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GDL language and objects, API, Add-ons, Script…

Moderators: Barry Kelly, Karl Ottenstein, LaszloNagy, ejrolon, gkmethy

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By Sam Karli
Yeah, it should be done thematically using subtopics, but I don't have time for that. All wishes and bugs are related to my ArchiCAD SE 2016 (=19).

1. Sections should skip planes not just horizontally, but also vertically. It's quite common to have a long section of a pitched roof house that should intersect the roof at its ridge, not somewhere towards the eaves; not to mention other common cases.
2. Sections should be infinite at their end. It's also common that the end of the section shouldn't be where the section sign is on the plans (and also not to mention when there are stores with different areas on differently sized plans: one can't see the section signs cause they're off the paper.)
3. Sections should be broken at angles, like polygons.
4. If sections work well, there's no need for facades.
5. Priority-based intersections work fine for walls and slabs, but obviously not for roof intersections.
6. It can be understood that there is no roof with a slope of 90 degrees, but there should be something that could be correctly intersected with roof. At least correct wall-roof intersections should be a nice to have.
7. The idea of layered structures ("Réteges szerkezetek") is an evolutionary dead end. In reality a house is not built of them, but structures stacked on top of each other. In general similarly, but sometimes with different thicknesses and/or (generally slightly) modified buildups.
-instead there should be a tool that one could draw walls on top of each other fast (for example the walls knowing their position and if You have stacked a layer to one wall, it should be offered to have the same layer on the similar walls but later removable from some of them), the ability of solving holes of walls (should there be a window on a layer, there should be a window on other layers, too). A long shot, I agree.
8. To be able to detect (and intelligently fix) overlapping texts and labels. If I remember well, algorithms for this kind of problem were solved back in the 1970s when the microchips became too complicated to be designed manually. Hip-hop, 40 years passed, and it would be high time for ArchiCAD to incorporate such a function. Missing this feature is the most time consuming of all.
9 3D poligons and/or some kind of element (bent beam, for example) that is able to be curved AND sloped. Missed in many complicated stair railings etc. I think GDL supports the idea.
10 A working magic wand. In many (most) cases magic wand finds wrong silhouettes because of (in ArchiCAD tipical) overlapping lines. For example, the guess of ArchiCAD should be highlighted, and when parts of it were good and others not, an user intervention of selecting wanted segments should modify it.
11 An ability to change the background different colors of plans and facades. It's simply because designing in general is better on black backgrounds (more colors are visible against black, allowing a 'logical' organization of these plans) but facades are nicer on a WYSIWYG white background.
12 To incorporate an AutoCAD-like object snap with different icons for endpoints etc. For a more precise drafting.
13 To incorporate a more AutoCAD-like selection management, for example, having a selection stack to allow 'select previous'. It's also quite time consuming and (unfortunately) common to malclick once and start a 20 element selection over again.
14 Nearly forgotten: layered structures, again. Sloped and changing width structures are among the most common building structures (anything that slopes on top of a horizontal structure) and I think 20 versions of ArchiCAD wasn't enough to devise a _simple_ structure to deal this. Yes, a roof on top of a slab and some SEO makes it, but there should be a simple sollution.
15. A simple way to give a GDL script a poligon. Most scripts are about to do stuff having polygon elements (as base plane or as an extrusion path, a contour or something) and I think tere is no way to simply pick one by the user and give it to the script as an object.
16. To be able intersect two roofs at once. Usually one has to cut the first roof with the second, then the second with the first. Double work in 99% of the time.
17. To add an option to delete points of editing anything fast. From slab contours to unnecessary terrain points.
18. While editing, to enable multiple selection of points and/or segments. For example, to set a height of a contour in a terrain, or to set the angle of more roof contour elements at once. To copy these properties from one element to another.
19 To add the "Windows" key to the available modifier hotkeys and to remove the burnt-in hotkey binding from the F1 key.

I'll add other suggestions later.
This is a hand-crafted example to wish #6
Vágólap-1.png (10.56 KiB) Viewed 3729 times
User avatar
By gpowless
Thumbs down - not needed.
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By Barry Kelly
Sam Karli wrote:I'll add other suggestions later.

Pleas do but please add them separately.
It will make them much easier to respond to and have a discussion about.

In reply to a few of your topics.

2. Look into 'Linked' section/elevation markers. Place your main section in the storey that will have the longest elevation (usually the lowest storey) and make it as long as is necessary for your entire model. Set it to show on that storey only. On other storeys you add a new section linked to that first one but you can adjust the length to suit what you need in plan - but it will still show the entire length.

3. How - you can't look in to directions at once as the views will overlap. Use separate sections and place them together on you layout - not 100% automatic but you will get what you want.

5/6. Roofs don't have automatic Priority Based Connections like walls and slabs at the moment. Right click and 'Connect' to roof. Make sure the strengths of your Building Materials are correct and everything should tie together as you want. SEO will treat the entire composite as a whole and not individual skins.

