Does anyone want Rhino on Mac / Linux?

Discussion in 'Software' started by Tim B, Jun 3, 2006.


Should Rhino be ported to MacOS / Linux? (50 Day Poll)

Poll closed Jul 23, 2006.
  1. No, it should stay on MS Windows

  2. Yes! Port it to Linux

  3. Yes! Port it to Mac OS

  4. Yes! Port it to both

  5. Don't really care

  1. SeaSpark
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    SeaSpark -


    Software for naval architecture is one of those specialized programs unavailable on the Mac.

    I just hope nobody is recommending the mac platform to a starting naval architect here.
  2. nero
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    nero Senior Member

    "Software for naval architecture is one of those specialized programs unavailable on the Mac."

    Not true. TouchCad does marine calculations and is excellent in modeling. What TouchCad can't or should not do VectorWorks can. There are also some high end FEA programs that run on mac as well as other OS's a few free FEA programs like GID too.

    Perhaps the future is in KDE (linux) and a Sun computer. ... After all mac has jumped on the intel wagon and unix as it's core. What use to be the stability of mac has gone with OSX. (my personal opinion)
  3. SeaSpark
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    SeaSpark -


    Now try to compare Vectorworks with Solidworks:

    What Vectorworks can't or should not do Solidworks can (no it's not available for mac).

    Quote of my own:

    I would like to include any other software of use to the naval architect:

    Port to Linux Now!

    About Sun and KDE:

    It seems a bit of forum/topic to start a discussion about hardware and interfacethingies specific Linux stuff.

    About Maya:

    It's great, one of the best features is the rightmousebutton sensitive circular user interface. Many operating systems have tried to copy other succesfull systems while they forgot the shape with the largest volume and smallest circumreference is the circle!

    To make things more clear:

    Imagine Right-Clicking anywhere on your screen and beeing presented with the most logical choices in a consistent* circular shape under your cursor.

    Studies and practice have shown, this is the most efficient way to manipulate a computer.

    Please copy it!

    * consistent: no pull/drag/tear down menu's or toolbars floating around in the last place you used them or any other place where you cursor/selecting arrow happens not to be at the moment you are trying to build a shape representing what you have in mind.

    Just the commands you need at the moment you need them at the shortest possible distance from where your pointer happens to be. And always in the same place related to your pointer.
  4. nero
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    nero Senior Member

    Would not compare Vectorworks to Solid... Vectorworks is comparable to Autocad ... only easier to use. It seems to have quite a few users in the architectural design business. Runs on Windows as well.

    Relative to marine design, TouchCAD is an excellent modeler. One can create the shape and look at its marine calculations easily. If you design hardchine hulls, it unfolds them and gives the offsets. It will even print this out.

    Vectorworks can take exported TouchCAd files and clean them up for 2D presentations and drawings. At least this is how I use it.

    And to be honest about all this, everybody has their prefered tool and nobody likes to change unless that tool is broken or can not do what they want to do. I left adobe illustrator for MiniCad (now Vectoworks) because It could do 3D. I bought TouchCAD because it was the best value marine design and NURBS modeler. No regrets ... except that I do not have more time to use it. Someday, I will leave Macintosh for ?
  5. ludesign
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    ludesign Senior Member

    As far as I know both SolidWorks and VectorWorks are actually based on the same solid modleing engine.....

    Having said that, it may not be fair to compare a program that costs like AutoCAD LT with something that starts at at least five times that level.

    VectorWorks is however a great program and excellent value for money, regardless of platform.

    Right-click and Macs? Are you aware of the fact that you can do that on Macs too, and it's been there for years. Press Control if you have a single mouse button, or right-click if you have more than one button. All new Macs now ship with several buttons and a scrool wheel. Most major suppliers, such as Logitech, Microsoft,etc supply Mac drivers for their products, so it is easy to install it if you like.
  6. SeaSpark
    Joined: Mar 2006
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    SeaSpark -

    Last words

    Was making the vectorworks / solidworks comparison after Nero's statement "What TouchCad can't or should not do VectorWorks can" it was to illustrate there are many high end CAD programs to choose from for use on the windows platform. For mac's the choices are 0 after some programs regarded as "middle end"

    Solidworks is much more advanced compared to autocad (Acad is as stated comparable with vectorworks) it is a complete parametric mechanical design solution. Autocad is more a huge collection of tools to draw lines (sorry if i am oversimplifying things but thats how it feels when you switch from Acad to solidworks). If someone would like to try parametric modeling, you can download the FREE version of Alibre, a reasonable solidworks clone.

    Good luck all with your design projects regardless of type of computer or software you use.

    (Oops: as of last month the free version of alibre is no longer available they now have a 30day trial version on offer)
  7. ludesign
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    ludesign Senior Member

    I somehow agree about AutoCAD being "a huge collection of tools to draw lines". After having having done lots of training of ex AutoCadders, the biggest obsticle seems to get them to stop thinking in lines and starting to think in surfaces and solids, which is what you do in VectorWorks.

    I frequently exchange files with SolidWorks, Solid Edge, Pro E, etc and VectorWorks, including solids. No problems at all, regardless of platform.

