A question in a private myfeedback.autodesk.com discussion forum (we have over 90 projects ongoing during this busiest of season for betas, sign up) I had a question that reminded me about a great resource I helped start but had not looked at in a awhile. It is the Command and System Variable Map for AutoCAD. Impress fellow CAD geeks with the knowledge and if you can try to memorize all the commands...no no no!
I can remember coming up with the list when I first started with Autodesk 10 years ago fresh out of the mechanical designers world to the software industry which was a cultural shock and also during R14.01 code named "Pinetop" and it was like a speeding train passing and me reaching out and grabbing hold of it. I thought naively that there would be a be all end all list of Commands and System Variables, surely there was a master list with a chronological history of new, removed and changed commands. Well there wasn't and so I set out in the wee hours over the course of a month or two and came up with a AutoCAD R12 to AutoCAD R14 Map in a spreadsheet showing Commands and System Variables in a red, green and yellow color scheme indicating removed, added and changed. In its first year which was 1998 it was being downloaded tens of thousands of times and authors and teachers were always asking to use it which of course is why I created it.
After a few years I met a guy Lee Ambrosius who had more energy than me and new AutoCAD inside and out and so I gave him the data and the Map lives on and much more robust and improved from a database thanks to Lee's excellent efforts. Now since late in 2007 Lee too works at Autodesk and works the long hours with little spare time but he has to find another energetic person to keep the Map going or keep doing it himself. ;-)
AutoCAD Command Map AutoCAD R12 to AutoCAD 2008: Command Reference
AutoCAD System Variables Map AutoCAD R12 to AutoCAD 2008: System Variables
AutoCAD Trivia : How many officially documented AutoCAD commands and System Variables "sysvars" when I started the Maps for AutoCAD R12?
Answer: In AutoCAD R12 there were 875 documented Commands and 757 System Variables. There are some Commands and System Variables that were not documented on purpose as they were for internal use only and never intended or supported to be used otherwise. Also there are a couple that may only be in the UI. The count water can get muddied that's for sure but this is the official Autodesk documented numbers.
AutoCAD Trivia : How many documented Commands and System Variables for AutoCAD 2008?
Answer: In AutoCAD 2008 there were 876 documented Commands and 767 System Variables. Yes only one new Command since AutoCAD R12, OK not really as there were many old retired Commands and many new that took their places like ASCTEXT which was retired and remapped in AutoCAD R13 to MTEXT not too mention the changed Command count.
I will be turning my AutoCAD History site into a nice new blog when I get a chance so that it is all indexed nicely and can be searched, indexed and maintained more easily. Shaan's Unofficial AutoCAD History Site I am also considering localized language version of the commands as well and perhaps someday vertical products but that all depends on time. Maybe a wiki someday to manage it in the public domain so people can add, edit or update it for a single list that everyone agrees on.
AutoCAD Trivia : I mentioned AutoCAD R14.01 was code named Pinetop, what was this reference to and why?
Answer: post your answer to this blog post. :-)