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RE: CAD Programs

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Dennis:

>> Look in almost every ad for a low cost CAD program and you will almost always see that it reads and writes to DWG format. <<

Right, but my point is that all such claims hide the more relevant question of what exactly gets read and written. All DWG file support except for AutoCAD's and AutoCAD LT's is based on two imperfect arts: reverse engineering the DWG file format, and translating from one CAD system's database structure to another's. The job is never done because the DWG file format and each CAD system's database structure almost always change with each major release. So the problem is cyclical, not asymptotic.

We agree that DWG file support in other CAD programs is a Good Thing, for those programs and for keeping some pressure on Autodesk. I think we also agree that DWG file support by other CAD programs can never be perfect. But we disagree about the degree and consequences of the imperfection, and how concerned people should be about it.

By the way, the company name is spelled "Autodesk" (no upper-case "d"), and the product is spelled "AutoCAD" ("CAD", being an acronym, is all upper-case). Sorry to be so school-marmish, but as you know, it's one of my personality flaws.

- Mark Middlebrook  73030.1604(--nospam--at)compuserve.com  MarkMid(--nospam--at)pacbell.net