KevinWaldron

Power Users Preventing Needed Changes in Chief

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I'd like to make an observation that I find that is happening over and over in many of the threads that appear in this forum. (I'm dyslexic so forgive my writing communication skills)

 

What I have observed is that someone presents a problem and more times than not a work around solution is found. That is great ...... or is it? We all know that you can build a house with a hand saw and a hammer but given the other tools that are in the market place is this really the best use of our time, energy and effort?

 

I own a number of other business that use other Cad and Cam systems that are on the market and find a very extensive array of programs and tools that are far superior in speed and productivity for many of the common task that we are now required or asked to do in Chief. The other day I looked at a topic that basically was an old fashion door knob and several of you guys went through showing how to make this in Chief and yes, it could be done but the work around was to my way of thinking ridiculous....... 3D solid's and the crude tools that are actually present within Chief...... almost hilarious ......today saw a topic about a trapezoid style window and again a work around. Other day I mentioned the joist tool and was told about the video's showing "How To" but again I still hold to what I stated that much of what we have to use in Chief is slow and antiquated technology! Another example is the Space Mouse...... they have now offered this ........ but the implementation is so crude it's really sad....... given how great a piece of technology this product is.

 

If power users continue to show work a round's and don't request or demand more there is no incentive for the owner of Chief to have to offer more. I realize life will never be perfect and that some trade off is necessary.  Chief being a small niche market in the overall scheme of things also effect what they can and they will do in the way of design and develop. Given cost and profit. My problem is that if you power users keep telling them or showing management that everything is OK........ but   Where is Chief's  incentive to make real strides in newer technology if you guys keep saying everything is just fine! You can cross the Atlantic  to England in a row boat given the right circumstances..........but?

 

I'm not trying to offend anyone but truly think that many of you guys need to check out what is really happening around in the world of CAD/CAM/3D Printing etc....... take a serious open minded look at some of the software that is being used in other CAD disciplines and  tell me you are satisfied with what we are being offered........ Demand Little.......... Little Will Be Offered!

 

My opinion and I know we all have one.

 

kevin

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Totally agree.  I get really tired of the endless secret handshake workarounds.  And it's not just power users, it's tech support too.  They are a small company, and like any company small or large, they have to prioritize, I understand.  But I think there is a lot of validity to your comments.

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I get what you're saying, but I think you may be missing the point and spirit of our suggestions. We are just trying to help and offer solutions using the tools we have. If a person isn't looking for solutions they shouldn't be posting questions.

I for one am all for improvements so long as they are wisely prioritized and I am also fully aware of much of the other software out there and use some of it from time to time. I am also acutely aware of the fact that many of Chief's weaknesses are part and parcel with it's strengths. Yes you can build a house faster if you use more than a hammer and handsaw but don't underestimate the value of a well designed hammer and handsaw, and if you need another tool...buy another tool. Don't try to change your hammer to a nail gun and your handsaw to a chopsaw.

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I'll agree that things need to be fixed and continually improved.

I'll disagree that CA disregards a fix when there are know workarounds. (shadow boards and ridge caps immediately come to mind.) In my opinion CA does a pretty good job implementing fixes and improvements.

 

The workaround serves well as a step that gets someone to the point that they can produce what they need to at the moment and move ahead in their project. Nobody wants to wait until the next update cycle to finish a drawing.

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Kevin:

 

I agree, time after time a problem or suggestion is presented

 

a workaround is presented

 

fine and dandy

 

workarounds are great for the short-term

 

but then the fireworks start when someone suggests the workaround is not the end-all solution

 

then the long-knives come out and the brow-beating that its just a few clicks

so what's wrong with the workaround

 

I've seen and participated in these "battles" for over a decade

 

long-ago I stopped making suggestions

 

I now wait till someone else does and then I chime in

 

in the end the only opinion  I care about is CA's

 

I will not let the nay-sayers shout me down

 

Lew

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Right, If the tool produces a result other than it is labeled for is it a workaround or a mis-labeled tool?

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Right, If the tool produces a result other than it is labeled for is it a workaround or a mis-labeled tool?

Exactly!!

It's also a workaround if you simply don't know how to use it or if you once knew and forgot.

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I tend to agree with the spirit of this thread, though I think a lot of the "power users" are trying to help.  Chief is both the best and worst software i've ever used.  Hands down its also the hardest software i've had to learn, and that is probably because Chief does so many things differently.  

 

As someone else said once 80-90% of a project is very easy in Chief but the last 10-20% basicly can be a nightmare.  Even with its issues its currently the best software for residential home design - but Chief as a company needs to get an architect on staff to help round some issues out.

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Ill add too that some of the power users have saved my bacon a number of times, and are also one of the truly great things about Chief's offering.  

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Personally I have stayed away from offering the "We can already do that (insert ridiculous amount of effort to accomplish simple task)" in the suggestions forum and I think the OP has a very valid point.

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Hands down its also the hardest software i've had to learn, and that is probably because Chief does so many things differently...

Same here and I know I'm not the brightest bulb but there's so much that can be improved and not by suggesting tedious incomprehensible techniques for the simplest tasks.

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Ill add too that some of the power users have saved my bacon a number of times, and are also one of the truly great things about Chief's offering.  

All the comments above don't make this forum anything less than the best I've ever encountered but again the OP has a valid point IMO.

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It sounds to me like 1 or 2 of you are suggesting we just sit around complaining and whining with you. No thank you. I want to get work done and help other people figure out how to do the same USING THE TOOLS WE HAVE AVAILABLE.

