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Visual GDL editor [again]

Anonymous
Not applicable
I’ve just finished manufacturer’s object library for ARCHICAD and Revit. When I was asked to do this job hourly, I had to estimate three times the time for ARCHICAD GDL programming than I had to for the same Revit family. Revit family editor lets me do all the BIM object creation tasks at least three times as fast, hence the difference.

I think the time has come to finally create a visual GDL editor to supplement all the other great features of ARCHICAD.

Today, world’s BIM software acceptance hinges on BIM object availability, and no matter the refined parametric ARCHICAD libraries we have now, they are no match for countless manufacturers’ objects that need to be created daily to represent all the BIM building components. Without proper GDL visual editor ARCHICAD is loosing the battle and people choose BIM applications with better BIM object support.

I can’t think of any feature for AC23 and beyond that may have as high growth impact potential for ARCHICAD franchise than easy to use Visual GDL editor.
88 REPLIES 88

Anonymous
Not applicable
Totally agree.

DGSketcher
Virtuoso
Speak to your GS supplier regarding Library Part Maker which is available in a number (not all countries) and does the basics of what you are asking for. What it doesn't provide is parametric adjustment, but aren't a lot of manufacturer's objects static anyway?

I haven't looked at the resulting GDL code, but perhaps a few tweaks by an experienced GDL programmer may make the parts parametric.
Apple iMac macOS Big Sur / AC24UKI (most recent builds)

vdentello
Contributor
At least some colors in the scripting UI, like any other interface or auto completion, that'd be a huge step. (I know that there are 3rd party editors, but...)
That would be my biggest wish for now.

O even something like "get" from current 2D or 3D window (instead having to undock window and drag element to script). That'd make things a lot easier.

Another idea is primitives, when we convert Archicad's native cylinder object as an object, it becomes a macro with a call. That macro could be be transformed to a simple 3D cylinder for example. This way, people could assemble their objects and save as something.
Archicad User Since 2013
GDL Developer
Experimenting with API
from Brazil

Tomek Piatek
Contributor
I am an experienced Revit user and an ex-software engineer. I have switched jobs recently and went from Revit to ArchiCAD. I can see some real advantages that ArchiCAD has over Revit but that whole GLD business ain't one of them. Revit's family editor is a killer feature.

I don't really care for all those arguments that GDL object are so much smaller than Revit families. Who cares. Memory is dirt cheap these days. GDL is an obscure and difficult to use programming language. The built-in "IDE" is far too limiting and simplistic. The whole thing needs to be overhauled as the current implementation is no longer fit for purpose.

Firstly, I'd like to see GDL replaced with a modern language, like Python for example (I'm not hung up on this, JavaScript will do just fine too). Secondly, I'd like to see a graphical geometry editor. Of course there needs to be a way to connect the interactively designed geometry with code. Now, THAT would be a killer feature that would leave Revit tumbling with the weeds.

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ArchiCAD 23
Windows 10 Pro

Anonymous
Not applicable
+1

GDL sucks, object system sucks. It is too limiting and too hard to use.

henryL
Contributor
A visual gdl editor is a must have feature, all main competitor have a built in visual editor.
Revit has Dynamo
Vectorworks has Marionette
Allplan has Allplan Visual Scripting
Archicad ?
I do a lot of documentation on my projects and standard labels and 2d objects does't always fit my needs. A visual script editor with 3D/2D capabilities is what we all need.

Tomek Piatek
Contributor
@henryL I think you're mixing up some concept here. By analogy to Revit, Dynamo and Marionette do not serve the same purpose as Revit's family editor. They are tools for programmatic/parametric design and geometry generation and general programmatic control over a project.

I think that ArchiCAD has something much, much better than any of the competitors. It's called Rhino. Rather than reinventing the wheel, and making it a suboptimal wheel in the process, Graphisoft entered into a collaboration with Rhino folks and we now have a live bridge between ArchiCAD and Rhino. This is waaaaay better than Dynamo or Marionette. In my opinion of course 😉 Time will tell how advanced and integrated the bridge becomes.

Now, when we talk about a visual GDL editor we mean a tool for making loadable 3D objects, like chairs, cars, that sort of thing. Like Revit families. I don't think that this sort of thing can be farmed off to a 3rd party app because it requires far too great a level of integration and access to the internals of ArchiCAD.

