Once again PTC/User is holding it's bi-annual "face to face" Technical Committee ("TC") meetings. These meetings are held twice a year and the Winter Session is being held this week. I realize I still owe an updated spreadsheet from the last meetings in August. However, I still have everyone's enhancements and I'll be raising as many topics as possible during the meetings.
Understanding that this is a bit late, if you have requests or nagging problems with Creo 2.0, now is the time to speak up. Please know that topics like the User Interface (ribbon), colors, the measuring tool, and assembly constraints are well-covered already. There's a special meeting for "pain points" and user annoyances with the Detailing module so that might be a good place to focus your comments.
It helps to remember that the most useful enhancement requests are very specific. Vague requests like "fix the measurement tool" are not as easy to fight for as a more focused request. Errors or problems should be described well. Because I'm very late in starting this topic, I do not have the time I usually have to go back and ask questions to clarify and understand each request. The better you can describe your issue, the easier it is for me to bring it to the attention of the PTC developers and Product Line Managers.
For those of you are not familiar with what the PTC/User Technical Committees do, here's a link back to the Summer TC Discussion which features a pretty good description.
As always, our goal is to make positive contributions so that we may influence future releases of the software. Reasonable requests supported by sound logic and a true business need have the best chance of being well received. These are professional meetings held at the pleasure of PTC and it's employees. I'm an invited guest at this event and I'm also representing my employer so I need to remain professional. While I'll do my best to make a case for incorporating your enhancements, please remember that I probably can't get to every request. Numerous meetings occur simultaneously and it's tough to hop around between rooms.
Add your comments, requests, pain points, and feedback to this thread. I'll do my best to get it in front of the developers. I'll catalog the requests and post a synopsis and a final report after the meetings. I'm working on one master spreadsheet to incorporate all the requests we've gathered since last year's meetings. I have a bit of time in the hotel room this week. I'll try to get the chart finished before I head home on Friday.
Remember to keep it positive if possible... but let's hear what you have to say!
PS: I am currently a member of the following Technical Committees so I can address topics in any of these areas:
PPS: If you're interested in joining a TC, go to the PTC/User Website, create a login, and sign up!
Solved! Go to Solution.
The link to the completed document (spreadsheet) tracking all enhancement requests is UP! This has all of the requests I've gathered from January of 2013 (last year) through January 2014.
There's quite a bit going on in this chart... the color codes help explain what happened with each submission. The dots in the first column appear next to any item that has been updated for January 2014. As promised, I went back to the old lists. If I'd missed something from Jan '13 or June '13, I tried again in Jan '14.
Over 80 enhancements from your submissions did get in front of the PTC developers. Many of them were well received. Some of them were either already planned, already implemented, or so popular that I imagine we'll be seeing them very, very soon.
Everyone who submitted a request should check the chart for their name and add comments to the DOCUMENT thread so I can add keep track of everything. I'm only linking the document here for convenience. Please submit your comments and feedback to the document thread so I don't have to hunt through the longer discussion threads to see your responses.
PS: I'm adding this same note to all 3 enhancement threads so please forgive the duplications!
I believe you have this one already, but I'd love to have the measure dialog fully open when called upon.
Consistency is huge. I'd love to see a focus on consistency throughout the software, starting with consistent behavior for the middle mouse button. I know that's rather vague, but it's been a problem for years throughout Proe & now Creo. The middle mouse is a great example.
This isn't a software problem, but if they want our maintenance dollars they need to get back to somethign approaching annual releases. An 18-24 month release cycle means no value in paying maintenance every year.
Done. Your request for the measure dialog to fully open (or an option to make this the default) has been logged by PTC. My feeling was that they didn't see this was a big deal meaning... it seemed like they could do it easily. Whenever you see them just shrug off the request as if it's a no-brainer, that's a good sign. They'll almost always try to work in the 'easy-to-accommodate' issues because they're the low hanging fruit.
I don't think we're getting back to a 12 month release cycle... but I am happy to push for more consistency across the product.
Consistency should be PTC's topmost concern, if they ever want to bother speaking about less mouse travel and mouse clicks again.
Another low hanging fruit I can think of is the Repeat Component placement tab. When MMB is pressed this one cancels out with a warning message that cannot be confirmed or canceled with MMB at all.
This may also be a good time to have everyone review the enhancements submitted to the Creo Product Ideas and make sure they have voted on the ones they'd like brought up to our Product Management team.
I've got a seperate task to review the highest voted ideas with the team next month and to have their team report back on which ideas will remain open for voting, moved to under consideration, for future consideration, or if there are no plans to implement.
