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Wildfire and Wildfire 2...

cc_rider

New member
I am thoroughly annoyed with the 'improvements' PTC has perpetrated
upon us in the name of 'progress'. Wildfire and Wildfire 2 are MUCH
slower than 2001, which itself was a CPU hog. And they're not just slow
CPU-wise, but also working-wise. I've been creating, modifying, and
merging boundary surfaces all day today, and each time I change
something and need to redefine the surfaces, it's a five-minute
exercise in frustration. And when it's time to merge the surfaces,
Wildfire 2 takes as long as a minute to merge two surfaces which share
a common boundary curve.



I am not a new user. I have been using Pro/Engineer since before Rev.
10. I worked for PTC as an Application Engineer for almost two years. I
have ten years' experience in my current position, where I use Pro/E
pretty much all day every day. At my company we have several users at
my skill level, and all agree Wildfire is bad, and Wildfire 2 is a
complete disaster. We have been helping each other through the learning
curve and joking about how 'simple' the new interface is. NOT.



PTC has chosen to forsake its installed base of high-level power users,
in favor of copying the look and feel of a competitor. Around here we
call that 'me too' thinking, rather than the 'me first' thinking PTC
built its reputation upon.



I used to wonder what made Pro/Engineer such a great product when it
came out. Simple: it was competing against all the bloated, overloaded
CAD programs at the time. CADDS5, CATIA, UG, CV, etc. were all
well-established products, but they were slow and bulky and unreliable.
Pro/Engineer started a revolution in the CAD industry, with tight,
modern coding, a simplified interface uncluttered by cryptic icons and
symbols, and unparalleled modeling and assembly functionality. Now,
Pro/Engineer is just another one of those bloated, overloaded CAD
programs. Worse yet, PTC has decided rather than keep and improve
an interface that has proven its power and speed, to copy one of their
competitors' interfaces . The competition does not have the power and
functionality of Pro/Engineer, but rather than sell it's power and
features, PTC copped out and just ripped off the faddish interface.
Which might have been just fine if the installed base of users did not
have to start over as newbies. When Wildfire came out I was unable to
perform even simple modeling techniques without assistance. Now that I
have learned to maneuver in the new interface, modeling is still
fraught with frustrating pick-levels and inconsistent functionality.



I have been reluctant to voice these opinions until now, because
I know how responsive PTC is to their installed base. Not at all. PTC
pursues only NEW clients, and creates all sorts of bells and whistles
to attract them, while alienating the very people who took a chance on
a new product way back when, and now are seeing their productivity go
down the toilet as the same functionality requires more and more steps
to complete. Not to mention the snail's pace of regeneration; as I type
this I am waiting for those surface merges to be completed after a
small dimensional change. Ridiculous.



I am raising my voice to protest the 'improvements' PTC has foisted
upon us, the power users who have stuck with Pro/E through the years,
only to be rewarded with a cryptic interface and dramatically
poorer performance.



c.
 

scottm

New member
Its interesting, because I was just talking to someone about the horror stories I had heard about Pro-E (prior to Wildfire).


I started with Cadkey Lite ~15 years ago and stuck with it through CK21 - comparable to Solidworks except free-form modeling - no constraints. I saw the jump from the F-key rapid-fire interface to the icons and had much the same opinion. It took CK about 6 years to finally come up with a decent Windows port (when they completely rewrote it).


I've since worked on Solidwords and now Pro-E (as of 2 days ago). They have definitely minimized the learning curve, but I can see where some of the tradeoffs come in. I've crashed it maybe a dozen times over the last 2 days. I guess I'm grateful I don't know any better (since CK and Solidworks crash all the time too...)


Scott
 

donha

New member
I can understand your frustration. When going from rev20 to 2001, I complained for a week or two. It is frustrating going from one interface to another. We like our little complacent world we live in and do not want any changes coming along. After about 3 weeks on 2001 I was flying along as usual and most likely faster than I was on rev 20. I have not had the opportunity towork full time on Wildfire and cannot comment on the interface/proficiency relative to 2001. I do suspect what I am seeing above will change as time goes by. Please keep me informed, as Wildfire is just around the corner for me
 

cc_rider

New member
Oh, I heard all those horror stories too. 99% were due to people
thinking it was AutoCad or CV or one of the other Hanratty-based
modelers. When Pro/E came out it was like nothing else out there, and
required a different mindset. When I worked at PTC we would do
benchmarks against other systems, and we consistently whipped them
without breaking a sweat. I'm not saying it was perfect, but it was
head and shoulders above the competition.



