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Trimble To Acquire Google SketchUp

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the back-to-the-drawing-board dept.

Google 92

yoink! writes "It looks like Google is selling off SketchUp or, conversely, Trimble is acquiring it. Despite several indications there will continue to be a free version of the 3D modelling software, users are unsure about what this will mean for the SketchUp community at large as indicated by the comments on the official Google SketchUp Blog post. They are, however, rejoicing that they will be freed from Groups for SketchUp discussions."

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This really sucks (3, Informative)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 2 years ago | (#39811131)

Enough said if true.

Re:This really sucks (1)

eisonlyme (1877576) | more than 2 years ago | (#39811239)

I think your comment needs a little more explanation, there is a Pro version of SketchUp that costs already.
I see no reason for them not to keep offering a downgraded free version and continue selling a pro version.
We are actually about to purchase the Pro version in the next couple of weeks as we want the extra functions it offers.

However it does seem like Google is narrowing it's focus which can be good or bad, willing to hear more conversation on that as I truly don't know...

Re:This really sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39811285)

I don't see how sketchup fits into google's plan. it really isn't that great of a fit.

That being said, this makes me sad. Sketch-up is great because it's free and fairly intuitive. Hopefully it continues to be free to use.

Re:This really sucks (5, Informative)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#39811433)

At the time Sketch-up made sense for creating 3D content for Google Earth.

Re:This really sucks (2)

wiedzmin (1269816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39815377)

And how did that change now? Did I miss something, or has all the content has already been created? :)

Re:This really sucks (1)

Fri13 (963421) | more than 2 years ago | (#39817971)

Did it only made content to Google Earth and not as well to Google Maps?

Re:This really sucks (1)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 2 years ago | (#39811393)

This is why I don't particularly care for the transaction:

"Trimble has already created the de-facto standard for field data models and project management tools for our key markets. SketchUp, together with these existing capabilities, will provide a stand-alone and enterprise solution that will enable an integrated and seamless workflow to reduce rework and improve productivity for the customer. Users will be able to collect data, design, model, and collaborate on one platform..."

This is a fancy way of saying Sketchup is going to become a lot more bloaty, a lot less user-friendly, and a lot more proprietary... and probably a lot more expensive if you use the pro version.
=Smidge=

Re:This really sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39811529)

If the current business model was making money, Google wouldn't be ditching it.

Re:This really sucks (1)

arcsimm (1084173) | more than 2 years ago | (#39811917)

I don't have any data to back it up, but my gut feeling is that there's no way that Google couldn't have been turning a profit on it. There was never much of a development team, and SketchUp Pro has long been a de-facto standard tool for architects and designers. At $500 a pop for Pro licenses, you don't have to sell many copies to pay for all your developers. That's before you count intangibles like free 3D data to improve your other services. SketchUp may be a better institutional fit for Trimble, but it almost certainly had to have been a net positive for Google's bottom line.

Re:This really sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39812135)

I know nothing but that still doesn't stop me from making firm statements about things I can't prove.

Re:This really sucks (2)

tbird81 (946205) | more than 2 years ago | (#39817673)

Good for you. What exactly is your point?

Re:This really sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39818687)

Whooosh?

Re:This really sucks (1)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 2 years ago | (#39823611)

I agree, Google sold it cheap. Sometimes they even had it for less than $500. Now it will go to at least $3000 if not $6000. I've messed with Trimble and Leica efore with GPS. Even though the Leica software was hard to use, Trimble was ridiculously hard to use their software to survey with back. I know the military uses their equipment and they practically invented surveying with GPS. I'm just afraid they will bloat the software and charge a bundle because the pro version you can draw practically anything. Normally programs like that cost a bundle. It might be good for Google but not the rest of us who us it.

Re:This really sucks (1)

arcsimm (1084173) | more than 2 years ago | (#39834745)

If Trimble wants four figures for SketchUp, they'll need to do a ton of work on the dimensioning and documentation tools. Producing a good, readable set of construction documents in LayOut is nearly impossible, but it's something the competing tools from Autodesk make simple. As it stands, $500 is a fair price for something that is great for modelling work, but has to paired with 3rd-party software to make a worthwhile drawing set.

