The Reverse Engineering Stops Here?

I used to have this in my email signature:


As a developer of training, it was my duty – my calling – to save software users from having to reverse engineer how the software worked.  Reverse engineering is hard, it’s really time-consuming and it’s error prone.  Reverse Engineering the software is supposed to stop with me.

I’ve recently dipped my toe back into migration services for the first time since I started using (and loving) OpenRoads.  

Maybe it’s the fact that most of my career has been primarily modeling and only rarely sheeting.  Maybe creating sheets from your models is easier that consuming someone else's.  Maybe I’ve just fully embraced the idea of working in an immersive native 3D What-You-See-Is-Really-What-You-Got (WYSI-Really-WYG!) environment.  It’s probably all of the above, but looking at sheet sets from the “old” 2D modeling days…

Holy Stick Figures, Batman!  Trying to make a mental picture of the 3D Engineering in my mind from 2D line drawings is reverse engineering of the worst sort.  It’s painful. 

Apparently Reverse Engineering is a major component of that old paradigm. Who is good at that?  Who enjoys it?  How error-prone is it?

I’ve always considered Poetry a high-loss compression algorithm that impairs clear communication.  I get that there is a subculture that enjoys it.  Unless it’s song lyrics, I have no time for that kind of ambiguity.

I get that there is a specialized experienced sub-group of people who are adept at reading plan sets and perhaps even enjoy the process.  Is it fair of me to think of them as cultists who derive status from excelling in a skill that few can master?

Is it rude of me to consider the skill analogous to reading entrails (without the precision or the aroma)?

We see the underlying model being requested by earthwork contractors as they can save a lot of money working directly from the terrain model.  Sheeting requires high effort to create, it is prone to error in creation.  It takes high skill to consume and is prone to error in interpretation.  It persists because when the lawyers get to fighting, all they can handle is paper. 

The industry is moving from the paper towards the model.  OpenRoads makes the model revelatory.

As a long-time modeler who seldom consumed sheets, and who has fully embraced the WYSIWYG 3D modeling paradigm, I loathe sheets as deliverables.  As someone who had dedicated a career to helping others transcend reverse engineering in particular and bad process in general, I loathe sheets in principle. 

How bad is it for you?  If you are comfortable consuming sheets, how long did it take to feel good about them?  How do you feel about the shift to modeling? 

Am I wrong not to ever want to work with plansets?

Is my brain simply not big enough for sheets?   I'll take your word for it.

Thanks for reading..

-jeff martin