And I'm not saying the other guys are any good either, I don't know
anything about them. It's been too long since I've used anything else
to make any comparisons between competitors. I'm just comparing the
Pro/E I learned on, and honed my skillset on, to the slow, bloated,
mess it's become. When Pro/E came out, the difference in performance
between it and Hanratty-based systems was obvious; now the differences
are small and getting smaller, especially since PTC has chosen to
emulate others' interfaces. I still think Pro/E is the best CAD system
out there; it has problems just like everything else does.



The fact that you've crashed it so much says volumes about the
robustness of Wildfire 2. ALL cad systems can crash, and some revs of
Pro/E have been more stable than others. With Wildfire 2 my machine
locks up for minutes at a time, doing who knows what while I sweat
about getting my tasks done under a very tight schedule. Wildfire 2 has
dramatically reduced our productivity, period.



PTC has abandoned the principles that made them the preeminent CAD
vendor. They have abandoned innovation in favor of acquisition and
imitation, damning their longtime users to the frustration of learning
a new system.



c.
 

rpassolt

New member
I understand many of these perspectives. Our power users were less then pleased when we switched, but once they really knew where everything moved and where all the new functions were at theynow refusegoing back to 2001. However, many of our customers still use it...at least for the next 3 months.


The features and functions you liked are still there. It's just always hard to change. You will be faster and more efficient, but unfortunately you have to figure it all out again and that sucks.


Rick
 

cc_rider

New member
Sorry Rick. You are mistaken. Don't bother feeding me the party line.
Wildfire and Wildfire 2 are targeted to the newbie users who are used
to Windows, which everyone knows is a paragon of efficiency. What a
load. As I understand it, the new interface is designed to compete
against SolidWorks, more accurately it is designed to MIMIC SolidWorks.



if the new interface is so terrific, why is there still so much of the
OLD interface? Why, when I create a swept blend, do I have to specify
Protrusion or Cut or Surface or Thin Protrusion, when the Extrude
feature allows me to change that afterwards? Yesterday I was creating
'grip ribs' on a part and had to create the ribs once as 'outies', then
again as 'innies', without the option to copy then redefine as cuts
instead of protrusions.



The 'improved' (??) interface is only useful when doing the most basic
features: extrude, revolve. Advanced features such as boundary surfaces
are painfully tedious. Multi-trajectory sweeps are a PITA, and I've
already mentioned sweeps. Merging surfaces together is incredibly slow
now: the part I'm working on has 30 features and takes as long as a
minute to regen. Those of us who use Pro/E's advanced modeling features
(which in fact distinguish Pro/E from its competitors) are stuck with a
half-baked mishmash.



Pro/E has some very powerful advanced modeling tools, and we use them
for the vast majority of our day-to-day work. Working in Industrial
Design and Product Development, we are translating the swoopy shapes of
the designer's sketchpad into the reality of the 3D world. We never
start a design with an Extrude feature, unless it's a surface. We use
boundary surfaces constantly. It is simply not possible to select
boundary chains with the speed and ease of the 'old' interface.
Redefining boundary surfaces is maddeningly difficult, AND incredibly
slow to regenerate (see above).



I stick by my opinion. I am offended by the assumption made here that I
am stuck in my ways and resistant to change. My productivity has been
dramatically reduced by the new interface, and not because I don't know
where things are, but because there are MORE picks than ever, and the
'Shift' and 'Control' functions are extremely inconsistent. Change CAN
be good, and there have been many dramatic improvements to Pro/E over
the years. But changing just for the sake of change, or worse, changing
to follow a so-called competitor which clearly does NOT have the power
and functionality of Pro/E, is a recipe for lost customer base. Once
upon a time PTC was a LEADER and acted accordingly; now they are
content to be a FOLLOWER, and rather than continuing the innovation
that made them strong, merely mimicking the lastest fad in bloated,
over-busy, 'me-too' products.