Re:This really sucks (1)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 2 years ago | (#39869753)

Please MOD this guy up. If Trimble manages to improve LayOut (maybe by working with AutoDesk, etc.) do you think we will get free YouTube videos showing us how to use it. Google has been improving this feature up until now, I guess. I hope Trimble just leaves the program alone, but I would say there is about a 99% chance against that.

Re:This really sucks (1)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 2 years ago | (#39823489)

You are right, but the Google Pro version is very cheap for what it can do. With Trimble, I think they we will see some price increase. That Pro version has dynamic components and solids which you normally see in very expensive programs like Revit. I also think the free version will get way behind. They (Google) operated just like Autodesk when back in the day they wanted people to pirate their program for non commercial use got everyone hooked on that. Well the first does is always free, and hate to see SU Pro go up to $3 grand or more.

I have a bad feeling about this.

My suggestion... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39811145)

My suggestion is they never port it to Linux and purposefully make it Wine-unfriendly to make the Loonix tards more butthurt.

Another affirmation of Google narrowing its vision (3, Insightful)

siphonophore (158996) | more than 2 years ago | (#39811153)

To the detriment of all of us

Re:Another affirmation of Google narrowing its vis (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39811205)

Another affirmation that lifetime of any Google service is always in question.

oops (3, Insightful)

Reverand Dave (1959652) | more than 2 years ago | (#39811299)

This is exactly right. There is no guaranteed lifespan for any google app. It's best to not get too attached to any one of them.

Re:oops (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 2 years ago | (#39811869)

I have no problems having our companies e-mail and document sharing going through Google.
Here is why. Exportability.
Google makes it fairly easy to export all of my data. So if Google does ditch any of the services I currently use I can move them.
With that in mind for our business needs. Google Docs (Now Drive) and Gmail do a great job while being very flexible with low cost.
 

Re:oops (3, Insightful)

Reverand Dave (1959652) | more than 2 years ago | (#39812951)

That sounds incredibly lazy and unsecure. I hope your company doesn't handle sensitive information. I'd love to outsource all of my administrative tasks too, but as it turns out I don't want a 3rd party vendor, especially one with questionable privacy practices, to control my information or that of my customers. So, good luck with that.

Your statement however does not refute my statement that there is no guaranteed lifespan for any google app and any one could be dropped at any time with minimal notice.

Re:oops (2)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 2 years ago | (#39813661)

What is the guaranteed life span of exchange?
What I have is secure. Usable. Easy for the users and fully exportable to a competitor.
It is cost effective, powerful and scalable.
I have full control of who can share what type of date with whom. I enforce strong passwords and two factor authentication.
I am more sure that Google employees are not snooping through my corporate emails than I am that some pissed off employee will cost us.
I think you just really hate Google and can see no reason for anyone(in your world view) to use them.
They are a tool. For the size and type of data and users I administer they are a great fit.
I am sure though that with your incredible skills that with no information on my company you can decide much better for us than we can.

Re:oops (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39817513)

What is the guaranteed life span of exchange?

As long as I feel like running the server for.

Re:oops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39823173)

>> What is the guaranteed life span of exchange?

        Officially, 10 years. Exchange Server 2010 end of extended support is 1/14/2020. In practice, MS tends to exceed (extend) their lifecycle support, for example NT and Windows 2000 were extended substatially, and XP has been due to the Vista debacle. However, after the end of extended support, you are free to still run the code, just won't get support/fixes. Contrast that with a cloud service that may be unplugged (or seized).

Re:Another affirmation of Google narrowing its vis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39813201)

Just like all software (unless you've entered into an agreement).

Even Windows XP has a lifetime.

