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Re: User Interface Follies

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> From: "Polhemus, Bill" <BPolhemus(--nospam--at)>

> "Auto-STAAD" that functioned as a sort of add-in to AutoCAD to allow one
> to prepare STAAD model geometry using AutoCAD's tools. But mostly it was
> kinda half-baked, actually doing your models visually-even though this
> "technology" had existed for at least a decade on high-end engineering
> graphics platforms like RAND-MICAS.

I bought Multi-frame back about the mid-1990s (under US$2000). Most
current mid/high end software (e.g under $10k) are just catching up to
the user interface. They have fancy graphical capabilities but that does
not translate into user friendliness. Even something as simple as active
cells (e.g. input cells that will calculate the result of an entered
expression, similar to EXCEL) is still missing from most apps.  

> box, setting up a bunch of stuff, and then you can only look at the
> report in its "finished" state. If there's something you want to change,
> you have to close the report, and go back to the dialogue. Seems like a
> HUGE waste of time.

> I guess I can only gripe that we should have had "true" Object Oriented
> tools available by now, so that we could put our own software together.
> Too bad we're stuck with all the weaknesses as well as the strengths
> when we commit to a certain software package.

I would be happy if the developers didn't pretend that they write good
reporting modules, reduce the cost, but give me a good interface to link
the database to a good report creation engine ... like a database app
(Alpha Software's Alpha Five or (Apple) Filemaker are, IMHO, the best
available for Windows).

R. Paul Ransom, P. Eng.
Burlington, Ontario, Canada
<mailto:ado26(--nospam--at)> <>

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