Continuing the discussion from SketchUp in 2019: where great ideas get to work:
Miscellaneous thoughts engendered by the new release:
Trimble’s stock price is virtually the same today as it was five years ago. Considering inflation, that’s a loss in value for investors. What’s more, so far as I can tell at a glance, they have never issued a dividend. I imagine that Trimble are trying everything they can think of, including subscription pricing, to get profits and the stock price up.
I am retired, so for me SketchUp is a hobby, and I do not use it nearly as much as many of you. Nevertheless, even I can see improvements that should have been incorporated before now. Such as? Such as a really good layer-control panel. I have several suggestions aimed at reducing screen clutter, too, such as configurable workspaces (AKA personas,) custom toolbars that would include plugins, flyout toobars (again including plugins.) How about an optional command line? (Because, while you regular users might remember what shortcut is accessed by Shift+CTRL+W, us occasional users can’t; but we can remember mnemonic shortcuts.) Where is the native “mirror” command? Shouldn’t SketchUp fully support 4K by now?
Yes, I know that some of these things can be done with plugins. They should nevertheless be native to the program.
“But,” says someone, “incorporating those things would be difficult because….” As a user, I don’t care if it’s hard work. SketchUp employs coders who are well paid to do that hard work, and they have wasted years.
The lack of a road map, however vague, and the reaction to this release must be driving commercial developers wild.
The cost difference between the so-called “Classic” and the subscription is doable for me; but the idea that I could no longer do anything with SketchUp if, at some time in the future, I can no longer afford the subscription is a deal killer.
I used to recommend the free version of SketchUp to people who wanted to try 3D, especially kids in high school or, in one case, even middle school. The thing is, few of them have really fast internet connections, so online will just frustrate them. Given that and my growing concern that there will be no path forward for them within SketchUp, I just keep my mouth shut now.
It was good of SketchUp to give me a reason to explore other options. I am going to download the free version of FormZ and play with it. Even us retired architects need to keep on top of things. Heck, I’ll probably be pressed into service (against my will) for the rebuilding/replacing of every building in the United States should the Green New Deal come to fruition.
There can be no doubt that the Trimble and SketchUp brass know what they’re doing; but if I were a grunt, I’d polish my C.V. (resume) get it in circulation.