21 Replies Latest reply on Dec 20, 2007 8:30 PM by Matt Lombard

    2008 wuzzupwiddat?

    Matt Lombard
      Here's one that's bugged me since beta. I figured I'd wait to SP1 to make a stink about it. So SP1 is here, and so is this bug.

      I like the sketch workflow where you select a plane, then click on the sketch tool you want to use and start sketching. I used to use it a lot. These days I just scratch my head instead of using it. I'm thinking of doing my sketches in Autocad now. sorry, couldn't resist.

      SW has added some cool new sketch tools in 2008, again, which I wish I could use. Maybe they'll get it all together at some point. Who knows.

      Thankfully I bill hourly, although I doubt my customers want to pay for me to figure out the interface and all the new bugs. SolidWorks gets me to pay them for the priviledge of finding their bugs and arguing with their tech support that it is even a bug, and I'm just the chump to do it.

      Anyway, getting to my point, in 2008, you can not first click a plane and then click the Centerpoint Rectangle and expect to be able to sketch a Centerpoint Rectangle on the plane like with other sketch entities. SolidWorks plays a really mean trick on you. It was funny the first time, but optimist that I am, I get fooled by it every time hoping it was operator error or they fixed it or something, and now it;s just plain annoying.

      After you select a plane, and then the sketch tool, they tell you in the PropertyManager that covers up the FeatureManager to select a plane. Well, I can't see my planes because they're covered up by this stoopid message, plus, I already had one picked. So by this time I've probably thrown my mouse at someone walking by my cubicle (although I work at home and live by myself). Anyway, I'm trying to make a joke of it, but it's really annoying, and I could have reported this to tech support as a bug, but who wants to argue with them when doing it this way is so much more fun?

      SolidWorks - ATTENTION TO DETAIL COUNTS. Fix the damn software.
        • 2008 wuzzupwiddat?
          Charles Culp
          Most unfortunate.  I always select my plane first, and thenselect the tool I'm going to sketch with.
            • 2008 wuzzupwiddat?
              Dan Riffell
              I'm with you guys, but I didn't notice the bug since I use akeyboard shortcut for rectangle to start my sketch.  Then Iselect the Centerpoint Rectangle when the Rectangle PropertyManager shows up if needed.  Good catch, Matt.  You saidthe PM covers up your FM so you can't select the planes.  I'massuming your FM does pop into your viewport backgroud, so you canpick them.  Right?

              I think there should be an incentive to find and report these bugs. Like, we should get a free "Where'sWaldo" T-shirt if we find two or more...or at least a sixpack...  
                • 2008 wuzzupwiddat?
                  Brian Cayer
                  I vote for the six pack.
                  • 2008 wuzzupwiddat?
                    Matt Lombard
                    Dan,

                    Yes, I can still use the flyout, but why would I want to? I already have a plane selected when I click the tool. Plus, you've got the FeatureManager right where you want it, and then when the PropertyManager pops up, you've first got to expand the flyout, then scroll to your plane.

                    If SW is so worried about mouse travel and button clicks, it would go a good bit further toward that goal if they would just fix existing stuff rather than breaking new things.

                    I don't know how people who write books and software Help documentation do it. Do you document the way the software works or the way its supposed to work?

                    My main peeve is that this was reported in beta, and here it is even after the first service pack. What exactly are we accomplishing in beta?
                      • 2008 wuzzupwiddat?
                        Dan Riffell
                        I'm pickin' up what you're layin' down, Matt.  I think it'sinteresting as well that this feature (Centerpoint Rectangle) iswhat I would normally consider a good improvement, and it washeavily promoted in all of the roll-outs that I attended.  Whywould you come up with an excellent idea and just let it flounderthrough to V1.0?  I have no idea.
                  • 2008 wuzzupwiddat?
                    Devon Sowell
                    Hi Matt-

                    Thanks for pointing this out, all this time, I thought I was making some kind of mistake while using 2008.

