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RE: engineering software

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Once again, you need Visual Analysis and Design.

Brian K. Smith, P.E.

> I agree with Cristopher Wright that the biggest issue is
> productivity which
> includes building and debugging a model.
> Some suggested areas where essentially all programs need improvement
> include.
> 1.  Aids in identifying the cause of error messages, including
> locating the
> cause of modeling instabilities.
> 2.  Once the model has run you need to print output and plots.
> Often times
> these plots and output need to be plotted out for each of
> multiple runs yet
> you have to spend hours waiting for plots get done so you can manually
> specify the next plot or output printout.  What is needed is a way for a
> user to specify a series of outputs and or plots and have them repeated at
> the end of a sucessful run or by issuing a single command.
> 3.  A similar problem occurs when post processors must be run after the
> analysis is done.  There is a need for a way to specify that certain post
> processors be automatically executed upon completion of the analysis.
> 4.  Make it easy for the user to automatically extract input and output
> data from the files created by the analysis program so they can be
> processed in ways not supported by the program.  This would also allow the
> user to create custom summary reports.   This is especially important when
> working with design criteria not supported by the existing code checking
> routines.
> 5.  let the user to specify a line, plane or region of the model and have
> the program report any forces acting on this surface.  This is essentially
> a free-body diagram.
> A number of  these problems could be solved by providing the user with
> hooks that allow another program to access the output files and to control
> the order of execution of pre and post processors.  Much of this could be
> accomplished by having the program follow certain Windows Standards and
> providing an object interface that Visual Basic could use.
> The currrent user interfaces are getting better but they still have a long
> way to go.  Many of the senior engineers do not feel the pain because they
> turn this boring and mind numbing work over to the more junior
> engineers.
> In addition to the lost man hours the  lack of a productive environment
> results in project delays.
> Mark Gilligan
> ----------------------------------------
> >I'd be very pleased if developers would leave computer technology alone
> for however long it takes to come up with readable docs, bug-free
> operation, features that actually work and the QA program to back it up,
> support staff that knows engineering and a user interface that doesn't
> suck.
> I think the emphasis on whizzy computer science is vastly overrated; the
> real cost of computer tools, especially FEA, is debugging a model and
> interpretation, not solution time. Saving me 50% of the solution time is
> trivial compared to the time it takes be to verify that a model is
> providing me with accurate, relevant results. To go further, the move
> toward faster machinery and greater storage capacity seems to encourage a
> sloppy approach to problem solving and less reliance on first principles.
> It also gets newbies in over their heads much faster.
> Christopher Wright P.E.    |"They couldn't hit an elephant from
> chrisw(--nospam--at)        | this distance"   (last words of Gen.
> ___________________________| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)
> <