Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

The Mail Exploder is at risk, Speak up NOW!


The Mail Exploder is at risk, Speak up NOW!

The shocking news from day one of PTC Live is that PTC want's to "absorb" the mail exploder into their on-line communities forum. you'll see the announcement of this at the top of the page.

I went up to Ron and Dan durning the break and said what are you doing to my mail exploder. The answer was there was pressure to only have one source of communication instead of some stuff on the forum and some via the mail exploder. They are having discussions next week on how to transfer the data from ptcuser to the ptc site.

I asked if I was still going to get emails and the answer was no.

I'm sorry but this is killing the goose that laid the golden egg.

Make no mistake, if you don't raise your voice on this issue the mail exploder will disappear.

Dave Haigh

119 REPLIES 119

Where did you post too?

I have posted several comments on the blog announcement page of the elimination of PTC/User forum.
22-Sapphire III

I used to use MCADcentral a lot, but they had server issues a few years ago and I quit going there. It did have some good information.

Another site not mentioned is They have a Creo and Mechanica forums that get very little traffic. By contrats the NX and Solidworks forums get a lot of traffic. NX even has their 'product evangelist' (John Baker) posting there, answering and asking questions.

22-Sapphire III

I went to the PTC Community yesterday and could not find any traffic on the proposed change. Maybe I was looking in the wrong section!

22-Sapphire III

PTC University is an extra cost area that requires a subscription to access.
Putting the lessor used module training information out there is a revenue stream for PTC.

It's in the 'Member's Showcase' Area!
Now why wouldn't you look there for this thread? 🐵


Isn't about time that the moderator should step in and send us a message to
take this thread off line?

I think after around three days of this banter, our opinions have been
clearly made.

Get back to work!
Glen R Wisham
EW Design and Analysis
Space and Airborne Systems
Raytheon Company

+1 805.879.3359(office)
+1 805.879.3017(fax)
561.3359(tie line)

6380 Hollister Avenue
Goleta CA 93117-3114 USA

Follow Raytheon On

Raytheon Sustainability

This message contains information that may be confidential and privileged.
Unless you are the addressee (or authorized to receive mail for the
addressee), you should not use, copy or disclose to anyone this message or
any information contained in this message. If you have received this
message in error, please so advise the sender by reply e-mail and delete
this message. Thank you for your cooperation.


I have LOVED the PTC product for years. Most of that time I had someone else
paying the bills for my seat of Pro/E. Now that I have my own seat of Creo
Parametric 2, and have to pay for the maintenance, I see just how EXPENSIVE
everything at PTC is.

I understand that they need to ensure that the people in the Research and
Development Department are being paid. They also need to make sure that our
Third World Technical Support Team is being paid well. This alone is
probably one of the BEST reasons to keep the user's group alive.

What I would like to see is a more concerted effort on PTC's part to make it
more affordable to be the BEST Pro/E user that we can be. I have a DUDE from
one of the many VARs that wanted me to buy the PTC University at a cost of
$1800. I told him that I wanted to buy that, but that $1800.00 is A LOT of
money right now, especially when there isn't a whole lot coming in. I was
hoping to find a way to "Learn and Earn" with this PTC University thing. You
see there just isn't a series of affordable alternatives here.

I think that the group as a whole would all agree that we need to have
training that is updated periodically. I don't know how many companies I
have worked for who just took me as the user I already was and used me up.
They had no company oriented user's group for Pro/E. They never sent anyone
other than the administrator to any CAD training because it was too
prohibitive. SAD! That's really no excuse, but it is a reality.

Michael P. Locascio


Three days ???? This has been going since Monday.
I have over 160 deleted emails in my Deleted Items folder, and 98% of them are regarding the Mail Exploder.

I would hate to see it go!

Best regards,
James Starkey
Starkey Tech. Serv., L.L.C.
1822 N. Denene
Wichita, KS 67212
(316) 721-9669

What is causing this? This is the second time this has happened.
I recreated the part, and it's been fine for months. Today I opened the
assembly, and I it took forever to open.
This was in the message log.