Would it be possible for the user community (perhaps here on PTC Community) to get a list of which ideas are getting considered and which are not being implemented. Up until now we've heard that PTC looks at those Product Ideas but there's really no proof per se.
What I mean is... as of the Summer 2013 TC meeting, there were over 1000 ideas. Some are very, very stale. The whole system ends up clogged with these old requests. Other times there are fantastic requests that aren't getting voted on. I'm not sure what we have now (in terms of gathering product ideas) is the right solution. We're sort of on the right track but the sheer volume of requests makes it so that a great many of them are never seen and therefore never voted on.
Perhaps if we could see which ones were being considered, that would help. Also, if we could clear out the ones not being considered, that might help reduce the overall number of items making it easier for people to vote on the remaining ones.
It might be helpful to see a "top 50" list of enhancement requests on a grid or table. Not that we expect that many to be implemented... but having a chart and seeing the ideas you're considering might go a long way toward smoothing the feathers of users who are sometimes uncertain if PTC is really considering their input.
Hey Brian -
This is one of the bigger tasks I've been assigned with since taking over the helm at PTC Community. We are going through the analysis next month, so while I don't have a finite list of ideas under consideration right now I will hopefully have more clarity and an update next month. As of right now it's safe to assume that all Product Ideas that remain 'Open For Voting' are going to be reviewed and processed over the coming months.
It's simple to filter the Product Ideas by popularity and status within PTC Community, here is a list of the Top 50 Product Ideas still 'Open For Voting'. You can also adjust the filters to see what ideas have been processed.
Moving forward, my goal is to work with the Product Management team to review Product Ideas on a more regular basis and for them to report back on which ideas are moving into their process. Lastly, I just wanted to assure you that your input is important and that I, among many others, am here to make sure you're listened to.
P.S. All that aside, I don't want to distract from the importance of Brain's original post. All of our members should be encouraged to review and submit new ideas so that we can take the very best of what the community has to offer.
You're still rather new... you haven't been chewed up by some of the regulars on PTC Community yet. After a few months you may not want to listen anymore!
Good luck in your new role!
Hello there Brian,
I'll try to expand on the Consistency matter. Some of the things I might not remember off the top of my head, but let me try.
About the Esc key:
Esc key in Creo cancels out I guess all of the features, or at least the ones that use the so called dashboard menu with green checkmark and red x-mark.
It also works to cancel a sketch command (for instance line) on the first press, and cancel the whole sketch on the second press of the Esc key. Ouch....
Also it works to cancel any changes made in IDD. There is no history tree that would get stored so one hit of an Esc key can be pretty devastating there.
Imagine getting a pretty trashed model, and having to spend like 2 hours in IDD to fix it. On the top of that there is a high probability that you could be a multi-CAD user, using CADs where the Esc key works to cancel just the active command within that particular mode, and not the whole feature.
The command can be then repeated with RMB if that happens so it's np to keep jumping on Esc key just so you can quickly access other commands. Now you tend to hit Esc alot while not thinking much about it. That all means, while in Creo, you may just have do the work in IDD repeatedly.
Would it be possible to make the Esc work such that pressing it does not result as a loss of a work?
I know how to disable Esc key just for Creo, and leave it functioning for other apps, but think about all the other users, that have experience with another CAD, how long it takes till they figure out or get used to it? So much wasted time there.
About the Deselect feature:
This command is not in the ribbon, but can be added to it, or mapkey can be made. It does not work in sketcher and in IDD as well. In IDD it would be pretty handy if it would work, since the whole imported feature tends to get highlighted alot of times, and to deselect it one has to zoom out to find a free space to click onto.
Deselect works for drawing views, which is pretty good. I'm just mentioning that, cause I'm worried it could stop working all of the sudden in one of the future releases.
In the last three months I've had to use WF4, and I have to say there are some functions that have been lost, and are no longer available in Creo 2. Which seems way too strange.
You know if PTC at least said, hey we are redoing the whole thing, and we start with adding a ribbon, all the functionalities that have been lost will be added back later on, cause we know you want for example a custom menu on the side, but this new menu system is something totally new that we can build up on, the old stuff was just a bunch of spaghetti code... ... ... but they have no words at all for all of this mess. Sorry, I just had to type it out.
It's supposted to work only to activate the currently selected window. Sometimes when only one window is opened, and Creo just hangs, so for example assembly components can't be selected, Ctrl+A gets pretty handy then. It can put you back into the game without having to kill the xtop.exe process.
