General thoughts

 From:  Michael Gibson
5725.2 In reply to 5725.1 
Hi ed, this is some great feedback. I think that eventually MoI will have most of these things you're asking for, they pretty much sound like a great fit for MoI. Probably external references is the furthest one out.

> First, pdf export.

Yeah I think this will likely be the next up for file format work. I did completely overhaul the PDF _import_ not too long ago for v3, it's way better than v2's PDF importer which could get confused pretty easily. Although PDFs are related to the old AI V8 format as far as the drawing commands that they use, they are very different in structure, with PDF being far far more complex in how it's organized into different compressed streams. But I'm fairly sure that the library that I was able to use to improve the import will also help with doing an export as well, we'll see.

So this one is probably not all that far off.

re: Object management - yeah this is at a pretty basic level right now in MoI and definitely needs more attention in the future. I have been pretty conservative with evolving it slowly because it's an area that is easy to mess up and once things go down a messed up path too far it's hard to reverse course. So I want to make sure that each step that is taken with it is one that will be able to be kept for the long haul.

> First, an option to have an "active name" so that every object you make has that name (or maybe
> you can have none selected). It doesn't hurt anyone, instead it may help a lot of people.

I'm not really sure about this one though, since that's kind of unusual behavior, I'm not sure that I've seen an object naming system that allows for that. It could possibly "hurt" if it needed to have a special additional control added for it which was always taking up extra space in the scene browser and didn't serve any other purpose. Styles have a color swatch that was easy to use for the "active style" indicator. Names do not have an equivalent swatch like that...

> And second an easy way of changing some geometry to another object name (I know you
> can do that with a plug in but it does take some time to pop up and it does so in your face)

This one I definitely plan to have, there will probably be a drop-down menu that you'll be able to activate by clicking on the name and it will contain some more actions on the menu, one of which will be "assign to this name".

> Continuing with object management, a feature proven to be a must: Groups (or folders).

Yeah I definitely want to do these, I think both geometry groups (which would give hierarchy and also allow selection as one unit), and also folders too which I think would also be useful for organizing styles too.

But in general right now I'm currently mostly focused on modeling tool enhancements, since being blocked from some areas of model creation tends to be a bigger overall problem for more people I think. Object management enhancements don't really give much benefits to people who are just trying to build one single model, they're primarily of benefit to a smaller number of much more advanced users, so that's why they have not been the front line focus for a while. I do expect to give them more attention at some point though.

> Finaly, file optimization. This can be a little tricky. I know there has been some talking about
> instances / blocks, and thats one. The other can be external references so you can split a file
> into several and then just reference them.

These would definitely be useful too - but they are probably a further ways out than the other stuff that you've mentioned above. These will require major new areas of UI to manage the features and anything that requires a lot of additional UI is a very time consuming and major area of work.

Thanks for the great feedback!

- Michael