I didn't see that there was a way to start a poll here, so here's an informal one. Here's scoring:
5 = Love
4 = Like
3 = Indifferent
2 = Dislike
1 = Hate
Please feel free to be specific if you want to describe things, good or bad
I'll wait to post my feelings.........
My overall rank is 4!
But about Drawing 5 for fanciness and 3~2 for productivity, "now we have a preview and the interface got better in my opinion, now we have to follow a procedural way to create the 2d document and I kinda like that." (that statement was my first impression and still works for simplier parts, but in practical terms doesn't work like that)
The problem is that we are obligated to be at the right tab to perform right mouse commands and even for selection (there is the ALT key but ah....), at the begining I found it nice and not a problem, but after working in some intense drawing tasks I found it disgustingly annoying and too much mouse traveling...
Message was edited by: Guilherme Rocha
Ok, I've waited long enough. I'd rate it a -5. I've been using Pro/E for over 13 years from V15 on, and this is, by FAR, the worse, most hacked-up, Microsuck-like interface yet. WF was bad enough, but this is incomprehensible. Hey, PTC, we experienced users HATE having to retrain every time you come out with a new version. Period. We really get few new features, some of them of questionable use anyways. No, we get GUI changes. For many years, each rev was pretty intuitive, and most of our mapkeys still worked. you pretty much had an idea where to find new things. Now, forget it. Not to mention that the GUI has, for years now, been a mishmash of old and new, and now it's even worse. The "ribbon thing" is for the Microsuck rejects, let THEM keep it. Indecipherable icons are a dead language, ask the Egyptians. Words can only be interpreted one way. The ribbon wastes an inch of prime real estate at the top, not cool at all. The File, Edit, View and other menus move around from modeling modes to dwg modes, tre stupido. I have layers that automatically put certain symbols on certain layers via the rules, now it seems all symbols simply get assigned an arbitrary number, based on.........what? Now my layers don't work. It took me forever to discover how to turn on axiis in the views on the dwg. Oh, that's right, it's buried under the symbol for a geo tol datum axis symbol now. Real intuitive. you can;t just modify things in drawing mode anymore on the fly, you must make sure the "special" tab is selected in the ribbon. I could go on, and I will later, as soon as I have time to research what else totally *****.
I keep hoping PTC will actually LISTEN to it's customers (that would be US) feedback, especially from those of us that have used and been loyal to their products for many years, but it seems the company doesn't care, and hasn't for years. When they foisted Windchill on us, that was bad enough as THAT interface totally *****, but at least you didn't have to use it constantly, like this pathetic interface.
Honestly, I'm going to recommend my company stay on WF4 indefinately, and dump all the maintenance contracts. Why even have them if we're going to stay on WF4? I've already recommended to companies to NOT switch from Intralink, now this?
PTC has (had) a great product in Pro/E, but they've gotten so far away from their roots I questions if they're actually owned my Microsuck now..........
More to follow.....
WoW Now that's an angry user/customer!
Obviously you are more experienced in PRO|E than me and once I work in a PTC VAR here in Brazil I admit that I prone to agree with PTC's decisions once this is what pays my bills.
Maybe I am a Microsoft monkey too but this is my humble opinion alright? Unfortunatelly MS "rules" the software market and I don't apreciate that too, the proof is that I have a MAC as a personal laptop, I have windows installed to run PRO|E and gaming though (see? you can't escape MS).
Now, I understand (not agree) why PTC take so much effort in "improving" UI than working in new functions and that's because unfortunatelly UI was the weapon that other CAD companies were using to compete with old PRO|E and worst, the market bought it, and aparently they've had relative success... That forced PTC to "improve" UI, even if the way they are doing is not pleasing every single user...
I agree with the major part of your complaints but till now I've implanted WF5.0 in a lot of companies here and the comments from the users are at least that they liked, I know that you are going to think that users from emergent areas are not the same as the others but we have a bunch of heavy users here too that aproved the new interface, including the tabbed Drawing interface, and they approved it because theyr regular users (beginners/not experienced) had improved theyr productivity with it "somehow" and I've not heard about incompabilities from my support department so far.
This is just a report from down here, I hope you understand my point and don't dump your angry about PTC on me ok? I'm a friend here :-)
I completely agree that PTC MUST listen to theyr customers too, not only the noise the competition and the market make!!!
The incompatibilities MUST be more well researched too cause it just lead to angry heavy users!!!
I hope that this discussion reaches the right people in PTC headquarters cause it's a really important matter!
I do NOT believe for a second that PTC was forced to do this. It's simply a money issue. The more often they totally change the GUI, the more training they sell to train people in the new GUI. This, obviously, increases with every seat they sell. They'll say they do it to attract new customers. That is absolutely false logic, because unless they increase their user base by over 100% EVERY YEAR (impossible), they'll always be forcing more current users to learn the new GUI than the people they attract.