Sincerely,



chris
 

rpassolt

New member
I respect your opinions. My view is only based upon what my engineers believe and they also do complex product design work everyday. <?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" />


You do have valid points about the old interface still popping up and about copying other CAD interfaces
 

Joe_J

New member
well sad well done cc_rider


i am 100% with you


after 2000I rest is just big mess that is why i still use 2000I


and I am looking for a new application


PTC is became to fat with out a logic anymore
 

mgnt8

New member
Hey its not a philosophical issue. The system requirements changed. Check this out:


http://www.ptc.com/partners/hardware/current/support.htm


Pay particular attention to graphics cards. I'm just a punkat a small company and use a pig of a workstation so if I can get this stuff to work, a seasoned veteran such as yourself with such an enlightened worldview should have no problem.
 

Moroso

New member
Chris


What build of pro are you using. The reason I ask is prior to M080 Wildfire 2 was hanging up constantly, loaded up M080 and its perfect now.


I was having a tough time changing over from 2001 to Wildfire with productivity for the first month but after that the menu picks aren't as bad. The only b**** I do have is the usless icons and everything is thrown all over the place where 2001 had everything, for that function, was in that dialog area ie. surface, flat is now fill, composite curve is select, shift, select again, scratch your nose, break wind, hold the enter key down with 1 finger on your left hand and with your pinky finger on your right hand hit the pwer button on the CPU. etc. I miss the simple words,oh well.


On the other hand the input (shaded area) that Wildfire gives back to you is really good and I hope for more in the future.


Has anyone heard anything about Wildfire 3.0, what's new etc...
 

pedja666

New member
Always the same old story, people don't want to learn new things unless they have to. I also work for a product development company dealing with complex surface stuff daily but have to disagree with you.Surface Boundary has been enhanced with the following:<?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" />


-Automatic Preview


-Much easier and quicker setting of the constraint on boundaries (tangent...)


-Easier manipulation with the chains using drag handles and shift


-Much quicker walkthrough necessary steps for surface creation using RMB


-I have not experienced any merge problems nor the loss of speed


As fore multiple UI I believe that to everyone with at least a little of good will is clear that a complete transition was not possible in just 2 releases.


There is still a lot of work to do but I believe that this is right and only possible solution
 

cc_rider

New member
Rick,



If YOU are not the one doing the work, your opinion holds little
weight. Clearly you are a shill for PTC, not an actual user, at least
not one who uses the product for advanced modelling. Those of us in the
trenches are exasperated at the changes which have taken away our speed
and productivity. And not just in the short term due to the learning
curve, but long term due to increased and farther-apart picks and
dramatically slower regeneration times.



Telling me that Wildfire 3.0 was just released does not reassure me in
the least. At the rate they're going, our productivity will continue to
decline with every rev, as picks are moved around and advanced controls
are buried further into the menu structure.

Another example of reduced productivity: once upon a time, people
created mapkeys to automate processes they performed often. Initially,
creating mapkeys was cumbersome, then they created a 'playback' feature
to speed the process. But now there is no point in creating mapkeys at
all, because they will not work with the next revision! I ran into the
issue many years ago, and finally gave up creating mapkeys; the
updating and debugging process could easily eat up a whole day or more,
negating the productivity gains the mapkeys created in the first place.




I do not expect to go 'backwards', except to the degree that
Pro/Engineer had a CONSISTENT menu structure, with modeling picks
arranged in the same area of the screen to minimize mouse movement, and
speedy regeneration of model changes.



The old interface had picks arranged in similar areas of the screen,
allowing speedy picks. The new interface has picks scattered all over
the screen, slowing the process down significantly. I DREAD using
Wildfire on a part with a significant number of features; we routinely
create parts with more than 500 features, and the regen time is not
insignificant. I've been known to stay late so I can get two or three
machines working at once, each one crunching a single part affected by
a minor change. Now that PTC has chosen 'Show' over 'Go', the
time we spend waiting on regens is going to increase dramatically.



