LAYOUT PETITION: Status: CLOSED - Trimble Response Posted May 27th

:star: PETITION: :star:

This forum post will be the communities petition where we are advocating for more development to be done to layout at a much faster pace and for trimble to create a roadmap page for it’s applications sketchup/layout. If you’d like to see one of these things happen, or both, please leave a comment in this post. In your comment, you might bring up old posts that have been long standing feature requests/problems in layout or even sketchup related. This post is currently being reviewed by Trimble managers.

:star:TRIMBLES RESPONSE - SEE TIMESTAMPED UPDATES BELOW::star:

05/17/2021 2:31pm, GMT-7:

Thanks for your reply. Your post on the forum was actually an important topic raised throughout SketchUp as a whole recently. I can’t speak too in-depth on the subject but I can tell you that our Directors of Product Management and Engineering are meeting with our General Manager to really discuss the forum post and our priorities as a whole.

I also wanted to let you know that our entire team had a great conversation about your post and is very thankful for your efforts to moderate the thread and keep it constructive. It really means a lot to our team.

Finally, your post has stirred a strong desire from our Product Manager ******** who would love to have a 1:1 discussion with you next week. If you can share some days next week and any particular time of day that you might be available to chat, ********* will reach out and set something up!

05/17/2021 7:41pm, GMT-7: - (A comment from a Trimble staff member)

This post was talked about in a meeting that had every senior person in the company, including the CEO. I was there too, but I digress…

Today’s message was that a redacted named person will formulate a meaningful response.

05/18/2021, GMT-7:

I have a scheduled meeting with a Trimble staff member on Wednesday the 26th. I will update everyone on the results of the meeting after it happens.

05/26/2021, GMT-7:

I’ve just finished my meeting with one of trimbles staff. No bad news to express (in my point of view). This petition thread/post will receive a response from a staff member as early as tomorrow morning May 27th, in efforts to give the community a summarized response. When the response has been given I’ll update it here for easy navigation.

05/27/2021, GMT-7:

Hi everybody,

I’ve been following this thread since Tucker kicked it off almost three weeks ago. In that time, our team has convened to review both current and future efforts to improve LayOut. We’ve also discussed what we can do differently, because a status quo of customer frustration or resignation is a terrible outcome both for you and for Trimble.

It’s not easy to reply candidly and constructively. I don’t for a second discount the visceral anger you may feel when LayOut becomes unresponsive (it’s real; I’ve experienced it!). And while there is a lot of context to how our team works and the technical determinants of performance, I don’t want to placate with long-winded explanations.* Our business is subscription-based, so our job is to consistently improve your experience with our products. The results speak for themselves in this thread.

I agree that you deserve more transparency from us. Many of you posting here have contributed a lot to this community by helping others find their way into SketchUp and LayOut, identifying and reproducing bugs, and providing highly detailed feedback about your workflow experience with our products. The ‘terrible outcome’ for Trimble is that those of you contributing to this forum petition – I believe – would likely be LayOut’s most staunch advocates if you saw more progress in our work.

So will this thread change things for you? Only if we behave differently. So, here are a few things we plan to do differently:

  • Our team can give you more transparency into what we are working on. We plan to pilot a way to share our feature development objectives. Equally important is providing a way to consolidate community support for your ideas and issues, so that we can understand your input beyond a single forum thread. We’ll likely start with LayOut expanding a feedback channel for SketchUp and other products. I will post an update when we have something to share.
  • We can incorporate LayOut performance baselining and testing into our development process. SketchUp and LayOut are very interconnected, and it’s true that some improvements in SketchUp have adversely affected LayOut in the past few years. We need to make sure that we don’t take steps backwards when we are trying to move forward.
  • I can make sure more people at Trimble see and understand your frustration. LayOut is not the only product we develop and maintain, but I feel that it is one of the more important buttresses of the SketchUp ecosystem. On a personal basis, I plan to make sure that it doesn’t take a petition for the needs of this community to be top of mind for decision-makers on our team. When we make choices about what to work on, we should be explicitly weighing the trade-off between starting something new and shoring up/progressing LayOut.