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ArchiCAD 23
Windows 10 Pro

henryL
Contributor
@Tomek yeah i maybe mixed up thing but i think thread title is misleading. What what you're asking for it's not a visual gdl editor, you want an interface to draw parametric object as Revit with zero GDL code, so why should it called visual GDL editor?
Look at this video about allplan visual scripting
https://youtu.be/7vfKu07mdCc?t=409
i think this kind of object production could be the key to accomodate different archicad users starting from architects to gdl programmers.
@Tomek one more thing Archicad hasn't something much better. Rhino is a third party software. Grasshopper is the best parametric/algorithmic design tool on the market but all the parameters are stored on grasshopper and on archicad you receive just a mere 3D object.

Anonymous
Not applicable
There is no need to recreate a wheel. I hope to use the grasshopper to create parameterized GDL scripts in the future. I can use GDL commands directly in GH.In the end, GH can be directly converted into GSM, making it a true GDL parametric model.

Lingwisyer
Virtuoso
Apparently there is work going on in regards to revamping the GDL IDE. To what extent, Marta did not know. It is not due soon though...
AC18-23 AUS 7000
Self-taught, bend it till it breaks.
Win10 | E5620 x 2 | 24GB | K2200

Anonymous
Not applicable
GRAPHISOFT PLEASE LISTEN!

We need a faster genuine ArchiCAD tool for doing genuine parametric objects! And this really quickly.

Otherwise, as already mentioned,

ArchiCAD IS ON HIGH SPEED ON THE HIGHWAY TO LOOSE THE BATTLE IN FAVOR OF OTHER SOFTWARES LIKE REVIT.

GDL is good but compared to other softwares this tool didn't evolve. The scripting interface's evolution is almost null in 15 years. There are new GDL commands with each new ArchiCAD release but using this programming language demands an effort of trial and error that nobody has the time to spend today!!! In the past when were no other choices this was good. But now we need a faster and more adaptive tool.
A graphical node based GDL tool would be possible.

Grasshopper as an external tool means paying twice the price for one tool and it's really cumbersome. Is it the way to go? I don't believe it. Not on a long term. I don't imagine an external tool working like an internal one. It never does.

Could we imagine the integration of Grasshopper in ArchiCAD ? This would be great!

If not, a new visual tool for parametric objects is REALLY CRUCIAL for the future competitiveness of ArchiCAD on the market!

gavinNZz
Participant
Raoul wrote:
GRAPHISOFT PLEASE LISTEN!

We need a faster genuine ArchiCAD tool for doing genuine parametric objects! And this really quickly.

Otherwise, as already mentioned,

ArchiCAD IS ON HIGH SPEED ON THE HIGHWAY TO LOOSE THE BATTLE IN FAVOR OF OTHER SOFTWARES LIKE REVIT.

GDL is good but compared to other softwares this tool didn't evolve. The scripting interface's evolution is almost null in 15 years. There are new GDL commands with each new ArchiCAD release but using this programming language demands an effort of trial and error that nobody has the time to spend today!!! In the past when were no other choices this was good. But now we need a faster and more adaptive tool.
A graphical node based GDL tool would be possible.

Grasshopper as an external tool means paying twice the price for one tool and it's really cumbersome. Is it the way to go? I don't believe it. Not on a long term. I don't imagine an external tool working like an internal one. It never does.

Could we imagine the integration of Grasshopper in ArchiCAD ? This would be great!

If not, a new visual tool for parametric objects is REALLY CRUCIAL for the future competitiveness of ArchiCAD on the market!
Hi again Raoul,

Totally agree and NO Graphisoft won't listen as they have had their head in the sand for the last 15 years!

Best solution for GDL is to ask Epic Games to build a toolset within Unreal engine to allow us to build GDL scripts in there.

The only problem with this solution is that you are asking a racehorse to give birth to an elephant!

The elephant needs to be put out to pasture along with GDL. We are only still using it because no one has got the balls ($) to develop a new piece of BIM software with a modern code base.

It is hugely frustrating.

leceta
Enthusiast
Visual GDL editor? no, GDL is already good as it is. Creating a new language is probably not a reallistic undertake.