Chocolate is food for the

Terry Johnson

Sr. Technical Specialist



This was brought up in the ETC forum and is going on there.

Or maybe we should open a new forum called "member showcase".

"IF PTC would GUARANTEE that their tech support was American for Americans"

Hey, Michael: what have you got against UK-based Pro/Users? 😉 We need tech support too sometimes!


He just assumed we were all too brilliant to need support! 🐵



I am not a very good user of Creo/ProE as I don't get day to day exposure to it and when I have had a question I went to this support system. Being a former AutoCAD user (and occasionally yet) one thing that Autodesk users did was create their own email support system (WAUN - World Autodesk Users Network) with the group donating monies toward the site. If PTC dumps the email based support and in that support is someone that is knowledgeable about creating and maintaining one and the current users would donate to it cost, then maybe that would be the way to go.

Lori Bonser
Senior Draftperson, Patterson-Kelley
Harsco Industrial
155 Burson Street
East Stroudsburg, PA 18301
Office 570.476.7315
Fax 570.476.8637

Hi Everyone...

I wanted to respond to the planned merge of PTC/User and PTC Community. I believe this can be a positive development. However, I understand the apprehension and concerns voiced by many people.

After reading dozens of emails, it seems most of the criticism of the 'big merge' comes in one of several flavors of invalid/unsubstantiated concerns (list omitted for civility) as well as some real, relevant ones:

* Lack of genuine independence from PTC

* Loss of email simplicity and ease of use

* Concerns that PTC Community requires a login with username/password

* Concerns that sites like PTC Community will be blocked and therefore inaccessible from work computers

* Understandable feelings of loss and apprehension stemming from the change of a longstanding institution.

This shift will be what we make it. There's no reason why we can't address the email and ease of use issues while bringing everyone together under one roof. I understand some people don't trust PTC for a host of reasons both real and perceived. Therefore, some may want that 'one roof' to be outside of PTC's control. I think we can have a vibrant, passionate, lively forum for discussion, training, and help within PTC Community. I agree that the site requires changes so it operates as efficiently as the exploder. However, there are already many exploder-like features which bring us closer together than many people may realize.

I'd plead for people to wait for the planned merge to take shape and evaluate the new system on the merits. Before rushing to judgment, why not work together to build a system which benefits everyone. I think we can build consensus without alienating anyone. No one should have to vow that they'll 'never again go to PTC Community' in protest. We're all adults here. Many of us work for world leading corporations and government agencies. Surely we're capable of reasonable and productive debate, impassioned though it may be.

@david Haugh: I have a good deal of respect for you... however, 1799 users is not more than you'll find on PTC Community. Besides out of that 1799, most people don't participate and about 50 people have actually died and are yet still receiving emails. 😉

@Gerry Champoux: Same point as above. Your perception that there are more people on the exploder is mathematically incorrect. Most people simply don't know about the exploder. For pete's sake it's the worst advertised forum in the history of Western Civilization. The web portal looks like it was designed circa 1996 but even if you look past that, much of the information on the PTC User site is stale and useless.

@Marshall Sexton: You're confusing PTC Communities with tech support. They are not the same. If you call tech support and they're terrible (like they usually are), please don't paint PTC Community with the same brush. We often answer questions tech support cannot answer in minutes... just like the exploder (except with better content in my personal opinion).

@jose Resendis: Like Marshall Sexton, you're confusing the inept PTC Tech Support (which is horrid) to PTC Community. When you post a question on PTC Community, people like me answer your question. I certainly have a 'real job' and I am certainly also 'very busy', but I stop to answer questions all the time. Frequently the community is faster and provides better, more inventive solutions than tech support. I can point to dozens of examples.

@Dean Long: PTC Support is not the same as PTC Community. And PTC does not sanitize anything there short of outright flame wars. People have posted some blistering criticisms of PTC on the community... and there has never been censorship. The quality of support on PTC Community squashes anything available from tech support.