A CAD program is NOT a word processing program, the whole concept is different, so why are they trying to MAKE it one by going to a stupid ribbon? Hey, Vista was a big success for Microsuck, right??? Why not emulate that too (sarcasm)? I hate the WF interface. It's non-intuitive, and the lead vs. follow workflow theory is bunk, and WF5 is exponentially worse. The old system worked far better. Now I have to guess whether to try and select something first, or find an operation in the menu first. Before WF, it was simple. Text will ALWAYS win over an indecipherable glyph in readabililty. Ok, so you'd have to have several different menus for different languages, big deal. I'm going to recommend my company stay on WF4 indefinately. I've used it, and it's a worthwile step up from WF3 without the nightmare GUI that is WF5.
My problem with PTC since the WF releases, is that before, the menus stayed pretty much the same, with real additions for real new features. But it was a logical, intuitive progression. they didn't change the GUI needlessly if there wasn't indeed a new feature. Now, due to corporate in making money hand-over-fist, the change the GUI so often you never know what to do. I always used to look forward to the new releases, now I totally dread them. I've been a loyal user for over 13 years, and now they just.....don't......listen. When you buy a car, and then in 5 years trade it in to buy a new one, would you expect to find the steering wheel on the other side, and the brake pedal in the back seat? The keyhole in the glovebox and the gas pedal in the trunk? Would you be happy to find that your wheels and tires are now square just because Microcar Inc. thought their new square "Vista" tire was better just because they said so as part of their marketing campaign? Certainly not. If a car manufacturer ever did something that monumentally stupid, they'd be out of business the next day.
I've given up waiting for them to listen, and I hate to say this, but in the future I might have to recommend to whatever company I work for that we go to something else. I'm that ******.
I've worked with Pro/E for a long time, too (since early 1991), and for the most part, I agree with you, Frank. I think the whole object-action vs. action-object change was a good idea with Wildfire 1. Now we have Wildfire 5 with an unfinished mix of object-action and action-object, unfinished UI change with some lingering right-side menus, and now a new drawing interface.
Overall, the drawing interface isn't too bad. But, I can't comprehend why we now have to select a certain tab before being able to manipulate drawing entities, tables, views, etc. You can hold down the ALT key and get some of that functionality back, but not everything. PTC has always claimed productivity increases in terms of reduced mouse clicks and mouse movement. Now we try to select something or right-click something in a drawing, then realize we have to move the mouse to the top of the screen and select a different tab, then move back down and continue doing whatever it was. It's painfully obvious that those who make the UI decisions at PTC are detached from those who use the software.
Well, I think the theory sounds good as far as lead-vs.-follow, but then it's always someone else's idea where to draw the line. Is the creation of a composite datum curve (which actually DOES create a new curve feature!) actually a "new" feature and should "lead", or since it's a creation of 2 existing curves, should it be "follow"? same thing with surface trims, extends, etc. There's far too much ambiguity to remember now. Before, it was: Create, Surface, Trim. Simple, intuitive, easy. And, even if it was an extra mouse click, it's easier to remember than the new shift/alt/backspace/click while holding your left pinkie toe and winking your right eye. Sometimes the selection mode is so difficult to remember I can't find what I want. and this is after using WF for years now. All the GUI's from WF on up have NOT been a logical, intuitive step from the last version.
Dwg mode I totally agree on. why the hell do I have to have my vision focus from the screen, then realize I can;t do any of the commands I need, then have to find the right tab, then find the right glyph, then try to find where I was on the "New & Improved!" (i.e. smaller because of the ribbon) graphics screen. The user will spend far more time having to shift his focus than any imagined time saved with less clicks in an area he's already in.
And, this is an old gripe, why are the menus in modeling and drawing so different? Why does the trimming function in modeling work backwards to how it works in drawing? Also "New&Improved!" in WF5 is the inability for the File, Edit, etc. menus to stay where they should be because of the wonderful new tabs, and instead move back and forth from left to right as you cycle between modeling and drawing.
