For The Record

A reader asked me if I have a vested interest in Autodesk. Thought I’d lay down some facts.

For the record, my company has partnerships with many software vendors. These include Autodesk as well as companies which are members of the Open Design Alliance. Apart from giving us free licenses of their software for development purposes only, these companies do not pay us anything in cash or kind (except maybe for a couple of mouse pads and coffee mugs). On the contrary, we have to pay some of them to stay in their partner programs.

The root cause of the Autodesk-ODA fiacso is that Autodesk has refused to open its DWG format. For the record, I am all for interoperability. I am all for open file formats. By open I don’t mean that the file format specification should be published. If it is published, nothing like it, as the specification will help if the company closes down or does not support the file format anymore. However, there should at least be a library capable of reading and writing the file format; and it should be licensed to anyone to wants it at a reasonable price (if not free). This, according to me, is the true essence of interoperability that the CAD industry needs so much. So far, only McNeel (and possibly Bentley) can claim that they are seriously interested in solving the interoperability problem. All the rest have skeletons in their cupboards. They hide behind organizations like the ODA or resort to selective licensing of their libraries, sometimes for valid reasons.

For the record, the views expressed on this blog and my views only and nobody else has editorial rights over them. These views are influenced by my reading and interpretation of events in the CAD software industry, while at the same time, applying a little bit of common sense. I believe that every argument has two sides. It’s the side that we don’t know which is often more interesting and difficult to reason.

For the record, I have been in the CAD software industry for only eight years. While many of you were being introduced to CAD, I was most probably being introduced to elementary geometry. I have a lot to learn and experience.

We do not learn much by talking to people who agree with us. We learn a lot from people who disagree with us. Your comments are always welcome.