Your advice regarding the Technical Committee would be funny if it were
not so pathetic. I am well aware of the importance PTC places upon
input from existing customers. I can assure you that existing customers
did not ask for a completely redesigned interface, at least not one
which requires TRAINING CLASSES. Engineering budgets are never flush
with cash, how on earth would a manager get the funding to send
experienced engineers to training classes for a product they already
know how to use? Accounting would laugh them out the door. Besides the
lost time associated with attending classes. The power users end up
fiddling and fussing their way through an utterly foreign
interface, in a program they USED TO BE proficient in. One thing
IS true though; the new interface puts junior and senior staff on the
same level: utterly lost.



c.
 

rpassolt

New member
Chris,
<?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" />
If your productivity has declined as much as you suggest than my advice is to switch to a different CAD system. We have seen no such decline and we do complex design work for many companies in the Midwest.

You are right that I am only a part time user and not in the trenches, but I do not appreciate the
 

cc_rider

New member
Ah Rick, that's so predictable. Spoken like a true manager: "SHUT UP
AND GET BACK TO WORK, YOU MANGY CUR! YOU'LL TAKE WHAT I GIVE YOU
AND LIKE IT!"



I don't sit around no matter what. I finally decided to complain
because SOMEONE has got to let PTC know what their 'improvements' are
doing to their customer base.



Your last reply illustrated my point PERFECTLY. You are 100% correct,
we SHOULD use a different CAD system. I've heard SolidWorks has a GREAT
interface; so good in fact that PTC decided to copy it. Since Pro/E is
still (as far as I know) a pretty expensive product, why NOT switch? We
have to learn a whole new program anyway, why not learn one that costs
a lot less, and apparently is so good that PTC decided to emulate it?



Nose going back to the grindstone...



c.
 

rpassolt

New member
I'm not their manager, but thanks for the compliment.


SincePTC does not watch this board you should think aboutsending your complaints directly to PTC.They might listen if you put together constructive scenarios and situations that clearly show the shortcomings in the UI.
Seriously though, someone like Michael Campbell might be worth writing a letter to with your argument.


It's interesting that the #1 and #2 CAD programs based on install base arePro/E and CATIA and both have gone through huge UI changes in their latest releases. These changes are obviously market driven just like the fact that you can buy Pro/E for $5000 a seat now.


Don't grind too hard, it's friday.
 

tiddi

New member
new user to pro-e....just started with wildfire 2.0 so i can't properly comment on 2001 differences.


I am self learning wildfire 2.0...i am finding it a very good software to learn and to use - I don't know the interface of previous pro-e, but wildfire 2.0 seems to be good.


i think it's just a matter of getting used to where all the commands that your used to using...weather you like it or not - wildfire is the future for pro-e. A few weeks ago I tried to dolearn basic modellingon Inventor, I thought it may besimilarto wildfire.....I had 4 hours of trying to do a sketch - I couldn't get pastinventors sketcher it was too difficult compared to sketching in wildfire. I can only compare the ease of wildfire with the ease of inventor, wildfire is a breeze in comparison. I've also heard this from other people who have tried to use inventor. I thought inventors sketcher would have been something like autocad...it's awful. if you think wildfire is hard in comparison to previous pro-e's...then you've been spoiled too much for far toolong.
 

cc_rider

New member
Hey Tiddi, welcome to the party!


Since you are a new user, I agree with you on most counts. Pro-E is still the best overall CAD package out there. My gripes come from over twelve years experience using Pro/E, including as an Application Engineer for PTC. When we started selling Pro/E lo these many years ago, we touted the benefits of WORDS over cryptic hieroglyphics. I still don't know what some of those symbols are supposed to be, I just know what they do. Communicating a complex concept such as 'multi-trajectory sweep' using only symbols is difficult at best. True, once you learn it things are fine. I used to work on a ComputerVision system, the one with the big 'drafting board' in front, with all the picks laid out on the board. This was before the concept of a 'mouse' had taken over the computer world. Once you learned the layout, it was pretty fast. But it's the LEARNING that is driving us old hands crazy.


Another gripe we dealt with when selling Pro/E is that certain functions were buried under a menu pick, so unless you knew the 'roadmap' you'd never find it. Fair enough complaint. But now it's even worse, with such things as 'Insert Mode' (which any decent designer should use regularly) is now buried under 'Edit' and 'Feature Operations'. This is progress?


