What features would you like to see added to a future version of DataCAD?
#79364 by Mark Bell
Mon Feb 15, 2021 10:47 pm
I think for those that use and rely on Xrefs/Self-Xrefs they are a great feature to enhance productivity when using DataCAD. Problems can arise though when the file(s) being loaded as an Xref/Self-Xref have a lot of layers. Even though DataCAD can support 32,768 layers per drawing, once a file gets over 90-100 or so layers there are noticeable lag times when switching between views and other display-based commands where reference files are used.

The current method loads the entire file (all layers) selected as the Xref/Self-Xref, even if only 1 or several layers are required as the end result. Experience shows this can dramatically slow down how the file works, even if Xref Nesting is off, due to the large number of layers that need to be sifted through to display the Xref. Breaking up source files aren't always an option either, depending on where the project is in its development. If multiple Xrefs/Self-Xrefs are needed then the slowness escalates.

Wishlist: Allow 2 options when loading Xrefs/Self-Xrefs, the current/Standard method and a Fast Load option. This would allow the same process of picking Insert/Xref or Self-Xref, then the option of Standard or FastLoad for each, or add 2 new menu options to the pull down menu leaving the existing untouched. Picking FastLoad then allows the file to be selected, then opens the RFM first rather than inserting and loading it into the drawing as per the Standard method. With the RFM open for the selected file to be inserted as a FastLoad Xref/Self-Xref, all layers for that file are listed allowing required layers to be selected, then DataCAD loads the selected layers + contents (On layers) and just the layer names for the Off layers. This means DataCAD only has to handle the selected layers with FastLoad Xrefs/Self-Xrefs rather than every layer and its contents in each file.

If a FastLoad Xref/Self-Xref then requires to turn on other layers not loaded, the RFM is opened and layer(s) that are off are selected, then their layer contents are loaded, updating the Xref/Self-Xref but still only loading the layer contents of selected (on) layers rather than every layer. A Purge Unused Layers option could also be added to the RFM to empty out any layer data no longer in use?

The above, or something similar, could be a way of maintaining functionality on larger projects whilst still using the great features of Xrefs and Self-Xrefs.

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