                    However, as long as Users keep blindly upgrading to the newest version, bugs and all, and then continue to report the bugs to SolidWorks, and SolidWorks keeps offering Service Packs, nothing is going to change! What is the incentive for SolidWorks to change from the status quo? They've got thousands of Users Beta checking their software and submitting reports for free! Of course, almost none of these Users are trained to Test software applications.

                    My new mantra; "No Service Packs", fully mature and fully tested software only!
                      • 2008 wuzzupwiddat?
                        Matt Lombard
                        Devon,

                        Yes, I'm starting to like your "no service packs" idea. I don't want to use the software for production work until its right anyway. If that puts them behind by an entire release cycle, so be it.

                        Mistakes are one thing, but as it is, they are making conscious decisions to send out crippled software to paying users.

                        It would be a different issue if this were the only bug I've reported in the last week, but its not. The search paths thing is a mess, and changes between 07 and 08, not right in either. There is a problem with the ruled surface. Someone in the surfacing area found one where a face fillet with hold lines between surface bodies previews but doesn't work. Some of this stuff is kind of niche applications, but if you're going to write it, you might as well write it right.

                        I've found in business as an independent that there is nothing as valuable as your reputation, and SW has a reputation for sloppy stuff. In my opinion 2008 needs another 6 months of work before it is ready for the public. I like some of the cool new stuff, but I can wait til its ready.

                        I'm just one guy. How many other people run across this and other stuff everyday? Please, put my subscription money toward fixing, not breaking.
                          • 2008 wuzzupwiddat?
                            Devon Sowell
                            Hello Matt-

                            "I don't want to use the software for production work until its right anyway. If that puts them behind by an entire release cycle, so be it. "

                            Yes, I agree.

                            "Mistakes are one thing, but as it is, they are making conscious decisions to send out crippled software to paying users."

                            This blows my mind too. I never knowingly send out bad work, I'd be out of business!

                            "It would be a different issue if this were the only bug I've reported in the last week, but its not. The search paths thing is a mess, and changes between 07 and 08, not right in either. There is a problem with the ruled surface. Someone in the surfacing area found one where a face fillet with hold lines between surface bodies previews but doesn't work. Some of this stuff is kind of niche applications, but if you're going to write it, you might as well write it right."

                            The impression is that Marketing is King at SolidWorks Corporation.

                            "I've found in business as an independent that there is nothing as valuable as your reputation, and SW has a reputation for sloppy stuff. In my opinion 2008 needs another 6 months of work before it is ready for the public. I like some of the cool new stuff, but I can wait til its ready."

                            I'd wait 12 months.
                              • 2008 wuzzupwiddat?
                                Charles Culp
                                I just want to say thank-you to everyone who participates in the"Gamma Testing" release program.  My company neverupgrades until SP 2 or 3, and we appreciate your support in makingthe SW2008 SP3 release a successful one for us.
                                  • 2008 wuzzupwiddat?
                                    Kevin Quigley
                                    Like Charles I have opted to never move to a  major releaseuntil at least SP3. I've had the 2008 DVD sitting in its box nowfor a few weeks and it will stay there.

                                    Got to say that SolidWorks is no different to any other CADsoftware vendor in this respect. It is a problem across the wholeindustry. Launch with great gusto, then get your early adopterusers and new buyers (them I really feel sorry for!) to report thebugs and eventually you will get a reasonably stable releasebefore, a month later, releasing the next big version.......

                                    I tend to report bugs and last year I totted up all the time spent:

                                    1) trying to get a workaround
                                    2) reporting it to the VARs or companies direct
                                    3) uploading example files that repeat the bug
                                    4) following up

                                    It amounted to over 60 hours of downtime. Then we get the bill forannual maintenance and support and we pay it. Are we mugs orwhat?