As you mentioned, these developers obviously do NOT have to use the software like the rest of us on a daily basis. And, I'll argue that the modeling guys never communicate with the rest of the developers, and vice versa. This reminds me of a story about a new Rolls-Royce turbine aircraft engine. the separated the engine design into pre-compressor, compressor, combustor, and exhaust stages (if I remember right), and each group, INDIVIDUALLY, claimed great success in their respective metrics of efficiency. Well, when they put all the engine subsystems together in a prototype engine, it ran like total crap. Gone were the 95%+ efficiencies of each individual section. Management (as usual) couldn't figure out what was wrong. How come these wonder sections didn't work together? well, as the story goes, they hired an older, experienced Engineer back out of retirement to fix the problem. And, wonder of wonders, it was that the output of one stage was incompatible with the needs of the subsequent stage. The key was making it all work TOGETHER. Now, the overall engine performance was great, if the individual sections were a little less efficient. Same rule applies here. The developers only have to write code for drawing mode, or part modeling, or assembly, etc. We The Users (in ordeer to form a more perfect union....) have to use them ALL, and it's very confusing when things go moving around.
As I said, I'm going to go to WF4 and stay there. If I end up getting a seat of my own for my private business, it'll be WF4 with no service contract. If I decide to upgrade, I'll just buy another seat when the time comes.
Are you listening guys????
Without getting quite as angry (Heaven knows I have done so in private), I have to agree with Frank on several basic points. I am tempted to withhold comment until we see "Lightning", but, like Frank, I am expecting more graphic silliness including too many icons on ribbons, etc. It appears that the big thing will be the addition of "Direct Modeling" options.
(1) The repeated "Less Mouse Clicks" claims made rev after rev remind me of the advertisment claims made for cutting tools in the mags serving the machining discipline. If all the "20% faster" claims made for carbide inserts over the last 30 years were really true, the cumulative effect would be that all machining of any complexity would now be accomplished in microseconds. Here's a simple everyday example from within Pro/E: When many of us first started (before any icons), opening an assembly was: Mode/Assembly/Retrieve. The mouse barely moved, and it was straight up and down in the menu column. (Admittedly, one of the problems in those days was menu depth, but this is not an example of that at all.) Now what do you have to do?: (1) File/Open or one pick of the icon, (2) Watch one of our beloved modern Dialog Boxes splash open and move the mouse way across the screen to pick a Drop-Down-List arrow, (3) Watch the list open and move again in a slant direction to pick Assembly. In reality, each of the mouse movements #2 & #3 involves a rapid movement to the approximate location followed by a slower "focussing" motion. The original icon and the drop-down arrow are also smaller targets than the old linear names in the menu, and the selections do not easily come into view in a confined linear space anymore. THIS IS NOT AN IMPROVEMENT.
(2) In spite of the aforementioned menu depth problem and the series of Done/Done/Done-Return/Done's that you used to have to do, I was so happy at that time that PTC had not succumbed to the international icon love affair. Without a doubt your brain will extract meaning much more quickly from a series of words than it will from spatially scattered arbitrarily fanciful icons. I remember the first time I saw the Windshield Wiper and wondered what the devil it was; turns out it was just PTC's version of everyone else's Paintbrush. (I understand "Repaint" without training.) I now see the value of a mixture. 30, maybe 40, familiar frequently-used icons around the perimeter of the screen are useful in combination with menus, but their wholesale application is A STEP BACKWARDS. A good, common example of this is the series of Depth Option icons; you can WAIT for the pop-up help description, but they are not instantaneously clear like a simple list. RMB still gives you the list, but it's an extra step. And now for the Second Direction you have to pick the Shape tab, then the drop-down arrow for Side 2, then the option, moving all over the place all the time. The dashboard in and of itself has some nice time-saving improvements, but excessive obscure icons just create brain strain.
(3) How about putting a hole through a rectilinear block (any of you engineers ever done that before?)? It used to be pick-pick-pick, and you were done. Now we have the advent of the Control button, Secondary References and all the rest. Placement drag handles look sophisticated but they're way slower than just picking sides of the block or Datum Planes. (Once again you have multi-phase mouse movement: hone in on the drag handle, then start up again with the dragging, then release; Query Select is also now more of a problem. Datum Planes are no longer as quick to pick for reference either. Sure, size-dragging can sometimes be nice, but much of the rest of it is encumbering.
(4) The redundant mixture of methods from various revs is also really delightful. Ever needed to Redefine a Variable Section Sweep when it went into First-Aid-Kit mode?
Well, the examples go on and on. We do get real substantive functionality improvements rev-to-rev, but the interface changes have been a bewildering hodge-podge for years.
At the recent ptc/user convention in Florida, there were encouraging recognitions of general difficulty and unreliabilty on the part of senior management at PTC. I found the commitments from these people earnest and believable, so, for the time being, I'm willing to be optimistic. I just hope this slickness sickness will come to an end before we get to Lightning 6.0!
I think new releases should be at least five years apart, having a new release every two years is a bit much IMO
I know everyone likes new features, but every two years you have to upgrade to have the latest, they should make that five years, and that goes for all software.
I bought WF 3 six months after it came out, and that was about two years ago, now version six is getting ready to be released.
