Maybe Your Lights Go Back On

Tags block, symbol, Symbol Set, customization

As a portion of the country recovers from days without power because of Irene here's a simple thought to consider...

Where did your SMH block come from?

When your org adopted Land Desktop the odds are you pretty much tweaked what came out the box. In the old days, DCA/Softdesk actually did a lot of the basic setup work for you. That was important to the software's adoption and it's continued success in the marketplace.

After Autodesk acquired LDT, they just kept shipping all those parts and pieces that worked. They hardly changed a thing. Yippie.

If you are still using LDT today, I'll bet you pretty much use the blocks from the Symbol Set Manager, a standard .dfm file, and layer scheme (maybe tweaked a little) that installed with the software. Sure, you massaged the linetype files, maybe the .pat files, and a few other little things. It took a while for LDT to get to this point. In the end, LDT pretty much worked out of the box. Yippie!

This is NOT true for AutoCAD Civil 3D 

Autodesk historically has NOT done this for its other CAD products. They'll usually ship a few basic examples - some basic fodder - and that's it.
From Autodesk's perspective everyone's going to customize and change the software to meet their own needs anyway. Why bother?

Now another fact about AutoCAD Civil 3D is that there are a LOT MORE details to get "right" to "make it run out of the box" than there ever were in LDT. Scale matters. 
This is NOT a failing of Civil 3D.
This is a fact of life in model-based software. Even Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, etc all ship with Styles and Themes for the same reason.
Increased design capability comes with a price - increased complexity and a need to be well prepared BEFORE you go to work.

Besides the increased quantity of detail, those details all affect each other in ways that can be difficult to predict. Yeah Civil 3D is... 

Just Like a Hurricane

Even if you have a good idea where the storm's going to go, you still might be very surprised what the storm actually does. You're worried about the wind and the waves on the beach. Your grandma is flooded from her home up in the hills a hundred miles away.

Civil 3D's little details wind up piling up like a flood of consequences and therefore affect significantly the ease of use of the software. Based on their personal experience, lot's of people keep saying this is "True" about Civil 3D .

This is NOT the fault of the software itself. The Civil 3D code is killer and incredibly capable. So from a user experience,
"I must be stupid, need more training, or something."  
If you cannot make a tool work consistently, it is going to be a LOT harder to learn too.

Did your lights come back on?

Jump. It Simply Makes More Sense.

When people ask, "What does the Jump do?"

The answer is simple. The Jump makes AutoCAD Civil 3D run, plot, and work right out of the box. Instead of doing all the customization work to make it work, you change ONLY the few things you MUST change to get work out the door.

Mostly this means answering the question, "Do you need this now? Yes or No?

Now that's a tough question to answer...