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Topics - Patriiick

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AutoCAD talk / AutoCAD Q&A site
« on: February 06, 2011, 06:43:34 PM »
There is now a specific Q&A AutoCAD multilingual site at

target audience:{beginner}

This site / I wish you a very happy new year ++2010!
« on: January 01, 2011, 06:11:01 PM »
I wish you a very happy new year ++2010!

This site / Testing code highlighting
« on: December 14, 2010, 04:53:31 PM »
I am testing code highlighting on this site, looks like C++ code is rendered quite well, this is not the case for VB. I am using Google Prettify API. If you can help for VB to be rendered better, please reply here, thanks!  :sourire:

When posting code, use the "code" BBC icon to enclose your code and please do not post the XML help code for VB NET (the one with three single quotes), because it messes up the syntax highlighter.

AutoCAD talk / Matrix multiplication
« on: December 14, 2010, 09:33:33 AM »
Kean Walmsley (@keanw) wonders if talking about Matrix Multiplication and covering such mathematical topics on his blog would be of any interest to you. What do you think?


target audience:{advanced}

AutoCAD talk / QR Codes for AutoCAD from Autodesk Labs
« on: December 08, 2010, 02:01:52 PM »
This plugin can be used embed QR Codes in AutoCAD drawings. QR Codes are 2-dimensional bar codes that can be used to encode various types of data. One likely use of this tool would be to encode data into drawings' title sheets for later decoding via a mobile device at the job site.

C# language / Advanced Deepclone API in AutoCAD®
« on: December 07, 2010, 11:01:52 AM »
Learn how to customize and control AutoCAD using the deepclone API. In-depth, step-by-step instructions to understand the particular design philosophy of AutoCAD will give audiences a better understanding of what's going on under the hood. Explore the principles of object references in the AutoCAD DWG file and how AutoCAD works with them. Many scenarios will be reviewed during this lecture including xref and xref in-place editing. (source)

target audience:{advanced}

This site / Jerry Winters VB .NET tutorial support forum
« on: December 05, 2010, 05:53:16 PM »
If you purchased Jerry Winters VB .NET tutorial support book (paper or PDF), you can request to have access to the "Jerry Winters VB .NET tutorial support forum" on this site. Proof of purchase will be requested so to not divulgate Jerry's book material to anyone. You can request access to this forum in your profile.

target audience:{beginner}

In this class we will work through some practical examples of customizing AutoCAD entity behavior using the .NET Overrule API introduced in AutoCAD 2010. Coding examples will be presented in VB.NET, but the concepts demonstrated apply to all other .NET programming languages; by Stephen Preston. (source)

target audience:{intermediate}

Visual Studio environment / Making Progress with the .NET API
« on: December 05, 2010, 01:10:57 AM »
Ever have one of those long operations in your program that leaves the user wondering if the application is responding? This class will show you real .NET code using the API to create and update the progress bar meter in AutoCAD®. We will focus on how to query the status of a long operation and translate it into percentage complete. You will see how you can update the status message and present users with a way to escape from long operations during processing, by Doug Goforth. (source)

target audience:{advanced}

Visual Studio environment / .NET Languages: Which One Do I Choose?
« on: December 05, 2010, 01:00:11 AM »
Developing powerful AutoCAD® add-ins in  .NET can be an enjoyable experience. But which language is the best to use? VB.NET? C#? And are there other .NET languages to choose from? In 60 minutes, we will examine the benefits of each .NET language and cover critical decision-making topics. A presentation by Jerry Winters. (source)

target audience:{beginner}

AutoCAD talk / Keeping AutoCAD Fresh, Cool, and Relevant
« on: December 03, 2010, 09:04:44 PM »
Listen to Guri Stark, VP and General Manager, Autocad and Platform Products, talk about where Autodesk is taking AutoCAD®. Stark says Autodesk wants to make sure AutoCAD remains a vibrant product not only for its 9 million current users, but for new generations of designers coming out of college. Scanning capabilities and photogrammetry are only two of the new interesting applications and functionalities Autodesk is exploring as it continues to invest in the things customers care about. (source)

Read aloud:

target audience:{beginner}

This site / Where are you from?
« on: December 03, 2010, 08:43:08 PM »
AcadNETwork is young but more and more popular...  :clin_oeil_tres_rapide:

Visitors come from:


AutoCAD talk / Programming languages and AutoCAD
« on: December 01, 2010, 09:07:26 PM »
Read aloud:

Hello, I'm going to talk today about a subject dear to my heart, programming languages and AutoCAD.