Re:Another affirmation of Google narrowing its vis (3, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#39811291)

learn the lesson!

don't ever depend on 'cloud things'. and google is a cloud thing maker (heh).

to invest time and learning in things that can be taken away with almost no notice is lunacy.

one of these days, I expect to see a google service removed several days before its even launched.

Re:Another affirmation of Google narrowing its vis (5, Informative)

gorzek (647352) | more than 2 years ago | (#39811915)

SketchUp isn't cloud-based, moron.

Defeat Facebook at all costs! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39812267)

Google's new goal: "Defeat Facebook at all costs! Even if it kills us!"

Re:Another affirmation of Google narrowing its vis (1)

citizenr (871508) | more than 2 years ago | (#39812795)

Hardly narrowing. There are better ways for translating flat objects into 3D ones and google is probably already implementing one of them.

Re:Another affirmation of Google narrowing its vis (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#39812875)

To the detriment of all of us

Why? Had Google sold Sketchup to Autodesk, then it would have been very bad news for the consumer. Trimble actually seems to be the perfect fit for Sketchup. Sketchup is much more likely to survive and thrive in an environment like Trimble than inside Google.

Trimble the perfect fit ? (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#39815185)

Your assertion :

Trimble actually seems to be the perfect fit for Sketchup

does sound kinda suspicious, that most of us do not know nothing about "Trimble"

There are so many yet-to-be-answered questions:

Who are they?

How were they being financed?

Which direction are they going to move Sketchup - forward, backward, 64-bits, opencl compatibility, a Linux native version ....

Will they be acquired by AutoDesk?

WHAT ???

Get a clue! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39815491)

Trimble is huge in the GPS world. They've been acquiring companies left and right for a few years now

Re:Another affirmation of Google narrowing its vis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39814161)

Not really. I found it to be the worst 3D CAD I've tried since PADL-2. Its only redeeming value seems to be to make Wildfire 3 look good.

Re:Another affirmation of Google narrowing its vis (1)

Sigg3.net (886486) | more than 2 years ago | (#39818695)

Time to dust off my mail server books.
I don't feel good anymore, carrying an Android with me, even though I use a different account.

Have anyone setup a mail/contacts/calendar server vis-à-vis Android devs on Linux? I'd pay for a GPL solution.

Re:Another affirmation of Google narrowing its vis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39820745)

To the detriment of all of us

Oh no! For casual users this is not good news. I've created several wood working projects that I offer for free on the internet with included 3D sketchup models. I would no longer be able to offer them for free if I am forced to pay for sketchup. Oh Well!!!

Taking all bets! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39811163)

Who wants to guess how long it'll take before Trimble decides to nix the free version? (or perhaps to move basic tools into the non-free pro version)

Re:Taking all bets! (4, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#39811867)

In 6 months, the free version will become a viewer.

Re:Taking all bets! (1)

game kid (805301) | more than 2 years ago | (#39812007)

Frankly I'm glad Google didn't just shut it down outright. Big companies are where acquisitions go to die (in exchange for some cash, if lucky).

Re:Taking all bets! (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39814623)

Who wants to guess how long it'll take before Trimble decides to nix the free version? (or perhaps to move basic tools into the non-free pro version)

The press release seems to indicate that the agreement goes beyond a simple sale, and involves significant SketchUp related cooperation between Google and Trimble going forward. This suggests that the availability and features of the free version may be preserved for at least some period going forward as part of the agreement.

Re:Taking all bets! (1)

Sudline (1552111) | more than 2 years ago | (#39817735)

Probably not. Free versions bring a lot of customers to the paid one.

Everyone downloads now. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39811167)

I know I am. It looks rather useful and I never got around to getting it.

Who knows what could happen, the universe could implode for all we know.
GET YOURS NOW FOR THE LOW LOW PRICE OF FREE!

Re:Everyone downloads now. (1)

siddesu (698447) | more than 2 years ago | (#39811441)

You should have started earlier. Version 6 still has the DXF file import.

Now Google can focus more... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39811229)

Now Google can focus more on copying Facebook and iOS.

