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Re: AISC EDI Standard

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>I recently received a notice that AISC is looking to establish an "electronic
>data interchange standard" for structural steel project information. 
On the face of it, a great thing, but you could say the same thing about 
IGES and ISO. Some people use them and some don't, as practicable and 
convenient. I love the idea of one universal standard format that will 
make data interchange seamless and transparent across political 
boundaries, computer software and platforms, but US engineers have proved 
hard to wean away from 'what's always worked.' I hear that even LRFD is 
having a tough time being accepted, even though it's so good that a lot 
of people really can't say how good it is (sorry...won't happen again ;-> 

Point is that economic clout is the only thing that makes these things 
fly. .dwg files are the standard for CAD only because AutoCAD has so much 
of the market. Same for Adobe PostScript. Used to be the case for .wks 
files with spreadsheets before Lotus and Excel went head to head. The US 
still uses inch standard pipes and rolled shapes and fasteners and cotter 
pins, because the economic impact is too great to change. Remember our 
flitation with the metric system during the Reagan years? The only change 
left is whiskey by the liter, I suspect because a liter is less whiskey 
than a fifth and sells for the same price. If the AISC standard can 
convince bean counters (techno-bean counters, too) of an improvement in 
next quarter's earnings, it'll be on like a flash. Otherwise it's going 
to be a long uphill battle.

Christopher Wright P.E.    |"They couldn't hit an elephant from
chrisw(--nospam--at)        | this distance"   (last words of Gen.
___________________________| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)