Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Best programming language for AutoCAD

Best programming language for AutoCAD

VB.NET, C#.NET, macros, scripts, LISP, VBA, and C++, are all tools available in AutoCAD for software development.  What to choose is not always easy. Base on “Through the Interface” written in 2008, I will try to review the pros and the cons on every programming language available.
In 2008, Microsoft was already capable to offer a good framework and good editing tools such as Microsoft Visual Basic 2008 and Microsoft Visual c# 2008 but AutoCAD and Autodesk haven’t offer a mature .NET API. Also, not everyone could learn a new programming language or switch from on technology to another.
In 2013, it never had been to true that .NET will suppress old programming language such as LISP, C++, VBA.

VBA good bye

VBA is virtually no longer supported by Microsoft.  The presence of VBA programming forces your application to work in 32 bits decreasing your performance and the size of your files. For example, you are using InRoads from Bentley inside AutoCAD. If your DWG files including large XREF, your AutoCAD will not topped at 3 or 3.5 GO of RAM. This is also true for all other program such as SolidWorks, Catia, See Electrical Expert, Microsoft Excel and more.


LISP is a very old programming language and as no modern capabilities. There are absolutely no graphical abilities. No peripheral capabilities (mouse for example). No telecommunication or networking functions. No error handling. In other words, it is very basic languages that only do the basics on a computer.  But LISP is still alive in AutoCAD because it could command the basic fro AutoCAD. That way, you could automate virtually all the operation inside AutoCAD. So whatever AutoCAD could do, you could use LISP to do it.
LISP is still very popular in AutoCAD and there are many forums on LISP for AutoCAD. Unfortunately, the moment you wish to do something outside of AutoCAD, you will stop because of…..


JavaScript is a kind of small oriented object programming language. JavaScript is like VBA because you can’t compile into files or make autonomous programs. JavaScript is very in Web pages.  The syntax looks a lot like Java, C++ or C#.
 Yet, I can’t say anything about this type of language for AutoCAD because my experience on the subject is too limited. JavaScript might be a good idea for those who know JavaScript or want to do small programs with AutoCAD.
Download the JavaScript SDK and documentation for AutoCAD here:

What is the best programming language?

What would be the best programming language development for AutoCAD? There are 2 possible answer: C#.NET and VB.NET . Why?
C# is very popular. Most modern school teaches that language. C# give you access to 32 and 64 bits technologies. C# opens doors to most software and every specialty. (Engineering, finance, gaming…). VB.NET is also a very good choice because it gives you the same functionality but the documentation over the internet is limited. To give you an idea, C# is about 10 times more popular than VB.
So if you come from C#, java, C++, my best choice is C# over .NET. Otherwise, if you come from VB6 or VBA, try VB.NET.
In all case, is relatively easy to switch between both language because the work over the same Framework and the same system.

What language do I use?

I program under many languages. On a regular basis, I work with c#, visual basic and Java. Others languages such as C++, Pascal are rare. The choice of language really depends on the API of the software I need to interact or the type of system (Blackberry, Android, Windows, et cetera). I’ll use other type of programming language if I have to deal with other type of technologies such as web site or interacting with a database (SQL).
You could visit my web site to have an idea of what I could do: Check Technologies.


The Hard Way Is Easier (lisp programmer are beyond arrogant)


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