Serious Views in Civil 3D

Tags IYI, View, ViewFrame, named views, standards, Civil 3D 2019, Civil 3D 2018

I’m not sure whether to laugh hysterically or cry uncontrollably. No, my on-going personal trauma is not about the Green New Deal which I think I’ve aptly renamed to HSSPHI -
How to Steal Something and Pretend to Help the Ignorant.

HSSPHI is pronounced Hiss FY. Sort of like sf-fi but with a note of lisp with a strong hint of derision. Don’t you love the built-in semantic reference to the irrational number phi? Very fitting Econ Math Nerd humor. In this case, phi doesn’t sound like it will fly. This tired form of phi is truly the Leaden and not the Golden Ratio. No. It is not a Laffer curve ball.

“Somebody help the poor boy!”

                             – Blazing Saddles, 1974

If you don’t understand that pertinent comedic reference to the threat to blow your brains out, you should. Come on folks. BS is back on Netflicks. BS is the Mel Brooks best of diversity training on steroids.

We Need to Talk…

About IYI - Intellectual Yet Idiot. Nicolas Taleb’s famous Medium post deserves a mandatory preamble reread before every upcoming televised political debate or committee meeting about budget in the US Congress. Yes. That’s asking a lot. Maybe a requirement that the members and their staffs all watch Blazing Saddles before sitting down to fight would help more. Seriously…

Views are a Serious Matter in Civil 3D

Frank Mayfield recently did a post about the AutoCAD VIEW command and the new Ribbon interface improvements in ACAD 2019. Actually, the improvements were in the AutoCAD 2018.1.2 Update to be precise. His talk about the history of VIEW in AutoCAD got me thinking.

I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry.

Yet another AutoCAD was released this year with no way to share a named View or even a part of the View table between drawings in a project full of drawings. No export Views. No import Views. No Drag. No Drop. Nada. Odds are we are about to get another one. What a drag.

[Cue Queen’s We Will Rock You/We are the Champions track from Bohemian Rhapsody]

Has anyone ever attempted to count the man-hours lost to this lack of basic system management function in AutoCAD?

I do not want to consider the number of workaround gymnastics developed and employed over the years. People could argue that users don’t employ VIEWs because the fundamental mission critical share and management of the VIEW tool is non-existent.

Talk to the Hand

The AutoCAD programming group has certainly attempted to replace the core VIEW command with other new cool tools over the years. I can recall more than a couple of attempts. Open Design Center these days and you will find Detail View Styles and Section View Styles, but no VIEWs.

People love to overthink the problem and overdo the solution.

By my count there are more things in AutoCAD with View in their name than almost anything else except Dims. See. I can resist even when my wits are tempted. I refuse to list them and confuse things more. A case in point - we now have new Shared Views that work in Autodesk cloud-based integrations like BIM 360 docs. Autodesk recognizes we do need to share views to collaborate on projects and make their applications work. Dooh.

I don’t want to confuse the production issue even a little bit.

I can testify since the ability to share VIEWs has been a wish list item for Autodesk AEC customers since probably AutoCAD 2.51. There must be a reason. The only one that occurred to me in the past is that perhaps someone else holds a patent on the idea and Autodesk can’t license it. That can’t be true. Sadly, it might be. Nothing about the sharing of a centerpoint location and an X,Y limits/window reference appears to be remotely significant intellectual property at this point. And yet?

Who knows?

Maybe someone at Autodesk strategically thinks that because Revit and Inventor can do something like it to put the share of VIEW object capability into raw AutoCAD would undermine those sales. Who knows? Wait a minute?

Doesn’t AutoCAD’s display system and the core zoom functionality depend on common named standard set of VIEWs like Top? What gives?

The basic ability to define, name, and share Where we are working seems to me pretty much part of the critical path to working together to achieve project success. What do I know?

Yet Another Layer to the View

Maybe you also noticed that we still can’t share Layer Filter definition lists in raw AutoCAD either. This works in Civil 3D with external files, but not in core AutoCAD? Funny. The code existed before there was a Civil 3D just so you know. Yes. There was a lft (file) before you could get a Lyft on your phone.

You can get AutoCAD mobile for your phone, but you still can’t share where to look?

If someone thinks that “you can build and put them into your templates” is not an IYI answer, I really don’t know what to say.

What was that new word? Oh Yeah. HSSPHI.

Release the Power Beyond the Code
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