BIM Coordinator Program (INT) April 22, 2024

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Modeling
About Archicad's design tools, element connections, modeling concepts, etc.

The increasing complexity of ArchiCAD

On another post, I noted how complicated ArchiCAD had become. I got curious and went back to AC12. Its Reference Guide (for the U.S.) was 541 pages. The Reference Guide for AC23 is now 3,744 pages! (Almost 7X the size of AC12's.) While I have my own opinions about this, I'm just noting this here for others who also may be getting weary of feature bloat. It's a real thing and far larger than I might have imagined.
Richard
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Richard Morrison, Architect-Interior Designer
AC26 (since AC6.0), Win10
16 REPLIES 16
Emre Senoglu
Expert
It's a very valid point to make Richard. I actually think it's okay to inflate and build tool over tool, or well, was okay. What Graphisoft forgot in the meanwhile is to streamline and optimize. With the past 3-4 updates, every tool has become its own little universe. Morph tool functions entirely different to any other tool and has its own set of highly unique design/edit parameters. Some of which would be very welcome in other tools. Curtain Wall tool started a trend to a more complex tool scheme, but it just got confusing with the new version of Stair tool. Railing tool added a new graphical interface ever existent editor to the mix, and in my opinion helped simplify things a good bit. But then, the same interface didn't transfer to the stair nor the curtain wall tool. To add on top of that, the new column tool looks like it belongs to the same family, when in fact it is actually a strange mix between the old and the new, ending up as a step backwards.

I think (and really hope that 24 is all about this) that adding new tools is great, but what AC needs right now is streamlining. Polishing up old tools to fit the new advances made to other tools, bringing everything up to a consistent level of interaction, making sure there are no tools left behind or made involuntarily redundant despite being in the software. Not just "oh we optimized here and there" but a reworking and strengthening of what there already is.

Edit: Also, why is there a dedicated Corner Window tool? Or a Wall End tool? This always has bothered me that there's somehow unequal distribution of strengths. It just feels half baked. I get that these are necessary functions, but couldn't they be combined with something that makes more sense?
AC26 ARM // MBP M2 Max // Twinmotion | Corona | Rhino

www.senoglu.dk

rjwilden
Booster
I agree. At present I am teaching my daughter, a second year architectural student how to use archicad. Functions that that should be simple have many levels of complexity, layer on layer of settings to wade through, and so many options that ultimately affect or hinder the end result. I have adapted over time, but new users are overwhelmed by the complexity. Even after using the software for 22 years I am regularly tripped up, and struggle to find settings and functions. Having to verbally explain a function is nearly impossible, have to do it on screen. To be fair sometime my brain doesn’t know what my hands are doing and the command selection is automatic. Anything outside my template becomes a very laborious process to sort out. Function that are not often used are quickly forgottten. Does the programme need a completed Rewright from the ground up.
Richard Wilden Design. Ltd
Dunedin, New Zealand.
Imac 27" i9 3.6GHz; 32GB Ram Mac OS 11.3
Archicad V23:V24
DGSketcher
Legend
I have been saying this for a while now, but I'm not sure if the message is getting through to GS. There comes a point when the learning curve is so steep people stop wanting to use the software. AC hasn't evolved, it has become bloated and overly complex. To evolve means removing redundancies to maintain an efficient system, this hasn't happened for a long time and the Wishlist of improvements just keeps growing. AC is a solid product BUT the coding / UI needs consolidating and the workflow simplifying. Seventeen years ago a request was made for an in-place editable module/block/instance, yet we are still waiting and left with a hot linking system that is of little value on smaller projects as the attribute management is a nightmare. Storey settings come with several variations which removes intuitive selection. For me the publishing process feels like a series of disconnected dialog boxes without a logical workflow or central focus. I could go on, but what I would like to see, rather than just headline grabbing features, is GS set about sorting the legacy bugs and wishes with frequent updates to show that they are actively addressing their customer needs to make AC more user friendly and efficient. At the end of the day we just want to communicate with the client, consultants and builder to get the job done, not spend half the hard earned fees looking for elusive or pointless settings and workarounds for inconsistent tools.
Apple iMac Intel i9 / macOS Sonoma / AC27UKI (most recent builds.. if they work)
Lingwisyer
Guru
Ditching the annual release would probably help with the streamlining progress, as then there would be less pressure to develop some new fandangled feature in a rush to sell the next version.

AC22-23 AUS 7000Help Those Help You - Add a Signature
Self-taught, bend it till it breaksCreating a Thread
Win11 | i9 10850K | 64GB | RX6600 Win10 | R5 2600 | 16GB | GTX1660
runxel
Legend
Lingwisyer wrote:
Ditching the annual release would probably help with the streamlining progress, as then there would be less pressure to develop some new fandangled feature in a rush to sell the next version.
Those dumb annual releases really ruined the AEC industry IT-wise.

Lucas Becker | AC 27 on Mac | Author of Runxel's Archicad Wiki | Editor at SelfGDL | Developer of the GDL plugin for Sublime Text |
«Furthermore, I consider that Carth... yearly releases must be destroyed»
jl_lt
Ace
I agree with everyone here. Some time ago i read that true advances in technology occur when integration happens, not complication. So, instead of making tools more complex, there should actually be dissapearance of tools, as in, that they automatically work in the background. Many areas of opportunity here: Annotation, ID handling, pen sets (i actually like them, but one should not be worrying about them in 2020), detail generation, locking of objets, zones, zone names, zones names in section, level handling, slabs, relationship of object to levels, labeling, specifications, layers, lineweights, module linking, object creation, layout creation, terrain creation, template creation... the list goes on. i want to have the same blissful feeling on these aforementioned concepts as the feeling i have when i press the "publish" button.
Jacques Toerien
Participant
For kicks, while trying to help my friend get AC10 going (stall can't find an install disc for OS X!), I got him to boot up an old OS 9 drive in a powermac G4 with ArchiCAD 7 on. What a joy! Everything is so fast and responsive and the whole installed application size is around 450mb, that includes the library.

Lots of software these days suffers from bloat, I recently ditched Adobe and switched to Affinity for my image editing and document layout work, a fresh breeze as they're not carrying years of bloatware, add-on software, bridge this, cloud that....

Don't get me started on subscriptions....!
2012 13" Macbook Pro 8GB Ram, OS X 10.14.6
2010 Mac Pro 2x 6 Core 2.93Ghz Xeon, 48Gb Ram, OS X 10.14.6, RX 580

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Thomas Holm
Booster
Hi Richard,
I agree, but there's another factor here too: It's too easy to distribute PDFs compared to printed books! Nobody bothers to edit the manuals anymore.
AC4.1-AC26SWE; MacOS13.5.1; MP5,1+MBP16,1
DGSketcher
Legend
Thomas wrote:
Hi Richard,
I agree, but there's another factor here too: It's too easy to distribute PDFs compared to printed books! Nobody bothers to edit the manuals anymore.
Don't think many read them anymore either. We came up with RTFM for a reason!

Of course, another view is that if you can use anything without a manual it must have been well designed...
Apple iMac Intel i9 / macOS Sonoma / AC27UKI (most recent builds.. if they work)
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