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Visual GDL editor [again]

Anton Kazmin
Newcomer
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.
Anton Kazmin
Watching ARCHICAD grow since 1987
88 REPLIES 88

Ghaleb Khadra
Newcomer
Hi All,

Thank you for requesting this feature, and for your active participation on the forums.

I am happy to say that we have added this into our Wish database.
As reference, the Wish number is 12574

Thank you all for sharing your ideas with us, and thank you all who voted.
Furthermore, I understand the frustration some of you are having, and I believe it is justified. I would like to encourage you all to report this to your local Support Team. The more something is requested, the higher it gets in the queue. So please feel free to always voice your opinions. We highly appreciate it!

[Stay Active. Stay Awesome ]
Kind regards,
Ghaleb
Ghaleb Khadra
BIM Expert
GRAPHISOFT

For Troubleshooting and useful Tips & Tricks visit
https://helpcenter.graphisoft.com

leceta
Booster
"architect friendly" it´s too vague terminology, it honestly doesn´t make any sense to me.

It would be great we could express this idea in a more concise way. There is the risk that someone is interpreting "architect friendly", as "non-techie", or even worse "someone incapable of abstract thinking"???. Our architect training its technically complex enough and a building can be as a "complex system" as any software piece of software... An architect mindset is perfectly capable of designing and algorithm.

Moreover, its becoming a commonplace the idea that anyone should start learning code ASAP, that it will become a must have skill in a few years...

So please, what does it mean "architect friendly"? Something like the new functions implemented for Complex Profile? parametric dimensions? Does it mean that archiCad needs something like "Revit families"? Well, if so, be aware that Revit families easily become complex and unmaintainable. I´m still waiting for a working alternative to coding. Grasshopper (and the like) are the best working alternative to coding, afaik.

Braza
Newcomer
Hi leceta,

Please don't get me wrong. I'm not here to demnish the architect role in this industry. I know we architects have to deal with extreme complex variables (cost, aesthetics, function, proportion, structure, etc). And surely we are capable to do algorithm design. But being capable of something doesn't mean I am willing to do it. I am capable of delivering my IRS every year, but ask me if I like.

Architects like to sketch. We usually have the "vision" of the constructed thing. Algorithm design (as coding) , needs mathematical abstraction that IMHO not many architects have. I am sure you have it. But the average architect don't. And please anybody correct me if I am wrong.

I totally agree that in the current state of technologic revolution, everybody needs to know coding ASAPossible. But lets not forget that we don't need code to do good architecture.

Complex modifiers is a good example of a good approach for an architect mindset. Autodesk is exploring it for a long time. I thing GS should improve it, for example extending it to radius dimensions, and even in the plan view. But overall I think the Visual approach is more appellative to the architect taste.

Or perhaps I am wrong.

Cheers,

Paulo

p.s.: Perhaps you could send me the GH WIP file in PM. (?)
Paulo Henrique Santos, Architect
AC24_INT#3008 / I7 / 16Gb / 512Mb SSD / Windows 10

Tomek Piatek
Contributor
It’s great that some people are able to harness the power of GH and GDL (even if GDL is an antiquated and awkward language). However this is waaaaay to complicated and inconvenient.

I don’t like to bring this up but I feel I have to: I’d like to see something like Revit’s family editor. It’s a quick and easy to use tool to create powerful parametric objects in a visual manner. I’m sure that this idea can be expanded and improved.

---
ArchiCAD 23
Windows 10 Pro

Tomek Piatek
Contributor
leceta wrote:
"architect friendly" it´s too vague terminology, it honestly doesn´t make any sense to me.

It would be great we could express this idea in a more concise way. There is the risk that someone is interpreting "architect friendly", as "non-techie", or even worse "someone incapable of abstract thinking"???. Our architect training its technically complex enough and a building can be as a "complex system" as any software piece of software... An architect mindset is perfectly capable of designing and algorithm.

Moreover, its becoming a commonplace the idea that anyone should start learning code ASAP, that it will become a must have skill in a few years...

