I DEEPLY miss the old pop up dialogs of v6. Having all these extraneous palettes open all the time is a cluster #$@%, and closing or minimizing them while modeling just to have to reopen them again is nowhere near as easy or seamless as it was in v6. The workflow of using the interface has been compromised by the unfounded need to constantly add new tools instead of just fixing the existing ones, or improving their usability. When all this was brought up at the advent of v7 and again at v8, we would hear from support, "OK we'll see what we can do and get it corrected for you." But alas, I think much of this has fallen on deaf ears, as with each 'new' release, the focus is always on the new tools, and very little on our issues with the interface, or fixing the problems with the last releases.
After all this time, I'd still love to hear why the 'new' way is better. For example, when you used to double click on a material, the material options dialog would pop up, you would adjust and could just hit RETURN with the keyboard, or click a big OK button. Then, the material options dialog would GO AWAY, saving valuable real estate for the modeling window. Now, if you don't leave the material options palette open all of the time, it is a real PITA to constantly hide it, as the tiny minimize or close buttons are incredibly cumbersome to navigate. I like to use the Materials as an example, because while working on a project, it gets used hundreds or even thousands of times, but this applies to the other tools as well. The workflow is also missing when using the Scale, ::cough:: sorry, Transform tool. Why in the hell doesn't the typing cursor automatically go to the Transform tool options dialog box for editing the X, Y, Z scaling? I really have to click again up there to edit? REALLY? And we're still missing our beloved detailed mapping window, which was promised to be brought back since v7! How about being able to rotate a strangely angled object back to Ortho without having to draw a guide? I can go on and on...
But it all comes down to who is going to actually listen, or better yet, change things? Maybe AutoDesSys doesn't realize how everyone is actually using the program? Perhaps it would be helpful if everyone posted screenshots of their setup so we can find some common ground. I personally try to minimize the interface so I can have a nice sized modeling window in my 1920x1200 24" monitor (I have 3, but only use 1 for FormZ, the others are used for inspiration and communication.) This was never a problem until 7 & 8, where using the bloated interface, especially on my small 15" Macbook Pro while traveling, is a frustrating experience.
I'm all for progress (where's the new render engine that can show modern LED tape lighting effects, and is graphic card accelerated??), but some of these changes were made with little reason, and it should be simple for them to fix. Instead, they use their resources to create cool new tools that most of us have little to no use for. It's a kind of 'ME TOO' in the 3D program world. Hey, it's a new year, that means we need to release a new version!? Gotta keep up with the Jones's! How about fixing your existing versions before abandoning those that support you, with your hand out for more money for a new version that is slower, less efficient, and more unstable?
Obviously we're on here because we all care, and in some way, want to keep using FormZ if they could just make it better. AutoDesSys, help us, help you. Give us an OPEN support ticket system where we can see where our change requests stand and even vote on them? The only way for FormZ to grow and thrive is with a community of supporters, working to share their needs and help refine it into the next level. Right now, you've got a sort of community of loathing, each one a little differently annoyed by the lack of helpful progression and stability.
What will it take to bring it all together?