@brian Taylor: There are plenty of raving users on PTC Community. You don't see them being censored. I consider many of those harsh critics my friends... and some of the best contributors.

@doug Barton: I don't see how this is a financial move by PTC? PTC Community is not generating revenue for PTC... nor is PTC/User... so I'm missing your point. I believe you're connecting dots that should not be connected.

@mike Lockwood: Any company would be extremely lucky to hire you... I can't imagine you'll be unemployed for more than a few hours. I agree with most of the points you made with the one exception that I don't agree that there's a lack of passion on the PTC Community site. There are many passionate contributors on PTC Community just as there are on the exploder.

@Christopher Gosnell: A forum at Reddit would be worse than any social site. I don't think a new Creo forum would go really well next to the questionable porn and other seedy 'information' that frequently gains media exposure on Reddit.

@Terry Johnson: Yahoo, same problem as Reddit (see above).

Surely we can find common ground on this issue. Once we strip away the hurt feelings and general mistrust for PTC, I believe we can work together to address the valid concerns people have raised. Wouldn't it be great to have a community where everyone can participate... that plays to the strengths of both PTC User and PTC Community? I made a case for this two years ago at the January Technical Committees and you'd have thought I suggested people go out and harm kittens and puppies.

While I firmly believe 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it', one can hardly say our current system is ideal. I think we need to evolve... not all change is bad. For everyone making the case that all we need is the same old exploder we've always had, I don't see you throwing your I-Phones in the trash so you can use a landline. Maybe we can channel all of our energy into developing a better site that meets all of our needs. This should be a win/win... if we choose to make it so.

Best regards,

Brian K. Martin
Sr. Mechanical/Application Engineer
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

301.286.0059 (NASA Office)
443.421.2532 (Cell)

My $.02 comment: Keep the exploder. It's been an extremely efficient was to get help in a timely manner, receiving emails specific to your post being the best part of the solution (and the level of expertiece of the user community...).

Bill Lipka

General Dynamics C4 Systems



First of all how can we "strip away the hurt feelings and general mistrust for PTC" when there is SUUUUCH a track record over soooo many years.

Secondly, I believe the main obstacle of everyone accepting moving is there doesn't seem to be email support that allows starting a topic or responding to a topic. There have been so many responses that I am not sure if this was confirmed or not. I thought I saw someone mention there is email support. But I don't believe it's the same as what the exploder users are used to.

And third, the email support issue is NOT invalid/unsubstantiated. But I guess it depends on whether that is in your "most of the criticism" or not. There are people that won't be able to participate in the "community" if there is no email support. There will also be others that just won't participate because of that.

Personally, I have no problem moving provided that email support is there. I get the emails and I go to the site but I almost never do go there because it is so easy to read the emails and respond via email. If going to the site to see if there is something I can either respond to or make a note of for later use is the only way to participate then it is a waste of time for me because there WILL be times I have nothing to respond with nor have anything to save. I don't see myself going to the PTC Community site much for the forum.

Lastly, Dan Glenn's email about the plan. He tells us what the initial plan is. He also tells us what they are NOT doing. This includes not "Enhancing or changing the way PTC Community works today". So they will NOT "Enhance or change the way PTC Community works today"? And you want us to strip away the hurt feelings and general mistrust?

Ok I lied. One more last thing since the email from Mike O came in while I was writing this. I agree whole-heartedly with his comment. I don't, and I'm sure almost all of you don't, have the time to go and just browse the site for information very often because we have nothing to do. The only time I do is if I am doing research for a problem.

Steve G

For the vast majority of us, in our view the exploder works fine and needs no improvement. I think there is no problem with it at all.

For the few people that complain about each new email tacked onto the previous 100, the rest of us want that, because it gives us context to the question without having to go back and find previous emails. It's just more efficient. That's the beauty of a major domo mail exploder.

When we are reading a hot topic like this we don't read each email in its entirety, we just read the new one at the top, and down just far enough to get the context.

