OpenDCL 4.0 Debuts

OpenDCL 4.0 has finally been released. If you’re not familiar with OpenDCL, check it out at, or on SourceForge at

OpenDCL, based on the original commercial ObjectDCL software by Chad Wanless, is a modern replacement for the old DCL dialog control language in AutoCAD. The current OpenDCL Runtime supports AutoCAD 2002 through 2008 (except AutoCAD 2008 x64). It is designed to give AutoCAD end users and AutoLISP application developers a simple yet powerful way to design and use rich user interfaces in their applications.

The goal for version 4.0 was to get it stable and fix all the bugs, with minimal new feature development. OpenDCL 4.1 will add support for AutoCAD 2008 x64. After that we will start working on localized language versions, and adding new features.

OpenDCL is licensed under the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL) open source license, completely free to use, and source code is available on SourceForge.

Introducing OpenDCL for AutoCAD

AutoLISP programmers may remember a product named ObjectDCL, by 3rd Day Software. ObjectDCL was released as open source in the summer of 2006 by developer Chad Wanless due to his inability to continue supporting the software because of “health reasons”. At the time, many users of ObjectDCL hoped that someone would update the code to work in AutoCAD 2007. Programmer David Robison did some work to get AutoCAD 2007 supported, but the project has been languishing, almost to the point of extinction.

After being asked by several ObjectDCL users whether I could help, I decided a few weeks ago to contribute to the community by getting the original C++ code updated to support AutoCAD 2007. As I am wont to do, I’ve ended up re-architecting much of the code in the process.

The results of my work are available now at the new OpenDCL project on SourceForge. The new 4.0 release is still in the alpha testing phase. If you program in AutoLISP and want to create rich user interfaces for your applications, check it out!