Joe_Carrick

Why We Have So Many Questions On These Forums

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I came from Corel Draw and do/did indeed find Chief's methods quite different from mainstream apps and also agree with your point. I was making a different point about apps seeming 'quick and easy' which none are until you have many many hours under your belt - no matter the app.

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Another CRAZY making paradigm. Terrains. I change the building pad height from 4" to 12" and the Terrain gets LOWER. Of course it should and I understand there's some engineering logic to this but I want to click the terrain and make it higher or lower the same way everything else works in Chief.

 

When I enter 12" in the dbx I want it 12" high and when I type in 4" I want it 8" lower - like every single other parameter in Chief. My floor is at 0". I want my terrain -8" lower - to do so I enter +8" - really?

 

So I have to change my way of thinking for this one item in Chief and begin thinking a larger number lowers the terrain and smaller number raises it. NOTHING like the structure tab where a higher number raises the room and a lower number lowers the floor (and every other item in Chief).

 

There could be no better example than that simple terrain dbx to illustrate the 'programming' that goes into Chief versus the user and their experience with Chief. I work all day raising and lowering items in Chief using + to raise and - to lower but when I get to the Terrain dbx I have to think differently. Why?

 

Larry,

 

The main problem with the Terrain specification is, I believe, one of nomenclature.

I have suggested before that Pad Elevation be changed to something else to make it sound like it is associated with the floor level and not the terrain.. 

 

If you always thing of Pad Elevation as being Chiefs zero floor level, you can't go wrong and it will all make sense.

 

So, if you want your floor level (assume Level 1 or Chiefs default zero) to be 20" above the terrain, type in 20" for Pad Elevation.

And just remember that Pad Elevation is Chiefs zero floor level.

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Yes of course Glenn, once you understand all the technicalities that you just illustrated it makes perfect sense. But here's my point. When you select an object in Chief you have, in many or most cases, the opportunity to set the height of that object through a dialog box. A positive number raises the object and a negative number lowers that object, in the Z axis. When I select the Terrain I would like the same opportunity to raise or lower the terrain with a similar thought process.

 

I don't want to have to remember the secret handshake involving thinking about the pad height as zero and all the other thought processes involved that you so clearly outline.

 

It's absolutely making my point. I select the terrain, I want it 8" below the finished floor 1 (we assume is 0") - give me freakin dbx that I can enter -8" in then it behaves like every other dbx for every other object.

 

I understand the way it is set up now but the implementation adds to Chief's complexity to have an object, in this case a terrain, that behaves differently than every other object. Why should we need to remember all the needed complexities? Click the terrain set its height  - done.

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I'll continue the saga, perhaps for my own benefit, but it may help answer the original question of why there's so many questions.

 

http://screencast.com/t/jNJzZbx0M5zi

Larry your vid is insightful. Whilst you were all over the place looking for a solution you demonstrated what I do and I am sure there are many that just give up on this most basic design process.

 

User error. yes I'll buy that. Your user error is based what you need to know as opposed to some intuitive process where you can set-up your defaults and get on with the design.

 

The confusion you demonstrated here demonstrates perfectly what is wrong with this dbx.

 

Not the sharpest tool. Maybe. Maybe not. Some have worked it out and some have not. But I don't think that is the problem.

 

I would recommend that anyone interested in setting correct foundation have a look at both your videos. 

 

We all have to get our plans out the door. So we compromise, we give up, we adjust auto detail to suit and we add cad.

 

It is just crazy to do this when it is all there in Chief.  With this approach forget any attempts to use the materials list. 

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to paraphrase Tina Turner in the start of Proud Mary

 

"we don't do nice and easy"....

 

Lew

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Everyone here is making really good points.

 

The room structure dialog is a particularly difficult thing for many to understand. We can and should do better.

 

Line drawing complaints are also valid. This is an area that I think deserves a lot more attention than we have given it in the past.

 

In any case this is all really good feedback.

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Doug,

 

For the Foundation Level, the Room Structure Dialog needs to have different names for the fields.

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Doug,

 

For the Foundation Level, the Room Structure Dialog needs to have different names for the fields.

Yes Joe, Like "Crawl Space"

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Yes Joe, Like "Crawl Space"

Exactly!  "Ceiling Height" makes absolutely no sense in the Foundation. 

 

IAE, an expanded Dialog with multiple floors (maybe vertical scroll would be appropriate) showing the entire structure in section with heights that could be edited.  Let's start thinking of a better way to portray this info and edit it.

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Doug,

 

For the Foundation Level, the Room Structure Dialog needs to have different names for the fields.