AutoCAD is dear to my heart because I worked with it for very long, about 20 years. At first, I drew lines that were supposed to represent real things. This is typically how the draftsman and AutoCAD work, creating geometric objects representing real objects. Thus, a double line represents a  wall in architectural drawing. We know this because a wall is conventionally represented as such. We are sure that this is not a pipe, because it is virtually impossible that a pipe is located here on the plan, without putting the building in danger of collapsing. This tells a lot about the empiricism of the method ...

This approach has limitations. It can lead to misinterpretations. It assumes that the draftsman, and all those who read his plan, know about the industry, conventions and symbols to represent reality.

For many years, it was the only way to work when people did not yet have computers. No other solution than the good old drawing board.

The 2D Computer Aided Design has long been the standard in computer drafting. Things have started moving when we could assemble some primary objects such as lines, and make a block of them. Then give it a name. But we still stayed in the symbolic field.

Much later, we started using 3D CAD, particularly in the field of mechanics, and later, in the field of architecture. The idea then came to no longer represent and manipulate only the primary objects and clusters of primary objects such as blocks, but actually existing objects such as walls, windows, furniture, etc.. We began to give intelligence to objects ... I leave you to ponder on the end of this sentence.

Of course, these real-world objects were virtually always represented by a set of geometric primary objects. It can not be otherwise. We can not fit an entire building in the memory of a computer, as powerful as it may be. Do not believe what they tell you, the Building Object Model (BOM), does not exist yet ...

But what this has to do with programming? For I can feel impatience in your eyes.

Programming a computer is writing a series of instructions for it to perform tasks that would be too cumbersome or too slow or impossible to perform by a human being. And it is clear that in CAD terms, particularly AutoCAD, many programs have been writen almost since the origin of the software to automate the design. The LISP language is certainly the best known. He had been chosen by Autodesk long ago because it was a very high level language suited to the unstructured aspect of an AutoCAD drawing. On the other hand, this language can manipulate lists, ie collections of objects, and God knows if in an AutoCAD drawing there are many collections of objects.

But if you look at the source code of a program written in LISP, you will hardly recognize the objects of the real world. You may be able with a little luck, if the programmer has done its work, recognize the names of certain variables. But otherwise, nothing is further from your drawing that the source code of a LISP program.

Programming is a job for specialists. While many people jumped into AutoCAD LISP programming, and came to make respectable programs often through many hours, sometimes on their own time, and I speak knowingly, spent documenting, interacting with other people on the Internet, reading books on the subject, to acquire basic knowledge of the programmer. Despite the LISP language is very nice, coming from artificial intelligence concepts, it still requires smart programmers.

Things were quite clear when LISP was the only way to program in AutoCAD, I speak of course of end users programmers, and not development professionals, who programmed in C language.

But you will say, things are quite clear: to write a program, you must be a programmer.

Well, it does not seem to me that this is an absolute necessity, even if it has always been the case. To be a good programmer, you must have certain qualities. You must have logic, you must know the field of application of your programs, ie AutoCAD, be able to speak correctly, understand specifications, build a project, and then an algorithm and then write code.

Note that for LISP, it is not necessary to know the intricacies of how a computer works, and how work a compiler.

This is probably one reason for the popularity of LISP. It is accessible to non-specialists.

Then came much later Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), and more recently the Microsoft environment. NET, which is presented to us as the pinnacle of development environments. At that point the poor VBA is slowly abandoned despite the many services he has rendered.

Does the VBA became a bad language? Is LISP obsolete?

No, no. This is not that at all. The VBA is abandoned because Microsoft has decided so. What do we have instead? Well, you still have the old LISP that can render services, except if you have to program dialog boxes in which case you'll have much trouble. And then of course the famous. NET Visual Studio that Microsoft is pushing with its Autodesk partner.

Only now it is more difficult. You don't switch from an appropriate language such as AutoCAD LISP, for a language still quite suitable as AutoCAD VBA, but we switch from two languages, sometimes complementary, moreover, the LISP and VBA for an environment with several programming languages, which is quite clearly a tool for professionals.

That is the node of the problem. We hear that NET is better, is faster, is more powerful than what we had until now.

But we also hear more and more little voices saying best is the enemy of good ...

So we've moved from a very high level language, LISP, to a language level a bit lower, the VBA language to even lower, Visual Basic, C# or F# in the. NET environment. To be forced to move from a high level language to low level language does not seem to me we are raising the level, but instead we are likely to soon touch the floor. Nothing less than that.

Because ultimately, what is the purpose of the programming in AutoCAD? Is it knowing the possibilities of the machine, worrying about how a DLL is compiled, win two milliseconds here and there? Not at all, these things are concerns for professional programmer disconnected from the real world. AutoCAD end users want the job to be done more quickly than by hand, and frankly, a procedure wich takes 2 ms more than another is totally meaningless.