                                    Personally I think the software companies should offer incentivesto customers who take the time to find and report bugs and betatest software. At least some pro rata reduction in annualmaintenance fee for bug reporting. For beta testing, I don't doSolidWorks, but I do for a few others and they tend to offerincentives, some worthwhile others token.

                                    I attribute a value to my time and to be frank as a customer I'mnot here to subsidise a successful software company's QAoverheads.

                                    One final point. I beta test for another CAD company and after itreleased its new version a user asked about upgrading immediatelyfor 25 users on its forum. I suggested multiple users don't upgradeuntil SP1 or SP2 en masse, but maybe trial one or two seats now tophase it in. Next day I got a call from the company - direct fromthe marketing VP - to say I was being "non positive"(whatever the hell that meant). Just wonder if you get those callsMatt
                                      • 2008 wuzzupwiddat?
                                        Matt Lombard
                                        Kevin,

                                        I upgrade because I have to. The work that I do is directly related to the newest versions, so I don't have any choice. If I were in a more typical production modeling environment, I would be more cautious.

                                        About the "non-positive" calls, believe it or not, I don't get those. I know I rub some SW people the wrong way, but that's fine with me, that's a two way street.

                                        The crazy thing about it is that when I used to post at comp.cad.solidworks, I would get blasted there for being a mindless SW shill.

                                        I have to say that there are a couple of individuals at SW who have been very helpful to me personally. Mark Biasotti is trying, and has been very helpful, even if I don't always agree with his solutions to things, I do think he's part of what is going right at SW at the moment. Jim Wilkinson is another. I know I've blasted the new interface, and he's the "usability" guy directly responsible for the interface mess, but he's also in charge of fixing the Help, which is getting some attention.

                                        Maybe that attention is because I'm the author of a book that doesn't gloss over the shortcomings in the software. I'd rather be working with them than against them, but how am I supposed to write about the Undercut Detection tool when it is almost ALWAYS completely wrong? How do I describe Toolbox when the default settings could only be described as "malicious"? There's tons of stuff like this, not all so dramatic.

                                        No one at SW is actively antagonistic toward me personally, at least not to my face. SW corp. is a highly political environment, and there are little things that seem to "go wrong" all the time, which I wouldn't be surprised if there were folks pulling out their Matt Lombard voodoo dolls and taking a jab at me every time I fail to write something glowing with sunny optimism. Some resellers really despise me, but not all. I have some good reseller friends. Typically, the more party line/political the person is, the less they appreciate my methods and contribution.

                                        Anyway, I don't believe that SW employees are stupid or incompetent, I just think that some decision making somewhere along the road has its priorities out of order. I believe that individual career decisions may often be coming before "what's best for users". I don't know how to counter that. Your career is very important to you, how can I ask you to put my interests before your career? I guess I would hope to convince people that what is good for me is also good for you, but so far that isn't working. That's part of the political mess that you can just never get past. It's a non-technical reason why some things will simply never get fixed. People have careers and egos staked on particular questions about the software that are obviously wrong from a technical point of view. Like the ethics problems involved in sending out buggy software, backwards compatibility, compatibility with Catia. I mean SW has better compatibility with Autocad than it has with itself for crying out loud. SW treats existing customers like we don't exist, and they are only interested in getting one more Autocad user to change over. None of that benefits me or you at all, in fact they are quite the opposite of a benefit.

                                        I believe some, maybe even most people at SW are committed to a quality product in an honestly commendable way, but those are certainly not the people who approve software to be released to paying customers or those who prioritize how many fixes are added vs how many gewgaws. Personally I'd be ashamed of sending out work in such condition.