It also works to reset selection filter back to the default (Smart, General, etc.)
The trouble with Ctrl+A is again that it also cancels the currently defined feature, and also without any warning, which can again result as a loss of work.
It would be really nice if someone at PTC could think about these things for a while, they should not be too hard to fix or make more user friendly.
Check on the ESC key and the Deselect. I'll see if I can raise those issues.
About the Ctrl+A, in Creo 3, all; you have to do to activate a window is click in it. Whichever window has focus is automatically Activated. This actually satisfies another community member's suggestion from Summer so thagt's a plus. Hopefully it resolves or eliminates the need for Ctrl + A to re-actovate and rescue a hung window.
Earlier today there was a presentation previewing Creo 3.0 but the slides shown are not available for release. Basically if you weren't here to see what's coming, you have to wait. Perhaps one of my colleagues here took notes. I was engaged in another conversation during part of this presentation (which was brief) so I did not take notes.
I'll see if I can find anyone with notes.
Great, thank you.
I often work with another Creo window opened on second monitor. Say for instance If the selection of the other window cancels out the feature that is in progress in the first window, then that can be pretty painfull again.
To tell it another way, at the current state, working on two monitors, if I don't hit the Ctrl+A with focus on the second window I can rotate, and review the model freely there, while keep on adding stuff to the first window without having to first finish say a sketch.
Sketch can't be finished till it's defined correctly, and sometimes one has to make pretty complicated sketches.
Guess you know where I'm going while saying all of that. I find that kind of automation on the window activation to be just another loss of functionality, in case there won't be a config.pro option to set it back the good old way.
Hopefully, I'm all wrong, and all I need is to be told how to use the software. *sigh*
I'll specifically ask what will happen if you change focus while inside of a feature. Maybe it lets you know you're about to lose the feature. I realize this isn't ideal from your perspective but at least it gives some type of notification. Perhaps there's some way to maintain the feature and still manipulate models (pan, zoom, spin) in a secondary window. I'll check.
I agree with Jakub; Referencing while modeling is important to us as well.
I like the idea of the window activating automatically, but not at the loss of being able to reference other dwgs/models while within a feature...I hope PTC sorts all this out before they implement this so that it is implemented well! Config option to allow customers to choose/customize how this works is always a plus.
Encourage PTC to keep paying attention to the Product Ideas as I think that has been very good at increasing visability to both PTC and the customer. Keep up the online tutorials as well. Those have been very good for people to get their footing in Creo and learn new features. And that search bar in Creo for finding features by the name is outstanding. Hats off to PTC for implementing all these features well!
Brian, thanks for bringing topics to the PTC TCs.
I've added your requests to the list. The idea for color-coding relations statements is very similar to how the SciTe editor works. In fact, we can probably make our own SciTe definition file and use it in replacement of the PTC editor. That might give a solution to your issue faster than waiting/hoping for an official enhancement. I like your idea... I'm just thinking it might fall off the plate because it'll be seen as a "nice to have" not a "have to have".
If it is as straight forward as you make it sound, then this sounds like it could be in the low hanging fruit category and PTC could implement with minimal effort...
Untill then...Can you give any more information as to how to create a custom definition file for PTC language. I am not familiar even where to start on that one (even ater doing several google searches). I am not a programer.
I actually do not use SciTe for editing programs, I use Notepad++. Both programs are free and open source. Both give you the ability to define a custom programming language then set rules to color code the display based upon certain keywords.
So, for example, in Notepad++ I could color code all comments and keywords in different colors. All that's involved is to input the list of keywords you want to search for. You'd enter "If" and "Else" and "Endif" to be displayed in one color. You might place assignment statements (anything with an "=" sign) in another color.
To access this feature in Notepad++, you go to the Language tab and select Define Your Language. The interface is not too difficult to figure out by the help files for Notepad++ are pretty helpful. There's also tons of help online.
The idea here is that once you've defined the language, you can set Notepad++ to be your default editor instead of the standard PTC editor. I do not believe PTC will implement this on their own. While it might not be too hard to do, everything has a cost. Is it worth 100 or 200 hours of development time to implement this request? Maybe so... but for every 100 hours spent on this request, there's 100 hours not being spent on something else. Because there is an acceptable workaround (like using Notepad++ with a custom language), I believe PTC will see this as a low priority item.
Many times if we can develop a procedure on our own without involving PTC, that's the easiest way to go (and fastest). Maybe if we develop our own tool for this purpose, we can share it with the community.
