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Introductions: Developer group

TomWaltz
Newcomer
I think this is a great idea, and greatly needed.

I'm really curious who else is out there, that will be following this Forum. I can't imagine our discussions on coding and data manipulation will be of much interest to the average Archicad user.

I'm sure Stefan, Fabrizio, and Karl will be reading this.

Anyone else care to introduce themselves and say what they are hoping to accomplish?

I'll start:

I'm Tom Waltz. I work for a 50 person architectural firm outside Philadelphia. We started our switch from a highly-customized version of Arris 2001 to Archicad 8.0 in April of 2002. We are running Mac OS X, mostly on Dual 1.8 G5's. We are about 65% done with our transition.

I'm hoping to create an add-on which:
A) Is self-updating on individual machines from a central source, so users always receive latest deployed version on start-up
B) Allow different rounding accuracy levels based on viewset
C) Check/reset the "office standard" project preferences on File Open.
D) Coordinate project file attributes in mulit-file projects (usually with heavy module usage and/or multiple pln files)
E) Find a way to create a "ceiling plan" view, to allow better reflected ceiling plans

Now I don't know if any or all of these are possilble, but these are some eariy ideas that were kicked around in our last IT meetings.
Tom Waltz
14 REPLIES 14

Matthew Lohden
Newcomer
Tom,

You can count on me too, of course.

Although I haven't had much time for programming lately.
Matthew Lohden
Consultant, SF CA

MacPro 8core 32GB Radeon 5870
OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion, XP32, Win 7x64

stefan
Booster
I'm Stefan and setting my very first steps into ADD-on development. Don't know how far I can go.

Some ideas:
1 - an ambitious one: making a cross-software plugin that allows test-suites to be independently developed for different applications. It is meant to act as an intermediate CAD-plugin for which you can write independent test-modules (as a plugin or --- preferably --- as some kind of XML-script). We hope to have a proof-of-concept for this plugin running in at least two CAD-applications. We are thinking of ArchiCAD & AutoCAD (ADT) in the first place. Timeframe? A few years.

--> side thought: don't know how hard this will be and don't know if we ever get funding for that. At the moment, the project we applied for with this research has not been granted...

2 - a more modest one: writing an export plugin for a rendering application like Radiance that (when Radiance is installed) immediately launches the Radiance rendering as well.

--> side thought: I have a very small example running into our internal CAD-tool (still very much pre-alpha) but believe that this is achievable in ArchiCAD as well, as long as I learn how to step through the 3D-geometry and the materials.
--> I don't even know if it'll work through a Rendering-plugin or more as a direct export-plugin.
--> This is actually the kind of things that other applications can perform using scripting.

3 - other ideas (when I ever find the time): trying to create a suitable workflow for hosting ArchiCAD scenes in 3ds max. As I imagine, it'll need to be a combination of an ArchiCAD and/or a 3ds max-plugin and MAXscripting.

---

I'm using ArchiCAD 8.1 on Windows XP and Visual Studio 2002 (although I apparently have to use Visual Studio 6.0 for ArchiCAD development).
--- stefan boeykens --- architect-engineer-musician ---
ARCHICAD25/Revit2022/Rhino6/Unity2020/Solibri
MBP2019:i9Octo2.4GHz32GBVega20/BigSur+Win11
ARCHICAD-user since 1998

Ralph Wessel
Mentor
TomWaltz wrote:
I'm really curious who else is out there, that will be following this Forum. I can't imagine our discussions on coding and data manipulation will be of much interest to the average Archicad user.
I will be contributing to the discussions in this forum, but I also doubt the average ArchiCAD user will find much of relevance in it. It really deserves a separate 'space'.

Still, this is all good news. The API opens up a much wider market to ArchiCAD. Many companies we speak to are very impressed by it, but hold back because certain functions are lacking that are critical to their business. The API enables us to step in and bridge the gap.

My background combines both software development and architectural design, including a degree in architecture and a decade of experience in architectural practise. 'Older' members of ArchiCAD-Talk will remember I used to contribute as the CAD manager at Walker Co-partnership in NZ. Most of my efforts over the past 5 years have been concentrated on developing specialised design solutions in ArchiCAD, including an automated construction detailing solution for Lockwood NZ, HVAC for ArchiCAD, GBS Energy, and FrameWright (amongst others). I've also developed several database solutions for architectural practice.

