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Sneak Peak Into Chief X7 - Posted On Facebook

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I complain but I still Love...

I am sure a gold nugget or two awaits.

The improvements over the years have been fantastic.

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I would go for the framing, although stairs would be nice.

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Put your best engineers on Fixing stairs and elevations (useful stuff) and put the newbies on the GUI stuff  8]

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I used Chief years ago (ver 10) and am considering returning.. The GUI was a good part of why I stopped using Chief and it seems Chief has greatly improved BUT the GUI has not improved.  The GUI is the foundation and needs to be addressed.  The line editing post was absolutely hilarious and reminded me of the frustrations I had with Chief years ago. I saw a post of keyboard short-cuts from glennw that may placate the urgency.. I will see if I can bring those into the trial and give it a go.

 

Don't Kitchen/cabinet guys have specialized programs they use? In 25 years in residential architecture I have NEVER been asked to do any cabinet work so the effort in the cabinet area in X7 is baffling. Even if I did any cabinet work builders will NEVER use them but forward the plans to their K&B team.

 

I think Chief developers simply don't want to swallow the pill they will have to sooner or later. Clearly they under-estimate the impact of the current GUI.

 

I have seen some good result from Sketchup with the help of plugins.. That's my other option.

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Rashid - I am a remodeling contractor. I and many others in my field use Chief for kitchen & bath design either as stand alone items or in conjunction with renovations and additions.

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Rashid - I am a remodeling contractor. I and many others in my field use Chief for kitchen & bath design either as stand alone items or in conjunction with renovations and additions.

 

Dennis - Thanks for the info... Question for you.. how lacking were the K&B tools in X6? It seems the Suggestions section I don't often see many requests regarding Cabinets.

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Rashid - there are many catalogues for different cabinet lines. The vanities are made from cabinets and can be saved if you

have something specific you use regularly. In X7 they are improving the vanity cabinet options by allowing rows and columns of cabiet doors and drawers making it easier to do vanities that are one cabinet but with a mix of doors and drawers. There is a video on it on you tube. THe one thing it does not do is pricing like 20-20 and other cabinet specific software does. Personally I find Chief very good for designing kitchens and baths. Examples attached.

post-132-0-83509300-1418850653_thumb.jpg

post-132-0-72867700-1418850668_thumb.jpg

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Dennis,

 

Those are very very good... It begs the question "what is Chief lacking the most?".. Were cabinets more in need of improvement or GUI/CAD? I know the answer: depends on who you ask.. :):unsure:.. I think Cabinets are easier to improve.

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Here is the problem with CA - you guys are getting too wrapped up with minutia that translates into a pretty picture....and not spending enough time on what matters most.

 

Virtually nothing you guys do in cabinets is "real"....in that all you are doing is making a client concept that can be sent over to the cabinet guys and then the process starts again when they design working drawings based on the concepts.  Seriously, unless some of you (can't be many) are making your own cabinets onsite, many of the features related to cabinets can't be as important as streamlining the GUI or other important issues.

 

These videos CA puts out are nice, but 1 in 20 clients (maybe) do I have to put forth this type of interior concept....and even then they aren't actually asking for it.  CA, you guys creating a product that specializes in something that blows the socks off of would-be CAD buyers, but in truth isn't actually needed most the time in the practice of architecture or home design.  What CA is getting really good at is more interior design in nature.

 

Oddly, what CA specializing in would probably have more use in commercial work where this type of interior design/detail is packaged with the architecture.

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Here is the problem with CA - you guys are getting too wrapped up with minutia that translates into a pretty picture....and not spending enough time on what matters most.

 

Virtually nothing you guys do in cabinets is "real"....in that all you are doing is making a client concept that can be sent over to the cabinet guys and then the process starts again when they design working drawings based on the concepts.  Seriously, unless some of you (can't be many) are making your own cabinets onsite, many of the features related to cabinets can't be as important as streamlining the GUI or other important issues.