    True that the Mac has fewer options than Windows on the high end side.
    Besides VectrWorks, few other options are: Concepts Unlimited, Graphite by Ashlar-Vellum, VersaCAD, Argon by Ashlar-Vellum, Cobalt by Ashlar-Vellum, Form•Z, FRESDAM, Pro/CONCEPT, solidThinking DESIGN, solidThinking FORMA , solidThinking VANTAGE, Xenon by Ashlar-Vellum
  8. Kiteship
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    Kiteship Senior Member

    Macintosh has had native right-click support for at least 10 years. That's as long as I have used 2- and 3-button mice. I have never installed a mouse driver since Mac began using USB ports--the OS handles the job just fine with its installed drivers--yes, even with Microsoft mice. A bit different on a laptop, but if you are doing serious design work on a laptop with touchpad only you are a better man than I!

    All this talk of "better" systems is putting me to sleep. PC guys will always equate "better" with "more features;" Mac guys will always equate it with more/faster/easier production. It seems everyone fits one role or the other--and fundamentally does not understand the other. If you use a Mac, you will like TouchCAD. Claes has amply demonstrated the app's production ability, intuitive interface and speed. If you use a PC, you will lust after the most feature-rich program you can find--at whatever cost.

    Po-TAY-toes; po-TAH-toes. It does not matter, in the end.

  9. Tim B
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    Tim B Senior Member

    Well, About a week ago (give or take) I said I would have a look at the Publicly available Windows Vista Beta 2. Whilst this Beta expires in June 2007, it is more or less a free licence for a year.

    With regard to my next comments, please remember that this is a beta edition and the release date is currently 2007, and most Linux Distros will see a lot of updates and probably a release or two before then. Also, the test machine is a 2.5GHz P4 (2.4 overclocked) with 2GB ram and an ATI Rage 9550 gfx card.

    So what is Linux / MacOS up against. Well, the installer is a great step up from the WinXP one, but it does not come close to the Mandriva Installer (one of the nice linux ones). The Disk Partitioning is very poor and there is only ntfs/non-ntfs type descriptions. Formatting partitions is much faster than it used to be though. Installing the files themselves is chronically slow. In fact I had lunch while it was copying. The installer does not give any details of the files being installed, which is nothing new with MS, but is a nice touch under Mandriva Linux.

    After Reboot, some of the old XP sillyness remains. It asks you for a country and keyboard layout (for a second time) and later defaults to GMT-8 in date and time. it is a persistant shortcoming that has been in every MS install since... well, ever. At this stage, with minimal setup, transition between installation stages is rather slow, with little on-screen info which may be a worry on a lower-spec machine.

    Running Vista takes a bit of getting used to. It feels a bit like a cuddly version of XP. From a systems point of view I don't like it much, the useful settings are down another level of menus/icons, and it generally feels "difficult".

    From a users perspective, though, it's a beautiful system. The old menu bars at the top of the windows have gone and everything is done with context-sensitive right clicks. Unfortunately they've moved useful buttons like up and refresh on the file browser and internet explorer to non-intuitive places. I'm sure, with time I'll get used to it.

    At this point the OS base install has taken 11GB and is using about 500MB of RAM.

    So how does it run Rhino? Not great I'm afraid. You have to run Rhino in administrator mode, so it can access the registry, but after that 3D view manipulation is a bit jerky. That said I am using the Microsoft drivers for my video card.

    Subsequently I re-installed Mandriva Linux 2006, to solve a dynamic USB device problem. It went on with no hassle at all, much more quickly than Vista installed. It isn't as "nice" visually, but shall we describe KDE as a "Visual Working Environment", not a "Gooey".

    Vista is a neat bit of software, no doubt about it. But in 2007 I doubt it will have changed that much, and KDE 3.5 looks to be hot on it's heels. Linux will fit into smaller and older machines, whereas Vista will need big machines to stand a chance of running. Ultimately, I don't think Vista is a big enough step from XP to offer anything that Linux can't with the exception of some software. Personally, I'll be upgrading when Mandriva 2007 comes out, and I reckon it'll be just as good.

    Sorry Microsoft, Good Operating System, but I think the linux folks will overtaken you by the time it's released.

    Tim B.
  10. Tim B
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    Tim B Senior Member

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    Thank you for your input on this subject. I shall send the results of this poll to McNeel. Hopefully it will inspire them to do something positive. Especially as the system efficiency will drop with the next Windows OS.

    Keep Watching the forums for more information.