I look forward to contributing to this forum to help others find their way to making ArchiCAD as productive as possible
Ralph Wessel BArch

Karl Ottenstein
Moderator
TomWaltz wrote:
I think this is a great idea, and greatly needed.

I'm really curious who else is out there that will be following this Forum. I can't imagine our discussions on coding and data manipulation will be of much interest to the average Archicad user.

I'm sure Stefan, Fabrizio, and Karl will be reading this.
Yes! Exhausted (long 2 days) but reading! 😉

Glad to have met you at ACUWest, Tom, and to see you here as well as Fabrizio, Oleg, Stefan, Matthew and Ralph (so far!). I look forward to Ferenc and others joining us.
Ralph wrote:
I will be contributing to the discussions in this forum, but I also doubt the average ArchiCAD user will find much of relevance in it. It really deserves a separate 'space'.
I agree with Tom and Ralph that our discussions will hold little interest (and perhaps create confusion or even anxiety!) for the average ArchiCAD user. We are in a separate 'space' as far as newsgroup subscribers are concerned ... they don't have to subscribe to this forum. But, many (most) ac-talk readers probably do as I do and read messages via the 'posts since last visit' or 'posts from the last * days' links ... and they will have to intentionally ignore our posts here.

Let's see how this goes for a while and see if it is 'separate' enough, or if we need a separate Developer-Talk. An advantage of being here is that it brings the 3rd party developer program a high level of visibility, similar to the new link on the main Graphisoft web site. This visibility can make it immediately clear to firms new to ArchiCAD that custom enhancements to ArchiCAD are possible ... and it makes our wishes more visible to Graphisoft as they think about future directions for allowing user customization of ArchiCAD.

My background: my PhD and earlier degrees are all in Computer Science and I've been programming since 1969, some 35 years. (Yikes! I don't feel that old!) I've worked in a variety of areas from optimizing compilers, particularly for highly parallel multiprocessor systems, to operating systems, to database systems, to computer graphics. I've used 3D CAD for 12 years, initially as a hobby, but in the last two years in a direct-client and subcontracted role doing design, rendering, construction docs, user training, database customization, etc.

I'm not the guy to answer all questions here! I'm just the moderator. 😉 My experience with the Graphisoft API's has been primarily reading all of the docs for each version over the last 2 years, testing and exploring the samples and writing one simple add-on, and perhaps spending more time complaining than being productive. People like Fabrizio and his team, Oleg, Ralph and others have deep experience producing working add-ons and I look forward to their technical contributions here!

[Even though I know who some of the 'others' are, I am not mentioning your names in case you do not want to be visible, but I do hope you'll join in here!]
Ralph wrote:
I look forward to contributing to this forum to help others find their way to making ArchiCAD as productive as possible
Thank you Ralph! 🙂

Karl
One of the forum moderators   •   AC 25 USA and earlier   •   MacOS 11.6.1, iMac Pro

vannassen
Newcomer
Hi!
I can only quote earlier participants and say that this is a great idea and greatly needed.

I'm an architect in a 12-person architectsoffice in Stavanger, Norway and a student of computing at my local university. I used ArchiCAD in the mid-90s, but then I have been away from it until last year, when I - after a frustrating period of working with AutoCad - got the new 8.1. Big improvement, both from AutoCad and from the 5.1 I had been using!

My programming experience is mainly developing webapplications using c++ and flash on a windows platform. Being back on a Mac is both exiting and, at times, confusing - I can't really say that I know my way around the OS...

What I am hoping to build using the API is an addon that reads and writes a norwegian (I think) file-format/datamodell used in planning ( SOSI http://www.statkart.no/standard/sosi/html_34/del1_5/fullModell.pdf ); gis-information like terrain, infrastucture, buildings, zoning and stuff, and being able to use it directly. Today we have to go through conversion to dwg or dxf and in that process all 3D-info is lost. (I guess this hasn't much interest outside Norway, though...)

A big thanx to Karl for his explanation on how to get started using the API, without it I would still be tearing the hairs out of my head.
--
Regards,
Tor Jørgen Stray Zahl Pettersen
using ArchiCAD 8.1 (and testing 9) on OSX 10.3 and CodeWarrior 9

Matthew Lohden
Newcomer
Hello Tor Jørgen Stray Zahl Pettersen,

How would you like to be addressed? Five names is a lot to type.

