By 'work environment' I am referring to whether one is in the floor plan/3D etc.window or in the Layout windows of what used to be PlotMaker; not
the Work Environment as we know in ArchiCAD. Perhaps I should have made this clear.
You said in your post:
what if the pensets themselves were able to change automatically when in particular environments? so: penset 'A' has a model and layout definition attached to it. depending on the environment you're working in, the pens change themselves?
So, if I read you correctly, I'm thinking: it is somewhat disjointed to have to define pens themselves twice for each Pen Set. Just think about it: you go into the Pen Sets dialog, arrange the pen colors and thicknesses, first Pen 1, then Pen 2, then Pen 3 and so on all the way to Pen 255; then go over them again and arrange their alternate state for output use, Pen 1, then Pen 2, then Pen 3 and so on all the way to Pen 255 again. What this does, is, effectively, rendering the working environment (i.e. modelling or outputting) a parameter for the Pen Set; the Pen Set has to ask itself 'What is my current environment?' in order to define itself. Not to mention that you would have to go through the tedious ritual of specifying pen colors and thicknesses unnecessarily for the various Pen Sets, even if their settings are identical (e.g. Pen Sets 'FormalPlots' and 'WorkingPlots' might have different definitions for outputting, but they might share the same definitions for modelling - although both of the same definitions would have to be copiously arranged by the user).
On the other hand, Mike Hann's proposition makes things more modular. You only specify the various sets of pen colors and thicknesses once for each Pen Set, just like what happens now in ArchiCAD 10, and then decide which two sets from the ones you've set up will be used for modelling and for outputting for each of your Saved Views. Much simpler, since information is only entered once and referenced many times.
This is also what I mean when I mention the 'database schema' in my post above.
MacBook Pro 17" 2.4GHz, MacOS X 10.5.6, ArchiCAD 11 & 12, WinXP, Vista (well, not really Vista...)