Those who complain about all the emails in their in box need to figure out how to filter their incoming mail. All mail clients will do this. I have folders for each mail exploder I'm subscribed to, and I never see these emails in my in box.

What really concerns us is amply illustrated with this quote from Nathan Rollins earlier email. It the kind of thing that makes my blood boil.
"I was in Boston for the Show and talked to Ryan personally on Monday evening and the decision is made - it will happen (according to him - it is HIS baby)."

My immediate thought was who died and made him God? I don't know this guy from Adam, but man, that is some arrogance!

Assuming this is a done deal like the god Ryan said, I think the thing our users want are for it to work like an exploder for those of us that want email.

1. You need to have a setting for the user to choose how they want to receive the content.

a. Web access only

b. Web plus email

i. Just the subject line

ii. Complete new email

iii. Complete thread in email

c. Email only

i. Just the subject line

ii. Complete new email

iii. Complete thread in email

2. There should be no requirement to have to log in to reply by email.

3. There should be some software solution to strip out old thread material from users replying to a complete thread email. You can't depend on them to strip it out the old content for you.

PS. You misspelled my name.

David Haigh

As a fellow plank owner (Diamond) of Planet PTC, perhaps you can educated everyone how to set up their Planet PTC account and subscribe to a community to get the content and access that mimics this exploder? Perhaps Planet PTC or PTC/USER could schedule a series of WebEx's to do this?

Tim P. Cooper
Lead Designer
GE Oil & Gas
North American ATO

T +1 281 878 6168
M +1 281 796 9038
F +1 281 715 4116

So I was googling for mail exploders. There are a few alternatives to major domo. Which used to be what the exploder was run on, I don't know what's controlling it behind the curtain now.

Found these:

My use of the reddit reference was as an example of a community supported blog / forum that gets quite a lot of traffic, and can expand / contract dynamically as needed by the USERS. Earlier on slashdot was a pioneer (in my opinion) with regard to a similar format.

I regularly browse r/engineering, r/solidworks, r/cad, r/askengineers, r/design, etc... and find very little to no 'questionable porn and other seedy 'information' ' that you speak of. Mostly by setting my front page to collect the most upvoted comments from these sub/forums.

Because the reddit community upvotes or downvotes content, the system is self-correcting. I understand that some/many users cannot get access to 'social' websites, and this then becomes not viable.

Newer members of the Internet community (students, mostly anyone under the age of 30), will probably go these social sites first, precisely because the forum has a low barrier to entry, and the community police themselves.

BTW, I almost never visit the Solidworks community forums for precisely the reasons listed in the last few days regarding the PTC forums. It is too difficult to skim a forum as it exists, searching the quite sizeable haystack for a few needles of relevant content. So the problem may not be with PTC specifically, but the forum format as it exists today.

Christopher F. Gosnell

FPD Company
124 Hidden Valley Road
McMurray, PA 15317

PTC Community has deleted a few of my posts and sent cautions on others.

I even saw one from a PTC rep vanish; it didn't look sensitive, wasn't mean, just some maintenance policy statement.



My apologies for the misspelling.

For the vast majority of people using the exploder, there's no problem with the exploder. I agree with you on this point... but this isn't surprising. I'm not personally complaining about any aspect of the exploder. I'm just saying if the exploder is going away, why can't we focus on making PTC Community work for everyone? By modifying, correcting, or changing the current PTC Community to give exploder users features more like what they're used to, we can eliminate much of the credible and reasonable criticisms being leveled. The other criticisms... which are largely driven by emotion, cannot be eliminated. For some, no amount of goodwill, outreach, or genuine collaboration between PTC and PTC/User will change their opinion of a new 'merged' forum. Unfortunately, we may lose such people in the transition.

Make no mistake, the goal is to lose no one but some people have made it clear they wish to draw a line in the sand. I support whatever decision people wish to make. If they want to take a personal stand, I support their right to do so and I have no ill feelings toward them. However, for the rest of us, I think we can find some common ground and move on to build something greater.