Even is possible, graphic GDL wouldn´t have the potential that logical construct of plain scripting permits, let alone the maintainability of complex logics.

In my opinion, GDL should stay as it is, of course developing on features as recently added Dict data structure. Those are real advancements. Without doubt, the IDE could be vastly improved.

By the other hand, the decision of using Grasshopper as a side companion for Archicad, has still a lot of potential and this need a lot of time an effort to be achieved. This potential arrives even for using GRASSHOPPER GRAPHICAL PROGRAMMING ENVIROMENT FOR COMPLEMENTING GDL . IMO, the GH + Archicad combo is all about this: Complementing each other for a sinergetic product.

I already have some working object where half is made in Grasshopper and other half is made in GDL: I left my objects geometrical logic to be developed inside GH, where it shines, and let GDL create the Archicad friendly lightweight objects.

Anonymous
Not applicable
Whaaat? It is absolutely not ok as it is. Sorry, GDL is indeed ok as it is; the way we are forced to use it is absolutely not ok. Architects can and must draw, not programm. How many archicad users you think are using GDL? 0.1% maybe? My goodness! they even use two complex profiles, one vertical, one horizontal for doing objects in order to not having to programm! or Morphs everywhere. GDL is very powerful to let it just die or leave it like a freaks feature. It is also veeery slow for the everyday making of parametric objects. We NEED for sure a graphic interface for drawing parametric objects instead of programming them. There's no need for a new language, just some tools to conect drawing with scripting. That's basic. I don't think there's one single architect who wouldn't like to have that. I don't know how exactly but there are plenty of ways to implement that. Morph is a great tool. It would be amazing to have a way to turn morphs into objects keeping every dimension parametric, just like the new complex profiles and just drawing the 2D plan with the same parameters instead of writing scripts. Sorry, that's just my opinion but every single architect that I know says the same about that: "GDwhaaat?programming???are you crazy??I won't do that!"

Anonymous
Not applicable
leceta wrote:
I left my objects geometrical logic to be developed inside GH, where it shines, and let GDL create the Archicad friendly lightweight objects

The problem is that the current interface to create "geometric logic" GDL objects is not logic for an architect mindset.

You are talking about two different things: Creating GDL objects AND managing them as a simphony.

I agree GH is an amazing tool to conduct an orchestra of GDL objects.

But what really a Maestro can do with mediocre musicians?

The thing is 99.9% of architects can't even think of how to create a "geometric logic" GDL object.

My 2 cents

leceta
Enthusiast
No, I think I know what are you referring to, and not, I´m not using as an "orchestration" tool, I´m actually transporting GDL geometrical operations (local, self-contained, not another agent dependant) to grasshopper. I format resulting grasshopper data to GDL friendly data structures, and those data structures are read by the GDL objects. It could be a long list of vertex coordinates for a mesh, a transformation matrix, whatever...

And yes, i´m agree that there is actually potential for grasshopper to orchestate GDL objects, but this is other question...

"GDL objects is not logic for an architect mindset". Then this mindest you talk is not prepared for grasshopper neither.

Anonymous
Not applicable
So. You create GDL scripts from scratch and manipulate them with GH tools then save the result geometry as a single GDL object inside a pln file?

leceta
Enthusiast
I build gdl command´s input parameters in GH to then pass this data to a GDL objects (using connection plugin), which parses the data and creates the actual GDL objects. I shared a sample of a WIP project some time ago where you can check the workflow yourself.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/Grasshopper2ArchiCAD/permalink/2784827528248436/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/Grasshopper2ArchiCAD/permalink/2784829681581554/

Anonymous
Not applicable
Thanks leceta.

Very interesting workflow. Would you mind posting the file here?
leceta wrote:
"GDL objects is not logic for an architect mindset". Then this mindest you talk is not prepared for grasshopper neither.
Sorry I didn't make myself clear... I was trying to say that: The current Archicad interface to create GDL objects is not suited for an architect mindset. Not the GDL object itself. That's why I am suporting a Visual GDL editor.

Anyway. GH/Archicad connection seems a very powerful tool to enhance GDL potencial. But IMHO its not an "Architect Friendly" interface. For me those wires, switches and gizmos are more for an engineer mindset. I like it myself (probably because I must be a frustrated engineer) but it's not for the average architect.

What do you think?

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