So please, what does it mean "architect friendly"? Something like the new functions implemented for Complex Profile? parametric dimensions? Does it mean that archiCad needs something like "Revit families"? Well, if so, be aware that Revit families easily become complex and unmaintainable. I´m still waiting for a working alternative to coding. Grasshopper (and the like) are the best working alternative to coding, afaik.
Yes, I agree, "architect friendly" is way too vague. And anyway, there are many architects who are highly technically skilled and there is a whole new generation who are not only highly technologically literate but expect technology to be progressive, expressive and most importantly supportive. GDL as it currently stands is none of those things in my mind. It is a system designed for a very small group of people with specialist knowledge that typically doesn't cross over to the realm of general visual design.

As for Revit families having problems due to complexity, I don't really agree with that statement. Most of these problems stem from users not knowing/understanding how to use the tool. Also complex things are, well, complex and by their very nature become difficult to deal with. However Revit's tool is flexible enough and supportive enough that it allows for alternative workflows that deal with complexity. Form example, you can use nested families, etc.

As for the general discussion of what a "graphical parametric object editor" should look like in ArchiCAD, that is a separate thread perhaps. I think that this idea needs to get a lot of input from users.

---
ArchiCAD 23
Windows 10 Pro

Braza
Newcomer
Hi Tomek,

And thanks for the input.
Tomek wrote:
Yes, I agree, "architect friendly" is way too vague
Please let me know if I didn't make myself clear, and I will try to refrase.

Cheers,

Paulo
Paulo Henrique Santos, Architect
AC24_INT#3008 / I7 / 16Gb / 512Mb SSD / Windows 10

vdentello
Participant
Ghaleb wrote:
Hi All,

Thank you for requesting this feature, and for your active participation on the forums.

I am happy to say that we have added this into our Wish database.
As reference, the Wish number is 12574

Thank you all for sharing your ideas with us, and thank you all who voted.
Furthermore, I understand the frustration some of you are having, and I believe it is justified. I would like to encourage you all to report this to your local Support Team. The more something is requested, the higher it gets in the queue. So please feel free to always voice your opinions. We highly appreciate it!

[Stay Active. Stay Awesome ]
Kind regards,
Ghaleb
Hopeful, but, it still may take a couple time developing.

But please, just finally give us a sidebar with line numbers just like any IDE you can imagine. It's really bad to press CTRL+L every time you want to hop to a line.

That's not rocket engineering to ask.
Archicad User Since 2013
GDL Developer
Experimenting with API
from Brazil

Tomek Piatek
Contributor
Ghaleb wrote:
Hi All,

Thank you for requesting this feature, and for your active participation on the forums.

I am happy to say that we have added this into our Wish database.
As reference, the Wish number is 12574
Is there some way to check in on the progress of the wish? Or is the wishing bucket locked up somewhere in a basement where nobody ever looks? 😉

It would be awesome if Graphisoft had a more transparent development process with a public road map of planned features. I think this would go a long way to making a lot of people happy.

---
ArchiCAD 23
Windows 10 Pro

Laszlo Nagy
Community Admin
Community Admin
Tomek wrote:
It would be awesome if Graphisoft had a more transparent development process with a public road map of planned features. I think this would go a long way to making a lot of people happy.

You could make a wish for a Public Roadmap.
....................................................................................................
Laszlo Nagy, Lead Moderator, Community Admin
Get Archicad Tips at https://twitter.com/laszlonagy
AMD Ryzen 1700X CPU, 48 GB RAM, NVidia GTX 1060 6GB, 500 GB NVMe SSD
2x28" (2560x1440), WIN10 PRO ENG, AC20-AC25
Loving Archicad since 1995

runxel
Mentor
Tomek wrote:
It would be awesome if Graphisoft had a more transparent development process with a public road map of planned features. I think this would go a long way to making a lot of people happy.
True that.
Take Rhino as an example! They are doing a great job in that regards.
The bugtracker etc. are all open accessible. Devs are on the forum and highly active.

