I Hate It When I’m Wrong – Revit 2010 UI

We waited until the first service pack was out (web update – whatever they call it) before we deployed Revit 2010.  I, for one, was singing the praises of the much maligned Ribbon.  “See how clean it is?” I would say.  “See the nice big icons?” I would point out to the nonbelievers.  “See how it’s organized so well?” I would show my cats – who frankly didn’t care.

The first indication of something VERY bad showed up when one of our more experience Revit users reported crashes on his brand new 2010 model.  Not much content in there at all.  Very few views.  This was a tiny file that should have been able to run on a PC that was four generations old.  But he was crashing.  A LOT.  Up to seven times a day.

Soon after, another experienced user was reporting the same thing.  Different project.  Different user.  Virtually same hardware.  A recent multi-core XP 32bit workstation, 4GB of RAM, and a nice video card.  About 18 months old.  The hardware shouldn’t have been the problem.

We spent a LOT of time back and forth with Autodesk support.  They looked at the model, they told us to downgrade the video driver (yeah, you don’t hear that one too often, do you?) they said to not run anything along with Revit.

Same results.  Numerous crashes each day.  And these weren’t gentle “Revit is about to die – let’s save a recover file for you” crashes.  These were “POOF! Revit is gone!” style crashes.

We took two approaches.  For User A, we wiped his PC, upgraded him to XP 64bit and threw 8GB of RAM in (the max the motherboard could handle).  About 2 total hours of work stretched out over 2 days waiting for updates and installs, plus around $170 for the RAM.  He reports that 2010 is running great now!  Whoo-hoo!

For User B, we edited the ini file that allows 2010 to run in “debug” mode and use the 2009 interface.  About 2 minutes of work stretched over 2 minutes, plus around $0 for buying nothing.  He reports that 2010 is running great now!  Whoo-hoo!

Wow.  I am scratching my head over this.  I am so frustrated that the user interface was designed so poorly that it alone causes enough memory to be sucked from resources that are essential to the software running in a stable state.  I can’t be the only person out there.  And I’m not.  I think the 2009 UI tweak was one of the most re-tweeted Revit items on Twitter in a while.

We have been training new users on the Ribbon interface for months now.  Do I go back and spend my time showing them the old interface?  This is crazy.  This is shameful that Autodesk let their product ship with such a major memory drain.  Two updates later, still a big hole.

I certainly hope this is a major priority for the team.  I love the Ribbon.  I just wish it didn’t suck so much… memory.

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3 thoughts on “I Hate It When I’m Wrong – Revit 2010 UI

  1. “For User B, we edited the ini file that allows 2010 to run in “debug” mode and use the 2009 interface”
    I didn’t know this was possible, care to share the details?

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