass. This is design, and it is
complicated. If your engineers can't figure it out, get new engineers cause
the rest of the world isn't going to "dumb down" for your benefit. Does
anyone hand feed your engineers their lunch?
Thanks for the laugh! That was a good one!
Tim
*Lewis, Dave
Message 28 of 44 (96 Views)

Re:

12-11-2003 09:48 AM in reply to: *news.bs.webusenet.com
hey I just had to explain how to use etransmit to a guy who needed to send a ctb
file to another consultant. my guy never heard of a ctb file before. He knew what
a pcp file was. You should have seen the look on his face when I showed him how
it was so much better then pack-n-go. I got to deal with this kind of stuff all my career
and this is the 4th company Ive been at.

"Tim S."
|>BWWAAHAHA! Dave, on the outside chance that you are not kidding, I just
|>thought I'd tell you that the problem is not AutoDesk. The problem is you
|>have somehow become employed by a bunch of total Bafoons.
|>If your engineers can't understand simple concepts, and remember them how
|>could AutoDesk make this lack of brains any better?
|>I think what you want is a piece of software that works like the Auto Parts
|>computer at Wal-Mart. Just click a couple of times and you have the part
|>number for the tail light on a 73 Cutlass. This is design, and it is
|>complicated. If your engineers can't figure it out, get new engineers cause
|>the rest of the world isn't going to "dumb down" for your benefit. Does
|>anyone hand feed your engineers their lunch?
|>Thanks for the laugh! That was a good one!

-----------------------
Dave Lewis
CAD Manager

Just say no to HTML Posts!
*S., Tim
Message 29 of 44 (96 Views)

Re:

12-11-2003 09:25 PM in reply to: *news.bs.webusenet.com
You have got to get out of there bud. Working with idiots can poison an
otherwise bright mind. You have already been around these dips long enough
to think it is AutoDesk's fault. Try this: the next time one of them asks a
really dumb question, knock on their head and say, "Ummm hello? Earth
calling Engineer Goober. Just to give you an example, I have two people
with nothing more than a high school education that can design anything.
Complete with Hydro, slope stability, etc. They do everything totally 3d.
Any time the new version comes out, they are experts within a month. When
you do it this way, you get intelligent design and the really flaked out
engineers like what you are talking about can stay in their office and do
frost heave calculations for their Miami job.
For our engineers who lose sleep over whether epoxy will be applied to a
pipe connection correctly, and try to fix the problem with a page of
details, we just put them out in the field for a couple of years. When they
finally get in out of the cold, they don't squeak nearly as much when they
walk. They also tend to stop trying to show Anchor Bolt Details complete
with the angle between the threads also.
Tim

"Dave Lewis" wrote in message
news:td7itv4maibfhpu54vcqahv04u8n55jmkt@4ax.com...
> hey I just had to explain how to use etransmit to a guy who needed to send
a ctb
> file to another consultant. my guy never heard of a ctb file before. He
knew what
> a pcp file was. You should have seen the look on his face when I showed
him how
> it was so much better then pack-n-go. I got to deal with this kind of
stuff all my career
> and this is the 4th company Ive been at.
*Ernst, Fred
Message 30 of 44 (96 Views)

Re:

12-11-2003 10:38 PM in reply to: *news.bs.webusenet.com
You guys are all twisted because an engineer didn't know what a *.ctb file
was? Sheesh, us engineers have to leave some crumbs on the table for you
guys to exist.

It's this kind of "chip on the shoulder" attitude from non-revenue
generating support people that can really bring down the efficiency and
profitability of an office. Unfortunately upper management all too often
doesn't see or understand the technical exchanges between engineers and
computer support staff, or they would take steps to mitigate the problem
before it results in the unsustainable loss of revenue, then office jobs.

We had a lead support person in the company I use to work for who
stonewalled the engineers as you talk about doing. We went from a Land
Development staff of 35+ to 4 over 4 years. Everyone complained about him,
but he was manged under corporate and was for some reason "untouchable" by
the local branch office. His attitude hampered the development of a lot of
the staff. He ended up losing his job though eventually also due to the
office downsizing.

Fred
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