In the field of programming for AutoCAD, we are clearly starting to get away from the basics needs. The people who program for AutoCAD waste time learning things that can be used in designing an operating system, but certainly not in answering CAD users needs.

To take the example of creating a single line, it is of course much faster to program in LISP or VBA, that to do so using .NET environment. I think any programmer will not deny that. You can see .NET developers attempting the impossible and pathetic, but brave, explanation of .NET merits:

If a program draws 10 000 lines with LISP, 10,000 lines with VBA and 10,000 lines with Visual Basic .NET, . NET draws these lines much faster ... Big deal!

Nobody cares. What AutoCAD draftsman spends his days drawing every 10 seconds 10 000 lines? I'll tell you what interests the draftsman using AutoCAD developments: it's when requesting a modification in a development from his IT department, the computers guys will have to correct one line of code rather than 25. And frankly, the developer is also interested in that. And this certainly will not happen in the .NET environment, because while the LISP guy has already done its correction, the VBA programmer is finishing typing its line of code, and the unfortunate .NET programmer is still looking for an hypothetical Web support among hypothetical examples of codes routines that will allow him to understand in what dialect to talk to the computer.

So everything is still to be invented. I almost said to be reinvented. No. We must take the problem at its root. We have to start from the begining, that is the end user. Inventing a programming language that is a level far higher than VBA and LISP. A computer is quite capable of understanding a sentence logically expressed as this: I draw a polyline from the point 0,0, then I go to 5,5, and then I go to 10,10. There is absolutely no problem for a computer to understand this sentence. The huge advantage is that human beings around the machine, yes there are still a few, will also understand what it means. It is a decisive advantage because we will not need Champollion and the Rosetta stone and spend hundreds of hours transcribing spoken language into language understood by the machine.

 Note that this already exists, it is called algorithmic. But computer specialists will tell you that a computer can not directly understand an algorithmic language. That's true. Well they just need to get back to work, and program the intermediary level between the machine and humans. Instead of leaving it to companies IT guys using AutoCAD who really have something else to do but to understand the inner workings of machines.

All efforts put into the development environment. NET should therefore be turned into writing independent libraries capable of manipulating objects that AutoCAD draftsmans know. Thus the role of the programmer in the IT department of these companies is to describe an algorithmic procedure that would be transcribed in a transparent language understandable by the machine, then the final code would be run.

And I'm sorry to say, but Visual Basic, C #, F #, have no resemblance at all to a very high level language.

The .NET development environment is supposed to meet every need, unfortunately, and therefore certainly not the particular needs of AutoCAD draftsmen.

I end on a hopeful note: it seems that a new language called DesignScript is coming out, these are the rumors at Autodesk University 2010, very good. But as I understood, even if we will have more precise information later, it would be a sort of macro language rather designed for the field of construction and architecture.

What I am thinking about here is not something for a particular product or even domain, because even if you are under the impression everyone is on the 3D bandwagon manipulating clever objects, most people still draw 2D objects that are entirely virtual and symbolic, and I have a feeling that these people are being left behind by genius nerds who believe they have done a great deal in finding out that the essence of existence is to save two milliseconds.

this article is available in french
cet article est disponible en français

versão português

target audience:{intermediate}

Windows forms / AutoCAD® .NET: Developing a User Interface Using WinForms
« on: November 29, 2010, 08:40:33 PM »
Good user interface design is paramount for any successful software application, and your AutoCAD .NET add-in is no exception. In this class, you will get an overview of the scale and range of Microsoft® .NET WinForms features and how to use them effectively. We show you how to work with .NET WinForms, how to create custom palettes, and how to implement event handling so your interface can respond to actions initiated by the user. We also demonstrate creating reusable .NET controls that can be used easily across multiple .NET applications and in multiple scenarios.

target audience:{intermediate}

Visual Basic language / An Introduction to VB.NET
« on: November 29, 2010, 08:36:17 PM »
Learn how to create new, dialog-box-driven tools within AutoCAD® that are developed to match your specific requirements. This course will introduce you to the creation of new tools based on the VB.NET framework. You will learn how to move around the Microsoft® Visual Studio® interface, the difference between the different types of classes, you will be shown how to create dialog boxes with your own buttons and menus and how to add code for each of these different buttons and menus. The course will specifically focus on the printing features of VB.NET and the method of batch printing drawings. This course is designed as an introduction to VB.NET and will benefit those interested in developing their own applications.

target audience:{beginner}

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