highdesign 2017 - first try

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macitect
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highdesign 2017 - first try

Post by macitect » Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:01 pm

After a long break from HD, I downloaded 2017 release 2.2, to see where it is at. Sadly, within a couple operations I am already frustrated.

The selection tool (rectangular) only works if I move the cursor from top to bottom. If I move it bottom to top it does not select anything. Is this intended behaviour? If so I can see nothing about it in the user guide.

Secondly, while selecting items individually my cursor just starts drawing lines after I have selected three items. The 'drawing tools bar' indicates that the selection tool is still active and no amount of hitting the esc key or V (shortcut for selection) disengages the line. All i can do is draw the line, delete and recommence.

Anyone encountering similar behaviour?

macitect
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Re: highdesign 2017 - first try

Post by macitect » Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:58 pm

  • 'Find' by pen weight also does not work.
  • Text doesn't display correctly when rotated.
  • Crash after pressing return after having entered a number value for multiple array.
On the plus side it appears the second behaviour described above has been eradicated. I don't know what has made a difference but it has been behaving today. I'll post back if it comes back.

Andrea / Giovanni - any thoughts? Are any of these know issues?

John Compiani
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Re: highdesign 2017 - first try

Post by John Compiani » Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:13 pm

I am still finding many frustration in the general UI. I still don't have any confidence what the next click will do. And if that click results in something you don't want, don't expect Undo to come to your rescue.

Here's an example of the kind of thing that drives me nuts ;-) every time I use HD:

Draw a rectangle. Duplicate it. Now I have two rectangles and I want to draw a line that joins the two rectangles, so I click the line tool.

Then I click on the corner of the duplicated rectangle to snap the new line to the corner. Start drawing.

What shape should be drawn?

In my book, it should be a line as I CHOSE THE LINE TOOL IN THE TOOLBAR! HighDesign thinks nope, you have a rectangle selected so I'm going to draw another rectangle. Why?How is this logical? Why is the tool chosen in the toolbar not respected?

And just to make things even more confusing, if instead of clicking on a point on the rectangle I click in a blank part of the canvas, nothing at all happens other than the rectangle being deselected. Again, how is this logical?

When you do this with a multi-step object such as an annotation, things get worse. It appears to be drawing a line but then a text box appears! ooops. So I hit Undo thinking, that'll make the unwanted annotation go away. Nope. It deletes the previous one instead! So I hit redo to get it back. Nope. It doesn't come back.

This is all compounded by the generally poor, laggy performance. There is so much lag in selecting an object (it takes half a second on an i7 5k iMac from clicking to the selection being highlighted) that you are on to the next click before you realise what's going on. This lag makes everything like wading through treacle and makes it hard to use.

This lag and counter intuitive behaviour results in everything taking way too long, breaking the flow of the drawing and making you concentrate on the app rather than the drawing.

I also wish HD were more Mac like. It looks pretty and Maclike but doesn't behave like a Mac app in too many ways.

As a simple example of not being Mac-like, I still expect an object I've just drawn to be selected on the canvas so that I can adjust it's properties instantly if required. Like just about every Mac vector drawing app I've ever used. I wish there were at least a preference option to enable this. Again this is compounded by the laggy interface, making selecting the object after drawing it much too fiddly.

I think making the app appear so Mac-like but making it behave like AutoCAD in some places is unintuitive.

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Re: highdesign 2017 - first try

Post by macmau74 » Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:38 pm

I still expect an object I've just drawn to be selected on the canvas so that I can adjust it's properties instantly if required. Like just about every Mac vector drawing app I've ever used.
in particular on this, I agree with you.
Besides, I find the management of texts frustrating.

I hope to be wrong, but unfortunately I imagine that developing the windows version will make it even more challenging to take care of the details.

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Re: highdesign 2017 - first try

Post by John Compiani » Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:20 am

macmau74 wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:38 pm
in particular on this, I agree with you.
Besides, I find the management of texts frustrating..

