Thursday, May 14, 2015

Revit 2016 is a... Reality???

Alright Ladies and Gents,

So - after getting ACAD 2016 up and running, I fired up Revit 2016 and.... immediately went back to using Revit 2015 because, of course, in order to work in Revit 2016, the project I'm working on would have to be updated to Revit 2016 format.

I'm working in an Architectural model, and *almost* decided to just let the thing upgrade (it may end up getting upgraded eventually anyway) when I noticed one nice 'feature' that should have been around since DAY FUCKING ONE and that is the ability to hit 'cancel' on the upgrade rather than having to either let it sit there and go through the upgrade (then 'temporarily upgrade' any linked files) before closing it out and re-opening in the older version - or ctrl+alt+del and kill the fucking program (although I have to admit, I do love killing Revit - and it dies quickly).

I've complained before about not having a way to know what version a Revit file is in before you open it (I've currently got three versions on my machine, and god forbid I have to open a file older than that).  I had done some rudimentary searches, but the best ideas I saw were to include the release version in the file name (which is great, until someone fails to change it when they upgrade it, and/or fails to bother to tell anyone that has the file linked in - I've seen folders full of Revit files, and the only way you know which is the correct one is by the date that it was last saved).

I decided to do a quick search today - and found where someone had developed a (free/donation) 'File Version Reporter' program that would not only tell you the last saved version of a file, but would also give you the option to click 'No' before automatically starting to upgrade the file (holy fucking shit - what a concept!!!):

More power to them - but this is yet another example of a third-party having to get involved in order to solve what should be simple, basic, goddamned intuitive fucking shit and allowing Autodesk to continue to shart out half-ass garbage.  I also ran across yet another innocent attempt at asking about reverting a Revit file back to an older version that quickly degraded into some faggot named 'Ryan713' accusing the asker of 'wanting Revit to be like Autocad':

Granted, it was after the guy who asked about it accused Autodesk of running a monopoly (which isn't entirely off base), but 'Ryan713' deserves to be beaten so badly after making that comment that they would have to identify him by digging tooth fragments out of my fists, using a 3d scanner and software to recreate them, and then compare them to dental records (only to find out that it was justifiable homicide after finding out that he had made that comment).

And none of this even addresses what happens (and did happen a few months ago here) if some idiot decides to upgrade a file without bothering to ask anyone, and it turns out that the client (who is also doing work in Revit - although this is not a typical client) hasn't upgraded yet - and maybe doesn't have a plan to upgrade yet.  OR what happens if someone upgrades a file, and the new release of Revit decides to take a shit.

Obviously keeping backups of stuff could prevent major problems from occurring because of this - but what generally happens is that work gets done before the mistake is found, so simply pulling up an older file from a backup or local file isn't necessarily going to magically fix it.  It would also help if everybody involved with using Revit actually gave a shit and communicated with other people, but being oblivious to what is happening beyond the tip of your own nose seems to be the hallmark of Reviteering.

Anyway - I do have a project coming up in 2016 Revit that will allow me to give it a full rundown (it's a 'reuse' of an older project - which is 'exactly like the older project', except for the part where it's in a different location, oriented differently on the site, has gotten longer on one side, and had a dozen other floor plan changes).  This is a common trope in the design industry - presenting a project to the design team as 'just like this other one.... (wait for it)....  (keep waiting)....  Except... (BANG)'.

Fortunately I didn't waste my time doing the last one in Revit - only putting the lights into the ceiling to shut them the fuck up and attempt to coordinate with the HVAC design (always entertaining to watch them proceed to ignore the shit out of everything I put into the model - and that's if their plenums and whatnot even line up with the fucking ceiling).  The model they dug up and revived still had my lights in it - but of course, they are strewn to the fucking wind because the current project and the old project are the 'same' only in that they are both buildings, and have walls/ceilings/etc.

This particular client (in addition to being deluded about what constitutes a 'reuse' of a project) is also certifiably insane - and that brings us to the topic I promised from last time.  Incompetent/indecisive clients aren't Revit's fault - but that doesn't prevent Revit from getting in the way of getting their projects out the door.  I've watched people spend inordinate amounts of time getting every fucking detail in a model 'just so', fighting issue after issue, doing the 'workaround dickaround' and then drag everybody else into their fucking hell - just to have some idiot client come crashing through their project like a bull in a china shop.

If I'm doing schematics - then it might be a pain in the ass, but if I'm trying to maintain a Revit model - it's totally fucked.  Obviously we should get paid more if the client is making changes, but nobody (the client or the people running the show) have any concept of how much actual time and effort goes into chasing the clients ever-shifting dreams and whims - made even more difficult to quantify when you consider how many late nights and weekends Reviteers willingly burn through for free (don't even try to deny it you Revit Fucks).

Nobody wants to nickel and dime a client for 'minor changes', but clients figure out pretty quick that all they have to do is convince whoever they are dealing with that their changes are 'minor' and ignore anyone attempting to point out the reality of how difficult making those changes will be, and how it will 'trickle-down' onto the heads of everyone else trying to play catchup.  This is made even worse by people buying into claims that 'Revit makes doing this or changing that so much faster and easier' and now you've got people so disconnected from the design process that they think Revit is doing all of the heavy lifting, leaving clients free to make whatever changes they want, at whatever time they want, regardless of the schedule, because 'it's easy now'.

