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Having used both text-based (SAP5, SAP90) and graphic input types (e.g.,
Visual Analysis), I have to say I prefer the latter.  The engineer still
has total control, but he can see visually if the model accurately
reflects his intent.  It's too easy with a text-based input to create a
model with unintended anomalies.

>From: 	John S. McDonald[SMTP:jsm(--nospam--at)]
>Sent: 	Wednesday, March 19, 1997 8:07 AM
>To: 	seaoc(--nospam--at)
>I prefer the CSI programs (SAP90, ETABS & SAP2000)
>The user creates a text input file and then when the architect
>changes something  the engineer can easily remodel the 
>structure...the engineer has total control 
>over the structure... and if the engineer is gone, another engineer 
>can easily modify the text file.  With some of the other programs, this is 
>not as clear..
>These programs may have a longer learning curve, but once the 
>format is understood, it is really very logical... you can tell a 
>structural engineer wrote the program and not a computer 
>scientist.  And, because the input file is slightly more complex, it 
>requires more thought.... and hopefully more careful thought.  With 
>some other analysis programs, the input is so easy, an inexperienced 
>engineer could model something, and get results and think it is all 
>John S. McDonald

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Richard Lewis, P.E.
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