Patch notes for next SketchUp version (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39811265)

Compatibility with GPS data input has been updated to only function with authorized Trimble products.

Has Google made any profit out of this? (2)

billcarson (2438218) | more than 2 years ago | (#39811319)

SketchUp was an acquired start-up. Is there any data present that would let us see if Google paid more for the acquisition than it gets now?

Re:Has Google made any profit out of this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39811449)

It might be in the SEC and other disclosures of the sales. I don't really feel like finding those disclosures and then combing through them, but maybe someone else does. Journalists?

Re:Has Google made any profit out of this? (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 2 years ago | (#39811887)

There are no Journalists left. Only reporters. Those are the guys who print press releases.

Re:Has Google made any profit out of this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39816371)

If you had an MBA you'd know exactly how to do this yourself. But of course Slashdotters (not you necessarily - Slashdotters in general) are too superior to admit someone with an MBA might have some useful skills...

(I don't know if you've ever made disparaging comments against MBAs. I just get really fed up with all the ignorant vitriol directed against them on /.)

Re:Has Google made any profit out of this? (2)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 2 years ago | (#39820061)

I don't see why anyone would have anything against MBAs. They're thin, lightweight and have a dual-core Intel Core i5!

Selling a 3D modeling program to GPS provider? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39811407)

What is the connection? Why would a GPS provider want a 3D modeling program? What benefit could they get to improve their bottom line?

Re:Selling a 3D modeling program to GPS provider? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39811481)

How does an advertising company having initially purchased it make more sense?

Re:Selling a 3D modeling program to GPS provider? (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#39811495)

Google bought Sketch-up to create content for Google Earth, I imagine Trimble would want it for a similar reason.

Same reason google wanted it. (2)

pavon (30274) | more than 2 years ago | (#39811623)

Google bought it so users would have a free easy-to-use tool to contribute to Google Maps/Earth. A GPS provider would also want free work to improve the 3D structures in their maps.

Re:Selling a 3D modeling program to GPS provider? (2)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | more than 2 years ago | (#39811747)

To make GIS data acquisition more intuitive to a wider audience. That part isn't all bad. I can easily imagine a total station with SketchUp integrated. This could compete favorably with 3D scanners and working from point clouds for interior surveys.

Great for Trimble and some of their potential customers... We'll have to see on everyone else.

What was the point of sketchup anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39811443)

Why didn't google just open source it? Instead they let it sit there with a tiny little development team doing tiny little revisions. Instead of having a great, universal modelling tool (that perhaps could even have become a fantastic HTML5 technology showcase) it just ended up being forgotten and now sold.

Re:What was the point of sketchup anyway? (1)

funfail (970288) | more than 2 years ago | (#39818717)

You cannot open-source some software you acquired so easily. There are probably loads of patents and closed source libraries involved...

sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39811455)

sad sketchup user is sad

If it doesn't have ads, it's outta here. (4, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#39811635)

This is Google concentrating on their core business area - ads. If it doesn't have ads on it, it's going.

What does Google have left that doesn't have ads, or collects data on users to support ads?

Re:If it doesn't have ads, it's outta here. (5, Interesting)

ottothecow (600101) | more than 2 years ago | (#39811675)

Picasa--although I think that maintaining its status as competition to iphoto is key to keeping people using picasa web albums and certainly new enhancements point towards pushing user content onto Google+

Re:If it doesn't have ads, it's outta here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39814847)

The Google+ integration point is key. Picasa is far and away the best way to handle large numbers of photos on Google+. They need it for that reason if nothing else.

Having really good photo sharing is essential if you're going to have a really good social networking site, and they know they need to have a really good social networking site.

Re:If it doesn't have ads, it's outta here. (1)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | more than 2 years ago | (#39811767)

Premium email hosting...

Re:If it doesn't have ads, it's outta here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39811933)

Premium email hosting...

data is stored on and/or travels through google servers, it IS getting scanned regardless of whether you actually see ads.

