Wednesday, September 26, 2012


There is something fascinating about the psychology of hardcore Revit users hammering away at Autodesk for being stupid.  We all have our gripes and out pet theories, but in the end, if you have chosen this tool above all others, surely you have to believe that the people making it are ahead of the game.  Otherwise there would be some cleverer people out there making a better tool.

One example that comes to mind is all the spleen venting that occured when the ribbon interface first appeared.  Say what you like about the 2010 version being flawed, the long term strategy has worked.  The dust has settled, the factory held their nerve, and the ribbon is here to stay.  With hindsight you can see how it fits into the longer time drive towards suites of products that play nicely together.  I certainly enjoy the fact that Revit, Acad & Navis all have a similar look and feel.
The latest controversy relates to Revit LT.  I stumbled across all this vitriol almost by accident.  What larks, pip !  You might have thought ... "if you like it buy it, if not, ignore it".  Seems not to be the case.  It's quite possible that this will turn out to be a big flop for Autodesk.  But I suspect not.  These days you need to buy BDS premium to hedge your bets and have both Acad & Revit on your machine.  Doesn't come cheap.  So you can see why the idea of mixing in a few cheaper licences crops up. 

Not everyone needs all the features all of the time.  At both ends of the scale there are people who could easily manage with a reduced tool kit:  senior management people who only have time to dabble;  guys who sit making window types all day long: people who spend two thirds of their time on building sites.  Maybe it will be a huge disaster as some predict, but I suspect that it's a gamble worth taking.   We might even take a few licences ourselves some time next year.  We will always have guys who spend most of their time using other tools (pencils, photoshop, excel, outlook, the telephone ...)  It would be nice if they could paddle in the shallow end of the BIM pool for a few hours a week. 

Two question remain.  "Shouldn't they have made full Revit available at half price instead ?"  Let me see now.  Why not just make it free ?  Let's have a more serious question.  "Did they choose the right features to omit ?"  Happen they did, happen they didn't.  Perhaps the mix will change as the product evolves.  Do I know for sure that they have made really stupid choices ?  Come on guys, it's nice to be young and cocky, but sometimes I'm glad to be the old fart who smiles enigmatically and waves his arms around in an ambiguous manner.


  1. A well balanced and thoughtful post about Revit LT? How unusual...

    I too think the feature list will change in time. The concept is sound, perhaps the execution is a bit lacking.


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