Thank you for sharing your feedback in a candid and constructive way. Even in your grievances and skepticism, I sense that many of you are rooting for SketchUp and LayOut to succeed. For that, you have every right to expect more from us. We’ll keep at it, with the sincere intention of breaking the status quo.

Mark Harrison
Product Manager , Trimble Inc.

  • But I’m certainly willing to dive into the details. Please, DM me if you’d like to learn more about how our team works, the peculiar challenges of LayOut performance, and what we are working on next.

:star: Original Post: :star:

Original Posts title: Layout Will Not Listen Or Respond To The Community:

Enough is enough. What is it going to take to get Trimble to significantly improve their ouput on development for Layout? Do we need to sign a petition or something for you guys (trimble) to wake up?

The other day a well known plugin developer was complaining about layout to me over email, I didn’t even bring Layout up, he just on his own free will decided to complain about it to me.

Why is there no customer service trimble!? Where is a product roadmap that shows you guys care about customer service and you care about the development of this program? Where is the development?

Do we need to fillout a petition or disband the programs entirely? The program is OUT OF DATE and there are a lot of users who eventually will just drop your company I’m sure of it. There may be a lot of users who are “just fine” with using Layout, but the way I and many people see it, it takes your team forever to get anything done on Layout and the program is still extremely slow in certain ways and out of date by a long shot compared to many applications.

I was told by a team member of trimble recently that it would take more feedback from the community to start making things change faster for layout, are you kidding Trimble? Does Trimble read any of the posts over the past years of which constantly complain about these issues? It’s the same issues year after year.

I really hope people start and or continue to speak up here, I made two other posts about this and the community is silent. I know this has been talked about a lot, you’d think things would get better, but unfortunately the conversation needs to continue being had. So if you (the community) have an opinion on this please continue speaking up.

I’m getting really tired of this. A lot of people are really tired of this. We need a roadmap so that the users are not in the dark and we need to start seeing some real development on sketchup and layout instead of just a few small features released each year.

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[quote=“ArayaCAD, post:1, topic:164381, full:true”]
Enough is enough. What is it going to take to get Trimble to significantly improve their ouput on development for Layout? Do we need to sign a petition or something for you guys (trimble) to wake up?
I was told by a team member of trimble recently that it would take more feedback from the community to start making things change faster for layout, are you kidding? Have you guys read the hundreds of posts?
I really hope people start and or continue to speak up here, I made two other posts about this and the community is silent.
I’m getting really tired of this. A lot of people are really tired of this.

OK ArayaCAD,
I feel (and totally get) your frustration and angst w/ LayOut … but …
When you say: “The Community is Silent” … I think you only need to read the (rather vast) history in this Forum re “Problems and complaints w/ LayOut” to understand that, the “Community” has been FAR from silent! (You should benefit from reading and acquainting yourself with the long history of this issue).
I’ve been “banging on this LayOut drum” for years (and I have the accompanying feedback scars and flak) to prove it!
To date, simply complaining about LayOut on this Forum to Trimble has not yielded dramatic results.
So, I sorta like your idea of a “user poll and petition” addressed directly at Trimble … you seem to have the drive, passion, and energy, … so … harness that and set it up, organize and manage it!
If properly framed, I’ll certainly give you my moral support!
I bet a lot of other users will too!
Somebody has to push this further, and, if you do this right, and are even partially successful, you will be a total hero to all of us!

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Yes, there is a solution - just change the software and vote with your wallet.

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Trimble has only a credit card roadmap

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Ok beamer. I’ll do that. I’ll create a petition.