Also they don't do yearly releases.
That's a big plus and if you think yearly releases are great, you're wrong and evil.
Nobody likes them.
- The users don't, because features are not ready but getting shipped nontheless.
- The CAD managers don't, because migration to a new Archicad is so flawed and troublesome.
- The programmers, because they have unreachable goals and have to ship an uncompleted feature set.
- The company shouldn't like it, because of all this.

Stop alienating users with another workaround.
Enable them! That's what technology should be for. :- )

(Also McNeel makes the Beta a continous thing by giving everybody who owns a software key the access to the newest weekly alpha builds. This makes it an overall smoother process for everybody and rules out possible shipwrecks [«oh, you need drainage on both sides of the stair? well well well! not gonna add it, it's to late in this beta.» 臘‍♂️])
AC 24 [ger] | Win 10 | Developer of the GDL plugin for Sublime Text |
«Furthermore, I consider that Carth... yearly releases must be destroyed»

Ghaleb Khadra
Newcomer
Hi All,

Actually, what Laszlo Nagy said truly applies

However, to answer your question, the process goes as follows:

The Product Management team directly gets these wishes into their database, and it's from that database they look into potential new projects and wishes/requests from clients.
Generally speaking (exceptions exist though), the requests are considered from many points of view, but mostly from alignment with ongoing/future projects, number of times a feature has been requested, and development resources required. This list is not exhaustive in any way however, I hope I could bring some clarity to this topic.
There is, unfortunately , currently no way to track progress of these wishes publicly, but there is really no reason as to why you would not request such a feature!

Have a great day everyone!
Kind regards,
Ghaleb Khadra
BIM Expert
GRAPHISOFT

For Troubleshooting and useful Tips & Tricks visit
https://helpcenter.graphisoft.com

spacemaking97
Newcomer
I totally agree with "licheng6095." Graphisoft must do that for AC24!

jl_lt
Contributor
Hi, i live in a country where LOD 300 and over is asked (and paid for) only by big companies and for really big projects (that will change in time though). In my office we do small and sometimes medium sized projects and some quasi-conceptual sfuff and are kind of new to the BIM world, so take that into account when i say and ask the following:

While i do agree that not even in my wildest dreams would i think of investing time in learning GDL as it really seems a very arcane language, i still wonder why so many people, instead of marveling on a software that lets you design whole buildings, dispair on why they dont have the ability to model "realistic parametric models out of manufacturers products". Granted, it has been explained before in these forums the power and convenience of GDL libraries and objects, but I mean, id rather model buildings more easily than model parametric objects more easily, as its the case in archicad, while in Revit it seems to me its the exact opposite situation. (Could a whole building eventually become a parametric GDL object?)

Personally, as long as we can model an object´s bounging box with its exact WxDxH dimensions, its position in space, its center, its representation in 3d, section and elevation, can shedule it, and attach all kinds of information to it (which the included object library allows you to do for most common situations), Then, i really dont see the need to have a realistic object in a BIM model specially if it will make your model slower. And one can still import 3d objects from other software if you need to.

So, whats the fuss about? Am i missing something??.... in any case, having ultra detailed manufacturer objects would be for doing realistic renderings, right? but i dont think any serious render artist would use Archicad for high end renderings.

So my question is, as long as we are talking about normal buildings (not or organic or generative design), what is the need you see for wanting/needing realistic parametric manufacturer objects in a BIM model? do they force Architects in your country to provide the exact object representation be it by the client or for legal reasons?

Braza
Newcomer
Hi jl_lt,

My experience here in Portugal is similar to yours regarding LOD.

I agree that GDL has lost its time a looong time ago. I myself used to be a GDL aficionado. And now when I hear people talking about how amazing GDL is, I remember House of the rising sun song.

A bounding box with its exact WxDxH dimensions may be enough in a design phase, but surely you will need more detail down the road. And when you need it (for quantities takeoffs, render or else), you sure will be very happy to discover that the manufacturer has done the job, right?

I think these days, what makes sense, is the ability to create parametric things. Not because architects practice depend on it (There is life beyond LOD-500) , but because the industry is getting more and more complex. Right now, manufacturers are in desperate need for these tools (See Revit Families) to create content that will promote the quality of their products to architects. I really want to get these in AC, don't you?

