Here is a typical question that may arise when working with IFC export and shows the importance of the extension possibilities provided by the IFC export open source project:
Question: How are the areas and volumes of walls, rooms, floors, etc. calculated for the IFC export? Are any standards being used?
Some examples of values and parameters in question when we export IFC files from Revit:
Some other CAD products define other parameters as well; for example, a wall may provide both GrossSideArea and NetSideArea, GrossVolume and NetVolume.
Can we get this from Revit also? Would this require us to modify the export, e.g. through the open source project, calculate net parameters, and so on?
Answer: Good questions!
If you are thinking of amending the open source code and you make changes that you think would be beneficial to the entire community, we'd appreciate if you considered 'donating' your changes to the project.
Continuing our cloud and web service ruminations, here is an interesting little hint on asynchronous interactions:
If you are thinking of implementing asynchronous interaction in your web service, which is often a very commendable and necessary thing to do in order to ensure responsiveness and avoid user frustration at a program that just hangs and does nothing, you can save yourself a lot of effort by looking at the async and await keywords provided in the .NET Framework 4.5 Beta.
The asynchronous programming model used in last few years requires a lot of careful attention while coding, which is tremendously simplified by the async features in the latest versions of C# and Visual Basic.
For a very readable overview of this new feature, here is an MSDN article by Brandon Bray, Async in 4.5: Worth the Await, and an async and await FAQ by Stephen Toub.
Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, .NET 4.5 cannot be used with Visual Studio 2010, so I cannot play with this until I move on a bit, which I will try to postpone until I get a new machine, which should happen any time now. I recently installed MVC 4 and thus proved first-hand that it works with VS 2010, which in turn proves that that does not require .NET 4.5.