AutoCAD users will look at the list of latest improvements to Bricscad, and say, "So?"
Bricscad users will read the list, and go, "Wow!"
When I read the list, I sighed, "Darn."
Bricsys was going to drop in their new, in-house geometry engine into version 10, which goes into beta in a month or so. Instead, they added it to v9.3.9-1, and made it available for download today. The new engine lets Bricscad do ho-hum-to-AutoCAD-users tasks like ignoring gaps in hatch pattern boundaries and filleting polylines with themselves.
Plus another 80 or so changes. For instance, Bricscad goes beyond AutoCAD's list of system variables to provide access to settings AutoCAD does not. For example, this point.release adds two more sysvars:
- DispPaperBkg toggles the sheet image in paper space.
- DispPaperMargins toggles the printable area rectangle.
As for me going "Darn," I'm in the midst of writing a third book on Bricscad, and now I gotta go back and update the appendices with the changes v9.3.8-1 makes to commands and system variables. (The other two books were Inside Bricscad V9 and Customizing Bricscad V9.)
The release also fixes 170 bugs.
...which is always a two-sided thing. Does 170 fewer bugs mean "Wow, it sure was in bad shape!", or does it mean "Wow, it is so much better now!"?
Whatever the case, I've come to chuckle at CAD vendors who boast that they had 10,000 (or whatever) beta testers "ensure this this the best release ever!!!" -- only to ship one or two bug-fixin' service packs in the following months.
Getting Ready for Linux
The programmers at Bricsys continue their conversion of Briscad to OS-independence:
- Print preview
- OLE (object linking and embedding)
- PastClip (paste from clipboard) and PasteSpec (paste special via dialog box).
This involves changing from MFC (Microsoft's GUI code, which locks the software to Windows) to WxWidgets, which frees software to run on multiple operating systems.
The Politics of V10
Dropping in the new home-made geometry engine; switching to WxWidgets. This is all part of Bricsys' master plan to wean itself from its IntelliCAD roots, and be 100% independent as of V10.
The split is more than just code. Over at the IntelliCAD.net forum, member iCADsales.com (who markets progeCAD) accuses Bricsys of "unintentional plagiarism." He surmises that Bricsys learned how to program while a member of ITC. Bricsys, however, was a programming house before ITC came into existence, having writing the TriForma architectural add-on now owned by Bentley Systems.
I suspect the discontent is due to the slow progress IntelliCAD V7 is making relative to Bricscad. V7 also is a complete rewrite, to remove all code written by previous owners Visio, Boomerang, and SoftDesk. (Legally, it is Microsoft who owns the V6.x and earlier IntelliCAD code.) It's a big work-in-progress job, and Bricsys is faster in this race, because they have 2x as many programmers working on the problem.
(To be clear, I also write books on IntelliCAD, progeCAD, Bricscad, and Cadopia: Inside IntelliCAD and Tailoring IntelliCAD.)