Sunday, August 3, 2014

vAEC Viewer R4: Permalinks Provide Fast Easy Free Ways To Source and Save Data Online

vA3C Viewer HTML5 R4

An interesting phenomena of the architecture/engineering/construction (AEC) industry is the very low labor productivity.

And, yet, we all know that in the future buildings will grow, edit and repair at will with the help of robots using 3D printers to generate Lego-like re-definable construction elements and humans to sculpt, paint and decorate the beautiful hand-crafted elements.

So how do we get from that future back to the here and now as quickly as possible?

What Do We Have Now? 

  • Building is not easy. There are codes and laws to follow. Construction techniques and design tools are difficult
  • Building is not cheap. Land, design professionals, developers all take their toll
  • Building is not fast. It takes eleven days to build a Boeing 737 and months to build a house. 

What Do We Want? 

We want every building on the planet under perpetual construction, repair and embellishment - with lots of jobs for everybody. We want to replace the National Registry of Historical Buildings with a registry of hysterical buildings.

More seriously, we want design and management tools where:
  • Stuff happens. Windows open, doors close and stuff happens just like living in the building. You can see every step of the construction. You can see the building aging and see what needs work or replacing. The digital model and the real-world model complement each other. It everything in Sim City, Second Life, WoW and CandC.
  • It just works. Nothing to download. Nothing to install. Nothing to learn.
  • It happens now. Click and it's here. On your computer. On your phone. Whenever, wherever.
Yes, the expensive, specialist apps still need to exist too. Good engineering and good design require professionals with professional tools.

But that should not stop the cheap, fast easy sharing, the give and take of data between everybody in real-time.

And when you think of design that future way, it turns out you can do a lot of what is wanted right now.

So Show Me!

For a whimsical recreation of that desired design future click here: AutoCrapdoodle

Just do it.

Each time you reload, the future changes.

Want more hyperlinks to the future? Here are five of them:

link 1- - Suzanne and Monster Visit the Revit House
link 2 - - Monster and A6 Visit Ms Windy Cloth
link 3 - - Monster Visits Stemkoski Land
link 4 - - Mr Wright and Mr Jeep Visit Mme Tranguloid Trefoil
link 5- - Walt and Lee, Sitting in a Tree

OK. OK. For many of you the above hyperlinks will not work. ( We are looking at you, iPhone users. ) For many more there will be issues. But nonetheless the demos will work for some people somewhere.

Somewhere the future is working today.

Let's describe the technical aspects of what you are ( or could be ) seeing:

Very large data files are sent to you with no effort. Many of the screens are over twenty megabytes in size - way beyond the size you can attach to an email. All arrive within seconds.

There's no server dude or web site manager between you and the data. Nothing to load or download. No sending files into walled gardens.

The files you see are sourced from Three.js, Stemkoski, FGx, Jaanga and vA3C repositories. Five groups with no connection to each other besides their presence on GitHub. GitHub is a place where you can keep data and code at no charge as long as its open source.

The app, the data, the learning curve - all cost cost zilch.

Use your mouse or fingers and you are panning, rotating and zooming. Learning is minimal

All the designs that arrive at your computer are editable. Change materials, move stuff about, throw things out. All doable.

If you like what you see, and you are an old-timey sort of person, you may save your work as a file ( probably huge ) to you local hard disk.

The New New Thing in vA3C Viewer R4

On the other hand you can now save your new creations and edits as permalinks. The permalinks are small and tidy yet they they actually contain all the information required to recreate your design.

For example, the five short links provided above *are* the design. These designs have no other existence or presence outside of those links. The links are the designs.

Of course, once on your screen you could download the design to your hard disk

But also you could create and save and publish your own design. The Permalinks tab even provides you with a link to the Google URL Shortener.

Using these short links you can easily share your designs via email, posts, tweets or texts. Or, with a bit more work, even share live. And if the data is on GitHub all data changes can become part of the design history.

All of the code is open source and written in JavaScript - a very nice language for people who are not and do not want to be computer science professionals but who do want to drive and navigate their own knowledge domain programmatically. In other words, it's written in code you could edit yourself.

All of the 3D work is happening in an iframe, thus it is easy to append to existing code and web pages while still giving you the ability to edit objects and embed custom animations inside the iframe.


Sure there are many issues and bugs in this current revision. And there's a ton more future stuff to be added.

But remember this: George Santayana said "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it." 

Now you can also say to those AEC laggards:

"It seems that those who do learn from history are also doomed to repeat it. So let's have a go at learning from the future..."

Links to vA3C Viewer R4
vA3C Viewer R4 Live Demo
Read Me with Feature List
Source Code on GitHub