The Question Is Still Open

Yesterday I asked Autodesk bashers an open question. I got replies which seem to suggest that since Autodesk’s ex-CEO claimed that DWG file format is the “Worldwide Standard”, and standards should be documented, therefore Autodesk should publish the DWG specification. While I am trying hard to find merit in this argument, I am going to argue for the sake of argument, keeping in mind that my argument may sound stupid to you (as it does to me).

SolidWorks Corporation (not just their CEO) claims that SolidWorks is the “Standard in 3D”. So does that mean they they should release their software architecture, source code and all to the public just because they have made that statement?

For the record, I am of the opinion that Autodesk should not reveal the DWG format specification. But what some of my readers seem to forget is that I am also of the opinion that Autodesk should license the RealDWG libraries to everyone (possibly at no cost). This is explained in great detail in my first post on this blog. However, Autodesk selectively licenses the RealDWG libraries and I cannot really blame them for that because most of its rivals do not want to share their libraries with Autodesk to begin with.

I have been following this debate for a long time and have recently started giving my 0.02. Almost always someone comes along and slaps the morality card on Autodesk. In my opinion only Bentley and McNeel have the moral right to ask Autodesk to open its DWG format. The rest can talk about morality only when they have opened their formats. And when I mean format I mean the native format of their mainstream CAD system, not some XML format which was meant for designed for data exchange to begin with.

Someone we all know once said: “Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone”.

I am not taking sides here. I am simply trying to be fair. Surely you can see that. For all the bashing that we have been witnessing over these years I thought I would get some real good answers. I am hopeful. The question is still open.

“Why have these companies refused to open their proprietary formats when they demand Autodesk to do it?”

  • Robin Capper

    I suspect the answer is they know what their proprietary formats are worth.

  • Robin Capper

    I suspect the answer is they know what their proprietary formats are worth.

  • R.Paul Waddington

    “Why have these companies refused to open their proprietary formats when they demand Autodesk to do it?”

    In truth Deelip the only place a real answer to this question can come from is the software developers. You are one of those, have a view and have backed that view with action as have Bentley and McNeel, for those of us that are not developers, but users, we must learn to work within the environment that the developers choose for us, open or closed.

    However from a users standpoint to answer the following question (your’s) and the wider question;’SolidWorks Corporation (not just their CEO) claims that SolidWorks is the “Standard in 3D”. So does that mean they they should release their software architecture, source code and all to the public just because they have made that statement?’

    Yes if; I repeat an earlier comment of mine – If any company or person wants to claim the crown of being a Standard then they must ACT as a Standard.

    So, the decision to ACT as a Standard shifts the decisions about IP ownership automatically from one of sole ownership (not a standard, maybe just the most widely used) to one of open ownership (a Standard) and with that some loss of control, for software developers in particular.

  • R.Paul Waddington

    “Why have these companies refused to open their proprietary formats when they demand Autodesk to do it?” In truth Deelip the only place a real answer to this question can come from is the software developers. You are one of those, have a view and have backed that view with action as have Bentley and McNeel, for those of us that are not developers, but users, we must learn to work within the environment that the developers choose for us, open or closed.However from a users standpoint to answer the following question (your’s) and the wider question;’SolidWorks Corporation (not just their CEO) claims that SolidWorks is the “Standard in 3D”. So does that mean they they should release their software architecture, source code and all to the public just because they have made that statement?’Yes if; I repeat an earlier comment of mine – If any company or person wants to claim the crown of being a Standard then they must ACT as a Standard.So, the decision to ACT as a Standard shifts the decisions about IP ownership automatically from one of sole ownership (not a standard, maybe just the most widely used) to one of open ownership (a Standard) and with that some loss of control, for software developers in particular.

  • Deelip Menezes

    Yes, I agree that this question is best answered by the concerened ODA mamber companies. However, I doubt that they ever will.

  • Deelip Menezes

    Yes, I agree that this question is best answered by the concerened ODA mamber companies. However, I doubt that they ever will.