Perhaps we will have to make GDL " The name that shall not be spoken" and promote the "Parametric Design" mojo to make it more sexy.
Paulo Henrique Santos, Architect
AC24_INT#3008 / I7 / 16Gb / 512Mb SSD / Windows 10

jl_lt
Contributor
Ahh Portugal! The land of, in my humble opinion, some of the best architecture that is being produced right now. I have always wondered if practices like Mr. Soto de Moura, Mr. Mateus or Mr. Siza have already transitioned to bim, and if so, what software they use (not that it matters, they could still draw by hand and still produce the works of art that they do).

On to the point. It is interesting what you say about when one needs these realistic models. in our case, renderings are done in other software (although i'm beginning to be quite fond of the cinerender engine) so even if we needed ultrarealistic objects, we dont need them to be parametric as by the time we get into renders the project is mostly defined so it shouldn't change much, and one can easily find objects that suit your needs for renderings on the internet.

Or maybe You are talking about having super detailed objects because you use real time renderings with twinmotion or enscape (both of which are amazing) within archicad, in which case of course you need detailed objects, but one can import 3ds or SketchUp models right?

As for quantity take offs, are you talking about specific objects like connections or MEP parts?? i think archicad does a very decent job in providing take offs for the main parts of a building, but then again, maybe i havent been exposed with what actually can be done with GDL.

Braza
Newcomer
jl_lt wrote:
Ahh Portugal! The land of, in my humble opinion, some of the best architecture that is being produced right now.
Unfortunately they don't represent the real architecture that is being done here in the battle front.
But indeed their work is a remarkable source of inspiration.

When I talk about parametric objects I envision them as capable to handle every project phase. LOD should be an inherent part of every element/object. GSUK is leading this process with the LPM (Library Part Maker). This kind of approach is still not perfect, but it is in the right direction. A supposed decent BIM object should have a series of LODs to handle all project phases, from the Concept design to the FM (Facility Management). And honestly I don't think it is my job to do this.

Architects have much more important issues to handle than search the internet for the most realistic texture that resembles the one that the client chose from the catalog. Most clients/projects, don't have a budget for this.

That is why I think manufactures need to have a decent tool to create and maintain this kind of quality content and make it available to everyone in the AEC industry, weather it is a MEP product, furniture, appliances, tiles, etc. Perhaps a special Archicad Addon, targeted to manufacturers (and Architects if they want to complement their scope of services), with dedicated tools for AEC content creation and maintenance.

And in the end we will all be satisfied. Architects with quality commercial/realistic BIM content within the reach of a click; Clients delighted with realistic renders and budgets on target; and Manufacturers with increasing sales reports.

IMHO
Paulo Henrique Santos, Architect
AC24_INT#3008 / I7 / 16Gb / 512Mb SSD / Windows 10

Braza
Newcomer
Another aspect that makes parametrics essential is for example: A window/door manufacturer just need to create a single window/object to handle custom and standard dimensions; or Selecting a standard color finish and accessories options .

Of course a new Parametric Library Part Tool would need GS to rethink its Attributes Policy. And now I am getting off topic...

But as it is now, attributes management are a real nightmare just on a simple multi hotlinked files. I think GS could create a new file extension just to handle Attributes and other aspects of the Office Standards.

One or multiple of these files could be associated to pln and mod files. These Att files could have team work level access to be edited only by Project BIM Managers. And finally (getting back to the topic) Manufacturers could create their own Att files with all necessary attributes for their products, namely: Textures, Colors, Line Types, 2d Details, etc.

With this approach, architects would start a project with their own office standards, and as the project evolve and products are specified, BIM Objects and their respective Att files are associated/linked to the pln/mod file in the Library Manager. Just the ones needed on the project. If you change a product specification, you just delete the previous Att files and link the new ones, avoiding unwanted/unused attributes populated attributes.

