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Tom's Add-on Ideas

Karl Ottenstein
Moderator
TomWaltz wrote:
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.
Hi Tom,

I know this was part of your 'introduction' (thank you for starting this get-to-know-each-other thread!)... but if you want feedback on these 5 ideas, I'd like to encourage you to start 5 separate threads to keep each discussion focused. AFAIK, some of what you want to accomplish cannot be done by an add-on ... but let's talk about each under its own subject.

Thanks! πŸ˜‰

Karl
One of the forum moderators   β€’   AC 25 USA and earlier   β€’   MacOS 11.6.1, iMac Pro
10 REPLIES 10

TomWaltz
Newcomer
I know this was part of your 'introduction' (thank you for starting this get-to-know-each-other thread!)... but if you want feedback on these 5 ideas, I'd like to encourage you to start 5 separate threads to keep each discussion focused.
Sorry, Karl.

I wasn't looking to discuss them at all. I was just throwing out a few ideas that the company I work for thought would be useful, and we are investigating.
Tom Waltz

Anonymous
Not applicable
TomWaltz wrote:
Sorry, Karl.

I wasn't looking to discuss them at all. I was just throwing out a few ideas that the company I work for thought would be useful, and we are investigating.
So what is wrong with discussing them here? You are obviously not planning to keep them confidential. You can help get the forum off to a strong start and supercharge your own process at the same time.

Karl Ottenstein
Moderator
TomWaltz wrote:
Sorry, Karl.

I wasn't looking to discuss them at all. I was just throwing out a few ideas that the company I work for thought would be useful, and we are investigating.
No need to apologize! I'm glad you shared! I just thought that you might want some free feedback from the group before spending too much time researching a couple of them. Keep us posted. πŸ˜‰

Thanks,
Karl
One of the forum moderators   β€’   AC 25 USA and earlier   β€’   MacOS 11.6.1, iMac Pro

TomWaltz
Newcomer
OK...... here I am starting trouble already πŸ˜„

Karl, just out of curiousity, which ones don't you think are possible?

Matthew: There's nothing wrong with discussing them here, in this Forum, but Karl is right, that they should have their own topic if we did. I was just throwing out ideas of what my company wanted to achieve, and to break the ice and see what other companies were up to.
Tom Waltz

Karl Ottenstein
Moderator
TomWaltz wrote:
OK...... here I am starting trouble already πŸ˜„

Karl, just out of curiousity, which ones don't you think are possible?
I don't believe there is any way to change rounding accuracy levels (B), unless I misunderstand what you want to do.

I've thought of strange ways to accomplish your other ideas (I think!), so I take back my earlier skepticism!

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

Ralph Wessel
Mentor
TomWaltz wrote:
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...
Some further explanation of these ideas would be necessary, but briefly:
A) Self-updating is possible, but there is other existing software which will synchronise not only the add-ons but all your other software across your office network. Might be better to look there first.
B) I'm not sure what you're after - do you mean an option in 'Display Settings' to define precision which is stored with View Settings?
C) Yes - this can be done.
D) Yes - but probably not with TeamWork.
E) Can you describe what you would need in a ceiling plan?
Ralph Wessel BArch

TomWaltz
Newcomer
A) Self-updating is possible, but there is other existing software which will synchronise not only the add-ons but all your other software across your office network. Might be better to look there first.
B) I'm not sure what you're after - do you mean an option in 'Display Settings' to define precision which is stored with View Settings?
C) Yes - this can be done.
D) Yes - but probably not with TeamWork.
E) Can you describe what you would need in a ceiling plan?
A) Our IT guys handles most of that (with Mac Xserve, I think), but I will probably be updating my add-ons, making little tweaks here and there, pretty often. Updating one or two files seemed pretty easy to just write into the Add-on. Mainly, it gets us closer to the one thing we liked about Arris: one central location for all customizations served out to all individual factory installations (or at least the illlustion of it

B) Ideallly, I'd like dimension rounding to act like a Display Option. As I have come to understand Archicad dimension preferences, that's what rounding is anyway. Although, I also just considered blanketly locking rounding at 1/16" (which is what most of our staff wants anyway). I do see the value in changing rounding to 1/8" for plans, though (as long as people make sure their dimensions still add up!!)

C) We have a few people who insist on playinwg with ever setting you can imagine. If it were just their own settimgs, I wouldn't care, but since it is saved into the file, I'm laying down the law on it. What really got me started was the loss of setting after each service pack, so that we don't have to lose the actual user-specific settings.