Re:If it doesn't have ads, it's outta here. (1)

c1t1z3nk41n3 (1112059) | more than 2 years ago | (#39814693)

And with googles new unified privacy policy you can bet that ads targeted based on scanned emails will be appearing elsewhere in your browsing.

Re:If it doesn't have ads, it's outta here. (1)

Windwraith (932426) | more than 2 years ago | (#39811825)

The more things away from Google, the better.

Re:If it doesn't have ads, it's outta here. (2)

kllrnohj (2626947) | more than 2 years ago | (#39816751)

This is Google concentrating on their core business area - ads. If it doesn't have ads on it, it's going.

What does Google have left that doesn't have ads, or collects data on users to support ads?

Android, Chrome, iGoogle, Bookmarks, Play (store, music, etc..), News, Picasa, Earth, Docs, Calendar, Talk, Translate, Sites, Groups, Blogger, Reader, Finance

Some of those arguably collect data to support ads, but most don't.

Re:If it doesn't have ads, it's outta here. (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 2 years ago | (#39816783)

Wow, modded to -1 for providing a pretty reasonable -- and informative -- counterargument.

Sketchup is an awesome tool for set designers (2, Insightful)

dmatos (232892) | more than 2 years ago | (#39811839)

I volunteer at a local community theatre, fulfilling a wide range of different roles from time to time. Recently, I worked as a Technical Director for a production, which included the necessity of doing the set design.

Previously, another enterprising TD had created a Sketchup model of the interior of our back-box theatre space, and used that to do set designs. Let me tell you, apart from some annoying UI issues (trying to convert 2-D input into 3-D input), Sketchup is absolutely fantastic for designing and visualizing different sets and audience creation. I highly recommend it to anyone out there for creating 3-D models of their sets, once the 2-D sketches are completed.

Re:Sketchup is an awesome tool for set designers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39814859)

Have you tried FreeCAD?

http://sourceforge.net/apps/mediawiki/free-cad/index.php?title=Main_Page

Free Open Source Software that isnt going anywhere.

Something to keep in your back pocket at least.

Re:Sketchup is an awesome tool for set designers (1)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#39817053)

Have you tried FreeCAD?

Yes. I was really impressed. It's based on OpenCascade [opencascade.org] a truly industrial strength BREP engine at the level used by Catia and other AAA CAD titles. It's mostly history-driven now, but the GUI as far as it goes is really good. I was able to do boolean combinations just by poking around, no tutorials, no howtos. FreeCAD is built by people who know what they're doing.

Re:Sketchup is an awesome tool for set designers (1)

dmatos (232892) | more than 2 years ago | (#39872731)

I'll keep an eye on it if the Sketchup UI ever causes me to have an anger-aneurism. One of the benefits of Google, though, is the huge library of objects that you can import. Don't worry about creating your own bookcases, chairs, or coatracks. Somebody's already done that, and uploaded the models for your enjoyment.

Re:Sketchup is an awesome tool for set designers (1)

Sigg3.net (886486) | more than 2 years ago | (#39818721)

Could probably be used in the adult entertainment industry as well., as live actors look less and less appealing in HD..

These days I have to enable the ASCII filter in VLC and mplayer. Sheesh!

Freed from Google Groups? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39811957)

Get real. One person asked about being moved off of it, but otherwise, no carps. Yoink, give it a rest.

Sketchup is great for my home remodel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39812149)

I spent about two hours playing around and was able to completely model the second floor of my house within the third hour. Sketchup has proved invaluable for sending the model to others to show them what I would like to do and get input from them. As a free tool, I really think it's awesome. I was hoping for more integration with Google Maps once I completed the rest of my house.

Oh well, here's hoping we still get to use a free version in the foreseeable future...

google... (0)

wjcofkc (964165) | more than 2 years ago | (#39812475)

Just don't give a shit.

