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May 17, 2009


Evan Yares

All CAD companies are happy to provide import translators.

Few CAD companies are quite so happy to provide export translators.

Autodesk gets no points for interoperability unless they provide bidirectional translation. Or, better yet, publish an open-source software library for reading their files, as McNeel does.

Tony Tanzillo

"SketchUp Translator"

Not sure how useful it will be when features that should have been in AutoCAD 5-10 years ago aren't present today, but are in tools like SketchUp.

Dynamic Components for example, are 3D animals, rather than a 'ten-years-after-the-competition-did-it' feature whose primary design criteria is that it must be functionally crippled in order to ensure it does not cannobolize the sales of other products.

I think most AutoCAD customers are starting to see the true underlying strategy and aren't liking it too much, which seems to be what inspires them to look at competitive products that offer 80% of the features at 20% of the cost (isn't that what AutoCAD was once billed as?).

Tony Tanzillo

I don't see what point there is in condeming the lack of bi-directional translation, when there is nothing to translate.

AutoCAD for example, provides no functional counterpart to SketchUp's 3D Dynamic Components. IOW, there is no possible conversion or translation of them to AutoCAD.

If AutoCAD supported many of the features and functionality that Autodesk seems to believe would result in cannobolizing the sales of other products they have targeted at AutoCAD users, conversion/translation would be possible, and we would have third party translators coming out of our ears.

Scott Sheppard

The page is a work in progress. When a technology preview goes live, I add navigation elements to the Labs site so people can easily find it. I also post on http://labs.blogs.com to announce availability. I've always done it this way. When people stumble upon the pre-release pages, it starts to get the word out. Thanks for helping in this regard.

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