Does this make any sense?
Paulo Henrique Santos, Architect
AC24_INT#3008 / I7 / 16Gb / 512Mb SSD / Windows 10

Nader Belal
Advisor
For Crying out loud,

Guys, most of you whether intentionally or not with your requirements are deeming ArchiCAD to be as any other program that we usually bash against for those aspect that we like in ArchiCAD and let me explain it in plain simple words:

1. If ArchiCAD is a programming layer, GDL is a lower one, the access from the lower to the higher layer is limited, ie: aside of the capabilities of ArchiCAD, GDL can access some of it, not all of it. Why I know this, because from time to time I bump into it.

2. To access the full potential of ArchiCAD you need to learn how to use the API, and what I have tried (beside others) is to ask Graphisoft emulate Rhino's policy respecting API, to make it open no questions asked, and providing related training material, easy enough to understand for programming novice (GDL included).

3. About Revit's Families, let's say that most what Autodesk says about it is true, have you not known that everything in Revit is a Family, and not just the family editor ... If an ArchiCAD lingo, it's like saying everything in ArchiCAD is a GDL object, guess what, those of us who know how to program in GDL have been using this option ever since we there was GDL.

4. For those of you talking about GDL being an arcane language, sorry to tell you, GDL right now with all the options it have should have been an Industry Standard, just imagine the amount of data that can be embedded in a compact simple object, with a minimal memory requirements, that makes large and complex projects filled with GDL objects achievable, does it means that it's perfect, of course not, but it can be improved. And compared to current status of other languages, GDL is just in the sweet spot for what it was intended for, an easy language with huge capabilities for object creation.
And if you're so sure of yourself, show me a modern modelling language that can do the same!!!!

5. The GDL editor, is lagging compared to other IDE's that you all can get your hands on, but have you just compared Grasshoppers C#, VBA & Python component ??!!!!!

6. All those programs that you told here, like Marionett, Dynamo, etc ... if you were aware they all came out after Grasshopper becoming relevant in the AEC industry, and I see this as a defensive action against losing users base, because what is lacking in all those programs doesn't make leaving Grasshopper an option.

7. Continuing no. 6, I can clearly see that going to algorithmic graphical editors such as Grasshopper is a lost battle not a lost war, and it would be better that Graphisoft improve ArchiCAD at its core, and increase its compatibility with Grasshopper for the time being and for the near-to mid future, without forgetting to sell ArchiCAD as the to go BIM platform for Grasshopper lovers. Both users have similar mindsets, and they can appreciate that.

8. About who of you talking about programming is not an Architect's mind set, sorry to tell you, time have already changed, and as @leceta have just said, it's just a matter of time that architects would have to learn coding to find a job or be unemployed.
Just to make it clear, you're not asked to be the next coding genius, but knowing how to extract, prepare and present data is and will be essential.

9. Sometime I get the feeling that people here treat programming as an esoteric or a taboo subject, that must be left alone, untouched. I´m sorry to tell you, that mind set, is like boomers who refuses to learn how to use technology but will not say no for reaping its benefits, and I know some cases.

10. Those of you who know me, know very well that Ii like to share the following video:
https://vimeo.com/203509846

I´m sure that some of you will dismiss it, other will open his/her mouth in awe thinking that this is futuristic, guess what it's niether, it's a the sign of a turning point of the whole AEC industry (as was ArchiCADand every other BIM platform in the time of CAD), and it was already here, and I say was, because I will not be suprised that in few years this will be the norm, and ArchiCAD must offer solutions for that and better just to ensure it's position in the BIM and algorithmic scape of our professions.
A good friend of mine have once told me that I´m so brute that I´m capable of creating a GDL script capable of creating GDLs.

Jp1138
Expert
Completely agree, specially in the API part. I cannot understand what Graphisoft is gaining limiting the use of it. Let the users unleash the full potential of the program, please.
ARCHICAD 24 SPA
Windows 10

Braza
Newcomer
@Moonlight and Jp113

I am a bit curious... If I may ask: What is your professional background? And what is your main professional activity?
Paulo Henrique Santos, Architect
AC24_INT#3008 / I7 / 16Gb / 512Mb SSD / Windows 10

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