An Appeal

This is a personal appeal from me (Sabu Francis), the main developer of TAD (The Architect's Desktop). TAD's designing component is a unique space based, object-oriented way of doing BIM (Building Information Modeling) that does not work like conventional BIM.

TAD arose from a small office (Sabu Francis & Associates) in a small town (Navi Mumbai) at India long time back. Since 1989. A lot of energy, personal efforts and lots of money were spent to keep this project alive.

It was kept alive because there was a dream that architects ought to leave behind cogent knowledge, and not just information, whenever architecture was created.

I hope you read this article in its entirety. It has the reasons why such a project is important in any architect's life. This has a win-win proposition that can surely help you too

TAD is now easily available free. Getting your own copy of TAD is as easy as downloading, installing and getting a free registration

Follow the instructions here: https://goo.gl/UgW0Ub , to download and install your free copy. The Registration page will explain how you can register. It is all free

Quite a lot of documentation is here https://goo.gl/9V6Rcm

Currently, the freeware (non-open source) version of TAD is the 6.x series. Simultaneously, the 7.x versions of TAD is also being started using new code that works inside browsers, using the open-source development route. And of course, that too would be free.

At the very least, you can give more than a shout to fellow architects regarding this project?

The fact, unfortunately, remains: This idealism needs a lot of money to sustain

I therefore would welcome any donation for this project. You can donate any amount you feel like into http://imojo.in/tad (available for Indian audiences. If you are outside India, let us know at admin@teamtad.com and we will supply the bank transfer details)

Here are some important, nay, critical linguistic concepts that TAD preserves That by itself, is a very powerful reason why this project must exist and thrive.

TAD has an unbroken history of being in continuous development and use – practically every day was spent in coding and/or checking the underlying theoretical aspects of this project.

This is much the same way a Renaissance architect worked. He/she would have had to first make a pen, grind the ink and so on before the design is expressed – those days, the expression was done in a drawing.

But sadly, the “software writing” part of my life made others feel that I was more into software than into architecture – that is how stereotypes work, I guess.

Another important reason: This work is possibly the only work in this area that came from fundamental theories in architecture All the other BIM software came as modified version of mechanical engineering software or some other source.

Till around 2006, it was also used extensively in my projects – over three million square feet of built works, and scores of unbuilt ones. Though three million sq.ft is not a very large figure; most of my works were very small in a scruffy, disorganized architecture industry of India. In short, TAD was used in hundreds of projects

All along, especially after 2006, these “alphabets” were placed in front of peers with similar interests– and that checking and refining would continue. The first theoretical paper on TAD won me the special award for architectural research from the Journal of Indian Institute of Architects in 1991.

TAD has seen a lot of testing and actual usage in very realistic situations This software is NOT something that works well for small cute things but makes the architect go for a coffee for 15 minutes when it loads a large project

TAD was free all the while all these years. Architects simply had to ask me politely. Unfortunately not many did because exposure of this project itself did not happen very well. Also, architects using a fundamental tool would want a proper ecology around it (Support, documentation, tutorial, etc) which was very difficult for me to setup.

Today, the ecology around TAD is growing.

I have already mentioned how easy it is to get TAD into your office. The extensive docs for TAD for example, were made by the technical documentation writing team of Persistent Systems Ltd along with some of my architects. It is in a Wiki form, and you and others can easily contribute into it. The chatting system would also help support. I am available on the TAD chat system practically everyday.

I have no objections to all feedback. I just wish there was a lot more depth in the feedback – one that arises of real, true use of TAD. Often, when I do get feedback it is stuck to some sideways questions which are really not important

There is a real intent for the architect of this software, also a building architect and educator, to listen well and improve this to suit architectural designing everywhere

I am possibly not very good at social media marketing and other forms of publicity. Also, not many seem to look suspiciously at the main person who developed the system who is also exhorting the theoretical benefits of it, and also wanting to support people using it this.

To be honest, I did sell a few copies to some friends (and I am eternally grateful for their support) quite early. One of the very first use of checking of architectural projects for compliance was done by CIDCO at Navi Mumbai long time back (around 1990) using TAD. But it fell into disuse after some foreign software pushed with their marketing might into India.

I soon realized that such a route is not going to help the mass of architects out there.

Last few years, I was closely examining how the software industry works. Some business tactics and strategies in this industry are not very salubrious to put it mildly. For example; the coteries that are formed by software industries often attempt to manipulate (often succeeding) data standards in any particular specialist area. This is semantically equivalent to people who own iron mines, controlling the property of the iron – it sets into motion all kinds of effects further down the line when the ore is used.

This project is extremely generous. It bothers architects the least (in terms of money or total cost of ownership)

TAD has extremely small files, and can work quite well even with an old computer with 2Gb RAM. It works on Windows (all versions from 98 onwards). Also on Linux and Macs – provided the WINE layer is installed.

After several failed attempts to bridge the gap between the commercial and the ideal, I decided to take this following route: I want rest the case in front of frustrated architects all over who have been sold down the river when it comes to BIM – both in terms of underlying theories as well the commercial aspects.

I definitely do not want to do what other BIM companies do, in terms of commercial exposure, rather, desperate push of such a work. Though I do have plans to release few of the modules commercially, the main ones that protect the objectives of this project, will never be sold for money. Why, if there are good ideas on how this entire project can sustain itself, I will not sell anything at all.

But this is not just an appeal to donate money to me. Not at all:

Users of this software can also make money due to this software

The software architecture of TAD in done in such a way that all users of TAD can also make money. The following is the incomplete list on how you can do that

  • TAD model files made by you can be sold through one of our several servers
  • You can write addons (also known as probes) written in ARDELA (ARchitectural DEsign LAnguage, the built-in language of TAD) and sell those
  • You can make special tutorials and documentation and sell those
  • TAD model files will soon be used in another kind of software developed on the HuddleDen Platform which is being promoted by another software company of mine. You can charge a rental for using your TAD model – much like the way a landlord would charge a rental for using their premises
  • any other ideas? I will surely listen!

And just so that the ideal is not forgotten, you can still do all of the above free of cost to others if you feel the need to share your efforts without restrictions


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Last modified: le 2018/03/04 07:12