 

These videos CA puts out are nice, but 1 in 20 clients (maybe) do I have to put forth this type of interior concept....and even then they aren't actually asking for it.  CA, you guys creating a product that specializes in something that blows the socks off of would-be CAD buyers, but in truth isn't actually needed most the time in the practice of architecture or home design.  What CA is getting really good at is more interior design in nature.

 

Oddly, what CA specializing in would probably have more use in commercial work where this type of interior design/detail is packaged with the architecture.

Good points Johnny and I agree to a point but remember 'what matters most' is what matters most to the individual user. There is no simple "this is what you should be working on because that's what I think you should working on." Too many users too many methods and client bases to generalize so broadly.

 

For certain business models there's a lot of room for pretty pictures when selling a job in these days of HGTV etc. I have a contractor that I do a lot of work for and we spend a lot of time selling our kitchen and bath designs. These tools help us immensely in selling our jobs. I was NOT a fan of the pretty pictures in Chief for many years and wondered why anyone would want such features. Now those features are working overtime for me and my clients and I've grown to appreciate them. But that's just me and my business model.

 

If someone does very little actual kitchen/bath design then why bother but for those who it has proven to be pretty valuable.

 

To perhaps make your point we also never, and I mean never, use our design to build kitchens from. It always, and I mean always goes to the cabinet guy to do final Layouts and measurements but the tools still really help to sell the job, again within my narrow business model.

 

Is that the market Chief is targeting? If so then bravo, if not and they are trying to capture or retain a different market with users such as yourself then they could seriously be missing the mark.

 

I personally would love to see the changes you've been suggesting but there seems to be a different direction Chief is going in. Doesn't thrill me but like I said have been surprised how the new tools like cabinet stuff has really helped.

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...but 1 in 20 clients (maybe) do I have to put forth this type of interior concept....

In my business it's 19 or 20 out of 20. Only making the point that different businesses need different features etc.

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 I think Cabinets are easier to improve.

I think accusing the Chief software engineers of picking the low hanging fruit is not entirely off base. They've said many times how certain changes are 'difficult' or expensive.

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In my business it's 19 or 20 out of 20. Only making the point that different businesses need different features etc.

 

Yeah, it wasn't to say some out there dont use these features at the fore-front of their work.  In an ideal app I suppose the ability to do it all would be great.  What I am trying to point out is CA seems to be foregoing major work on fundamentals in speeding up and simplifying processes for more eye candy.  I think Doug's comment speaks to the issue of resources.

 

Perhaps CA doesn't think they will sell an upgrade that only deals with GUI.  Personally speaking I can say this would be more important to me than much of their improvements.

 

Is - Framing/Stairs/Layout Updates more or less important than GUI??

 

To me, GUI should be fixed before adding more features....otherwise you will make work harder down the road.  CA needs to be revamped into a modern app.  Next, I would say revamping modeling basic shapes should come before specific tools.  CA's general modeling abilities are ABHORRENTLY BAD.

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So as not to come off ultra-negative, there are a lot of things CA does very well and better than anyone else.  Its just hard to fully appreciate this thru the antiquated approach to get there.

 

I would bet money that if you took 10 architects (with residential specialty) who never used CA, and gave them a personalized demo of CA 7+ would purchase.  I would then bet that in less than 1 month 80% of those architects would give negative feedback on the use of CA and the methods to operate this app.

 

Obviously I can't prove this, but I do make this comment anecdotally.

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Now this is pretty funny, Autodesk Autocad Architecture has taken the opposite approach, they ONLY update their GUI (which is awesome) and have not added any new features (why we are dumping them) - I believe CA is close to being the best residential design software available

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Now this is pretty funny, Autodesk Autocad Architecture has taken the opposite approach, they ONLY update their GUI (which is awesome) and have not added any new features (why we are dumping them) - I believe CA is close to being the best residential design software available

 

A. My "dumping" on CA is my passion to see them improve an otherwise could-be spectacular program.

 

B.  Autodesk is the industry leader by focusing on GUI first....you nearly prove my point.

 

I honestly believe my critique of CA is what is truly holding this app back.  Like it or not, CA is an app selling to persons of STRONG DESIGN background who want their tools to be designed well - look and function.  The last thing you should be doing as a company selling to such design professionals is making them work in an antiquated environment.  I even want to "feel" cool when I am designing a home or building..... (maybe too far, but still)  Why do you think people spend more money on an Apple phone/tablet/computer?  Design and function...

