Swedish developer, Henrik Vallgren has announced today the availability of StreamCAD beta for Windows and Mac OS X. Developed in response to Autodesk’s changing support of third-party AutoCAD developers, Henrik Vallgren has told Architosh that the desire for StreamCAD was to develop a program that was like AutoCAD but borrowed user-interface (UI) concepts pioneered by Apple, and in particular its latest Unix-based Mac OS X operating system.
Vallgren told Architosh that the number one feature with StreamCAD is the ability to completely customize the user interface and the way the program works and there is support for a C++ API set for developers. “A lot of my thinking comes from AutoCAD but I always try to improve things one step further.”
StreamCAD has been heavily influenced by the Macintosh. The working document is shown in a single window with toolbars and information floating in windows around it. When the user selects a command the floating windows and palettes vanish until you have completed the command. The supporting palettes and information windows come in three levels of information intensity: simple, advanced and complete. The user can determine which level is best for them.
StreamCAD is cross-platform for Windows, Mac and Linux in the future. C++ API supports new commands and custom entities. Data is stored in XML and DWG/DXF files and the user interface and help system are based on HTML and XML enabling a completely customization of the user interface and menu system. Users familiar with Macromedia (now Adobe’s) Dreamweaver will be familiar with customization via XML files.
You can download the beta of StreamCAD from this site: http://www.streamspace.com/
This is a new CAD application for all three platforms eventually and while young promises to keep competitive pressure on Autodesk and its popular AutoCAD while embracing both Linux and Mac OS X. As the Mac gains popularity throughout industry expect this application, StreamCAD, to gain traction as quickly as it emerged out of nowhere. Once it becomes inevitable that Autodesk must embrace Apple and its growing OS X, and decides to port AutoCAD to the Mac, then companies like this will need to work harder to hold onto their new customers.
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