is Ben Rudgers

My Failed Startup: Part A

I had a failed startup [in the weak sense] and didn’t know it until I started blogging.

A few weeks ago, as I was writing the first posts about the Vectorscript projects I created, I suddenly was struck by the fact that I had had a failed startup (to some degree). Recognizing it was an important lesson, and has allowed me to move forward mentally. In no small part, this is because I am impressed by what I was trying to do, and the quality [relative to my own picture of my abilities] of the code that I wrote.

From 2007 through 2010, amidst a lot of trolling and ranting and arguing on the Vectorworks Community Board, I came up with a few good ideas. But my frustration and bad internet habits* were inappropriate, and got me banned. Got banned from push-pullbar2 also about the same time. The Usenet in me dies slowly. The ban from Vectorworks Community Board happened just as I was getting up to speed writing Vectorscript regularly. It also happened just as I was about to announce the KludgeOmatic – a really useful scripting tool running on top of Vectorscript.

As I’ve mentioned earlier, Vectorworks does not include a simple way of creating “command macros” or “simple scripts.” Everything has to be compiled, so everything is hard coded, and has to have a name. Throw in the fact that there is no command line interface, and the overhead of creating a new command entails dealing with drop down menus at a minimum and creating icons if continuous visual access is required – in other words, if you want a button.

At the time, I wouldn’t have described it this way, but the KludgeOmatic implements a domain specific language by creating an evaluator in Vectorscript – Vectorscript, unlike AutoLisp lacks the ability to evaluate itself. Unsurprising given that Vectorscript is based on Pascal (which also indicates the blub love of its designers [I cannot help my self but to criticize Vectorworks as software].

The data structure for the evaluator is a Vectorworks Worksheet – bascially a simple spreadsheet. The KludgeOmatic, reads a row from the table and executes it’s commands. There are flags so that entities can be selected, or the entire line can be skipped (i.e. commented out for rapid development). Overall, it’s pretty fucking simple. So simple, I remain surprised that nobody  had come up with it.

Here is the readme [File dated 1/18/2010]:

What is KludgeOMatic 1.0?
KludgeOMatic 1.0 is a tool for making Command Macro’s.

What does that mean?
KludgeOMatic 1.0 runs a sequence of Menu Commands and more importantly lets you easily edit that sequence from a single worksheet without having to write, compile, and debug Vectorscript.

How much Vectorscript do I have to Know?
If you can look up a Menu Command Name and its index in the VectorScript Appendix you know enough.  If you can look up a Menu Chunk and its index in the VectorScript Appendix, you can utilize the full capacity of KludgeOMatic 1.0.

How do I use KludgeOMatic 1.0 ?
KludgeOmatic 1.0 consists of two parts.

Part One is the “Com.KludgeOMatic1.0.Demo”  Menu Item. Select it and KludgeOMatic runs.

Part Two is the worksheet “KludgeWorksheet.”  You edit this to make KludgeOMatic do what you want.


  • The Row1 of KludgeWorksheet tells you what type of value each cell should have.
  • The Row2 and all following rows are arguments processed by the KludgeOMatic Script.


  • Column A is an integer. If the value is greater than Zero, then KludgeOMatic will ignore the line – way cool because you can delete commands from your Macro temporarily!
  • Column B is the name of the menu command to run. Obvious ones are “select all,” “move,” “rotate,” “objects from polyline,” etc. Some menu command names are not obvious but you can look them up in the VectorScript Appendix.
  • Column C is an integer and the index of the menu command in Column B. The index is normally equal to zero but if you are using a menu chunk in Column B it can have other values. For Menu Chunks and their indexes see the VectorScript appendix.
  • Column D is an integer. If the value is greater than Zero, then KludgeOMatic will terminate without executing the next line – way cool because you can delete commands from your Macro temporarily, like for debugging!

Is there a Demo Version available?
Yes.  It is full of annoying popups and delays. It only executes four argument Rows. I was thinking of making it only run on Mondays, but I didn’t.

Download the demo here:  http://brudgers.com/arefaq/arefaq-public-docs/Com.KludgeOMatic1.0.Demo.zip

How do I install the Demo Version?
Copy Com.KludgeOmatic1.0.Demo.vsm to your Vectorworks Plug-ins folder.

Create a new drawing in Vectorworks.

Go to File ->Import–>Import VectorScript

Import the File “Drawing KludgeOmatic Demo.txt” into the new drawing.  This creates the worksheet “KludgeWorksheet” and some entities.

What is the difference between the Demo Version and the Full Version?
You mean other than the annoying popups and delays?  The Full Version can process as many worksheet rows as you can throw at it up to whatever limits Vectorworks imposes.

Any other Differences between the Full Version and the Demo Version?

The full version is Vectorworks Serial Number specific.

How Much does the Full Version of KludgeOmatic 1.0 cost?

US $45.00.

How do I order it?

Email payment via Paypal to Payments@KludgeCode.com.

Include the last six digits of your Vectorworks serial number.

Allow up to three business days for fulfillment.

OK, But What are the Coolest things about KludgeOMatic 1.0?

You can keep KludgeWorksheet open for editing while you run the KludgeOMatic 1.0 Script, change parameters and run the script again.

You can use “custom selection” to add or delete named items.   Try the 2d locus “center of rotation” in the demo version, then rotate around it.

*Something I am working to change because participating on HN is rewarding and requires a higher standard of conduct. It’s also more fun to work on writing really well rather than just better than a typical internet user.