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Re: My personal Software "Wish" list

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I wish that in a short period (3-10 years) we can unlock the real power in the
engineering softwares.  Software created these days is too fragmented.  Each
vender has his own system, database, and GUI interfaces.  As I learned from my
programming teachers, the method we are accessing designing software is becoming
obsolete.

Engineering software should be designed as components, like the way we buy
plywood and 2x4s from lumber yard, rebars from steel supplier, and nails from
hardware store.  If we can spend the time to convert our wish lists in to
specification for the different component of design, we can require that the
software supplier meet the our requirement the same way we specify the strength
of our concrete mix.  After trial and error, we will get many of these very
useful basic components (called classes) to be standarlized just like our
specifications.  They call this kind of event "Object-Oriented (O-O)
Programming."

We want to see better software in the future.  We better get the O-O design
started in structural engineering field.  Software is rather expensive these
days because each design team has to re-invent all the basic building blocks in
their program.  Many very good ideas die.  O-O design does not require that
venders give up their source codes.  They can publish their methods in "header
files" (think about your supplier's catalog).  As far as I know, C++ and JAVA
are leaning heavy on this technique.  For example, the Microsoft Windows Program
evolved from MIT's X-windows.  Once that is done we don't have to rewrite it
everytime.

Once we got these components, we can link them together the way we want in much
shorter period.  There will be new ways of putting components together in the
future with the advance graphic user interface to meet our need.

Engineeing softwares will only become more important for us from now on  My
knowledge in this area is very limited.  However, I can see the need of having a
information clearing house for the designers and the users.  It only get better
when there is a forum to exchange ideas.  We can use the same energy that
engineering clubs employed 70 years ago to start the implementation of
structural design codes.

Will the engineers in SEAOC take up the challenge?

Sam Chang, SE
Cupertino, CA

Dennis Wish wrote:

> Joe, it's still a good sales pitch. Again, don't misunderstand. I'm not
> knocking Eagle Point or any other vendor. My point is one of knowledge of
> market place. Your comments are ideal for formal office settings where there
> an accounting practice which allows for profits to be divided into
> investments and fed back into a companies growth potential.
> My points were aimed at the growing number of independents who deal strictly
> on a cash basis. It's true that each of us needs to consider investment in
> our futures, but this generally means life insurance, health coverage,
> retirement funds, taxes and hardware investment upgrades. The hard fact to
> face is that if it is a question of spending $1,000.00 for a software which
> you may use or spending the money on your family - the independent will opt
> to complete his work with either the tools at hand or by manual methods.
> Look, I'm not saying that we are destitute by any means, but small offices
> rarly yeild excess cash flow on a steady basis.
> The only way for this growing market to afford the tools is by creative
> payment plans (spreading the cost of a year or two depending upon sales
> pricing), reducing features or the size of the model in an effort to reduce
> the sales price, etc.
> I'm not sure what your add-in for Intellicad will cost the engineer. If it's
> more than the software, you will have a potential buyer wondering why he
> should pay more for an add-on than a small full-featured cad package.
>
> I feel that this is sounding negative and I don't intend for it to be. From
> my experience and discussions with other software companys, I generally come
> up against a brick wall because the representative is wearing a suit and tie
> and represents a company with growing assets.
> Possiby we are not the market for these people, but as the number of
> independents grow we will have to be targeted at some point or another.
>
> To be brutal, let me ask you why I should put together a package of three or
> four modules to do three or four tasks when I can purchase an integrated
> library for less than the cost of your three or four?  Joe, I'm stepping
> over the edge here assuming that the cost per module may be around $150 or
> $200 per tool.
>
> I'm not trying to open the door for marketing of Eagle Point alone and would
> welcome other software vendors to jump in. I only ask that you stick to the
> marketing philosophy rather than do a commercial for your product.
>
> Thanks to Joe for paricipating in this.
> Dennis