Great idea, Brian.
Would you mind posting, perhaps on one of your blog pages here, this language file you have set up for the Notepad++? I also use Notepad++, the language can be exported from there as a *.xml file.
I know I'm propably asking too much.
Not everyone is allowed to install just any software they want.
Notepad++ is good if you can be a fan of regex, and if you have to convert a bunch of garbage text into something useable, there is a good chance you'll be a fan of regex.
SciTE would be better because it is designed to be a software editor, but it seems to require compiling the integral lexar (id's program structure) so that is something that PTC is in a better position to do.
As to what it is worth - PTC has to apportion money to keeping clients on maintenance and getting new clients. If competing software or poor user experience loses out on sales or licensing, that loss is what it is worth.
How much does it work out to? Compare the guess of 200 hours developer time to approximately 10 hours/year per company doing this task times the number of companies by the number of years a company will use the software. It's break even to the community if Creo has only 20 company-years. It's up to PTC to somehow decide if the benefit to the community is worth it.
I'd contrast it to the development of the Ribbon for Parametric. My gross estimate for that effort is between 10 and 20 man-years; 20 to 40,000 hours for a result that doesn't clearly benefit** anyone except marketing. This is not including the underlying development effort that goes into providing software functions - just the interface to them. It may be higher than that, but I don't know what level of QA support is given vs development effort.
**It's hard to claim benefit given that most people usually don't care about an interface, but 20-40% of people actively dislike the Ribbon interface over drop-down menus. This plus confounding of performance changes that are based on underlying software with the use of the Ribbon make it difficult to see any positive change for any but the least trained users, who don't use the sophisticated parts anyway.
It's certainly true that not everyone can install any software they wish. Trust me, NASA is exceptionally rigid on this point. However, I was not attempting to solve the problem of multi-colored relations. I was simply providing a solution that works today for free. There may be adoption issues for some people. But to be fair, Notepad++ is a fairly well-known, well-used piece of freeware. Every programming student in the country uses some similar type of software. Only the most stringent and closed-minded organizations would forbid it's use.
SciTe is also freeware... and it's licensing (if I am not mistaken) specifies that it cannot be bundled or sold commercially. So I think PTC would be looking at a custom solution.
Your point about the loss of productivity of users versus the time it takes to implement a solution is well taken. But what I've repeatedly tried to stress to people in the community is that enhancements are an exercise in economics. There are competing uses for limited resources. If you have 25 programmers, you can deploy them to fix the big problems, implement new tools that might help you create or sustain an advantage over your competitors, or work on refining and improving existing tools.
Sometimes people on the PTC Community board will suggest an improvement that, while very nice, isn't going to save much time. I would take exception with the notion that the particular enhancement we were discussing would save 10 hours per year per company. It might save 2 hours per year per company. Do you use up one of your limited resources to tackle a 2hr/yr/company problem or do you deploy that same limited resource to tackle a 1000hr/yr/company problem like improving family tables?
Your example of the ribbon is commonly cited as an example of wasteful use of PTC's development resources. I might even agree with you on this point. But overall, PTC is doing what it needs to do to keep it's software relevant, modern, and easy to use. They thought this was a good path to take and they've taken their lumps from the user community for it. They're not going to make the right calls all the time... and that's one of the uses of the Technical Committees.
For instance, in this week's meetings PTC discussed changing the interface a few times including removing some functionality and consolidating it elsewhere. I was very vocal in my opposition to this. Change for the sake of change should be avoided. Alientating the veteran users should also be avoided. The Technical Committee members I speak to are almost always in agreement on these points. All we can do is advise, advocate for necessary improvements, and hope to influence PTC's decisions on how to allocate their limited resources.
I'll keep doing my best to get the requests of the PTC Community in front of the developers and managers. There's so much going on behind the scenes. As a committee member, I've gotten to peek behind the curtain a bit. Over time I've started to see the requests from the community slowly find their way into the software. The process seems to be working. Hopefully that's encouraging to those who have taken the time to share their feedback on this thread.
No enhancement is "have to have," unless a customer that is worth the development cost is going to drop maintenance and not come back or is a feature that competitors already have that is taking sales.
External to a software producer, all software is "nice to have." Software that is easier to use, has more obvious results based on inputs, has more obvious input requirements based on desired results is nicer to have.