While the specifics of your program might be strictly Norwegian the purpose and the principals should be widely applicable. If you modularize the parts accordingly you may leave open some possibilities for the future.
Matthew Lohden
Consultant, SF CA

MacPro 8core 32GB Radeon 5870
OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion, XP32, Win 7x64

vannassen
Newcomer
Hello Matthew,
TJ og Tor Jørgen will do fine

I guess modularizing is the way to go, but right now I just have to figure out how this thing is glued together...
--
Tor Jørgen

TomWaltz
Newcomer
A big thanx to Karl for his explanation on how to get started using the API, without it I would still be tearing the hairs out of my head.
Why do you think Karl HAS that distinctive look? 😉
Tom Waltz

Karl Ottenstein
Moderator
TomWaltz wrote:
A big thanx to Karl for his explanation on how to get started using the API, without it I would still be tearing the hairs out of my head.
Why do you think Karl HAS that distinctive look? 😉
It's too true, TJ. Attached is a photo of what I looked like 3 years ago when I first started to learn ArchiCAD. It's been downhill since! Seriously.

I've been wondering if idiotic Americans can sue MacDonalds for burning themselves when they spill hot coffee [so that now all coffee cups say "Warning: Coffee is hot". duh], can I sue Graphisoft for loss of "insulation"? Future versions of AC and the API SDK will have a surgeon general's warning: "Use of this product may result in hair loss."

Tom had a full head of hair when I met him in March ... we'll have to see how much he has left in another year or two!

Looking at the PDF link that you posted, I think you're in for some "fun", Tor Jørgen! Welcome!

Karl
One of the forum moderators   •   AC 25 USA and earlier   •   MacOS 11.6.1, iMac Pro

stefan
Booster
Wow. Talk about changes...

It's always strange when you look at one picture and then see other pictures (or even better, the person in real life): they always look different then what you expect.

(P.S. I got the feeling that the developer forum is slowly, very slowly growing...)
--- stefan boeykens --- architect-engineer-musician ---
ARCHICAD25/Revit2022/Rhino6/Unity2020/Solibri
MBP2019:i9Octo2.4GHz32GBVega20/BigSur+Win11
ARCHICAD-user since 1998

Karl Ottenstein
Moderator
stefan wrote:
It's always strange when you look at one picture and then see other pictures (or even better, the person in real life): they always look different then what you expect..
I'll say. I thought Tom Waltz was going to look like his avatar when I met him at ACUWest, but there was no sign of Flash's red custume in sight ...

The funniest thing for me when meeting ac-talkers (without photos for avatars) in real life is that I almost never guess their age correctly. The ones that I think will be closer to 50 are frequently in their 20's, and the ones that I think will be in their 20's are closer to 50! Go figure. 😉

Karl
One of the forum moderators   •   AC 25 USA and earlier   •   MacOS 11.6.1, iMac Pro

TomWaltz
Newcomer
you've just never seen me in my speedskating uniform... I do kind of look like that!!
Tom Waltz

Karl Ottenstein
Moderator
TomWaltz wrote:
you've just never seen me in my speedskating uniform... I do kind of look like that!!
Aha! That's why your quads are as big as your chest! Googling you, I see that you are pretty darned good! Cute name for one race: "Skate of the Union". 3rd place in the 5K last week in Collingswood... Congratulations!

We'll all look for you in your red lycra at the next ACU event! 😉

Karl
One of the forum moderators   •   AC 25 USA and earlier   •   MacOS 11.6.1, iMac Pro

Jay Rennemeyer
Newcomer
Karl wrote:
It's too true, TJ. Attached is a photo of what I looked like 3 years ago when I first started to learn ArchiCAD. It's been downhill since!
Karl

Oh great! Thanks for the glimpse of my own future, Karl!
Jay Rennemeyer
Dell Precision M4300, 2.59 GHz Core 2 Duo, 3.5GB RAM
NVidia Quadro FX 360M, 512MB RAM
Windows XP Pro, Version 2002, SP3
AC10-1188, AC11-1210, AC12-2325
No longer using ArchiCAD

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