December 13, 2013

The biggest issue with OpenBIM and IFC...

An article about IFC that I wrote recently made it to the AUGI-library today. Which got tweeted by +Shaun Farrell (thanks for that btw!).
Which in turn provoked some dude to go all ballistic on me:

Now, usually when the tone of voice comes to this I bail. Don't get me wrong, I love a good debate. And I am never shy to vent my (usually rather explicit) opinions. But there's two rules I have:
1. be prepared to adjust your opinions.
2. at least try to have some sort of logic behind your opinion.
These kind of people usually have neither, so there's really no point in trying to talk to them. But still, they annoy the crap out of me. So here's a once and for all rebuttal, next time I can just point them in this direction.

So please, if you don't want to waste your time on my rants, stop reading here. Next few hundreds words will be lost on someone that probably doesn't even give two cents on what I have to say anyway. His mind is made up: if you roll with the Devil (Autodesk), you are the Devil.

Let's get one thing straight

I'm very much aware of the fact that I do not know everything about anything. Or that I even come close. In fact, I usually just know a tiny little bit and guesstimate my way from there. Which works very well btw.
But every now and then I get my wrist slapped for uttering something wrong. And I adjust my opinion accordingly. You live to learn right?

So even though I have strong, and often controversial, opinions they do tend to have a reason behind them. At least in my mind they're backed with actual facts and can stand a critical peer review.

Why tell you this? Because I don't care whether you're strongvoiced and explicit. I am too. And I can take it from others. I might even adjust my opinions if it makes any sense. But in my experience, your kind of people usually just parrots each other. I haven't read one single (even remotely) valid argument that would justify these words.

So what is the biggest issue with OpenBIM then?

Here's my opinion: the biggest issue is guys like you. Big-ass loudmouths who spend their lives bitching and moaning about the Big Bad Autodesk not supporting IFC enough. Who interpret anything anyone that uses Autodesk software writes or says about IFC/Open BIM as an attempt to "bury" it.
Without actually contributing anything to the Good Cause themselves, except buying an "open BIM" software.

Big freaking deal! Did you ever look up the definition of Open Source? It's not the same as "free" you know. Open Source means that developing it and bringing it to the next level depends on the actual commitment of people using it. That's why you don't pay for a license with IFC. You should be either donating or actually making a contribution. And buying a software that has a big shiny marketing sticker on it that says "Open BIM" does not constitute to any of this.
Flaming others that actually do make a valid contribution does not either btw.

I can take the crap from Autodesk Fanboys (and -girls). They genuinly believe that their one-stop solution is the best. I disagree, but hey, I can respect an honest opinion. You people on the other hand are something else. You are full of "collaboration" and "interoperability". Yet you condemn anything remotely related to Autodesk to be against these ideals. You don't care what people like me say or do. You consider us traitors to the good cause no matter what. All we do is try to "bury", "flame" or "badmouth" IFC. No matter what.

Let me tell you this: Autodesk, let alone people like me, aren't the biggest problems for Open BIM or the acceptance of IFC. It's people like you. You are it's Trojan horse. The enemy within, poisoning the roots and foundation on which the whole concept of interoperability is built. You talk about open standards and freedom of choice whilst in the same breath you condemn and write off a whole group of people just because they use the wrong software.

Let's compare size

Want to be in my face? Fine, bring it on. Here's my list of achievements:

1. First AUGI author to write an articles (let alone 3) on the use of IFC with any Autodesk software
2. First Autodesk University AND Revit Technology Conference speaker to talk solely about how to use Revit and IFC (and possibly any Autodesk software and IFC)
3. Main author of the first and only Open Source Revit Standard (as I define Open Source as freely accessible to anyone)
4. Main author of the first and only Revit Standard and Workflow that even mentions IFC. And this one does actually work. I can get ANY piece of geometry AND information out to IFC with Revit. 
5. Instigator of the first and only 3rd party contribution to the Autodesk Open Source IFC Exporter. Responsible for creating the ability to map Revit information to IFC information.
6. Instigator of the second 3rd party contribution to the Open Source IFC Exporter: creating the ability to create custom IFC Property Sets and fill them with any kind of information from Revit. Still in beta though due to lack of funding
7. And all of the above roughly cost me $100,000.- in lost gross revenues when I put my consultancy firm on hold for a year working on this.

These are real things. More then just some big words on Twitter.
Next time you wanna pick a fight, bring your list of accomplishments on the development and implementaton of IFC. If anything less then this, we're not even going there. You're not worthy of my time. I can spend it more wisely on actually getting shit done. So please, do step aside and go bark up some other tree while the big boys make a difference.

Or, you know, do some freaking research on the guy you're calling out.

End note

I should probably have refrained from writing this. Be the better man and not let myself get dragged into this childish fight. But you know what? Screw that, screw you and the likes of you. I'm sick and tired having to put up with this shit from a bunch of twobit slackers who feel they have moral high-ground just because they once bought the "right" software. 
I actually studied IFC. Made an effort to understand it. Improve implementation in my software. Shared my knowledge with others and with that gave people the ability to use it better.
You just bought a freaking piece of software. A tool. And when it comes to IFC, yes: a slightly better tool. Big freaking deal.

What REAL effort did you put in there? Where's your contribution to Open BIM? You know, one that didn't get paid for by your boss or clients? Or you didn't have to do anyway to actually do your freaking job? Have you ever even spent one moment of your time improving the Open BIM workflow? And share that knowledge with others?

Probably not. You just assume that because you bought the right tool you have the right to come to my door and pick a fight. 
Well guess what: wrong day, wrong guy. 
Fuck off.


  1. Hahaha, great article. I would have moved the endnote in the trashbin for a stronger article but I can't blame you for venting.

  2. This is something really superb, Sir. Even I wrote a similar article recently.