A possible bright point (3, Interesting)

Grayhand (2610049) | more than 2 years ago | (#39812495)

There's always been a massive price difference between the pro and standard version, $500 and free. The pro version looks like fun but it's way over priced. Cut it in half and I think a lot more would consider it. Google was mostly feeding off designers that are software challenged so they were able to keep the price high because they really didn't care if it sold or not since the focus was the free consumer version. I think they'll be in for an ugly surprise if they try to charge for Sketch Up the basic version so I doubt that's in the works. I'd expect fewer upgrades and more versions with the pricing being more distributed between the free standard version and hopefully a cheaper pro version.

Re:A possible bright point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39813223)

Mod parent up.

Re:A possible bright point (2)

tangent (3677) | more than 2 years ago | (#39816949)

$500 is not expensive for 3D software, and it's more than fair for what you get:

  • Additional 2D and 3D exporters and importers - Plugins for these tend to cost $50+ per format for other packages. (Examples: 1 [skinprops.com] , 2 [kuroyumes-...ntzone.com] .) And, that's without getting into CAD loaders which are often much [luxology.com] more [okino.com] expensive [cadlook.com] .

  • Dynamic component creation - If this were a plugin, I'd expect to pay $50-100 for it.

  • LayOut - This addition to the package obsoleted a $300 Illustrator plugin [hotdoor.com] I used to use to achieve the same end.

  • Direct Support - This might justify the price for you all by itself. I have a support contract for one of SketchUp's competitors that runs me more than $500, and it's charged each year.

The past few upgrades have been cheap, too, at $95. 30-50% of the original cost per upgrade is more common.

As for your speculation on price reduction and increased package granularity, I don't see that happening. The only such change we've seen in the past 6 years was due to Google's purchase of @Last, which gave us the free version. Google subsidized that on the back of Google Earth subs and ad revenue from Maps. I'd be worried about the free version going away, if it weren't for reassurances in the press release saying they'll keep offering it. Instead, it makes me wonder where the subsidy will come from now. Maybe Trimble will also be purchasing Google Earth.

Linux (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 2 years ago | (#39814023)

Well, so much for ever getting that Linux version :(

Re:Linux (1)

rusty0101 (565565) | more than 2 years ago | (#39834845)

I've never seen any of the development team for SketchUp suggest that there ever would be a Linux version. They seem to be content that at least some of the free versions run under Wine. Presuming you have proper 3d hardware acceleration running under Wine. Hell the developers are recommending other companies iOS software to people requesting _something_ for Android.

I gave up on having any real hope for a Linux release over a year ago. The SketchUp developers just don't seem to get the fact that they have a ready audience. And while Linux users have the image of not being willing to spend money, we don't all look for the cheapest hardware and restrict ourselves to software that doesn't have support agreements. And the people who will pay $500 or more for SketchUp are commercial users who would treat it as part of the cost of doing business. And considering that Google themselves have moved to a Linux and MacOS preference for operating systems for desktops, it just seems like ignorance on the developer's side that they haven't even started a port to Linux.

Sketchup data structure not free (1)

beachdog (690633) | more than 2 years ago | (#39817445)

I have been hoping that Google would have published the Sketchup data structure and released the Sketchup to AutoCad file exporter.

A recent book, titled roughly The Power of Free used Google as an example of a firm that gave away a valuable service in return for a more modest income from side businesses ancillary to what they gave away. (Gmail and Search are examples of this).

I was hoping that Google would see Sketchup as a candidate for fitting into that same business model. Sketchup is one of the most appealing 3-d design applications around and the Sketchup data structure probably is a really well thought out object.

I really like Sketchup (running on Linux via Wine). Google was a firm capable of revealing the Sketchup data structure and using the business model of giving away a valuable component and finding revenue in the side businesses.

In the case of computer aided design, the whole field is locked in prisons of proprietary data structures and astronomical software prices.

A Google business decision to publish the Sketchup data structure and some export tools would have allowed dozens of free open source engineering computer aided design applications to be created.