What concerns me is why the behaviour I mentioned above seen as being the right way to do things? It's so contrary to what makes sense on the Mac that I have a hard time thinking of a single argument in it's defence. There are no upsides changing the behaviour depending on whether an object is selected or not. Many times a selected object is offscreen and in those cases you have no way of knowing what your next click will do. And these little details add up and spoil what is potentially a superb app. There are other CAD apps I've tried which have appalling interfaces and I would never even bother mentioning it as they're wrong from the ground up. HighDesign is so nearly the perfect 2D drafting app that it's foibles become magnified. And they really do frustrate me every single time I use the app, since version 1.8!

I hope to be wrong, but unfortunately I imagine that developing the windows version will make it even more challenging to take care of the details
HD2017 was released in November 2016. Since then it has seen very minor updates to 2017.2.2 so I fear you may be right.

This makes the current licensing system difficult to understand. I no longer get bug fixes or minor upgrades as I let my license lapse. If I'd have paid it, I would have received one minor feature bump and a couple of bug fix releases for the year. That's just not good value, sorry. I understand that it's a hard marketplace and you need to make money, but the way to do that is to offer something in return for an annual license. I paid for the previous renewal and obviously would have continued to renew had I felt it was worth it.

The current licensing system seems to be stuck between two stools. It's not a monthly subscription (thankfully!) and it's not the traditional pay for each major upgrade model with a perpetual licence. Plus having the apps in the app store with (presumably) free updates for each major version just confuses things even more. You get a perpetual licence but are denied minor point release updates unless you keep paying. That's the worst of both worlds.

I've seen apps that offer two options: A traditional major version perpetual licences whereby you get the app and all dot releases for one payment and a discounted upgrade fee for the next major release. And you also have an option for a monthly subscription at a low price whereby you don't get a perpetual license (stop paying and you stop getting access to the app) but every new release is included.

I don't like being so negative all the time, but I really wouldn't bother if I didn't care. But for some reason I do still care...

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Re: highdesign 2017 - first try

Post by macmau74 » Thu Jan 18, 2018 1:33 pm

In recent months the developers have spent a lot in the windows version, probably postponed the development of new features. We hope it was the right choice and that HD can continue to grow and improve.
We write on this forum because we have HD in the heart!

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Re: highdesign 2017 - first try

Post by Andrew » Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:47 pm

Thank you all for your feedback on HD 2017 and your comments.
Over the last year we have worked on many core features, not all of which are visible yet. Starting with the 2017.0 release, and with the next 4 updates we have made important changes to the internal structure of the software so as to reflect the evolution in the world of digital design in terms of industry requirements and standards, especially BIM. For the 2018 version, we have added many new features that lay the foundations for the next 10 years.

I'll try and answer some of the observations that have been made.
macitect wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:01 pm
The selection tool (rectangular) only works if I move the cursor from top to bottom. If I move it bottom to top it does not select anything. Is this intended behaviour? If so I can see nothing about it in the user guide.
This is a change to the selection tool that was introduced in version 2017.0, in response to feature requests we have received. You can hold down the Option/Alt key to reverse the mode from inclusive to exclusive and vice-versa. That is the standard behaviour of the selection rectangle in AutoCAD and many other CAD applications and most users coming from that background expect to find in HighDesign.
macitect wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:58 pm
  • 'Find' by pen weight also does not work.
We could not reproduce this, but will look into it in the process of pre-release testing.
  • Text doesn't display correctly when rotated.
Under what conditions? Font family, alignments, line and character spacing?
  • Crash after pressing return after having entered a number value for multiple array.
Fixed in 2018.0
John Compiani wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:13 pm
Draw a rectangle. Duplicate it. Now I have two rectangles and I want to draw a line that joins the two rectangles, so I click the line tool.

Then I click on the corner of the duplicated rectangle to snap the new line to the corner. Start drawing.

What shape should be drawn?

