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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Nǐ Hǎo Tere Bonjour Aloha Salut Hola Hello Yá'át'ééh Konnichiwa Alo Revit

Hi there.  How many languages do you know?  How many of them are you familiar with in the title above?

I came up with an idea a month ago.  Last week I saw something very similar in a Revit plugin.  So, I did what anyone with not enough free time and an unrealistic insane notion of trying new things.  I decided to learn a new language.

Unfortunately, it's not like any normal language with a fixed number of words and phrases.  This language includes Autodesk Revit .NET API and the C# programming language.  Today I started with the 'Autodesk - My First Plug-In' training.  Essentially, you download a program, follow some instructions step by step, and  in about an hour, you've created your first plug-in.  Of course, you're copying and pasting code, so by the time you're done, you'll feel like a complete idiot for having no idea what you've just done and how to do anything else 

Here's a little blurb from Lesson 2. 

The code you typed into Visual C# Express in Lesson 1 was a set of human-readable instructions (source code) that needed to be converted into code that could be understood and executed by the computer. The “build” you performed did just that: it packaged up the resulting executable code into a DLL (Dynamic-Link Library) that can be loaded into Autodesk Revit. The following screenshot shows the output in DLL form along with the associated program debug database (which provides additional information when troubleshooting the DLL), once you have built the solution from Lesson 1 using Visual C# Express. The path to which the DLL gets compiled is specified in the Visual C# Express project settings and is set, by default, to the bin sub-folder of the Visual C# Express project folder.
Hello?  Does anyone understand what this means?  As I was telling my wife tonight how stupid I felt reading all of this, I casually said to her, "how hard can it be to write a program, there's over 650,000 IOS apps and they didn't just write themselves."  

Now, it's your turn.   Click on the links below and start your journey into programming heaven.  What kind of APIs will you write?  What can you do to increase your BIM efficiency?  Luckily, I have a bunch of ideas swimming in my head and now I get to figure out how to convert them into computer-readable instructions or I will execute my computer.  With any luck, I'll make my company's BIM productivity even higher and someday be able to explain all of this to my boss.

I hope to have some positive results very soon.  Adios.  

My First Revit Plug-in Overview


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