I'm working on several projects right now (I'm always working on several projects), one of which has a large amount of important information that has not been forthcoming.  We've asked for this information since day one (weeks, if not months ago), and have been blown off so many times, we could have built a wind turbine and powered our office for a year from the wind energy.  We started out with one equipment layout and cut-sheets (that were wrong - not to mention incomplete), and when we pointed this out - we were told to refer to a 'prototype'.  After pointing out that the prototype didn't bear any resemblance to what we were being told to do this time around (which they already knew), we were begrudgingly given an updated layout/list/cut-sheets (again, incomplete) along with drawings for another aspect of the project that upon review turned out to be (you guessed it) wrong.

We continued to press for this information - and it's being promised 'tomorrow' (I'll believe that - only when and if I get it, review it, and find out if it's not just another round of hand waving to make us go away).  In the meantime we've had to make a number of guesses, all of which open us up to liability and/or actionable positions.  We've attempted to be the squeaky wheel that gets the oil, but instead we've just been the squeaky wheel that gets told to shut the fuck up.  The client doesn't have any concept of this - as they've never done a project this elaborate.

They can't comprehend that what we are trying to do is in their best interest so that the building can be built, and when they roll their equipment in, it will be ready to connect to electrical (and gas, and water, and drains, and exhaust, etc. etc.) rather than resulting in us receiving change order after change order and thrown under the bus as if we were some kind of fucking idiots.  They'll probably try to do it anyway once they keep making changes after we issue our drawings - requiring us to waste additional time and effort to defend our design in a professional manner (before most likely consenting to make the necessary changes for free in order to make them go away and/or guarantee that we will pick up more shitty projects from them in the future).

I haven't even heard a schedule for this project (we're long past the original one - so they've basically admitted they haven't given us the information we need to finish it, but that won't stop them from pretending that we're the hold-up), but I'm sure it will be 'OH MY FUCKING GOD HAIR ON FIRE ASAP!!!!', and the fact that I don't have to worry about Revit on top of that is the only reason I don't drag them out behind the woodshed and put them out of their (and our) misery with a bullet to the back of the head.

Since they tend to develop their own ACAD drawings to do their layouts (which are either out of date when compared to our Revit plans - or never actually resembled them in the first place) means that just linking them into the Revit model results in a complete nonsense (which is still a problem for when they go to build it - since walls and equipment can't typicaly occupy the same space), but for my purposes, I can get it in there, make adjustments as necessary and get my drawings out SOMETIME THIS FUCKING DECADE.

I may have mentioned it before, but I'll never forget the time someone sent me an equipment layout to coordinate my lights with (why didn't you coordinate your lights with this equipment layout that we failed to send you and/or sent you an outdated version of?!?!)  I attempted to insert it into the Revit model (because for some fucking reason I was wasting my time in Revit).  It looked like a clusterfuck - but because everything in Revit is goddamned unintelligible, I couldn't have even told you why.

The ACAD file was actually in metric - and it was automatically converting it to standard when it inserted (which is pretty cool) but there were walls not lining up, and a number of other problems that weren't readily apparent *until* I exported the fucking model into ACAD, overlaid the equipment plan (after carefully manually scaling it) and found that the reason it looked so cocked up in Revit was that they had (yes) developed their own floor plan to do the layout.

After pointing this out to the project manager (who pointed it out to the client) they both immediately came to the conclusion that I had (obviously) scaled it incorrectly (haha - look at this dumbass who can't even scale correctly!)  That's when I pointed out several places in our Revit model (or more accurately in the ACAD file that I had exported from Revit) where columns were inside walls, and on the equipment plan the columns were next to the wall - which no amount of scaling (correct or otherwise) could cause to happen.

Then they told us 'well - go ahead and just do it close enough' but fortunately this is where the project manager stepped in and pointed out that they had been nitpicking detail after detail after detail in our design, and that we were reticent to 'do it close enough'.  They relented, updated their equipment layout with our Revit floor plan, and then I completed the project (in ACAD because FUCK REVIT).

Similar kinds of things show up on nearly every project - almost to the point where it feels like 'Groundhog Day', or more accurately - it feels like every project we do is the first one we've ever done, because the same mistakes and assumptions, get made, and the same failed processes (most of the time centering around Revit) get implemented, and nobody fucking learns anything from it. Attempting to explain it to someone is almost immediately exasperating (to the point that I've pretty much given up on it), because it is such a complex and multifaceted problem that they don't have any chance of understanding unless they are dropped into the middle of it.

I've watched other people overcome gigantic hurdles in Revit in order to get projects completed - and that's EXACTLY the problem.  If they weren't overcoming Revit hurdles - they could do their fucking jobs, and it would benefit everyone.  Instead, Revit has become their job - and it shows.

FUCK Revit, FUCK Autodesk, and FUCK every single person willingly using or otherwise propagating this inbred clusterfuck.

And if you don't like it (and/or this is TL/DR) FUCK YOU!!!

-The Motherfucking Skullfucker

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