 

These suggestions are great...  I guess.....  but if you asked 10 power users we would probably have 10 different answers.  Why we all do not get together and discuss in which direction to go,  and come up with a consensus is a mystery to me.  

 

Oh I know,  it would take  up too much time.  So let's do it wrong again and then discuss what we did wrong after we make the changes.

 

How many times have you guys received an email from a client regarding a change,  you make the change and they say,  "no,  this is what I wanted",  and you have to change it again.  Whereas if we had spent 5 minutes discussing the change verbally,  it  would of been a one and done.

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Good points. If you don't do full basements then ceiling height for a craw space doesn't make much sense. And crawl space doesn't make much sense if you are doing a full basement.

 

I suppose we could try to detect the difference or use a more generic term.

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...... or use a more generic term.

 

That is a key point......  if you guys were to use more generic terms,  95% of workarounds will be eliminated.

 

We should be careful of what we wish for.

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Actually I do use the Ceiling height of 18" for the Crawl Space, just no ceiling finish. Min 18" clearance is needed for a typ. Crawl, but sometimes it could be 36" depending on how high the floor to grade is. The 18" is really to the grade with no slab. I always have to draw the grade line in every section, it would be nice if the program did that.

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Good points. If you don't do full basements then ceiling height for a craw space doesn't make much sense. And crawl space doesn't make much sense if you are doing a full basement.

 

I suppose we could try to detect the difference or use a more generic term.

FWIW,  I use Floor 0 for Foundations & Floor 1 for Basements (if there's a Full or even a Partial Basement).

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So the question is "Why so many questions?".

Wow, reading through the thread for the first time I see many good answers.

I've been so busy I haven't had time for any questions lately. I guess I have reached the threshold of "just enough Chief knowledge to get a job out the door".
Just yesterday turned over a job to the client which is 21 24x36 sheets. 9 sheets done in ACAD & the others in Chief. Pressure to release the job gave me a rash.
I know it should not be that way but it is at times. During the learning period I do not have unlimited time to explore all the videos and read the manual in bed at night.
So when I can't quickly find the answer to my CA problem I turn to google. The search engine on this forum is lacking. I have asked a lot of questions during the "get you feet wet" stage.
Thanks for all the patience show from the member that have helped me out.

Coming for ACAD I can not express the frustration one feels trying to get up to speed quickly in CA.
It does manifest itself in many criticism's of CA in my post. Sorry about that.

CA does so many 3D viewing & smart objects well that it amazes me how poor the CAD tools are.

Some things are soo easy to do while other are near impossible. Can't tell you how much time I spent trying to make an interior thickened slab footing.
But the folks here did find a way. https://chieftalk.chiefarchitect.com/index.php?/topic/3300-interior-foundation/?hl=foundation
This is an item that we here in Florida that build on the ground & have no basements use a lot. I did talk to tech support & they said I needed training.
Well i ask them in a follow up email to show me how it could be done & I got no answer. So again thanks to the folks here.

For the new user a simple help too like prompts during the command could help folks to get up to speed.
In ACAD (sorry) the dialog box has a question mark next to the X (cancel) that when clicked allows you the click again on a filed to get contextual help.

This Floor Level thing is a PITA to get a handle on. Why oh why is there not a comprehensive video on that from CA.
Yes there are video's from CA but here is my gripe. CA's video are often marketing tools and use simple examples with simple solutions.
They do not tackle 'gotcha' situations.  I haven't found a video on: IF you have a stem wall foundation with fill dirt what you should do in the foundation dbx?
Floor or No Floor? Floor from below. Floor from above, Who's floor is it & why does it matter?
So we build the house from the ground up & you adjust the ceiling heights from the top down? What?
OK I'm going to read the book again, just wish there were a few more illustration's, really I do!

Gotta run the phone is ringing. I'll put the video on pause & save the plan. I'll read floor chapter again tonight.

Thanks for the forum, it's a life saver.

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... I did talk to tech support & they said I needed training.

Well i ask them in a follow up email to show me how it could be done & I got no answer. So again thanks to the folks here.

 

...

Thanks for the forum, it's a life saver.

 

 

I'll second that. 

Last time I called support(4,5 yrs) was told they aren't there for training. I don't remember what I'd called for. I rarely call any program's support, ever, But ok I get it, I don't call,  my SSA is for upgrades. There's a total of 7 tickets in my support center, the solutions for program problems were gotten here. 

I read this a couple of times a day just so I know what I don't know.

-bless all of you.

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Alan,

 

For the new user a simple help too like prompts during the command could help folks to get up to speed.
In ACAD (sorry) the dialog box has a question mark next to the X (cancel) that when clicked allows you the click again on a filed to get contextual help.

