An Open Question to All Autodesk Bashers

In the continuing debate over proprietary file formats one question as been asked over and over again. So far I have not come across any satisfactory response. I came across the following comment when researching content for an earlier post wherein I claimed that there were people who considered the ODA as a “hacker’s group”.

“A ‘non-profit group’? Rather a group of hackers paid by Autodesk competitors. Why have these companies refused to open their proprietary formats when they demand Autodesk to do it? It is just about competition and profit, not user rights.”

Take a look at the ODA members. From the list of founding members, apart from Bentley and Robert McNeel and Associates, I do not know any other company which has opened their formats.

I ask all you Autodesk bashers: Why have these companies refused to open their proprietary formats when they demand Autodesk to do it?

  • ralphg

    Intergraph’s INGR is/was open.

    Google’s KML is open, I think.

    Microsoft’s new XML-based Office formats is apparently open.

    But I think the difference is that Autodesk’s former CEO used to claim that DWG was THE WORLDWIDE STANDARD for CAD drawings. Thus, if so, then perhaps standards should be documented.

    I image Carl Bass grimmiced when Carol Bartz made the claim.

  • Anonymous

    Great post Deelip and one that some bashers have ignored purposely ignored even some online “press”.

    Autodesk has provided DXF, 3DS, FBX, and DWF open formats as well as participated in many open format committees for the exchange of data.

    I do not feel the discussion online in general has been fair or balanced. even Ralph grabowski stated “Autodesk was hated” in his ezine although I wonder if that is due to his assumption or the crowds he runs in.

  • Anonymous

    Great post Deelip and one that some bashers have ignored purposely ignored even some online “press”. Autodesk has provided DXF, 3DS, FBX, and DWF open formats as well as participated in many open format committees for the exchange of data.I do not feel the discussion online in general has been fair or balanced. even Ralph grabowski stated “Autodesk was hated” in his ezine although I wonder if that is due to his assumption or the crowds he runs in.

  • R.Paul Waddington.

    “I ask all you Autodesk bashers: Why have these companies refused to open their proprietary formats when they demand Autodesk to do it?” – Easy, just like Autodesk they do not see a commercial advantage as some others (like you Deelip) have, but if Autodesk (or others) want to claim to be “The Standard” then they must behave as a “Standard”, else you’ll get bashed.

    Anonymous referring to RalphG’s “Autodesk was hated” comment asked, “I wonder if that is due to his assumption or the crowds he runs in”.
    Let me say this, as an Autodesk customer (end 1983), promoter, supplier and trainer, I have never seen, or worked with, any other organisation that is used by so many and openly disliked by so many of its customers. Autodesk is unique in this respect and it is entirely of their own making.
    Autodesk needs a management team that understands the relative importance of Autodesk’s tools to its customers. This is the root of the bashing. Autodesk are control freaks, believing they have ‘control rights’ that exceed their true position as a supplier of industry tools. This management attitude is the spore of policy and actions that invites bashing.
    Autodesk’s management needs to be introduced to ‘real tool suppliers’, companies that are sensitive to their customers requirements and to reposition its thinking accordingly.
    How does this fit with ‘opening the format’? Easy answer really, when you understand what your customer wants you make policy and products that fulfil those needs. Organizations like ODA would never have been created if Autodesk’s management was ‘smarter sooner’. They had the opportunity and tools but chose not to use either.
    Stop telling customers ‘what they want’ and start doing ‘what they want’ and the bashing will eventually cease.
    This takes management knowledge and wisdom (the later is more important and harder to find), is their any person in Autodesk with these qualities?
    Winning a court battle is street fighting to salve the ego, winning in the market place is done by PROVING you have better products and that takes skill not ego. Autodesk are front running only because customers still don’t see (the) alternatives as cost effective, not because Autodesk have PROVEN they are better. While Autodesk continues to behave as they do customers will remain, for the near future, and Autodesk will continue to be ‘bashed’.

  • R.Paul Waddington.