In my book, it should be a line as I CHOSE THE LINE TOOL IN THE TOOLBAR! HighDesign thinks nope, you have a rectangle selected so I'm going to draw another rectangle. Why?How is this logical? Why is the tool chosen in the toolbar not respected?
Not exactly. The default behaviour is the ability to modify any selected object regardless of the active tool, a feature that smooths the workflow and has been in HighDesign since version 1.0. So when you click on the vertex of the selected rectangle, it begins stretching that rectangle without requiring you to activate the Arrow tool. However, if you go to Preferences > Workspace > Selection and Editing, you can activate the option "Use only Arrow tool to edit" which will change that behaviour and prevent other tools from editing.
And just to make things even more confusing, if instead of clicking on a point on the rectangle I click in a blank part of the canvas, nothing at all happens other than the rectangle being deselected. Again, how is this logical?
Well, it is logical in the light of the above described ability to edit objects with any tool. In 2018, when exclusive editing with the Arrow tool is active, activating a drawing tool will also deselect the objects. That should match your feature request.
When you do this with a multi-step object such as an annotation, things get worse. It appears to be drawing a line but then a text box appears! ooops. So I hit Undo thinking, that'll make the unwanted annotation go away. Nope. It deletes the previous one instead! So I hit redo to get it back. Nope. It doesn't come back.
Annotations require text input from the user and the text box is the final step of the construction process. If you want to cancel the current operation, push Esc. Undo/Redo only apply to performed actions.
This is all compounded by the generally poor, laggy performance
HD 2017 included a redesigned engine for faster object construction and editing. In 2018 we are addressing selection and deselection.
As a simple example of not being Mac-like, I still expect an object I've just drawn to be selected on the canvas so that I can adjust it's properties instantly if required. Like just about every Mac vector drawing app I've ever used. I wish there were at least a preference option to enable this. Again this is compounded by the laggy interface, making selecting the object after drawing it much too fiddly.
Yes that is the standard Mac behaviour in illustration applications, but HighDesign is not an illustration software. Give ArchiCAD a try, or VectorWorks, they work exactly as HighDesign in this regard. Of course we can add that option in 2018.0 if it fits the deadline.
macmau74 wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:38 pm
I hope to be wrong, but unfortunately I imagine that developing the windows version will make it even more challenging to take care of the details.
I understand your concern, but that won't be the case. There are some fundamental differences in the underlying technologies used by the two OS'es, but the foundations for the Windows version of HighDesign were set in 2015. In terms of interface and experience, the two systems are now much closer than before, which makes the cross-platform development much more agile. We can now develop the two versions using basically one source code, which means that the care for the details will be the same if not better as before. In fact, Windows exposes some issues that were actually hidden by the macOS and allows us to improve speed and consistency.
John Compiani wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:20 am
This makes the current licensing system difficult to understand.
That is very important point and we appreciate your feedback. We chose this licensing model as way to provide users with continuous updates, regardless of the version number, and at the same time avoid the subscription system. It is the same model adopted by other companies (i.e. Sketch) and we think it is a reasonable balance between sustainability and user satisfaction.

The Mac App Store is great in many respects, but it has changed the user's perception of the value of software, imposing a buy-once model that is not sustainable by independent developers and has apparent consequences on the overall quality of the apps present on the store. Some developers found intricate ways to provide paid upgrades on the App Store, many removed their apps altogether, others only place small "free" apps that are actually 15-day trials before they start charging a subscription. All this makes very hard to use the old "paid upgrades" model.

We are always open to feedback and suggestions!
We really can't wait to show the new features in 2018!

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Re: highdesign 2017 - first try

Post by macmau74 » Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:04 pm

I reproduced the rotated texts issue reported by macitec
Schermata 2018-01-18 alle 22.03.57.png

The text in HD is very similar to that used in Archicad, but in HD the feeling is not perfect, often does not behave like a Mac app, for me it could be improved..

