I think it's worth trying to inject a little objectivity into debates like this.
I don't think it's controversial to say that there have been no significant features introduced in AC26.
Is that significant? Personally I think it is.
For example when the mesh tool has been broken (the inability to have points with identical x and y values but different z values - so no kerbs or retaining walls in survey meshes) for several years, it's an absolutely legitimate concern with the dedicated terrain modelling tool.
The import mesh from surveyors data has never been fit for purpose. Random Delaunay (or whatever) triangulation simply isn't good enough, when TINs from survey packages create meshes based on 'biased' triangulation (kerb points connecting to kerb points etc) but can't be imported as meshes. Yes we can import them as morphs, but that negates all the benefits of the mesh tool.
When I get survey drawings, polyline contours can have thousands of points, so I need to redraw every single contour with splines, because there is nothing in the standard toolset to allow me to simplify these polylines. It can take me 2 days just to trace contours. The triangulated surveyor's terrain models can't be imported as meshes. It's ridiculous.
So I can work around the mesh issues, but it's clunky, and I shouldn't have to waste my time with it. The part of the world I work in is full of sites with complex topography, and as I don't work on small projects, manually creating every single terrain model simply isn't an efficient use of my time.
Another example of overdue improvements is that SEOs still don't display on plan, and when you need to do things like create splayed window reveals (yep another thing that we could/should have had years ago in the window objects) and you use SEOs, you have to mess around to get things to display properly on plan. It's not how things ought to work.
In addition to basic window functionality, our library objects aren't comprehensive enough. Commercial metal gates anyone? Roller shutter doors? What about fully louvred doors? What about door signs? Different handles on different sides of the door? What about the ability to show proper projection views of custom components in the railing tool? This is a fantastic tool. I use it for things like planters, spur shelving, paths, kerbs and canopies. However custom components don't display properly in 2D. It should be an easy fix.
We can overlook these things only for so long. The GS team(s) dealing with objects can create them independently of any core application changes.
What about Param-O. Introduced recently, I found it great, but it lacked some key requirements for parametric modelling, like the ability to introduce non-structured absolute values into pick lists, and conditional branching.
Instead we have diversification of Archicad into different markets when some major functionality issues for the primary market remain unaddressed.
I'm a big fan of Archicad, it's a fantastic application, and for a complex BIM application, pretty easy to use. I have really enjoyed working with it. Mostly.
However I've got to the stage when although there are huge gaps in my knowledge/ability with Archicad, when I find basic shortcomings with some of the the basic tools I use on every job, I think it's fair to claim that there are problems that ought to be addressed.
I think GS needs to listen far more to practising professionals when planning development. At the outset, the architectural workflow was evident, and it was clearly designed by architects for architects. The world has moved on though, and the tools we need to deal with for more and more subtle real world issues are I suspect well outside the scope of architectural experience of the development team.
When you get people making decisions about software for professionals, I would argue that you absolutely need to engage deeply with your user base.
Academics, programmers and people with limited experience in the commercial world are arguably not the best people to develop and implement features for practising professionals. It works however if there is a constructive and healthy two way dialog between developers and the user base.
I've been involved in development of commercial software in my spare time for over a decade, and I have designed workflows and interfaces to be easy and intuitive for end users, and I have built features which respond to the actual real world requirements we have. I have used my experience of a practising professional to drive product development, the product I work on also has an active user forum.
I'm not sure that GS properly understand user engagement any more. We have these forums, but the paucity of AC26 features and big gaps in capabilities would lead me to believe that GS aren't listening to the people they want to buy and keep buying the product.
This is a fantastic post.
You've articulated many problems I've been having with AC on a recurrent basis, and what's scary to me now is how I've stopped seeing some of them as problems that need to be fixed simply because I've found (often clunky) workarounds to navigate them in combination with the belief that Graphisoft will never get around to dealing with them.
Specifically the Mesh tool survey import and mesh creation headaches.
And why the hell hasn't anyone thought of intergrating the Complex profile function into other tools like the ability to create custom window or Door trims, reveals or casings.
If you're not going to revamp those latter two tools wholesale then at least give us this one.
And geez,......metal gates, parkade/garage gates - both commercial and residential.
Proper SEO floor plan display,.....
This is basic stuff.
You sometimes forget just how much is in the laundry list....
....simply because you get used to either working around them and finding awkward solutions that shouldn't have to be what you're forced into,......or finding third party solutions, if they even exist,......or simply giving up on them altogether and just old-fashioning '2D -drafting in what it should look like' (which I guess is essentially the first option)
Yes, it's true that it doesn't seem like GS is listening to users - at least not the ones on this forum or places like LinkedIn where the tenor of dissatisfaction hues similarly to here.
But they are listening to someone it seems, because I can't otherwise make sense of how they spend three versions introducing and then continuing to develop SAM tools at the expense of all else that needs addressing, and then considering this to be a great (or sustainable) PR and marketing strategy.
Great post. (Edit: of Jim's. I hit the wrong reply button.) More positivity would not have improved it.
In the olde tymes, GS was proud to have architectural experience in house. Now it is conventional software engineering and marketing all the way down.
One quibble/pile-on: For the mesh tool, "several" years of stagnation = 20+. Pitiful.
Interesting observations about the mesh tool ?
Coming from a Chief Architect Premier user, the terrain tool is very easy to use and to create a terrain with spot level input points.
I think the mesh tool in AC has improved since but not quite enough it seems ?
Although cabinets have improved in AC 25 & 26 I can still do them much faster in placing and editing them in Chief Architect.
Chief Architect is half the price of Archicad and has many of its own problems and limitations and that’s why I prefer Archicad.
Chief Architect doesn’t have to support such a huge range of 3D collaboration and complex geometry and they can focus more on the DIY & residential home builders market.
GS could buy a module of Chief Architect and implement some of their superior functions right into Archicad ? A bit like how Autodesk bought Revit to make Autocad easier to use ?
Software can develop greatly with APIs just like Cad image tools have helped Archicad to be more user friendly.
I started with Chief Architect because I couldn’t afford to buy Archicad in the beginning but when I saved up and bought it at 8.1, I was very happy to have the best CAD software on the market for Architecture.
I am still very happy with Archicad but I understand how it must meet the needs of 3D collaboration in the commercial world and that’s exactly why we are feeling that the basic functionality is not progressing as forward as it used to be.
I believe that they will get it right by balancing the future development with 3D collaboration needs with basic functionality.
Right now 3D commercial collaboration with engineers is taking most of the focus.
I believe more free form commercial structures are being built around the world and this could be a major factor contributing to the way Archicad is developing ?
We had the industrial revolution but now it’s the free form revolution in the 21st century.
Quite obvious but a true indicator of how Archicad is developing.
We are all now compelled to reserve our final assessment of Archicad 26 until all the updates are finally released during the cycle.