8. The 'Check for Duplicates' add-on (goodie that can be downloaded from the HELP menu).

It's simply because designing in general is better on black backgrounds (more colors are visible against black, allowing a 'logical' organization of these plans)
That is debatable but just add a large fill to your elevation (send to back if necessary but it should automatically go behind everything).

15. Select polygon and 'Save Selection As Object' will give you the polygon script.

16. Use multi=plane roof - 100% automatic.

18. For terrain contours tick the 'Apply to ALL' box when you adjust the height. If it is a node on a contour the entire contour will change.

User avatar
By Sam Karli
Thanks for Your answers,

2. This is a (complicated) partial sollution. The common (simpler) one is to put the section mark on a switched-off layer and to redraw it as polygons, showing that the section tool is not a well-developed one.
3. Works, but then You loose the benefits of any automation of the sections, and long/polygonal houses might have up to many sections. A nightmare to have texts, measurements (say, writing something to the border of two in paperspace joined sections) etc.
8. I mean overlapping stuff like this, not duplicates. Unbelievably time-consuming to fix through a complete doc.
15. Saving as an object will give You a description of a polygon, not a passable parameter. In an ideal case, say, You would pick a polygon and the GDL script would be able to, say, sweep an object out of it. Saving as an object will give You just x-y pairs of points that You can use when programming, say, a swept object. Great difference (but I agree that this is a long shot.)
16. 100% automatic and fails in around 99% of cases.
18. Obviously the interesting thing is not to have one or all points, but some.
I mean overlapping stuff like this
Vágólap-1.png (2.98 KiB) Viewed 3606 times
Last edited by Sam Karli on Tue Dec 13, 2016 10:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By Sam Karli
20. To allow non-associative dimensioning (with, say, the old AutoCAD trick of putting points to the end of dimension lines). There are two fundamental problems with the always associative dimensions:
-you cannot copy them. It's quite common that the outer dimensions of the house are the same or similar on all stores. It saves much time if You can copy the dimensioning with other text elements and paste them on other stores.
-in many cases deleting of objects (before replacing them with others) deletes associated dimension lines and one has to start dimensioning over.
The solution should be when an object with associated dimension is deleted not to delete dimension but to add a point to the end. (And after deleting the point to delete the dimension or to add another point, allowing deleting dimensionings only explicitely.)
21. Another long shot, but to allow meshes with layered structures. In many cases terrains (that are tipically meshes with complicated surfaces and slopes) has pavement-like covers having many layers. It's a nightmare, again, to make the mesh, and to copy it under itself and with SEO to subtract one from another.
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By Barry Kelly
20. You can select any node and make it 'static'. If you have a least 2 static nodes you can copy and paste the dimensions (just the static parts).
To re-associate (in version 20 at least) activate the dimension tool, select the dimension node and CTRL click the element node you want to associate to.

Deleting elements will not delete the static nodes.

You can also make the entire dimension static if you want to.

You can copy associated dimensions so long as you also copy the elements as well. So if you have the same walls on multiple storeys dimension the walls first and then copy the walls and dimensions to the other storeys.

User avatar
By Sam Karli
Wow, many thanks.

Actually these stuff all work in both AC 19 and ACSE 2016 (=19), and you can copy static dimensions also (among stores through clipboard), and to some extent re-associating works also (the important part works well.)

This is a great help, indeed.
User avatar
By Sam Karli
20. For Drawing Manager a tool for searching linked multiple external drawings at once by adding a directory where (more) external drawings exist. In case their directory had been changed, which is a commonplace (for example, when project steps to next phase in many cases file directories are copied.)
21. A (preferably command-line) option enabling starting in full screen.
22. For some tools enabling changing default behaviour. For example, to be able to enable direction dependent selection method as default. Or to have default settings when exporting to .3DS, say.
23. A long shot, but to be able more than one plan/3d view and allow ArchiCAD to use more than one windows (to gain a full exploitation of multiple monitors).
24. To enable slabs (or roofs) to be cut apart by a polyline or a curve (not by point by point and not by a straight line).
User avatar
By Sam Karli
25. When editing GDL, double click on a word (normally meaning selecting the entire word) should consider all acceptable characters of a word as a word. For example, double-clicking on "test" in "test_word" catches only "test", not "test_word".
26. Many undocumented features of GDL editor should be documented. Tricky hotkeys, etc. And in general either to have an acceptable IDE for GDL editing or allowing developing in external IDEs.
27. Allowing showing of User Interface of a library element in Infotable. Some limitations of library part UI shows that this is planned for at least 5 years, but still doesn't work.
28. Not changing an element's (say, wall) Z of insertion point when changing element's store. Store is now much part of a logical categorizing, so lifting elements when anchoring to another store makes headache many times.
User avatar
By Sam Karli
29. To be able to export/copy drawing sheet templates from one plan to another. If I create a sheet template for a project, I think I cannot copy it to another file, for example, to enable it in a template.