This is one of a series of posts covering an extensive interview with Bricsys CEO Erik De Keyser and COO Mark Van Den Bergh.
In this post, R.K. McSwain asks about BricsCAD running on three different platforms. Erik explains why BricsCAD for Mac (and Linux) is so much more complete than AutoCAD for Mac, which has more holes than a block of Swiss cheese.
R.K.: Do all three platforms (Windows, Linux, Mac) contain the same functionality?
Erik: Yes. Sometimes it’s a bit hard with the Mac to bring it along but so far, so good. The only problem sometimes is in the APIs.
We are using wxWidgets and not the Microsoft classes. This gives us the ability, with the same source code more or less, to serve Mac, Linux and Windows. By far Windows is the most important one. By history, all the applications are on Windows, because AutoCAD was only Windows. What we have as APIs, and the most important ones are BRX and .NET. If you want to port an application to Mac, it means our API must support that as well. BRX is doing that for 90 to 95%; there are a couple of functions that only work on Windows. For most of the applications, they can port their application to Linux or the Mac without any problems.
Steve: And you support the Visual LISP COM functions as well, right?
Mark: Yes, we cover them and they are also available on Mac and Linux.
Steve: You have a solution there that Autodesk doesn’t, which gives us the strange situation that BricsCAD for Mac is more AutoCAD-compatible than AutoCAD for Mac.
R.K.: AutoCAD for Mac leaves a lot of holes.
Erik: That’s because they rewrote the whole interface for Cocoa, and we didn’t. We are using one code base. You can be more Catholic than the Pope, yeah? If you rewrite AutoCAD completely for the Mac, the result is many holes, no applications possible, it doesn’t help anybody. We’re better off being pragmatic and doing it the way we did it.
Still, we must say that applications availability for Mac and Linux is not much. That has to do with 95% of our sales being on Windows. We expect that might change for BIM, because more architects are Mac users, partly because the first version of ArchiCAD was on Mac, Vectorworks is, so it’s really an Architect’s machine. We expect that maybe for BIM, it might change and we might sell more versions on the Mac.
Steve: Autodesk doesn’t have a competitor there, does it?
Erik: No, absolutely not.
Mark: I should mention that all of our keys are cross-platform. So when you buy a key, you can run them all. So every time you on decide to run on Mac and later on you decide to switch it to Windows, we don’t have any problem. You can switch whenever you want, from one to the other, on to Linux if you want.
Erik: Again, choice. It’s up to the users.
This is the complete set of links to this interview series:
- The big Bricsys interview 1 – why invite the press?
- The big Bricsys interview 2 – making money
- The big Bricsys interview 3 – looking after people
- The big Bricsys interview 4 – thank you, Autodesk
- The big Bricsys interview 5 – perpetual licensing and choice
- The big Bricsys interview 6 – lean and focused
- The big Bricsys interview 7 – the applications ecosystem
- The big Bricsys interview 8 – boundaries and BIM
- The big Bricsys interview 9 – treading on developers
- The big Bricsys interview 10 – platforms
- The big Bricsys interview 11 – free viewer?