- Architosh Staff ([email protected])
- 22 July 2001 Updated: 23 July 01
MWNY: VectorWorks demonstrated on Mac OS X
We casually walked up to the VectorWorks folks showing an early beta of VectorWorks on Mac OS X. Nemetschek (formerly Diehl Graphisoft) has always been faithful in coming to the East coast Macworld expos and this year was no different.
VectorWorks on OS X is still a ways off. Described as a late alpha by the Nemetschek guys, the product looked like it was coming along fine. The Aqua-fied interface looked not too different than under OS 9, with the exception of the tops of tool bars and palettes.
At this point, we were told, the focus was on getting the core code ready for OS X and getting things to work well. The development build that was running wasn't really demo'd for us per se. Apparently although it was running there were some polygonal issues to be addressed.
When we step back and look at the big picture Nemetschek really gets brownie points for even coming to the show since their original 90 day promise to get an OS X version complete has since expired. We talked to them about that...why an OS X version is taking so long to complete and here is what they shared with us (though be cautioned, this is not necessarily the official word, of which we will be trying to obtain from senior management in a future interview). [Editor's note: Nemetschek North America spokesperson, Deirdre Kidd, later contacted us about some innaccurate information relayed to us from this report. Below in red-organge are some clarifications as to the OS X efforts and its time-table.]
Is it early Beta or Late Alpha?
Although we were told that there is a full team working on the effort, things haven't been that smooth. The reason, apparently, has to do with old code and the size of the application. While not a behemoth like Maya for OS X with over 26 million lines of code, VectorWorks is a longtime Mac application with a lot of new technologies and transformations that have taken place over the last few major revisions.
We are now told that the reason why the Carbonization process has taken so long has been the shear scope of the work, not because of any older code.
"The re-engineering of 9 is what is making the carbonization of VectorWorks possible. The sheer enormity of VectorWorks requires a great deal of man-hours to make this happen. We have just recently received help from Apple and MetroWerks and as a result, we are now making tremendous headway which has in fact sped up this process" -- Deirdre Kidd, Nemetschek NA.
As for a release date we are now being told that San Francisco is too far off and that VectorWorks for Mac OS X "will be released in the next few months, certainly before Macworld."
And there is another reason why an OS X version might take much longer than planned: VectorWorks 9.5. Yes, the next version of VectorWorks is in major development and planned for a Fall beta period. Normally, we are told, the beta periods are planned to be up to four months long. That times nicely with Macworld Expo SF 2002.
For those who are VectorWorks users the fact is that an OS X version has barely passed the alpha/beta line may not be too pleasing news. However, don't despair too much. This word come from the expo guys, not the lead programmers who really know what lies ahead and what work is still involved.
As for the difficulty of Carbonizing an application like VectorWorks, we hope to hear more information soon. And we may have something to say about that as well in a near term report.
We'll endeavor to learn more real soon and give you a more accurate update. We are now planned to do an interview with Sean Flaherty, CTO of Nemetschek North America later in the week.
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