    “I ask all you Autodesk bashers: Why have these companies refused to open their proprietary formats when they demand Autodesk to do it?” – Easy, just like Autodesk they do not see a commercial advantage as some others (like you Deelip) have, but if Autodesk (or others) want to claim to be “The Standard” then they must behave as a “Standard”, else you’ll get bashed.Anonymous referring to RalphG’s “Autodesk was hated” comment asked, “I wonder if that is due to his assumption or the crowds he runs in”.Let me say this, as an Autodesk customer (end 1983), promoter, supplier and trainer, I have never seen, or worked with, any other organisation that is used by so many and openly disliked by so many of its customers. Autodesk is unique in this respect and it is entirely of their own making.Autodesk needs a management team that understands the relative importance of Autodesk’s tools to its customers. This is the root of the bashing. Autodesk are control freaks, believing they have ‘control rights’ that exceed their true position as a supplier of industry tools. This management attitude is the spore of policy and actions that invites bashing.Autodesk’s management needs to be introduced to ‘real tool suppliers’, companies that are sensitive to their customers requirements and to reposition its thinking accordingly.How does this fit with ‘opening the format’? Easy answer really, when you understand what your customer wants you make policy and products that fulfil those needs. Organizations like ODA would never have been created if Autodesk’s management was ‘smarter sooner’. They had the opportunity and tools but chose not to use either.Stop telling customers ‘what they want’ and start doing ‘what they want’ and the bashing will eventually cease.This takes management knowledge and wisdom (the later is more important and harder to find), is their any person in Autodesk with these qualities?Winning a court battle is street fighting to salve the ego, winning in the market place is done by PROVING you have better products and that takes skill not ego. Autodesk are front running only because customers still don’t see (the) alternatives as cost effective, not because Autodesk have PROVEN they are better. While Autodesk continues to behave as they do customers will remain, for the near future, and Autodesk will continue to be ‘bashed’.

  • Anonymous

    Autodesk is bashed because they create products that don’t deliver, and in an effort to hide their mistakes, raise the price of all subsequent releases and market them as “better than before.” Case in point? Civil 3D.

  • Anonymous

    Autodesk is bashed because they create products that don’t deliver, and in an effort to hide their mistakes, raise the price of all subsequent releases and market them as “better than before.” Case in point? Civil 3D.

  • Anonymous

    Companies that sell second-rate products have to resort to this sort of stuff. Companies that sell first-rate products spend their time making sure their products stay first-rate (e.g. SolidWorks).

  • Anonymous

    Companies that sell second-rate products have to resort to this sort of stuff. Companies that sell first-rate products spend their time making sure their products stay first-rate (e.g. SolidWorks).

  • Anonymous

    If Autodesk products don’t deliver it is because you don’t know how to use them properly. Sure there are some things that don’t work as you think they should, but that is true for all software.

  • Anonymous

    If Autodesk products don’t deliver it is because you don’t know how to use them properly. Sure there are some things that don’t work as you think they should, but that is true for all software.

  • Anonymous

    ‘why don’t Autodesk’s competitors open their file formats?’

    Isn’t that sort of like asking China why it hasn’t gotten rid of all its nukes?

    C’mon, we’re not all that dumb.

    If it came down to ‘show me yours and I’ll show you mine’, it will be Autodesk that heads for the hills first.

    The only thing that is going to collar Mr. Bass, is to hope that someone turns the lights back on, at the Anti-trust Division of the United States Justice Department.

    Why don’t you ask about how much paid-for political influence Autodesk is behind, using proxies like the BSA, and which is what helps keeps those lights out?

    I regard Autodesk as a monopoly.

    Monopolies must play by a different set of rules.

    And now, might I ask if you have ever been called an Autodesk crownie?

  • Anonymous

    ‘why don’t Autodesk’s competitors open their file formats?’Isn’t that sort of like asking China why it hasn’t gotten rid of all its nukes?C’mon, we’re not all that dumb.If it came down to ‘show me yours and I’ll show you mine’, it will be Autodesk that heads for the hills first. The only thing that is going to collar Mr. Bass, is to hope that someone turns the lights back on, at the Anti-trust Division of the United States Justice Department.Why don’t you ask about how much paid-for political influence Autodesk is behind, using proxies like the BSA, and which is what helps keeps those lights out?I regard Autodesk as a monopoly.Monopolies must play by a different set of rules.And now, might I ask if you have ever been called an Autodesk crownie?

  • ralphg

    Intergraph's INGR is/was open.

    Google's KML is open, I think.

    Microsoft's new XML-based Office formats is apparently open.

    But I think the difference is that Autodesk's former CEO used to claim that DWG was THE WORLDWIDE STANDARD for CAD drawings. Thus, if so, then perhaps standards should be documented.

    I image Carl Bass grimmiced when Carol Bartz made the claim.