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To me, GUI should be fixed before adding more features....otherwise you will make work harder down the road.  CA needs to be revamped into a modern app. 

Agreed and said as much in an earlier reply to Doug. A sleek modern and easy to use GUI will have many unanticipated benefits down the road. Pretty pictures might sell the software today. I don't envy the decision makers at CA

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"CA's general modeling abilities are ABHORRENTLY BAD."

 

Sketchup drag and drop solves that.. thankfully.

 

 

I agree....thankfully that does work.  However, why the heck can't those simply tools be incorporated in CA???  There are free to use 3D tools that are browser based 100x better than what CA has for generic modeling of objects.

 

https://clara.io/

 

CA could actually buy these tools and plug them into their app if they don't have the time to develop.

 

http://www.spatial.com/

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I agree that a modeless interface is better. It isn't particularly easy to retrofit in Chief, although it is easier to do now than it was before we released X6. The importance of this is a question to ask. Is it more important than fixing stairs or live updates to layouts or making framing work better? It is a question we have to answer and so far the answer seems to be that other things are more important. But I could be wrong.

 

I dont know how hard it would be to get in CA, but here is a video showing Vectorworks "object properties" pallet and how it works -

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrS7cWHhikg&list=PLiLCoe7DU1HYNYeFLC3R1C-C7JshE_a0G&index=9

 

I think one of the most powerful features of that tool is the ability to select more than one object and the pallet displays only the "common" modifiable elements.  In Vectorworks there is a powerful "select only" tool that allows very customized selections across layers/classes and then to be able to edit their properties with this pallet is truly a time saver.

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OBVIOUSLY YOU GUYS ARN'T THINKING.

Chief is by far the best thing for $2,500.00. If you want "GUI", go ahead and pay min. $6,000.00 for it then. Your Choice, you can't compare a $2,500 program with a $6,000 min. program. They can't possibly be the same. All I hear is "I want, I want". Then go pay for it.

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OBVIOUSLY YOU GUYS ARN'T THINKING.

Chief is by far the best thing for $2,500.00. If you want "GUI", go ahead and pay min. $6,000.00 for it then. Your Choice, you can't compare a $2,500 program with a $6,000 min. program. They can't possibly be the same. All I hear is "I want, I want". Then go pay for it.

 

Vectorworks is about 3k for the Architect version.  However, if you buy SSA you can buy most the apps we are talking about for roughly the same price on a yearly basis.  Not to mention there are many other aspects to advertising and overhead which are different.

 

Efficiency should always be weight against costs.  It cheaper for me to buy software for 6k if it makes up for that differential in efficiency.

 

Modern usable GUI doesn't cost a lot to implement - but I agree with Doug that its a resource decision on a future release.  CA's UI (functionality) has gotten so old I believe its become an impediment which should be addressed.  It would also motivate those with older versions of CA to upgrade to current version.  Right now unless these minor improvement features in cabinet etc are worth it, who needs to upgrade or buy SSA?

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given a super fancy GUI

if I have to continue dealing with all the "workarounds"

then I would continue to be "annoyed"

 

fix the "broken" first

 

then go fancy

 

Lew

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given a super fancy GUI

if I have to continue dealing with all the "workarounds"

then I would continue to be "annoyed"

 

fix the "broken" first

 

then go fancy

 

Lew

 

Im suggesting the two are integrated.  A modern GUI should also fix a lot of the work-arounds.  If i was talking about only a visual issue only I would cry BS on myself.

 

Here is a link for "good design" elements - https://www.vitsoe.com/rw/about/good-design

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Johnny:

 

the GUI has "nothing" to do with all the "workarounds"

 

old or new GUI  - - it is still a "workaround"

 

"workarounds" are proof that Chief can do the task

they just need "proper" programming to become "features" instead of "workarounds"

 

Lew

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