I think it's nuts
I had a rant back in 2006 when we moved from R2001 to WF2. The experienced users at our company suffered a big decrease in productivity and it took about three months to get back to where we were before the change. I went to the 2007 conference and heard the presentation from PTC management that staying with the old interface was in effect an exit strategy for the company and we were shown figures that supported this. I still expressed my dissatisfaction to one of the PTC managers in person.
Over time we have become used to the WF interface and have appreciated the newer functionality in later releases. There are we still many things we just have to “know” and if you have users who are using those aspects infrequently then it is a pain and in some ways worse than the old UI. We make use of the Quick Reference Guide cards for most of that sort of functionality. I do find WF easier to teach to newer people than pre WF. We skipped WF3 and went straight to WF4 with few issues.
When some of our users saw the WF5 release in an introductory meeting I got immediate requests for us to change to it, again for the functionality. None of us liked the Drawing ribbon UI but accept that is the way things are going. I agree that in the WF5 drawing window the smaller icons, the top menu placement and the “inactive till tabbed” method all cause problems for experienced users. In time we will get used to it. From the 2010 conference it was explained that for ongoing releases the ribbon interface will become the standard (and dare I hope consistent). My principal concern is that the visual UI changes mean that as we move between modelling and drawing then icons and menus are in different positions and cannot be made the same. I have done the best I can with the config.win
I am just at the point where we are rolling out WF5 M040 after a couple of false starts.
In the end in answer to the question of WF5 GUI… Like? Love? Hate? Indifferent? I just say that it what we need to use so probably ranging from Indifferent to Love depending on which bit I am using. In reality we could still do the work that we do now with R2001 and probably in the same time. The work we do can be very intensive and complex in ProE but usually only for comparatively short periods of time. We do not have dedicated CAD users; instead we have Mechanical Designers who use ProE as part of their job.
Regards, Brent Drysdale
I don't mind a new version every 2 years.......if it's logical and well thought out. WF wasn't. This isn't.
My main gripe since the WF days is, why do I have to TOTALLY relearn the GUI every major rev? That's ridiculous. It'd be like having to relearn to drive every time you buy a new car. Nobody would stand for that in the real world, yet somehow they'll just accept it in the realm of software. We may get, what, 10% new features MAX, yet we have to relearn 100% of the GUI? Seriously????
As I said, pre-WF I looked forward to every new release. The releases were simply a logical and intuitive extension of what came before with ONLY the changes needed to add the new features, and it was an easy transition to the new rev. Now I really dread each new rev like this, because I see the productivity of our users come to a dead stop for months. Every time. Not everyone can afford to send all their users to their training at over $1k a pop. And, make no mistake, making that money is what those changes are all about. So those companies just get screwed......or switch to something else. I'd say, after become proficient in Solidworks as well, that those are the main reasons people are switching and PTC is drastically losing market share. As a company, especially a small one, who wants to buy into something far more expensive than SW (for the extra capabilities that aren't often used), AND be expected to pay expensive maintenance AND have to totally retrain all it's users every few years at great expense? That's exactly why one company I worked for did it. And, wanting to stay on Pro/E instead of the inferior SW, I left it.
Come on guys, get back to your core business. LISTEN to your customers.
Rereading my post, I am prompted to mitigate the negativity a bit, and make clear the focus of mine and others' complaints. The problem is the UI, not the core software. I love Pro; I always know that there is a solid foundation of math, logic, and feature types with which I can easily create (and quickly machine) most things I can envision. The core math engine is really impressive! Having started on the board, and having used Pro since 12.0, it's still an exciting tool to use. This is also after using other sofware including SW. There are several things on my wish list for functional improvements, the biggest being a swept revolve that would do what an endmill does (in general form could also add material), but by-and-large, we have what we need.
It's the constantly changing and often bewildering UI. It's as if someone gave me a Ferrari, then, in a kid's craftbook mode, pasted colored macaroni all over it to improve its appearance.
only big issue I encounter ist the ribbon in drawing mode... the tabs should automatically follow selected items ... (example: double click an annotation and the annotate tab gets automatically activated).. or at least an option to put such a behaviour on.
What I hate, is the pastelly unconfigurable interface, and yet we still don't have a MDI for the UI.
Look at the CG world of Maya, Cinema4D, SILO and others where you can totally customize the interface to dock and partition the UI elements how you and how you work. I think it's silly we get a couple of toolbars, and a pile of floating windows that can't be captured and retained into the UI.
The 1980s is over, lets see some object oriented approach to the UI and ditch those UGLY colours. At least let me control how I want the window colours to be, or at the very least abide by the Windows UI colour settings.
The WF UI in my opinion is outdated, too programmer oriented and needs rethinking.
So my rating is 2.