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I understand you’re not happy. But somehow it is not clear to me why a petition should be issued …

I feel something like this:
Tomorrow I will go into the store where I buy the foodstuff and I will tell them that :.
"Hey wake up when you’re going to expand the store, we barely get in on Thursdays. Anyway, there are few cashiers and one never smiles. Where’s the Japanese beef I’ve been looking for a long time? How many times have I told you to see Guinness beer on the shelves? ! I’ll give you a petition now! "

This is just an opinion … :peace_symbol:

I am sure Trimble must be well aware of the shortcomings of Layout, chief amongst which (for me) is its slowness. My guess (and it is only that) is that it is a power hungry application that, unlike many render apps, say, is unable to make use of recent developments in hardware (multicore processors, say). My further guess is that it is not a simple or quick fix to improve this. It may be a bit like saying that if a Spitfire isn’t as fast as a Messerschmitt 109, all you need to do is strap on a couple of jet engines. It ain’t that simple.

If these guesses are right, a commercial organisation like Trimble has to make a strategic decision about whether to commit significant resources to improve things. That must depend on what other calls on development there are and, in particular, what the competition is doing. If there is little competition, and therefore no drain on income, standard economics suggest that nothing will happen.

Sadly, I don’t think Trimble can be shouted into complying or even persuaded by any petition or series of posts if the basic economics don’t work for them. What happens traditionally is that the gap widens, a competitor sees it gape, and steps in. It hasn’t happened yet AFAIK.

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I see your point. My thoughts on this personally are that speaking up will continue to make Trimble aware of the problem and that we want a solution. Not speaking up on it I don’t think will solve anything… I prefer the latter. I know a lot of effort has been made on this topic by the community, I’m just saying I think we should keep it going. That’s just my view though and I feel like that makes sense. Thanks for your feedback though, good to get all sides.

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I will 100% sign a petition.
2020 was the year that I finally bit the bullet and dropped $3k/year on a Autodesk AEC subscription.
I have two subscriptions to SketchUp Pro and have just about completely abandoned Layout. I use SketchUp for conceptual design only and transition immediately into Revit as quickly as possible to avoid Layout at all costs. I still need Layout to present the conceptual work and I still hate it. I could go on and on about the frustrations…

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I am not saying that things ought not to be developed for the better. But whatever the performance of an application or system someone will always succeed in overloading it. Today many of the complaints seem to come from people with models of “only” so many hundred megabytes, a size my models never even approach and that I think unnecessary. That size models are slow whatever the application used, not only with SketchUp. And users expect the models to run smoothly with 8 or 16 GB of RAM. A couple of years ago I conversed with a person who worked full time with point clouds. His machine had 256 GB of RAM. Today someone posted who was disappointed with his SketchUp performance on a machine with a CPU that was at #5 in the PassMark single-thread performance chart with a 4% margin to the fastest and who dreamed of making it faster by throwing some more hardware at it.
Sorry about the rant.

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Most of my workflow in layout is automated, I think it’s automated because sketchup speaks with layout, (viewports, etc.). Is it possible to use another documenting program with sketchup and still be fast about it? The problem I see if using sketchup and not using layout, is that there would then have to be a lot of manual work done if you don’t use layout to speak with sketchup… Am I wrong about that? I kind of hope I am. If I could find a better program to use for my CDS I’d be off ASAP from layout and will gladly come back if and when the company takes the program and their customers interests seriously.

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**Btw Trimble,

you guys are welcome to join in anytime on this post and provide the community with some kind of customer service (future plans, your thoughts on all of this, etc, feedback in general.) I’m sure a lot of users who rely on your programs would appreciate it if you broke the silence and provided some customer service on this topic. It’s quite annoying as you could imagine to feel like we are talking to a wall.**

@colin @jody @Mark @adam

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Here’s an interesting search you can do in the forum. It’s times when Adam said “sorry for the inconvenience”:

https://forums.sketchup.com/search?q=sorry%20for%20the%20inconvenience%20@adam

There is ongoing work with LayOut, but we’re not allowed to state which exact things are being worked on, or give any estimates for when there will be an update.

