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The Interview

AFR: Anthony Frausto-Robledo, Founder & Editor, Architosh

NF: Nader Family, Founder of BOA

NF: It may sound odd in year 2000 to say that architectural designers have never been truly served, but I strongly believe that. I believed that in 1995 when I started work on BOA, and got serious support from several major think tank market research companies.

Thus BOA was designed with two interdependent goals. First, to help designers work intuitively, from scratch to well detailed models. Second, to allow a perennial, effective setup and maintenance of drawings directly based on the models designers produce.

For this reason, the target of our software is the professional who appreciates the value of working in 3D from the start of projects, not just for presentation or simple studies.

This includes more than just architects. Interior designers, retail, theatrical design, builders are just some of the nearest professionals to architects. Also, digital scenery requires intricate and complex building models for which BOA can be an ideal tool.

AFR: Is there a Windows version of BOA planned?

NF: We are working very closely and funding the final corrections and additions to making MacApp, Apple's development framework, to compile under Windows. The work is proceeding quite smoothly, albeit more slowly than we initially expected and we look forward to a beta version this Fall.

It will not be just for BOA, it is for everybody who is writing applications and using MacApp; they will be able to compile them for Windows. And until Mac OS X catches on, it is a way for a lot of small developers to survive the transition.

We really do believe that [Mac] OS X will be the professional OS, especially to those professionals who are graphically oriented. But until then, it is really too much to ask of small developers not to look at the whole market. So our work with Apple can help a lot of Macintosh developers.

AFR: And MacApp...what version is it now?

NF: We are using MacApp 14 and compiling with it, though 15 is in the works. Apple suggest that 14 is not yet ready for prime time, but we use it and have no problems; it is a robust beta version, but we use it and it works fine.

AFR: Now is that MacApp version 15 compiling to OS X yet?

NF: I think it is, I have to check on that. I don't know for sure. It is compiling but it doesn't have Project Maker yet, so you can't put an Aqua interface on it.

AFR: Is BOA Autocad compatible?

NF: Given the fact that BOA is far more sophisticated in information handling than Autocad, one can never expect full compatibility. Perhaps, if we are lucky at some point we can read in complete data from an Autocad file. But sending information to Autocad is quite a big step down from BOA and much information, especially parametric information, will be lost.

Nonetheless, BOA exports in DWG and DXF formats and reads in those formats with certain limitations which we are working to minimize. [Editor's note: BOA utilizes the open-source libraries from the OpenDWG Alliance]

AFR: What version of the Mac OS is BOA currently running on?

NF: BOA runs under Mac OS 8.6 - 9.0.

AFR: Is BOA Carbon compliant?

NF: Most of BOA is carbonized. We are waiting to finish the completion of the cross-platform MacApp to fully carbonize all parts of BOA, including new additions to MacApp.

AFR: So basically you can't get to Mac OS X any faster than Apple can.

NF: That's correct.

AFR: Is there a Mac OS X version of BOA in the works and when will it be ready?

NF: Being a MacApp-based software product, we will build a Mac OS X version as soon as MacApp 15 is finalized. Given the high quality of the past beta releases of MacApp, we expect to have a beta version of BOA under OS X within six months.

AFR: Does BOA use QuickDraw 3D or OpenGL for its 3D modeling API?

NF: No. Given the special way that BOA handles solids, we decided to not use QuickDraw 3D. We believe we have faster picking, cropping and manipulation routines. We were also not sure if Apple would support that technology for the long term, as now it is being slowly pushed aside.

AFR: What about QuickTime. Does BOA utilize the QuickTime architecture?

NF: We use whatever calls that MacApp makes to the QuickTime API. BOA, through MacApp will use the QuickTime API on Windows.

AFR: Does BOA support AppleScript beyond the basic level?










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