True story. I type poorly, so I mistype my email password from time to time. I had a problem in Thunderbird where if I mistyped the password I had to restart Thunderbird to get another chance. I went to their question page and asked how to reset the password when it is mistyped. No Answer. I figured no one else had this problem or they were just busy. A few days later a new version comes out, and when I again mistype my password and the ISP kicks it back, Thunderbird now pops up the password box again so I can get it right. Point is, it wasn't "have-to-have" it was "nice-to-have" and the Thunderbird developers appear to have changed a years-long behavior based on my question.
Nice to have (for the antique, but still majority** of PTC users, WF5 and earlier) :
**not really sure, but it's the adoption rate I've heard about. Is Creo/Parametric to the tipping point yet?
a place in a file where comments about the file can be kept. e.g an explanation of how a feature is constructed or where certain dimensional values came from.
places in the model tree for additional comments about particular features. Sometimes I sacrifice a datum point just to put a placeholder phrase in the model tree.
files with names structured "base_name.version#.type", so that applications that are based on type work, like sorting by type or using ".csv" files that are currently suffixed ".x" and invisible to Excel that works with CSV files.
defining a cys where an end of curve orientation reference isn't promoted to curve reference, causing the csys to fail when X/Y/Z orientations are flipped
Postscript files where the drawing scaling is done in the .ps file so that linewidths and drawing size remain proportional regardless of print size
Postscript files where the line joins and line caps match what the FONT font was designed to use, instead of producing flintstone lettering (still biting Creo 2 users of the new PDF interface http://portal.ptcuser.org/p/fo/st/thread=54214)
a "what's missing" button for occasions when it looks like all the selections for feature creation have been made, but the feature isn't created
an n-squared diagram for showing references between features
floating toolbar with tab-to-show/tab-to-hide
command structure that is keyed to the command, not to the placement on a tool bar. e.g. Trim should Trim everywhere Trim could be applied. Two lines in sketcher, two surfaces, two lines in draft. (See C++ function overloading)
single click selects both text item and inserts edit mark; double click selects entire entry
renaming views doesn't require retyping entire view name; also, see above
layer list in drawing shows all independent views, not just the independent views on the last sheet an independent view was last selected
view orientation in models doesn't ever jump due to recalc based on whatever it does now. e.g. edit definition on a feature and then quit doesn't reposition or reorient the view
view extents are based on current model extents, not on intermediate extents as the model was built. e.g. wrap a long datum curve around a small item, the extents after the wrap should be of the small item, not based on the large datum curve.
checking text validity at each keypress instead of waiting for user to type complete name and then throwing away all the work based on typo/user having to guess which characters are allowed. e.g. non-alphabet characters in view names.
zoom state on drawings is on a per-sheet basis
move items to new sheets; not move to new sheet along with the item / or the choice of doing either one
shaded state is on a model window (not session) basis e.g. I can have a wireframe window view of one model and a shaded view of another and not have to change environment settings when changing which is active
create view names for projected views that have arrows instead of making the user create a section to place a name on the view, i.e. per the ASME standard for removed views
Brian, if you do have a start for the notepad++ that you don't mind shariing it would be great to toss it around on this forum and come up with something that works well. I have started on this based off of your suggesions, but it is slow going since I am so unfamiliar with good programing practices and techniques. If I get a good starting file I will post it...
David, I think that your estimates about number of companies working (and hours) with repeat regions seems accurate. I really like some of the enhancement requests you made...I wish I could tag the bullets that you made: but will copy and paste some of the ones I liked the most below.
When I went to post this message this forum returned an error and deleted my post (and I forgot to copy my text like I normally do so it is gone...FRUSTRATING!!!). So to summarize:
I created a file for notepad++ for editing the BOM Repeat Region Relations Editor for color coding and easier reading. Check it out. Give feedback. Adjust it how you want. Repost it if you can.
I'll be happy to post something for Notepad. I need to wait until after the Technical Committees have wrapped and I'm home again. I am racing to get as many enhancements in front of the developers as possible. I am overwhelmed with requests and updating the spreadsheet so everyone knows the status of the enhancements they suggested.
Have 2 requests,
1. Reduce time it takes to do distance measure between 2 large assemblies in a mechanism analysis where both bodies are moving thru a range of motion.
2. Need the following enhancement request implemented:
Mechanism Clearance Check with Spatial Field Point Reporting (highlight in individual parts where clearance needs to be added)
This type of clearance check can be automated in Ansys and ABQUS by doing a report merge.
Uses for this would be Checking clearance to a suspension (wheel) on a vehicle, engine moving inside an enclosure, 2 robots moving an object thru space in the same area, etc.
Thanks for any assistance you can provide on this,