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So I’ve just spoken with a product manager with Trimble. It was a good call and the guy was very reasonable, understanding and polite:

The product manager that I spoke with has told me his absolutely going to review this post and others and try to talk about this with the higher ups at trimble and see if it’s possible if we can receive some feedback from trimble on our frustrations. I really hope this happens. I can’t control anything, I get that, but all I’m looking for is some feedback, a rough roadmap, some plans, some feedback on layout plans for the future. That’s what I want. I think that’s what a lot of people would appreciate is some more in depth feedback by the company. I hope that’s what we get.

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“but we’re not allowed to state which exact things are being worked on, or give any estimates for when there will be an update.”

Personally I think that’s the line that nobody wants to hear. I don’t think there is any customer service in that statement. Customer service is one of the pillars of a highly succesful business. To me that’s as obvious as 1+1. One aspect of customer service in my mind, is where the community is kept in the loop with a roadmap of plans for the product that we love and support so that we know that (A) the company takes us seriously and (B) we can see where things are headed and don’t feel like we are in the dark. I think the lack of a roadmap is really the key issue here personally. I think this because if we had a roadmap and we saw what the plans were for the past few years with layout, a lot of people by now would be attempting to disband layout and find another solution for there documentation either termporarily or permenantly. Again there might be a number of people who are “just fine” with layout, but there are a ton of people who are not.

A roadmap for the community would also keep trimble more accountable.

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That’s unfortunate. It’s clearly not providing any optimism for us subscribers to stick it out. Perhaps it’s time to change that policy of silence and secrecy.

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My benefit of using another program is, at that point I am handing the design to a different team. I try and resolve as much of the design with a massing/site model and draw 2D plans in SketchUp to present in Layout. Those plans can be exported as CAD backgrounds along with the 3D shell and site model. This gives the Revit team about 90% of the core and shell info to build out a good model in just a few days. Leaving the tedious work to the team with a software better equipped to present that level of detail.

Edit: Just worth noting, I am no fan of Revit. I refuse to use it at all costs and would prefer to stick with a SU/LO workflow if it were feasible. But at this point its far more efficient to do CD’s outside of Layout.

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Thank you everyone for your feedback so far. This post is now being reviewed by the Trimble team. In efforts to possibly have a roadmap for layout and sketchup and to see more development done to the programs, please keep the feedback coming and make your voice heard.

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In my many years of experience, Trimble’s - as other large corporate enterprise - employee has never shared meaningful information about their future plans. This is a kind of Company Policy. You can read it in newspapers and that’s it.

This is proved by colin’s post above, and your pleasant, good-natured, but actually meaningless conversation with the Product Manager.

In my opinion, this will not change. Never. Indeed. In fact. For sure. Definitely not. Not at all.

If this still happens in the course of an accident, that post will definitely be deleted asap. Maybe the whole topic. Including employee status, employee salary, and bank account…

What you can expect is something like this:

“Thank you very much for your knowledgeable and valuable contribution. Your comments will be communicated to the proper department to improve our current and future workflow and products.”
As well as repetitions of these words and their synonyms on two or three pages.

I am generally positive-minded but very skeptical about this topic.
I wish I wasn’t right.

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I think you have some good points but are somehow certain about something you can’t actually be certain on. That’s the vibe I get is that you know for sure what they (trimble) are going to say and what is going to happen when we speak up about our frustrations. I don’t think that’s true unless you are apart of the trimble team… I think your comments suggest that this is meaningless. Unfortunately many people think that they can’t change anything, but really in reality every idea starts with 1 person and goes from there, speaking up can change a lot, and in fact that’s how anything changes in the first place is by speaking up, so your logic is totally flawed on this if I’m interpreting your comments and thoughts right.

In my opinion, this will not change. Never. Indeed. In fact. For sure. Definitely not. Not at all.

I do understand and partially agree with what you’re saying, but only partially, speaking up is the best thing we could do instead of just lying down, even if it seems like things are getting nowhere. Surely nothing will happen if people are doing nothing about it. This post is doing something about the problem and hoping for results. Persistence usually pays off.

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