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View Poll Results: Give Autodesk's CUI implementation a rating 1 to 10

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  • 1 - Worst ever new feature implementation

    34 18.99%
  • 2 - Disastrous

    27 15.08%
  • 3 - Really bad

    31 17.32%
  • 4 - Poor

    28 15.64%
  • 5 - Mediocre

    26 14.53%
  • 6 - Fair

    10 5.59%
  • 7 - Good

    11 6.15%
  • 8 - Very good

    8 4.47%
  • 9 - Excellent

    3 1.68%
  • 10 - Best ever new feature implementation

    1 0.56%
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Thread: CUI Implementation: Good Or Bad? The Poll.

  1. #1
    I could stop if I wanted to Steve Johnson's Avatar
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    Default CUI Implementation: Good Or Bad? The Poll.

    How well do you think Autodesk has implemented the new CUI menus, including the workspace feature? Are you happy with the system design, the user interface, the API, the user documentation, the developer documentation, the file format documentation, the samples and guidance from Autodesk about how to use it, the stability, the lack of bugs, the performance, etc. Rate it according to what's important to you.
    Last edited by Steve Johnson; 2005-06-20 at 07:03 AM.

  2. #2
    Time Lord Steve_Bennett's Avatar
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    Default Re: CUI Implementation: Good Or Bad? The Poll.

    Well, for their first attempt at making something such as programing menus & such a graphical interface, I think it's a great step in the right direction. I'm not saying it's perfect or that it's horrible. To go from editing menus in a text document to using an interface is great.

    To provide a minuscule amount of info about this was a very, very bad idea. The info in the help system is useless since all it does is tell you what the stuff is, not how to implement it, how to utilize it properly, or any other critical aspect of that feature of the software. It would have been nice to have a step by step process for modifying the interface of AutoCAD & what different parts of the interface you would be required to utilize.

    Hopefully, Autodesk won't receive scathing feedback about the CUI simply because people don't know how to customize it in the proper manner. At first, I was rather upset with this new feature, but that was due to my lack of knowledge & understanding of it. Now that I have a better grasp of it's intricacies, I'm realize why I was not happy with it. Now I'm more disappointed with the lack of documentum since the average user has no idea where to begin & can screw things up in a hurry. From a CAD Management standpoint this is a good & bad thing. Good since the new interface allows you to lock down the workspace & keep those unwitting souls from messing up AutoCAD. It's bad if you have a group of people used to customizing their workspace & want to leave it unlocked. I suppose I could go on, but then I digress.
    Steve Bennett |BIM Manager
    Taylor Design | Adventures in BIM

  3. #3
    I could stop if I wanted to Steve Johnson's Avatar
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    Default Re: CUI Implementation: Good Or Bad? The Poll.

    I should point out that I'm not asking people to rate the idea of combining customisation into a single graphical interface. Personally, I think it's a great idea. I'm asking people to rate the implementation. Given that this idea was going to be incorporated into AutoCAD, how well has Autodesk actually done so?

  4. #4
    Certified AUGI Addict jaberwok's Avatar
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    Default Re: CUI Implementation: Good Or Bad? The Poll.

    For long-term acad users the new interface is far from intuitive. Therefor more/better documentation would have been a great help.
    This may be one of those cases where a new user, coming to it with no preconceived ideas, may be in a better position.

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    Default Re: CUI Implementation: Good Or Bad? The Poll.

    CUI is counter-intuitive and visually more complex than coding LISP and writing menus. There should have been a visual logic test early in the development. It should have been implemented in such a way that experienced power users did not have to use it.

    The first time I used it the way I thought it should be used, I lost all toolbars and menus and couldn't get it back without a re-install. After several times of completely messing things up, I decided not to use it again.

    That said, it represents an attempt to make customizing AutoCAD easier and should be encouraged. I hope they will work out the kinks and not throw it out with the next version.

    CUI should default to customizing the current interface rather than have that hidden deeply under trees and buttons. ACAD.CUI should be a stable relatively unchanging part and the CUSTOM.CUI and ENTERPRISE.CUI should be where the modifications to the ACAD.CUI occur.

