Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Stop Double-Clicking Files to Open Them!!!

Got that? Stop Double-Clicking BIM or CADD Files to Open Them!!!

Unless of course you like to create files that are increasingly corrupt and ultimately don't work.

First let me put this in a bit of perspective: I don't mean little bitty files or the likes of MS Word files, etc. I am strictly speaking to Revit & other ADSK files (such as AutoCAD and all the variants therein) probably the other software vendor files too but they'd have to address that.

I was speaking to an ADSK developer about the fact that I'd heard it is not a good practice to open files by double-clicking them and they agreed and gave me some now long forgotten, technical and valid reasons.

I was working (for 6 years) next to a MACperson and since he was so used to double-clicking files to open them he naturally double-clicked away; even though we were in a Windows environment AND even though we had implemented a best-practice of 'never double-clicking files to open them'... you know how it is: best practices are only as good as the people employing them (or not
employing them)... I guess he initially didn't believe in the import or validity of the suggested practice.

Well as time went by I realized that this person was generating a lot more corrupt (Architectural Desktop) files than anyone else... Hmmm was the info that ADSK developer told me correct? Yes, obviously!!!

I also tested with network sniffers and wait til I tell you about the poor packets of lost information...

Long story short; once the double-clicking was stopped so did nearly all of the corruptions...hey; it was still CADD based so don't expect perfection... Think of it this way: the files we are using in the BIM realm are quite large and the applications we use are also large and complex with so many calculations happening it's hard to imagine; but back to the point: if the app isn't fully opened the file will still be trying to force itself into the app but can't complete the process ...

...And if you're on a network what do you think happens to the packets of information? Well, they bounce around the network trying to find a home, but after a short time (milliseconds to
seconds usually) they turn back into free floating electrons and go back to whence they came... Space

Say bye-bye to your data!!! Now, if you continue
double-clicking then I suggest that you stop asking why the files go corrupt and start to take ownership of your actions and realize that you caused the corruptions by choice and action... This is not a judgement, just a fact... not good or bad; just so.

Remember: Ignorance of the law is no excuse either, right?


  1. Does this apply to drag and drop (from explorer onto an open application) or to double clicking a file after the application is open?

  2. What if AutoCAD is already open and you want to open a drawing? Will double clicking on the file in Explorer to open it in an already running session of AutoCAD cause these magical packets of data to disappear?

  3. If the application is open then it is less of an issue but for several reasons (consistency being #1) the suggested way to open a file is from the applications OPEN command. We are working with a lot of math intensive data and the only way to be safe is to be safe.