And for the record most of us only discourage "improvements" when we see them as potentially counterproductive, when we forsee unwanted consequences, or when they are a smaller part of a bigger problem (simple prioritization). To fault "power users" from offering solutions is really not in the spirit of what this forum is here for and while I get what you're saying I believe you're just looking at it all wrong. The fact is that the vast majority of the time a true "workaround" is suggested that there is no argument from anyone that we could use improvements...the difference is that some of us just choose to roll with the punches in the interim.

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I agree with Michael. 

 

God, the other users and CA  all know that I want more than CA is currently willing or able to do.

 

Sometimes we see suggestions for functionality that is already in Chief.  I think that's pretty much the only time we will disagree with a suggestion - unless it just doesn't fit within the general scope of Architectural Design Software.

 

If the post's in the Suggestion Forum I personally try not to be negative or offer any Work-Around.  If it's in the Q&A Forum most of us will try to explain how to accomplish the desired result.  Usually there are several possible ways to do something and there will be several users giving their method.

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I seriously doubt anyone at CA is looking at a thread on this forum with joy when one of us shows a way to muscle around a shortcoming to hack in a solution. I do, however smile each time someone comes up with a solution to a problem which can get my job printed.

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It sounds to me like 1 or 2 of you are suggesting we just sit around complaining and whining with you.

I didn't see or read or see anyone suggesting we sit around complaining and/or whining but forums posts can do magic things sometimes. It's fine if someone disagrees with the sentiments expressed but why denigrate them? 

 

And I'm wondering if the OP might have been better put as a question such as, "Do Power Users Prevent Needed Changes In Chief." To Alan's point, I really wonder if the Chief folks dismiss a serious problem because we have found a way to work around it instead of addressing it. It's human nature in a way isn't it? Would love to know the actual effect on program changes.

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Michael:

 

offering workarounds is very welcome

 

insisting that the workarounds are "sufficient" over improvements

is not always welcome

 

there is a level of "browbeating" and sometimes even "Lord of the Flies" attitudes

and that is what is not welcome

 

Lew

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I didn't see or read or see anyone suggesting we sit around complaining and/or whining but forums posts can do magic things sometimes. It's fine if someone disagrees with the sentiments expressed but why denigrate them?

...

I don't feel I was denigrating anyone. Just trying to make a point. Offering solutions is the entire point and spirit of this forum.

It was definitely suggested by the OP at the very least that perhaps offering "workarounds" (or solutions) was not in our best interest. What then may I ask is the alternative??

I'll tell you...whining and complaining only. No solutions allowed. Otherwise were hampering progress.

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I think the workarounds are used just to get people through their problem areas, until it can be fixed or create a new tool. Some people want a way to finish their project, like now. That's all it is.

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This forum is for Chief Architect users (not software programmers or Software Architects). Users are looking just for "What works and what does not work". There is an official way to request features (Suggestions) and to report bugs (Tech Support). Here We are mainly interested in the "here and now" (What can and cannot be done now).

 

DJP

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But the Software Architects interact with this forum, so it's not so easily separated.  And, I can name at least two very specific examples where tech support only offers workarounds- Sidewalks and Custom Window Symbols.  These two have never worked they way they should and have been the way they are for years.  At least through 3 or 4 versions of the program.  I am sure I, and others here, can come up with a number of others.

 

Constant complaining and whining here is one way they get to the top of the priority list, in my opinion and experience, because this forum is semi-public.  So, that is, in fact, useful.

 

Having been on this forum for more than 10 years now, I think the Lord of the Flies analogy has some definite validity.

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I still think the question is interesting, "Do Power Users Prevent Needed Changes In Chief?" but maybe moot as there's no way to really prevent the software engineers from changing/improving the software but have any of the engineers thought to themselves, "This may not be ideal, but the users have found a way to make it work so let's move on to other things." If so then the OP might have some validity. If not then the software fixes (some long overdue as Bryce points out) are prioritized in a way we'll never understand.

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I thought that the suggestion forum was for suggestions on how to improve Chief? I didn't think this was an area to promote work-a-arounds, though anyone kind enough to suggest a work a round is welcome to suggest. In regards to the original post, I'm in full agreement. Why can't I draw a circular house  with one continuous radiused wall? Chief says to draw two halfs and join them, which is a sanctioned work-a-round. Has that ever been fixed? Will have to try to draw a Silo and see if x8 allows it without the "work-a-round".

 

I have been helped by power users several times in the other part of the forum and do appreciate their willingness to help folks find a solution. But the Lord of the Flies analogy does hold some truth.-Brad

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The problem in the suggestion forum is that time and time again people make suggestions for things we already have full capabilities of doing, or often times there is a solution they simply don't know exists and it would be doing a disservice not to mention it.

I really think people need to report and suggest things directly to tech support a lot more than they do. In my opinion and experience THAT is the best way to influence change. You can rant and rave all you want here on the forum but I really think more often than not it just amounts to a lot of white noise.

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I thought that the suggestion forum was for suggestions on how to improve Chief?

 

It is, but it is also necessary to vet a suggestion to ensure it's validity. Please keep in mind that suggestions can be the result of the poster not understanding or knowing that what they are suggesting can actually be done. You may call this a workaround but I just see this as an alternative technique. The discussions around a proposed suggestion brings this to the forefront and as such provides the opportunity to develop a consensus as to the value the suggestion has to the greater majority.

 

Graham

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