I believe it's dangerous to take anyone's words in email and read too much into them. When Nathan said: "I was in Boston for the Show and talked to Ryan personally on Monday evening and the decision is made - it will happen (according to him - it is HIS baby)." Yes, Ryan's "baby" is PTC Community. Ryan's "baby" is not necessarily the effort to shut down the exploder. I guarantee if you spoke to him, he'd tell you his entire focus was to improve the community for everyone and build one system where we can all work together. He's trying to unite us by eliminating obstacles which divide us.

Some people like things the way they are. I understand this. But perhaps the criticism here should go directly on PTC/User. It's not so easy to attack those guys because some of them are friends and colleagues. Many people have known these guys for years. No one wants to think ill of them... or suggest that they made a poor decision without consulting the membership. It's far easier to attack the "PTC Guy" who thinks he's 'god' than to criticize those who ultimately made the decision- PTC/User.

I feel like we all need to take a look in the mirror though... because there's a good bit of hubris coming from some on the exploder. You can't claim Ryan's arrogant when the vibe coming from several people is that 'everyone who is anyone is on the exploder', 'the only real experts are on the exploder', and 'who died and made him god'. That's very close to the self-important celebrity who gets pulled over by the police only to start screaming 'Don't you know who I am?! I'll have your job!"

I'm just trying to make the case for taking a calmer approach. Fair criticism can be leveled at several parties in this case. Still, I think there's room for a consensus here. And I think we should really try for an approach that strengthens us rather than setting us at odds. Anyone who knows me will tell you, I don't back down from a fight when it's warranted- but I don't see how fighting does anything constructive here. We're all interested in the same things and that seems to indicate we're all on the same team. We have more to gain by working together.

Thank you... and once again, apologies for mutilating your name, that was unintentional.

Brian K. Martin
Sr. Mechanical/Application Engineer
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

301.286.0059 (NASA Office)
443.421.2532 (Cell)

Follow me on Twitter @CreoHelp<">>

Tim, Excellent idea! We need some documentation on how to use that site. The site need a user manual.

But I will point out, that a web-ex isn't going to help those folks that can't visit the site. You shouldn't discount those folks. In the world we live in, computer security is a huge concern for many companies, and should be for many more companies. There are all kinds of bad people out there trying to get your data. Just viewing a website with a picture can install a serious breach in your network that can allow someone halfway across the globe to log in and steal your data. And that breach can be difficult to detect and eradicate. The companies that restrict access do it with good reason.

In general when I visit the PTC Community site, it seems way too fragmented to me.

Under PTC Creo for example you have:
Piping, Cabling & Schematics
Assembly Management
Analysis and Simulation

Under each of those you have
All Content
Documents (in some categories)
Blog (in some categories)
Photo Albums

If I want to send out a question, where do I go to get it to the most people?
Also I wouldn't have the slightest idea where to post a message like this on that site.

Yet on the mail exploder it's pretty simple:

· I know most people are on -<">mailtoSmiley Tongue->

· If I have a Windchill question I know those people are on -<">mailto:->

· And for admin questions -<">mailtoSmiley Tongue-> <-- Which by the way, there is no category for admin on the PTC Community site.

There are other lists, but they don't get much activity.

Also what's the difference between the content of the Overview, All Content, & Discussions tabs.
What do all the icons next to posts mean.

On the front page what is everything, why the Your View tab. (Why and how do you customize it)

There is no obvious how to use this site link that I can find.

David Haigh
Phone: 925-424-3931
Fax: 925-423-7496
Lawrence Livermore National Lab
7000 East Ave, L-362
Livermore, CA 94550

From: Cooper, Tim P (GE Oil & Gas) [

Hi Tim...

Here's some information I posted on PTC Community. I'll report here to offer some guidance for those who wish to configure their email to receive updates from PTC Community similar to the way the exploder works. Note, we're waiting for Ryan Kelley from PTC to chime in on the likelihood/possibility of using email as a posting/response mechanism. I believe there are security hurdles to this but I cannot speak definitively on the matter.