Instead, Google appears to have done a conventional Sketchup value analysis based on it's relatively small group of Professional edition software buyers. And the result is, Sketchup is now yet another member of the high priced proprietary computer aided design field.

Re:Sketchup data structure not free (1)

rusty0101 (565565) | more than 2 years ago | (#39834889)

I have a suspicion that the 'solution' to this is going to have to be someone re-implementing the SketchUp UI to fit over Blender, and or InkScape. Personally I would prefer it to sit on top of Blender because there are already tools that are well known for printing components from Blender on a 3d printer, but I wouldn't be surprised if someone has (or is working on) the same sort of process for SVG file based component designs.

A lot of 3d printer models are already being started in SketchUp, but then one has to extract the needed content from the SketchUp file to process it in Blender (or other tools) to get/generate tool paths for 3d printers.

Trimble, the evil Microsoft of the Surveying world (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39817795)

Can't see this beeing good for Sketchup in any way. Will probably turn into a free viewer-only version in no time. Without export functionality.

Autodesk should have snapped it up (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 2 years ago | (#39818127)

My wife is an Architect but she qualified too soon to get experience with CAD. So when the time came to buy a copies of autocad and revit she was totally stumped by their complexity. She bought a commercial copy of sketchup for this reason. It is 3D CAD without the clutter. The concepts are easier to learn, and it made a transition to revit possible.

People, this is good news! (3, Informative)

Faraday's Sloth (720456) | more than 2 years ago | (#39818519)

I have a fairly good clue of what's going on since the company I work for (Tekla) got recently acquired by Trimble. Except for long term roadmap, they've pretty much left us alone (at least it seems that way to us programmers). Trimble wants to create a competetive vertical solution in the construction industry to compete with Autodesk's toolchain. Autodesk pretty much dominates the construction industry, and their ecosystem is proprietary and closed. The counterbalance to this is a developing toolchain of tools built around the IFC format which is standardized and open. Trimble already had most of the other pieces in a complete architect-to-the-construction yard toolchain except for an archictecture software, and now they have it. This means, there is now true competition in the construction segment offering information tools, and not only Autodesk and Autodesk. This sort of competition is good, people.At least so far the non-Autodesk parties try to break their dominant position with collaborative tools and an open format. Of course, what the situation will be in the future? Who knows.

San Jose Air Conditioning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39818691)

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Great! (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 2 years ago | (#39821285)

I think that is amazing, and they should sell off all the other ones they put back on the shelf when they closed the lab down, make some extra cash back for all those great ideas they invested in.

Post Google (SU) optimism (1)

dsarchs (1252582) | more than 2 years ago | (#39823405)

As an architect who has used sketchup for the past 10 years this might not be a terrible thing, although that depends on Trimble -- a company I know nothing about.

Google did increase the speed of the modeller as well as fix several bugs (shadow bug, in particular) but these took longer than seemed necessary -- focusing instead on (reasonably enough) features to integrate it with google earth, as well as some gimicky 'styles'. But it stagnated as a professional modeller. The big improvements have come from independent plugins (which is probably what google intended).
Still, I'm hopeful that Trimble might be able to fundamentally improve the modeler. Incorporating NURBS, would be great, as well as better boolean operations and selection methods (although these last two are somewhat covered by plugins).

About the price -- $500 vs. free seems like a big deal, but $500 compared to any (most) other modelling software is a steal! Besides, the 2 biggest differences are the export options (although the free still can export collada and obj (with plugin)) and the ability to create dynamic components. If you're not using the software professionally you probably won't miss these and if you are you probably won't mind the relatively small cost.
Even if Trimble doesn't continue the free version, the current free version should keep working just fine.

Trimble Sketchup unofficial blog (1)

sketchuptutorials (2618427) | more than 2 years ago | (#39829341)

Check out this unofficial source for information about the Trimble Acquisition of Sketchup. [trimblesketchup.com] It has links to a bunch of the news articles, and a write up about Trimble. Do you know what kind of industries they are in already? I think Google is leaving Sketchup in good hands.
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