    Regardless of how they change it, documentation of both the process and the underlying format should be a priority. It should be possible to edit the XML file with notepad without creating problems.

    Seems poor to mediocre but with great potential.

  6. #6
    Administrator rkmcswain's Avatar
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    Default Re: CUI Implementation: Good Or Bad? The Poll.

    I'll admit that I'm not a CUI guru - I have avoided it as much as possible, but this 'feature' is the worst 'implementation' of an idea yet. We have finally abandoned the MNU and started editing our custom menu in the unstable CUI, but it's been painful.

    1. All things considered, It's very slow. (Why is it that anything that has something to do with XML or .NET is slow anyway?)
    2. It crashes every single time we use it. I suppose this may have something to do with our partial menu, since this doesn't seem to be a problem for everyone out there - but there is no indication from any error message of what the problem is. Guess who gets to debug this??? (a menu that has worked fine since R14 BTW)
    3. The interface is not needed by experienced users and too complex for those who need it.

  7. #7
    100 Club Ferroequine's Avatar
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    Default Re: CUI Implementation: Good Or Bad? The Poll.

    I voted Mediocre. To drop something like that on you without much warning, and then to very poorly document the process involved (causing one to resort to trial and error), is poor at best.

    The interface itself functions fairly well, but I'd have to say it has dumbed down the programming aspect of menus quite a bit (not trying to offend anyone here), and in turn has made it much more difficult to maintain libraries.

  8. #8
    100 Club lance.81922's Avatar
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    Default Re: CUI Implementation: Good Or Bad? The Poll.

    I have had the feeling for a number of years now that Autodesk (like many other companies) regards documentation as a necessary evil, and seems to have given it a decreasing amount of attention with each succeeding release. Their documentation (IMHO, of course) was wonderful up to and including Release 14. 2000 was still pretty good, but it seemed that the newer functions were not as well documented as the older ones. With the advent of CUI, Autodesk has taken a big step in attempting to create a powerful new way to implement user customization, but seems to have provided almost no guidance in how to actually use the tool. There needs to be a coherent explanation of how to create new toolbars, menus, etc., from scratch, WITH examples. A clear explanation of the best way (there are several) of making use of existing custom menus, WITH examples, would also be helpful. I somehow managed to get my menus going successfully, but wish I had saved the original CUI file so that all of my customizations could be redone the "right way" (whatever that is), netting me a clear explanation of how to tell my customers to upgrade their CUI files.

    Pretty sad.

  9. #9
    Certified AUGI Addict jaberwok's Avatar
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    Default Re: CUI Implementation: Good Or Bad? The Poll.

    I'm wondering if we will see an outpouring of commercial "how to" books written by AutoDesk employees as always seems to happen with Micros**t products.

  10. #10
    Retired Forum Staff Rico's Avatar
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    Post Re: CUI Implementation: Good Or Bad? The Poll.

    Quote Originally Posted by steve.johnson
    I should point out that I'm not asking people to rate the idea of combining customisation into a single graphical interface. Personally, I think it's a great idea. I'm asking people to rate the implementation. Given that this idea was going to be incorporated into AutoCAD, how well has Autodesk actually done so?
    I think that the IDEA was good. The way they went about it was bad though. I think that there a lot of people out there who get used to drafting one way (draftspeople are creatures of habit) and when something new is introduced without some sort of gradual integration it just causes havoc. Personally, I like the power behind the CUI, but I know a lot of my co-workers are grumbling about it. "Why did they change what worked before?" "It's all a cash grab" are just a few of the things I hear often when talking about the new CUI. I think if something like a drag and drop a la previous versions of AutoCAD was kept, more people would be happier. It's just so hard to find the time and resources to go for training on CUI. I think next time a new feature like this is going to be implemented there should be some training videos or something like that available directly from autodesk as opposed to having to hunt the training videos down on the web. I think that might go a fair way to easing people's gruntings. Make the info easier to find.

    But that's just my humble opinion, anyway.

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