For now, I offer these instructions in the hope that someone is helped by them. Follow the slides in order... they should guide you to set up email notifications and turn them off again if necessary. I hesitate to send a large file through the exploder so I apologize if this is not the way things should be done. I'm not sure what other mechanism to use short of posting a link to PTC Community which may not be accessible to some.


Brian K. Martin
Sr. Mechanical/Application Engineer
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

301.286.0059 (NASA Office)
443.421.2532 (Cell)

Follow me on Twitter @CreoHelp<">>

From: Cooper, Tim P (GE Oil & Gas) [ is the place to post user contributed files.


"@Doug Barton: I don't see how this is a financial move by PTC? PTC Community is not generating revenue for PTC... nor is PTC/User... so I'm missing your point. I believe you're connecting dots that should not be connected."

We are the product. The product is communicating in a .org. Like cows just hanging around in the meadow. PTC wants to corral us into a cowpin and then control how we moo. Like's commercial "start communicating for free" WTFman!

How come PTC doesn't go to "" and ask them to move to too. Evidently they are trying to do something with our data. And if memory serves me well, they will employ people to do this and expect to get paid for it. So PTC's finantial move is to kill the best forum, move its members to, hold off for a year of two for people to settle in and then make it a pay service to "special areas". Lets all start "communicating for free" on, it will serve us well.

Some of us went hunting for software out there. I found a dud first but I think I got the killer app/s now:


and a great search engine:

put it in your media center or other such computer that you always leave connected at home.

And for our forum ordeal, I found this one:

Diaspora is getting developed as we speak but it already looks really good. I just got an account today on

just to see what its all about. It takes like 1 minute and very little info get get an account (email addy, username and pwd).

you can serve your own server and as a user you can communicate with anyone on any server and delete your own material if you want. you keep control. And you also means we all together.

Fellow Thread Posters,

Can we get off this subject and get back to work please? We don't need
this distraction from our already busy workdays.

As with most bulk e-mail I've got exploder posts going into a folder which
I keep an eye on and review periodically. I am not as active responding as
I've been in the past, mostly due to policies.

Now days I mostly only use the mail group when I'm having a senior moment
and need a reminder on how to issue an obscure esoteric command within the

Yes I work at a large company and we pay for support and yes we pay folks
to be support guru's for us. However finding the time to hunt down the
assets, the and their availability is annoying and frankly too time
consuming for the schedules we operate under.

As the exploder group does not always respond with timely advice either,
I've taken a page from one of my younger colleagues bag of tricks and
occasionally visit:

Easy for you to say. I was at a company 5 years ago and was a one man show. They had not paid maintenance for many years and with WF3 out I was using 2000i. This exploder resource was the only help I had when I was stuck and I have been using the software for 16 years.

I am now at a different organization and they do not allow access to YouTube so that option is out while I am at work and I would have to research at home when I don't have Pro/E available.

I am getting tired of the conversation too, but much more critical for some then to others.

Mark A. Peterson
Design Engineer


Is this just a trick so they can get someone other than PTC employees to sign up for PTC Community?

Because you have to register to leave a comment at the announcement of what a crap idea it is.

In Reply to David Haigh:

The shocking news from day one of PTC Live is that PTC want's to "absorb" the mail exploder into their on-line communities forum. you'll see the announcement of this at the top of the page.

I went up to Ron and Dan durning the break and said what are you doing to my mail exploder. The answer was there was pressure to only have one source of communication instead of some stuff on the forum and some via the mail exploder. They are having discussions next week on how to transfer the data from ptcuser to the ptc site.

I asked if I was still going to get emails and the answer was no.

I'm sorry but this is killing the goose that laid the golden egg.

Make no mistake, if you don't raise your voice on this issue the mail exploder will disappear.

Dave Haigh

Business Continuity with Creo: Learn more about it here.