D) I realized pretty early that Teamwork Attributes would not work the same, though so far none of our teamwork projects have needed heavy-duty hotlinking. Usually the problem we had came from having several levels of PLN files linked into one another, with users creating/editing material definitions in each one differently.

E) For the ceiling, we wanted a number of things (some may not be possible or feasible):
1) The ability to draw ceiling plans (!). Namely, associate crosshatches to slabs that are placed as a ceiling. This probably would require a ceiling slab for each room. The crosshatches would need to have user defined origins, and have the origins be movable,

2) The ability to have multiple ceiling types within a room. This may be obvious, but very early on, we discussed associating the ceiling to the room zones. I could not determine any way to use zones, but they seemed to be a good idea, since they are likely already in place when the ceiling plan is drawn.

3) The ability to snap the points on any ceiling grid, for placement of light fixtures, diffusers, etc.

4) Ability to create a "primary" and "secondary" grid (for use with scored ceiling tiles).

5) The ability to turn much of this on and off with viewsets/display options.

6) The ability to see ceiling construction (bracing, grid pieces, tile profiles) in section views
Tom Waltz

Ralph Wessel
Mentor
TomWaltz wrote:
A) Mainly, it gets us closer to the one thing we liked about Arris: one central location for all customizations served out to all individual factory installations (or at least the illlustion of it
Self-updating can be done, but only to a limited extent. ArchiCAD can't dynamically unload and reload add-ons which use certain key features (not even with the add-on manager), so your best option is to perform updates when ArchiCAD is not running. We can continue to pursue this idea if you are happy with that proviso.
TomWaltz wrote:
B) Although, I also just considered blanketly locking rounding at 1/16"
Would I be right in thinking this would fall into category 'C'?
TomWaltz wrote:
E) For the ceiling, we wanted a number of things (some may not be possible or feasible):
1) The ability to draw ceiling plans (!). Namely, associate crosshatches to slabs that are placed as a ceiling.
Hatches can be generated from other elements such as slabs or roofs. They could be linked to them too (so they update in response to a change in the 3d element), but you have to consider what would happen if these elements overlap, e.g. recesses at the perimeter of a coffered ceiling. An add-on could calculate the visible regions for a ceiling plan, but couldn't provide a quick, sensible response to changes.

TomWaltz wrote:
2) The ability to have multiple ceiling types within a room.
In what way would like the association between a ceiling and a room to be expressed? Or are you simply pointing out that a solution which draws only one ceiling in a room is inadequate?
TomWaltz wrote:
3) The ability to snap the points on any ceiling grid, for placement of light fixtures, diffusers, etc.
4) Ability to create a "primary" and "secondary" grid (for use with scored ceiling tiles).
This can be done, but the solution for point 6. is bound up with this too.

TomWaltz wrote:
5) The ability to turn much of this on and off with viewsets/display options.
Some means of changing the appearance of the ceiling can easily be added, but it wouldn't work as fast as built-in display options. I don't know of a way of storing the setting with a view set either (haven't explored that yet).
TomWaltz wrote:
6) The ability to see ceiling construction (bracing, grid pieces, tile profiles) in section views
There are ways to achieve this, but there are wider issues to consider. First, this level of detail might cripple ArchiCAD's performance. Second, the ceiling needs to behave as a whole in some respects, but making it work sensibly from a construction viewpoint will almost certainly require fine-tuning of individual components. We have a solution for this in FrameWright, but it may not entirely suit this problem.

I think we might need to heed Karl's suggestion and split this topic up a bit.
Ralph Wessel BArch

Anonymous
Not applicable
Hi All!

TomWalts wrote:
B) Allow different rounding accuracy levels based on viewset


What do you think of such solution of a question?
1) To add the parameter of roundoff to the dialogue of customization of dimensions
2) To enter concept of style of sizes as in AutoCAD, i.e. having applied to selected dimensions earlier predefined style we can receive (on one plan or section) dimensions with different roundoff

Sorry, My English not well

TomWaltz
Newcomer
1) To add the parameter of roundoff to the dialogue of customization of dimensions
2) To enter concept of style of sizes as in AutoCAD, i.e. having applied to selected dimensions earlier predefined style we can receive (on one plan or section) dimensions with different roundoff

Sorry, My English not well
I think either one sounds good. I would prefer a dimension "style" (similar to AutoCAD), which would at least allow for a standard starting point. I realize that "Favorites" are close to that.

Your English is good enough to get your point across. I'd say that's all that counts.
Tom Waltz

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