BIM workbench UI discussion

A forum dedicated to the Draft, Arch and BIM workbenches development.
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Moult
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Re: BIM workbench UI discussion

Postby Moult » Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:23 am

Ooh! My 0.02$:

I really like the idea of scrapping the concept of "wall" and "structure" and "window". I would love to see it changed to something like "Axis extrusion", "Profile extrusion", and "Opening element". That way they are named after their "geometric" function, not named after their "semantic" function. This would essentially split the toolbar into two halves: "Modeling" (axis, profiles, openings, import meshes, nurbs? part design?) and "Building information" (building parts, sites, wall, slab, window, other). The modeling tools create geometry but building information is not assigned. The building information simply assign building data to geometry. (Side note: I wonder if in IFC you can represent 2D things with 3D lines instead of solids and breps)

This is really beneficial because:

1. It breaks away the mindset that certain modeling techniques only create certain objects. This prevents people deciding to misuse objects for other IFC products. It also opens up people to the idea that there is nothing magical in BIM - it's simply data assigned to geometry, which is true :)
2. It prevents the problem in the UI where you create a wall and you see it named Wall with a wall icon. However then you change its IfcRole to something else, but it is still called Wall and still has a wall icon. This is really confusing.
3. It ensures that there is a discipline when BIM data is assigned. In programs like Revit or ArchiCAD because the modeling and BIM data is in the same tool, it means that even if you are just rapidly drawing a wall, a bunch of default (and likely incorrect!) data is assigned. This leads to poor quality BIM data. By making the building information assignment explicit, you help ensure that the user takes care to create a high quality BIM model.
I also blog about 3D rendering, architecture, software and other on thinkMoult.com. RSS / Atom feed available for your convenience.
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regis
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Re: BIM workbench UI discussion

Postby regis » Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:24 pm

Roy_043 wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:18 am
There is a 'nameless' BIM toolbar that is missing in Yorik's screenshots:
Good catch. I did not notice that. :D
Roy_043 wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:18 am
A button to disable all selected Draft Snap options, so you don't have to click them one by one prior to selecting different options (this is not the same as toggling all snaps on/off).
I'm still not clear here, I thought this button did the job already?
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In any case your requests also reminds of Inkscape. There are quite possible good additions we could grab from there.
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yorik
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Re: BIM workbench UI discussion

Postby yorik » Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:38 pm

Very good discussion starting here!

@Regis: Move andcopy ARE the same tool. Only one starts with the "copy mode" turned on. That's part of all the same discussion, is it best to have two separate buttons or only one that does both. Same with Floor/BuildingPart, etc..). About having the move icon on the move task panel, you're right, those little details are indeed important. The two offsets indeed should become one.

Now an idea comes to my mind: Why not have two interface modes? One "extended", with one button for move, one button for copy, one for floor, etc... and one "compact" mode with a reduced set? But I 'm not sure about this, I tried that with the Draft WB at the very beginning, and it was a PITA to maintain...

@Roy)043: Note that the new material tool in BIM now works differently and allows you to do both, normal materials and multimaterials. About snaps, I also don't see the difference of what you are asking with the general snaps toggle button?

@Moult: You definitely have a point there. With all BIM/Arch objects able to assume any IFC type, the "Wall" object totally looses its meaning. And it is in fact something that annoys me considerably in revit (you cannot turn any other object into a wall, and it gives a lot of problems when importing other types of walls from ifc). But this is a big semantic leap which would likely bring hords of complaints.. Also the icon is a problem :) Should it represent the ifc type, or the geometric object. I see arguments for both sides.
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regis
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Re: BIM workbench UI discussion

Postby regis » Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:59 pm

Moult wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:23 am
Ooh! My 0.02$:
:lol: :lol: We'll need our deep dive gear here.
Moult wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:23 am
I really like the idea of scrapping the concept of "wall" and "structure" and "window"
Instead of scrapping the current concept, why don't we create an experimental concept that we can test independently? and observe how it evolves? a bit like how there was Arch Workbench and then BIM was created independently to enable alot of features without screwing up the Arch?
Moult wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:23 am
I would love to see it changed to something like "Axis extrusion", "Profile extrusion", and "Opening element". That way they are named after their "geometric" function, not named after their "semantic" function
Yeah I don't mind checking this out with you, there are quite a few good things that can be heavily streamlined and optimised a great deal. I know i've spoken to Yorik extensively about the fact that the wall tool can also be a structure tool etc and many other stuffs. etc. So working this up from the ground up approach can be a really great thing. My idea basically was that with one base line/profile face you can create and control alot of things fairly well. Currently the wall and structure are programmed a bit differently (i don't understand the programming underneath) but I can tell based on the fonctions each can do, for example a wall can only extruded upwards, and not sideways if you were to draw it on a X or Y planes. There are many more such we can discuss over time. So if you have interest in systematically rebuilding these, I don't mind weighing my 0.02$ on the matter. :lol:
Moult wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:23 am
1. It breaks away the mindset that certain modelling techniques only create certain objects. This prevents people deciding to misuse objects for other IFC products. It also opens up people to the idea that there is nothing magical in BIM - it's simply data assigned to geometry, which is true
I agree and disagree here. I disagree because it doesn't really prevent people from deciding to misuse objects for others, rather it helps you become a bit diligent and think about what you are really doing. quite useful in that sense. I agree because over time as we evolved, certain tools became too distinct and drove away from the 1 click, create object which can be anything we want, i.e a wall or structure type concept. Lets take an example with the grid tool for example, Intuitively one wants to be able to move each single grid line manually as it it evolves during a project and the lock it inside it's grid tool. The idea is draw a line, or a series of lines, then click the grid, and boom they turn into grids etc ( and it can be refined further than that)
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Moult wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:23 am
2. It prevents the problem in the UI where you create a wall and you see it named Wall with a wall icon. However then you change its IfcRole to something else, but it is still called Wall and still has a wall icon. This is really confusing.
I think this can easily be addressed with refinements.
Moult wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:23 am
3. It ensures that there is a discipline when BIM data is assigned. In programs like Revit or ArchiCAD because the modelling and BIM data is in the same tool, it means that even if you are just rapidly drawing a wall, a bunch of default (and likely incorrect!) data is assigned. This leads to poor quality BIM data. By making the building information assignment explicit, you help ensure that the user takes care to create a high quality BIM model.
I think the idea of poor BIM data is only because Yorik is not done fixing it as he is needed on too many fronts, But we also want to take the positives from the other software's, whilst improving Freecad's strengths meaning, how can we also stay unique?
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microelly2
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Re: BIM workbench UI discussion