Furthermore, for me the text box should always adapt to the content, and the "Fit Text box to Contents" in "Advanced Drawing Tools" it would not be necessary.


'Find' by pen weight also does not work
with version 2017.2.0 it does not find lines 1 with a thickness of 0.05, while with the other thicknesses it works well, even if there is some uncertainty in the behavior of the drop down menu.
behavior of the drop down menu.png


In general it is right to compare their direct competitors, (I when I left archicad to go to HD I found myself immediately at ease) but sometimes you can find ideas elsewhere. For example in Graphics (vectorial graphics app before indeoo now autodesk)the ribbon at the top adapts to the modification of the instrument in use. Even HD does it, and this works well, and, is very convenient to leave a free area for drawing even when working with a small screen.

I look forward too HD 2018!

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Re: highdesign 2017 - first try

Post by John Compiani » Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:47 pm

Andrew wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:47 pm
John Compiani wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:13 pm
Draw a rectangle. Duplicate it. Now I have two rectangles and I want to draw a line that joins the two rectangles, so I click the line tool.

Then I click on the corner of the duplicated rectangle to snap the new line to the corner. Start drawing.

What shape should be drawn?

In my book, it should be a line as I CHOSE THE LINE TOOL IN THE TOOLBAR! HighDesign thinks nope, you have a rectangle selected so I'm going to draw another rectangle. Why?How is this logical? Why is the tool chosen in the toolbar not respected?
Not exactly. The default behaviour is the ability to modify any selected object regardless of the active tool, a feature that smooths the workflow and has been in HighDesign since version 1.0. So when you click on the vertex of the selected rectangle, it begins stretching that rectangle without requiring you to activate the Arrow tool. However, if you go to Preferences > Workspace > Selection and Editing, you can activate the option "Use only Arrow tool to edit" which will change that behaviour and prevent other tools from editing.
Sorry Andrew, but this is not what I described at all. I have the "Use only Arrow tool to edit" option selected and as I described above, the selected object is not edited/modified, a NEW object is initiated. So if a rectangle is selected and I choose the line tool and begin drawing on a vertex of the selected rectangle, a NEW rectangle starts being drawn -- not a line. This does not make sense. The expected behaviour would be for the selected to be deselected AND the object starts drawing immediately with one click.
And just to make things even more confusing, if instead of clicking on a point on the rectangle I click in a blank part of the canvas, nothing at all happens other than the rectangle being deselected. Again, how is this logical?
Well, it is logical in the light of the above described ability to edit objects with any tool. In 2018, when exclusive editing with the Arrow tool is active, activating a drawing tool will also deselect the objects. That should match your feature request.
As per my answer above, I have the "Use only Arrow tool to edit" option selected. So it makes no sense. The next click should just start drawing whatever object is selected in the toolbar. I can't think of a single good reason for the current behaviour, sorry.
Annotations require text input from the user and the text box is the final step of the construction process. If you want to cancel the current operation, push Esc. Undo/Redo only apply to performed actions.
It's not unreasonable to expect the last operation to be undone, whether that be a click whilst creating a polygon or creating an object. HD handles the undo operation during a construction process very badly. It deletes the last object created, leaving you mid operation in the current process, and if you hit Redo nothing happens. Whatever was undone remains undone for ever.

I would expect to be able to undo a click during creating a polygon for example. At the very least, If HD decides this is not reasonable to expect, HD should just ignore the Undo command until the object creation process is either cancelled or completed. The current implantation can frequently result in the permanent loss of data.
Yes that is the standard Mac behaviour in illustration applications, but HighDesign is not an illustration software. Give ArchiCAD a try, or VectorWorks, they work exactly as HighDesign in this regard. Of course we can add that option in 2018.0 if it fits the deadline.
No, Vectorworks does NOT work the same as HD in this regard. Newly created objects remain selected. Initiating the creation of another object deselects the currently selected object as you start drawing. I used VW for many years, starting when it was still called MiniCAD and I know (knew!) it well. I have tried a demo of the latest version and it still works the same way.

