Looking back, looking forward
2008 was a tumultuous year on Dezignstuff (or Matt Writes, whatever you want to call it). Here’s a list of the top 10 articles or topics by reader views, comments or some other measure. Not a scientific poll. Not necessarily in any order whatsoever.
10. Interview with Jim Wilkinson – Jim gave a 3 part video interview at SolidWorks World in San Diego. Jim is candid about all sorts of SolidWorks development topics.
9. SolidWorks World Presentations Unleased – Every year, the thousands of users who didn’t get a chance to go to SolidWorks World in person wonder if they are going to be able to go through the presentations given at the technical sessions. I took the step of posting them on my site for people. SolidWorks alternately threatened, then ridiculed this, and finally caved in and made the presentations available to all to download. I wonder what will happen in 2009?
8. Conceptual Beauty of Toolbox – This one was a sleeper. It didn’t get that much attention when I wrote it, but this has been one of the consistently highest viewed articles on Dezignstuff. Of course I think that conceptually Toolbox is beautiful, but it has lost something in the application to reality.
7. Tail of 3 Fishies: Part 3 – This was my best off-topic article. I don’t know why, but it gets a lot of search traffic still. Fun with fishing, SolidWorks User Groups and bluegrass music.
6. Surfacing Tutorial: Chess Piece – A lot of people pointed out that my knight looks kind of disproportionate, with an extra long nose. Hrumph. What can I say to that? Anyway, the surfacing techniques used are interesting, and people keep searching for it.
5. Printed Manuals or Electronic Documentation? – This was part of the mainly failed initiative to get SolidWorks to care more about their documentation, regardless of format.
4. Model A. Model a What? Model a Model A – I did a series of surfacing and spline articles using a Model A hot rod model done in SolidWorks. These turned out to be very popular.
3. Best way to read Catia files into SolidWorks? Use Inventor – Ok, so I like to goad SW a little, especially when it comes to stupid business practice, and especially when it comes to Autodesk showing them up. There are few topics that enable this better than the fact that SW has a very hard time getting good data from Catia.
2. Synchronous Technology – This was a series of several articles aimed at examining the direct editing wave crashing over the mechanical CAD market. They vary in quality, but the later ones are more accurate and detailed.
1. SolidWorks Backpedals on Penalties – How does increasing a fee that no one pays lead to an all out riot of SolidWorks subscription customers and some rather indelicate words from SolidWorks management? This series of posts and incredible reader response deserves SolidWorks Blog Story of the Year.
Runners up. A small percentage of what I write is worth much, but I do find some of it somehow satisfying. The above were either good or important for some reason. The articles below don’t measure up to those above, but I’m not prepared to let 2008 go by without giving these a little recognition.
You want a drawing for WHAT? Some parts can’t be represented on drawings. How do you deal with this type of data in the real world?
Time for a new computer: XI I discuss new hardware with readers.
Do you Love-Hate SolidWorks? This was an article that just talked about reasons for loving and reasons for hating software I work with all the time.
Barcelona This was a series of posts about the press event in Barcelona rolling out SolidWorks 2009.
SolidWorks 2009 Bible Geez. Could this book be delayed any longer? Long overdue, but I think this will be worth the wait.
SolidWorks Surfacing and Complex Shape Modeling Bible. This is the book that you never knew you needed. I’ve read this book, and I think it’s pretty well done. I am biased, obviously, but this is a book I’m actually proud of. This and the 09 bible continue to get a lot of search traffic.
Tricky Modeling Situations I’ve done a series of articles about tough surface modeling jobs or bugs that make it tough to get up in the morning. These are popular because I talk about practical problems in real world modeling.
History The flip side of talking about direct modeling is talking about history based modeling. There were several great ideas that came from reader comments. A well placed SW employee even said some of these ideas are being considered for development.
Upgrade-itis – Do you sometimes upgrade without really needing to?
Inadvertent Straight Talk – This started as an interview, and quickly changed into something else. What role does a Devil’s Advocate play in development at SolidWorks?