Autodesk Discussion Group Facelift Offer

My participation in the Autodesk discussion groups has been severely curtailed since the notorious “upgrade” a few months ago. One of the many problems introduced by the upgrade is the loss of formatting. It’s now virtually impossible to post messages that include inline AutoLISP or ObjectARX code without them being reformatted into unreadable garbage. Even attaching the code as a file is difficult (the “solution” is to rename files with a .txt extension!) As a result, many queries for programming help go unanswered. Autodesk has made an attempt to provide a fix, but a survey of the posts in any of the programming groups shows that it’s not working*.

* [Thread has been removed by Autodesk, so link was changed to point to archived thread.]

The recently announced layoffs and related cost cutting measures at Autodesk have dimmed my hopes for a resolution. Therefore, I’ve decided to offer my services to fix the problem. Autodesk, I’m offering to donate my time to fix your discussion group software. Just give me access to a development and testing platform, and the right to modify or rewrite the code.

Readers, can I get an “Amen”?


James Maeding of Hunsaker & Associates contacted me recently about an irritating problem that his users have with the AECOPEN command in Land Desktop. The AECOPEN command replaces the core AutoCAD OPEN command in AEC verticals. The problem they have is that AECOPEN displays an initial project dialog that requires users to press a [Browse] button to open the file browser dialog. Since they want to browse for a file every time they use the AECOPEN command, James wondered if I could create some code to automatically “press” the Browse button every time the AECOPEN command is issued.

I whipped up a little utility for AutoCAD 2007-2009 based products to do what James wanted, and it is now available on my freebies page as When the ARX module is loaded, AECOPEN behaves as if the user had immediately pressed the [Browse] button on the project dialog. If the [Ctrl] key is pressed, AECOPEN reverts to its original behavior.

Why not just use the built in OPEN command instead? The AECOPEN command has some important side effects, according to James.