It feels nice to return to blogging after more than a month of silence. If you have built a house you probably know what the last month of finishing, moving and setting up can do to you. I am still recovering…
Anyways, I was pleasantly surprised to read the news about the “New IntelliCAD“. I am not sure how much this will affect users, but this is a good thing for developers. Till now developers had to use a library called SDS (Solutions Development System) to customize IntelliCAD. SDS is basically a clone of ADS (AutoCAD Development System) which was used in the good old days (AutoCAD Release 12) to customize AutoCAD. Writing code is ADS can be quite cumbersome since it is quite simlar to AutoLISP. In Release 14, Autodesk introduced ObjectARX, a far better, easier and powerful way to customize AutoCAD. ObjectARX programs run much faster than AutoLISP or ADS programs since an ObjectARX module is basically a DLL (Dynamic Link Library) which shares AutoCAD memory space and makes direct calls to AutoCAD.
At SYCODE, we write plug-ins for AutoCAD and IntelliCAD. Writing code for IntelliCAD was never as enjoyable as writing code for AutoCAD. But with the “New IntelliCAD” having an ObjectARX kind of a programming interface, that’s about to change. Developers are going to be able to customize IntelliCAD in ways that they could never do before.
According to ITC (IntelliCAD Technology Consortium) President Arnold van der Weide, “the New IntelliCAD is the perfect solution for ARX based application developers who are looking for an alternative to AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT“. That’s more like wishfull thinking. As far as I know, it is the end users, not developers, who would want an alternative to AutoCAD. Developers simply fill an end user’s requirement. Sure the addition of an ObjectARX clone to IntelliCAD will open up new avenues for developers like us to offer more powerful solutions based on IntelliCAD, but unless IntelliCAD moves out of AutoCAD’s shadow, things are not going to change much. IntelliCAD needs to grow from being an AutoCAD clone to something more than AutoCAD, at least is some respects.
But maybe this is the first and all important step in that direction.