MacDraft Pro also leaves the newly created object selected. So does TurboCAD. So does PowerCADD.

I've never used ArchiCAD so can't comment on that.

An option in 2018 to work this way would be great :-)
That is very important point and we appreciate your feedback. We chose this licensing model as way to provide users with continuous updates, regardless of the version number, and at the same time avoid the subscription system. It is the same model adopted by other companies (i.e. Sketch) and we think it is a reasonable balance between sustainability and user satisfaction.

The Mac App Store is great in many respects, but it has changed the user's perception of the value of software, imposing a buy-once model that is not sustainable by independent developers and has apparent consequences on the overall quality of the apps present on the store. Some developers found intricate ways to provide paid upgrades on the App Store, many removed their apps altogether, others only place small "free" apps that are actually 15-day trials before they start charging a subscription. All this makes very hard to use the old "paid upgrades" model.

We are always open to feedback and suggestions!
We really can't wait to show the new features in 2018!
I look forward to seeing HD 2018...

Comparing HD's licensing to Sketch highlights exactly what I was trying to say (ironically Sketch is a vector app, so nothing like CAD! :wink: )

Sketch is updated frequently-- from their website: "Over the past year we’ve released 17 Sketch updates, introducing exciting new features and making Sketch better than ever. We’re committed to releasing regular updates and with a Sketch License, you’ll get an entire year of innovation."

HD is not updated frequently (I don't think this is a problem, I would prefer not to have so many updates!) but is still being developed on a major annual (ish) schedule as you have confirmed when you said the HD 2018 is coming. Also Sketch offer a cloud service which adds perceived value. HD is the same price as it used to be upfront

However you charge for HD your customers need to feel like they're getting value for money. I do not feel that a couple of bug releases feels like good value for £149.

I think you have a release schedule that suits annual major upgrade pricing/licensing (with all .x releases included) but a pricing model that suits regular, smaller, updates.

Ashlar, makers of Graphite, have an option to purchase v10 outright and get v11 included for one (very high!) price, udgrade from the previous version for about a quarter of the full price, or rent it monthly and get everything included at a very low price relative to the full price.

That monthly rental is ≈3% of the total price of the software, so it takes three years before you've paid the same amount as the full price license costs, making renting/subscribing an attractive proposition.

But it's a hard problem to solve. Regular income is obviously required and if the old model isn't working new ones need to be found. I just think that the current system is just caught between two stools.

One example of a company charging a yearly fee to keep updated have an interesting model :4D. It's a database/application development app.

Maintenance is voluntary and is ¼ of the price of the full app, but allows you to get any major release included during the 12 month maintenance period and allows you to offset the larger charges an update to a full version would be. I pay it as I feel like it's good value. You still get point updates included without maintenance, but with maintenance you get access to updates more quickly.

4D Developer Standard is £220. Maintenance is £55 per year.

Here’s a link : http://www.4d.com/purchase/maintenance.html

It tends to be worth paying for maintenance as upgrades to a major version are a lot more than the yearly maintenance charge, and £55 is a reasonable yearly fee for £220 software. And the fact that it's voluntary is nice. You still get the old major release/paid upgrade path if you don't want to pay the yearly maintenance fee and don't miss out on bug fixes if you choose not to pay annually. But as I said, I do happily choose the option to pay the annual maintenance.

4D tends to get a major update every 18 months or so, so yo don't always get a full major release for one years of maintenance, but the price is low enough for that not to be an issue.

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Re: highdesign 2017 - first try

Post by macitect » Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:31 pm

Didn't get the update notification. Glad to see my original post sparked some conversation.

I want to address a couple of the issues discussed here, but am short of time at the moment... The intention of this post was just to say that 'export to dwg' is not working. When I select 'one file per sheet' as the destination it nonetheless combines it all into one .dwg. Furthermore HD is automatically adding a double suffix: .dwg-dwg

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