LISP programmers, have your say again

Autodesk wants your input again in its annual API survey. This used to be a closed survey for Autodesk Developer Network (ADN) members, but has been open to all for the last few years. If you do any AutoCAD-based development at all, I encourage you to take part. That includes those of us who do most of our development in LISP. Here’s the direct link to the survey. As you can see if you click the link, there’s a lot of stuff in there that assumes you’re keen to get developing for AutoCAD WS. If you’re not quite so filled with Cloudy enthusiasm and would prefer Autodesk to expend its resources elsewhere (on fixing and improving Visual LISP, for example), please fill in the short survey and say so. It closes on 22 June, so you only have a week. Why bother, when it’s obvious that Autodesk is determined to ignore to death its most popular API regardless of whatever anyone says or does? I’m not sure, really. Maybe I’m an eternal optimist. (Ha!) Maybe I just want them to at least feel slightly guilty about sticking their fingers in their ears and going “LALALALALA! NOT LISTENING! WE HAVE A VISION, NOT LISTENING! LALALALALA!”

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Autodesk survey for 3D users

Autodesk is conducting a survey about 3D work in AutoCAD. Here is the announcement: Do you use 3D in your AutoCAD work? We want to learn from you! If you are familiar with 3D modeling, lighting, rendering, or visual styles, either in AutoCAD or in other software, we’re interested in finding out more about how you work. We are conducting a survey to learn about your 3D work process. The survey should take less than 10 minutes to complete, and your feedback will help us improve future versions of AutoCAD. Here is the link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/72HDGVG We are also conducting a series of paid research sessions over the next few weeks. At the end of the survey, you will have a chance to sign up for sessions if you are interested. Who we’re looking for: People who are familiar with lighting, rendering, or visual styles What it involves: If you are selected to participate, we will get in touch with you to set up a study time. During the 1-hour session: * You will work 1-1 with a facilitator using meeting software and the phone * We will observe part of your work process and ask questions * You will be given a $30 Amazon gift card as a thank-you for your time Dates: We are conducting studies during the week of March 7th and the week of March 14th.

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Autodesk user community survey

Autodesk is running a web survey to try to find out which user communities (including blogs) its customers find valuable. If you are interested in participating, the survey is here. If you want to specify any blogs, you will need to type or paste their names into various “other comments” boxes. As the number of blogs I read far exceeds a reasonable type-in requirement, I couldn’t accurately give an idea of my web habits. So I’m not sure how much can be accurately read into the results. (Source: CAD Panacea). I saw Shaan asking about this kind of thing a while back, but not getting much response. It looks like Autodesk is trying to work out exactly where its customers go these days for support, discussion, networking, training, etc. I can’t speak for other bloggers, but I’d be happy to provide my site statistics on request. Anybody can also get an idea of how much of a “community” a blog is by the number of comments. One point I found strange in the survey was the order of “valuableness” in one of the questions. It went something like: Not at all valuable Not very valuable Valuable Somewhat valuable Very valuable Exceedingly valuable (or whatever) The ordering of “somewhat valuable” and “valuable” was the opposite to what I would have expected. What do you think? Is “somewhat valuable” more valuable than “valuable”, as the survey suggests?

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More Autodesk research – Groups

Here’s an announcement from the AutoCAD Product Design & User Experience Team: AutoCAD User Research Study: “AutoCAD Groups”(AutoCAD Group command) AutoCAD Product Design & User Experience Team is looking for your input regarding the AutoCAD GROUP command usage. The GROUP command (Object Grouping Dialog) in AutoCAD allows creating a selection set of objects called a group. When an object belongs to a group, if any object in the group is selected, all the objects in the group are selected. Groups can be named or unnamed. Groups can be ungrouped/(exploded), which removes the relationship between the objects in the group. Autodesk wants to better understand how you use Groups so we can improve the feature. http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/AutoCAD_GroupCommand Go to it, people. It’s good to see some attention being given to some long-neglected parts of AutoCAD. What next, LISP?

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Programmers, have your say

Autodesk wants your input in its annual API survey. What used to be a closed survey for Autodesk Developer Network (ADN) members has been open to all for the last couple of years, and if you do any Autodesk-based development at all I encourage you to take part. Yes, that includes those of us who do most of our development in LISP. In fact, I am especially keen to see LISP developers adequately represented in this survey. This is a one-page survey and it doesn’t take long. The full list of API surveys is on Kean Walmsley’s Through the Interface blog. Most of you would be interested in the AutoCAD survey, so here’s a direct link to that. Kean assures us that our feedback will not fall on deaf ears, although I have yet to see any evidence of that in terms of any change to Autodesk’s decade-long policy of total LISP neglect. I guess many of us gave up hope of any improvement years ago and can’t be bothered providing feedback any more. Please don’t give up. Fill in the survey and let Autodesk know you still exist.

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AutoCAD Internet Survey

I spotted this on the AutoCAD Research Twitter feed: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/AutoCAD_Internet Autodesk wants to know your views on web content and how it relates to AutoCAD and your work. It’s a fairly big survey, but I encourage you to take part. You can also sign up to participate in user research sessions here. This is a pretty direct way of letting Autodesk know what you think.

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Autodesk on-line survey

As posted on Between the Lines, there is an Autodesk survey you may wish to complete in an attempt to have some kind of influence over AutoCAD’s future direction. Among other things, you will be asked specific questions about these issues: Interoperability Batch Processing in AutoCAD Custom Linetype Creator Custom Hatch Creator Transparent Fills You will also be asked to rank 10 possible future features: Batch process drawings in AutoCAD Draw order by layer Enhanced visual styles Visual compare two drawings 3D Dynamic Blocks Transparent hatch fills Convert PDF to DWG 3D enhancements Hatch Pattern Generator Linetype Creator Without knowing more details, it’s hard to make a rational choice. For example, does “Enhanced visual styles” mean that AutoCAD 2007’s nearly-done 3D display overhaul will be finished off, allowing the correct display and plotting of simple conventional mechanical engineering views with hidden lines? Because that would make it important and worth me pushing it up the list. Or does it mean something more glossy but much less useful, which from my point of view would push it near the bottom? Who knows? Never mind, I encourage you to have a go anyway. All you can do is your best based on the available information and hope it isn’t misinterpreted based on faulty assumptions. There’s a box near the end that allows you free rein to say what you like about AutoCAD’s future direction. I hope many of you use it, and I hope Autodesk doesn’t just “listen”, but acts based on what its customers say they want.

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Do you do any AutoCAD development?

Yes, that includes hacking about (or producing beautifully elegant code) in LISP. If so, you may wish to go here and fill in the appropriate API survey, which is probably the AutoCAD one. This year, Autodesk is opening up this survey, which used to be confined to Autodesk Developer Network members. I approve. ADN represents a tiny (but important) minority of fee-paying developers approved by Autodesk. I expect the results will be rather different if a significant number of “normal” AutoCAD developers notice this survey and fill it in. If you are, say, a LISP or VBA user and are feeling neglected, please go and have your say while you have the chance. The survey closes on 1 May.

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