    Thanks for your input,

    Tim Brocklehurst.
  11. marshmat
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    marshmat Senior Member

    Re: Vista.
    I'm running XP Pro now. I don't really like it, but there's so much CAD stuff that doesn't run under anything else.
    Each successive Windows version has become more bloated and less efficient than the last. If Tim's estimates are correct, Vista will use more than twice the base resources that XP does. Every megabyte the OS takes up, every percentage of CPU bandwidth it uses while idle, detracts from the computer's response to my commands in CAD and graphics work.
    What really peeves me off about XP is its automation. The darn thing makes piles of decisions on its own, that I'd much rather it just leave be. I make my own changes, it'll reverse them a week later of its own accord. Give XP a year on its own and it will bog a computer down beyond recognition. Vista will almost certainly be worse.
    So yes, CAD firms, please compile your wares for Linux. Compile them for Mac. What has sucking up to Bill Gates got us? Bloated and unstable OSes, and a dominant but incredibly cumbersome and inefficient office suite. Surely, in the 21st century, we can do better!
    My XP laptop (3GHz P4M, 512 ram, Radeon 9000 graphics, 60G drive) is really not much faster than the Pentium 3 unit I use now and then at work (Win2K). Computers are getting much more powerful, and we're just clogging them up with more inefficiencies. I'd love to run Mandriva or SUSE on this thing so I could actually take advantage of its capabilities- so please, get the ported software coming!
  12. westlawn5554X
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    westlawn5554X STUDENT

    The problem would be Is MAC better PC than an IBM version for designer? I am thinking of searching the right machine for the program I have bought and still confuse. Thanks

  13. marshmat
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    marshmat Senior Member

    Your grammar's a bit confusing which makes it hard to tell what you're asking. If you've already bought software without having a computer, you're being pretty weird to say the least. As for the compy itself, most people who have used Macs think they're better, but the software selection (especially with CAD) is limited.
  14. Tim B
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    Tim B Senior Member

    Recieved From Bob McNeel:

    Hi Tim,

    Thank you for your interest.

    Yes, we have looked into porting to the Mac but there are a few things that
    keep us from doing it. I'm sure that many developers have the same issues.

    1. Developing for the Mac is completely different from developing for
    Windows. To port to the Mac we would need to rewrite Rhino from the ground
    up. That would double our development staff and development costs. But more
    importantly the new team would need to be expert Mac developers. As near as
    we can tell, expert Mac developers are nearly impossible to find (relative
    to Windows programmers). By the way, the announcement that Macs will have
    Intel processors in the future does not help. The operating system is the

    2. We use some 3rd party libraries. For example, the STEP export tools
    are licensed. Some of these libraries are not available for the Mac. We
    would have to write libraries, buy a different one (with potential different
    features) or leave out those features.

    3. Testing on two different operating systems could delay release of one
    or both versions.

    4. Rhino takes advantage of Windows and will take more advantage with
    each new release. It will become more and more difficult to port. For
    example, Windows 2000 and XP include VBScript
    rn=Worldwide.NoMac> and JScript
    n=Worldwide.NoMac> . We only need to write a few lines of code to provide
    robust scripting in Rhino. I'm sure that Mac has something like that, but it
    would require a rewrite and new documentation. Tech support would be crazy
    with two different scripting languages. Scripting is only one small example.

    5. Since our development, testing, and support costs could nearly double,
    would the Mac users be willing to pay the difference? Mac users make up only
    about 10% of the potential users. (Designers are a much higher percentage of
    Mac users, but they are not the only market for Rhino.) To pay for these
    additional development costs, we would need to price the Mac version of
    Rhino at $8,950 (assuming the same percentage purchased at that price). I
    don't expect we would sell many copies at that price.

    6. The worst part about porting to the Mac is that it requires an upfront
    bet of millions of dollars and 3 years of work to find out if these things
    are really true.

    Having said all of that, we would love to port to the Mac and to other
    operating systems. If we did, I don't think we could do a good job. As a
    result, our existing customers would suffer.

    Sorry I don't have better news for you.

    - Bob

  15. Robert Miller
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    Robert Miller Junior Member

    I think the difiiculty of recompiling the code is overestimated here.

    Certainly, there are any number of important and complicated programs that are routinely compiled for Mac, as well as Windows.

    Moreover, with Vista somewhere on the horizon (distant horizon?), the program will need to be recompiled anyway... which absent the backward compatibilty, typical of the way Microsoft has generally handled development of their operating system, may not be so easy a task as developers may wish.

    Just a few other points might be mentioned... 1. Mac OSX is UNIX based... hence its stability far far in excess of that available with Windows. 2. Few to no viruses exist for Mac. (140,000, or so, for Windows just last year alone) 3. Add a piece of hardware or software and your PC will freeze for the next month until you figure out the problem... while the Mac will just configure itself for anything new on its own in the first minute. 4. Being UNIX, one can run Linux and open-source without dificulty. (For those who read eWeek or the equivalent, you are aware that Microsoft is fighting to stop development of both Linux and open source apps.) 5. And now (for better or worse), Mac can also run Windows in native mode... NOT emulation. (Bootcamp's code will actually be written into the next release of OSX, "Leopard". For those who have tried this, or who might follow PC forums.. Windows is evidently more stable and runs faster on the Intel based Macs, than on PC's. 6. Inasmuch as even smaller developers (check out TouchCad, or Vectorworks) are having no real difficulty compiling for both platforms, it would seem something as popular as Rhino might be able to cross this great divide.

    Compiling for the Mac is just not the problem suggested by Mr. McNeel. I am certain he would understand these points better than I do.

    This is not an attempt to enter a religious war (Mac vs. PC), but rather to see the widest possible availability of Rhino become a reality. So... let's restrict ourselves to discussing Rhino, and the benefit to all of us if it were available on more than one platform.


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