Postby microelly2 » Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:05 pm

yorik wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:43 pm
  • There are too many toolbar buttons already
  • There are not enough buttons. Some useful tools from other workbenches should be there too
  • Some icons should have another color (ex. those that create a new object should be yellow)
  • Some people want less tools
  • Some people want more tools (a separate one for doors and windows, for ex)
  • ATM the toolbars reflect identically the contents of the menu. Should we differentiate? Which tools should stay on the toolbar?
We have some good tools by tripus: Piemenu, Command, Toolbar
we should look for a way to use them to create an easy to configure environment
this strategy will solve these problems:

X There are too many toolbar buttons already
X There are not enough buttons. Some useful tools from other workbenches should be there too
X Some people want less tools
X Some people want more tools (a separate one for doors and windows, for ex)

In my private work the toolbars change nearly each week
I add icons when I need them and clean up the toolbars when the problem is solved.
The end user should be able to do the same.
Roy_043
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Re: BIM workbench UI discussion

Postby Roy_043 » Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:10 pm

@Yorik:
Thanks for your information about the BIM material button. It is a bit confusing (same icon as Arch but different functionality, and at least one material has to be defined before that dialog displays). But it is a good example how the number of toolbar buttons might be reduced.

Roy_043 wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:18 am
A button to disable all selected Draft Snap options, so you don't have to click them one by one prior to selecting different options (this is not the same as toggling all snaps on/off).
Example to clarify: 8 snaps are ON, and the user wants to switch those 8 OFF and switch a single new snap ON. This requires 9 clicks. If there is a button to switch all snaps OFF this would require 2 clicks.
The requested 'Toggle All Snaps' button could have a double function:
If some or all snaps are ON clicking the button results in all snaps OFF.
If all snaps are OFF clicking the button results in all snaps ON.
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regis
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Re: BIM workbench UI discussion

Postby regis » Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:49 pm

microelly2 wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:05 pm
yorik wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:43 pm
  • There are too many toolbar buttons already
  • There are not enough buttons. Some useful tools from other workbenches should be there too
  • Some icons should have another color (ex. those that create a new object should be yellow)
  • Some people want less tools
  • Some people want more tools (a separate one for doors and windows, for ex)
  • ATM the toolbars reflect identically the contents of the menu. Should we differentiate? Which tools should stay on the toolbar?
We have some good tools by tripus: Piemenu, Command, Toolbar
we should look for a way to use them to create an easy to configure environment
this strategy will solve these problems:

X There are too many toolbar buttons already
X There are not enough buttons. Some useful tools from other workbenches should be there too
X Some people want less tools
X Some people want more tools (a separate one for doors and windows, for ex)

In my private work the toolbars change nearly each week
I add icons when I need them and clean up the toolbars when the problem is solved.
The end user should be able to do the same.
I don't understand what you mean here. Do you have some pictures and links?
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regis
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Re: BIM workbench UI discussion

Postby regis » Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:53 pm

Roy_043 wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:10 pm
@Yorik:
Thanks for your information about the BIM material button. It is a bit confusing (same icon as Arch but different functionality, and at least one material has to be defined before that dialog displays). But it is a good example how the number of toolbar buttons might be reduced.

Roy_043 wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:18 am
A button to disable all selected Draft Snap options, so you don't have to click them one by one prior to selecting different options (this is not the same as toggling all snaps on/off).
Example to clarify: 8 snaps are ON, and the user wants to switch those 8 OFF and switch a single new snap ON. This requires 9 clicks. If there is a button to switch all snaps OFF this would require 2 clicks.
The requested 'Toggle All Snaps' button could have a double function:
If some or all snaps are ON clicking the button results in all snaps OFF.
If all snaps are OFF clicking the button results in all snaps ON.
I see your point now. Yes This is worth consideration as well.
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regis
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Re: BIM workbench UI discussion

Postby regis » Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:57 pm

Another thing that can be revised is the Selections and deselections in Freecad, they are not as intuitive as in other programs. could benefit from some love.
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regis
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Re: BIM workbench UI discussion

Postby regis » Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:11 pm

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