I won't bother to comment on the fat pig the software has become (oops.) I freely admit my hardware is not up to snuff; we're running mostly three-year-old Dell workstations. But Wildfire2 is a total graphics hog; I run with 'no silhouette edges' in wireframe mode almost exclusively, and even then, when Pro/E insists on highlighting all the features I just resumed, it slows me down. Did I mention how slow 'Rounds' are now? I know they added a lot of functionality, but at what cost? Rounds are killers now; I don't add them until the very end, and when I need to make changes I first suppress all the rounds. The slow performance makes poor modeling techniques crippling, where before it was merely annoying.


To be fair, the issue is endemic to the entire software industry. The original Pro/E code was developed by a bunch of Russians, who were used to using hardware two or three generations behind the SOTA. So their code was TIGHT and FAST; no fat anywhere. Pro/E used to come in several languages, all on ONE CD. No joke; you could load every module PTC sold (and there were many) from ONE CD. At that time, IDEAS took at least six CDs to load the same functionality. But Pro/E fell victim to its own success; the founders got crazy-rich and retired to their own private islands, leaving the Marketing folks to glom on all kinds of extra junk. Which is no different than any other software company; it's the nature of the beast. But that doesn't mean I LIKE it; it drives me crazy to spend ten minutes (no joke) waiting for a part to regen, when the same part took less than half that in previous builds.


The Intent Manager still gives me fits when I have to redefine a sketch; sometimes I have to turn it off to delete dimensions it thinks it needs, then turn it back on again. Yes, the old Sketcher had its downsides, including 'what the heck did it just do?'. But the Intent Manager consistently assumes the wrong intent, so I have to dimension everything by hand anyway; this is progress? I'd rather tell it what I want, rather than it guessing (wrongly) for me.


Enough griping. I still have to use it, and am still frustrated by it. Mostly I'm just venting, because I know as much as I piss and moan about it, Pro/E still sucks less than anything else out there. Which may be an indictment of the whole industry, I don't know. 3D CAD is by definition a very complex business, software-wise. Every program has its downsides, I'm just frustrated at going back to 'newbie' status after using the same software for twelve years. I've had to adjust my estimates up for how long a job will take, especially if I'm making changes to an existing database. My original accusation still stands: the changes to Pro/E are not designed to help existing customers, but to generate new customers by providing bells and whistles that look similar to the competition. Instead of selling on their merits (which are many), they've chosen a 'me too' approach. Their success came from a 'me first' approach; they should play to their strengths, not succumb to parroting others' interfaces.


Peace Y'all,


c.
 

jayuy

New member
I'ved been using proe for more than 8 years starting v18 and now i use WF2.0, I believe that the new interface have a great help to most user especially new users since ithas a userfriendly environment but not so helpful in my case.


You can't create a new round transition, WF2.0 create it's own transition automatically and you can't add new transition especially stop transition.


WF2.0 definitely a PITA especilly opening very large assembly, proe2001 can openmy assembly without being crashed but WF2.0 can't because it has higher cpu memory usage. I'm also doing assembly models which has more than 8GB of total data and it's difinite impossible to do it by just using proe alone thats why we use VPS(virtual processing simulation) software made by fujitsu in order tocreate the assembly for simulation.


Many of us loves proe but we also have many different frustrations using this software, i can't believe why ptc are just closing their eyes tothis forum, This forum definitely can give them the idea to what are the things they should enhance to the later versions of proe.Hope ptc willdo a great deal ofeffort to make proe the best CAD and solve all our problems.


Jay










Edited by: jayuy
 

ctolman

New member
Okay folks here is a strange point of view for you all......





I am a Pro E native user that is completely doing advanced level feature creation. I am still a relatively young engineer though. I have noticed ProE is trying to grow its base rather that simply keep the base it has. To do this they needed a smaller learning curve because the old interface was intimidating. I agree that the new interface should have been something less copied, but as I use it more and more I find I can now navigate it more quickly for things like Surfaces from Boundries. Added selection mechanisms are there that ProE hasn't had before. Curve Selection isn't just a one-by-one thing anymore. Try hitting the shift key and the right button a little more often folks. You will probably find some neat little tricks everywhere!


I do agree ProE is becoming slow, but on the things I do I can understand it. There are several models that I create now that simply would not have been possible before. As proE gets more complex I think we need to keep expecting the hardware we run it on to get more complex, not remove some functionality to improve lower level functionality!
 

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