 

 

There are prompts in the status bar as you select different objects, move the cursor over snap points, move the cursor over icons, etc.

 

There is a context sensitive Help button in the bottom left hand corner of every dbx.  
 

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Mark:

 

I send in support tickets whenever needed

 

only once did I get the "we don't do training"

 

I was reporting a bug on there roof generation for one of their knowledge articles

 

when they couldn't give a good reason why it was acting that way

they gave that response

 

it is a bummer when they dodge like that :(

 

Lew

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I don't expect Chief to change the software base and structure in the next few few years - I would rather learn how to cooperate with it

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.....Complaint and suggest in the right forum. Honestly something that makes Chief what it is today is this awesome group of users who help those of us - thank you.

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Another CRAZY making paradigm. Terrains. I change the building pad height from 4" to 12" and the Terrain gets LOWER. Of course it should and I understand there's some engineering logic to this but I want to click the terrain and make it higher or lower the same way everything else works in Chief.

 

When I enter 12" in the dbx I want it 12" high and when I type in 4" I want it 8" lower - like every single other parameter in Chief. My floor is at 0". I want my terrain -8" lower - to do so I enter +8" - really?

 

So I have to change my way of thinking for this one item in Chief and begin thinking a larger number lowers the terrain and smaller number raises it. NOTHING like the structure tab where a higher number raises the room and a lower number lowers the floor (and every other item in Chief).

 

There could be no better example than that simple terrain dbx to illustrate the 'programming' that goes into Chief versus the user and their experience with Chief. I work all day raising and lowering items in Chief using + to raise and - to lower but when I get to the Terrain dbx I have to think differently. Why?

 

This is one of the "areas" that results in so many questions - both by newer users and those who really are power users. I have used Chief since '97. I loved the program then and I still love the program. That is not to say that it doesn't totally frustrate me at times over some very simple, basic things like mentioned by HumbleChief. I have a question on another post from a couple of days ago on why the movement of a framing member in a Wall Detail has to have a negative number entered to move it right in the x-axis. This is an exterior wall view and to move right you have to enter a negative number. Why? Most all dialog boxes work with the "standard" +x right, -x left if you are oriented in that same plane. Apparently not terrain and Wall Detail framing. Talk about confusing a newbie, much less me who has used the program for years. There should not be any secret handshakes, as someone already said, that I have to write down on a cheat sheet and pull out if something doesn't work.

 

Not a rant - just trying to understand why "obvious logic" doesn't always follow throughout the program.

 

Like so many others, thank all of you for your generous time to help those who are having difficulty and need some guidance.

 

Mike

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The wall is probably drawn (outside) left to right so you are moving it in the opposite direction. I would think it should work with x and y directions but it looks like it works with the wall direction instead.

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I think I drew that wall in the correct "clockwise" direction - right to left in this case. That was last fall on the original set of plans. The client came back a few weeks ago and wanted the plans revised with some changes before they build.

 

Thanks, Sherry. Don't want to hijack this thread so I will try and stay on topic.

 

Mike

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Everyone here is making really good points.

 

The room structure dialog is a particularly difficult thing for many to understand. We can and should do better.

 

Line drawing complaints are also valid. This is an area that I think deserves a lot more attention than we have given it in the past.

 

In any case this is all really good feedback.

Here is a good example of why confusion reign's supreme.

 

2) Specify how the Ceiling Above Floor X is built. These settings are relevant only for rooms that do not have living space above them.

• Check Build Ceiling Framing to generate or regenerate ceiling framing when the OK button is clicked. Only available when there is no living space above at least part of the current floor. Not available in the Framing Defaults dialogue.

 

3) Specify how the Subfloor for Floor X is built. These settings are relevant only for rooms that have living space above them.

• Check Build Floor Framing to generate or regenerate floor framing when the OK button is clicked. Not available in the Framing Defaults dialogue or if there is no floor located below the floor in question.

 

The problem with this description is all rooms have ceilings.

All rooms have a floor.

 

The floor from the room above is not always the same as the ceiling below. 

 

OK it can be explained and be used for some complicated roof / floor structures. I would of thought that the dbx should be self explanatory and if a helpful explanation and useful examples are  required these should not need hours of study and experimenting to see how the engineers created this little gem. 

 

If I wanted a floor framing for the floor above (2) why do I have to go the the floor below to see it. logic dictates that the floor and ceiling framing for floor 1 should be seen on floor 1 and floor and ceiling framing for floor 2 should be seen on that floor.

 

I only want to design and draw: not go on a journey of self awareness and constantly testing myself for mental and physical stamina.

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