                                        Sorry, this was just going to be a quickie repsonse, but I got carried away again.
                                    • 2008 wuzzupwiddat?
                                      Guys,

                                      Thanks for articulating this, as a result we have it as a "critical fix" SPR 386967 for SP2.
                                        • 2008 wuzzupwiddat?
                                          Matt Lombard
                                          Thanks, Mark. I do appreciate it.
                                            • 2008 wuzzupwiddat?
                                              Steve Calvert
                                              Mark, thanks, also, for the quick response. I know you understand that some things just don't make sense when we users see them. I have yet to upgrade to 2008 but I am going to start working on some things this week. Workflow is very important to speed and since SW is a sketched based program it makes sense that we have the ability to continue to sketch the way that seems to be the quickest.

                                              Thanks for all that do the beta testing and for all that start using the early release.

                                              Steve
                                            • 2008 wuzzupwiddat?
                                              Devon Sowell
                                              Hello Mark-

                                              Thanks for the response and taking corrective action.
                                                • 2008 wuzzupwiddat?
                                                  Matt Lombard
                                                  I got an off-line response from someone who said that this problem doesn't exist if you use Rapid Sketch.

                                                  That is correct, but it is replaced by another workflow problem. If you want to create a centered rectangle, where do you place the center of a centered rectangle 90% of the time? At the origin. But with Rapid Sketch turned on, it just starts sketching where ever you select the sketch plane, so you can't start a centered rectangle at the origin.

                                                  Does anyone involved in writing and testing this functionality at SW actually use the software? I mean, the centered rectangle is a piece of functionality SW should have had 10 years ago, and now when it is implemented, there are these two what I consider to be major workflow faux pas when using it. It really says to me that no one is paying attention to detail, but you sure as hell got that box checked off the "competes with AutoCAD" list, whether it works or not seems irrelevant.
                                                    • 2008 wuzzupwiddat?
                                                      Matthew Lorono
                                                      I've put in a couple of ER's over the past few years suggesting alternative software release methods. These days, IT in big companies can take 1 whole year to prepare and implement the installation of a new version of software. It seems that technology in the software development doesn't really work on a 1 year cycle anyway. Also, most companies have a person use the same computer for 2 to 4 years.

                                                      My suggestion, based on the above observations, is that SolidWorks should be released on a 2 to 4 year cycle. This will give SW time to stablize each version the software. Under this scenario, upgrades with new features can still be released, but they are optional, not mandatory. If someone comes across a model with a new feature that they didn't install yet, they can simply install that update module at that time. Only if that new feature used will an update be required. This will improve backward compatibility too since the software will remain relatively unchanged for a good period of time, with updates being optional.

                                                      A four year cycle should be used unless some revolutionary advancement happens, then they can reduce the period to 2 years for that instance.

                                                      • 2008 wuzzupwiddat?
                                                        Neal Rusy

                                                        matt lombard wrote:

                                                         

                                                        I got an off-line response from someone who said that this problem doesn't exist if you use Rapid Sketch.



                                                        That is correct, but it is replaced by another workflow problem. If you want to create a centered rectangle, where do you place the center of a centered rectangle 90% of the time? At the origin. But with Rapid Sketch turned on, it just starts sketching where ever you select the sketch plane, so you can't start a centered rectangle at the origin.



                                                        Does anyone involved in writing and testing this functionality at SW actually use the software? I mean, the centered rectangle is a piece of functionality SW should have had 10 years ago, and now when it is implemented, there are these two what I consider to be major workflow faux pas when using it. It really says to me that no one is paying attention to detail, but you sure as hell got that box checked off the "competes with AutoCAD" list, whether it works or not seems irrelevant.

                                                        Matt, I also suffer from a conditioned response of selecting the plane first then the tool for what I'm sketching - go figure. I don't know if you have come up with a work around but my work around is to select the plane then the corner rectangle which brings up the feature manager then select the center rectangle. 3 clicks instead of 2 oh well maybe they will get it right next time eh. I couldn't agree more about the shoddy programming that SW has come up with in the race
                                                        to stay ahead of the competition sadly enough they really don't need to.
                                            • 2008 wuzzupwiddat?
                                              I can confirm fixed in SP2EV