DWG translation

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chris

Assistant Engineer

posts: 43

Registered: 2011-5-24

Message 1 of 28

 DWG translation
26-10-2005 10:08 . am | View his/her posts only
Am I the only person using VX that needs to translate drawings into dwg format? everyother release it fails......doesn"t anybody check before release. I would think that a recuring problem would be checked out. My customers get very angry when the only way they receive a dwg file is with notes and dimensions exploded.

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ChrisWard2k2

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Registered: 2011-11-22

Message 2 of 28

27-10-2005 09:45 . pm | View his/her posts only
Hi Chris

I understand your frustration and I'm sorry to hear that you have this problem. If you are saying that your current version of VX does not output the exact same drawing layout that a previous release had no problems with, then the development team need to be told the details so that we can fix our mistake. Please understand though that DWG & DXF are proprietry formats that belong to AutoDesk. It is their policy not to release the format schema, indeed they change it very frequently. It is therefore next to impossible to ensure perfect translations for every AutoDesk product release.

Further Info: http://www.opendwg.org/

AutoDesk's policy is not VX Corp's fault, we want you to have the smoothest data exchange possible, and if your customers are AutoDesk Users, they must be aware of the limitations of AutoCad et al.

What you can do is experiment to find the best VX output for each of your customers (just knowing the main release version of their software is not, unfortunately, enough). Try outputting a small but representative sample drawing in a range of flavours and Acad versions. Before asking your customers to try them, check them yourself with an AutoDesk Viewer such as Volo View. I think you may find that DXF is sometimes better than DWG.

If your customer does not need to edit your drawings, you can offer them in a different format (PDF is probably the most popular).

Should you ever have a VX Layout that will not export well even with the dimensions exploded, there is a VxDal available, AcadExport, which may well help:

Free Download


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chris

Assistant Engineer

posts: 43

Registered: 2011-5-24

Message 3 of 28

30-10-2005 09:05 . am | View his/her posts only
The problem is not auto cad changes. The dwg files wont even translate back into VX. I check this before sending them. I do not have any customers that use Auto Cad. Dwg format is used by all as a neutral file for drawings. I report this problem to development each time. each time the report is listed as regression then is fixed for the next release. I would think someone would check a recuring problem. This is not just 2 or 3 times its a dozen or more.

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ChrisWard2k2

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Registered: 2011-11-22

Message 4 of 28

31-10-2005 06:32 . am | View his/her posts only


Hi again Chris




The problem for all developers outside of Autodesk is the frequency of Autodesk changes. The goal posts are moved deliberately to make it difficult for other companies, like VX, to maintain the success rate of their translation code. Neither DWG or DXF are neutral formats, they are proprietary to Autodesk. STEP and IGES are examples of genuine industry standard neutral formats.




Concerning Quality Assurance, previously known problems are always rigorously checked for. However, the devil is in the detail. There is a high level of complexity involved in translation. So, a very broad description that says an import or export fails (which, because we are serious about quality, we label as a regression) does not actually tell the full story - the failure is the end result, but it is not necessarily the case (indeed, because we are careful, it is not usually the case) that the cause of the failure is the same as experienced previously. You can break your leg a hundred different ways........




Now, a very tiny change in output data format can make a huge difference between success or failure. To get to the bottom of the problem that you are experiencing, we need precise information that can lead us to the cause. It is of course perfectly fair to expect VX to import a DWG file that it has exported. I would point out though that there is no one-for-one relationship between the way Autodesk describe geometry and the way that VX does, so it is perfectly possible that the contents of an export hold good for other applications (especially those that use the ACIS kernel) (yes I know Autodesk do not use ACIS themselves now). At the end of the day, when you export, your concern is what the data is like once imported into the other applications, which is why I advised you to use an Autodesk viewer such as Volo View. Since the DXF Autodesk format is more basic (because it is intended for Data transFers), it is worth trying.




Chris, have you setup a small but representative sample drawing in a range of flavours and Acad versions to see if you can better match the VX output to what the recipients applications work well with on import? Can you provide a small VX DWG Export that always fails to Import so that we can use this to investigate the cause of the problem you are seeing? What we need is the VX file and the exact settings used in the export dialogs.

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chris

Assistant Engineer

posts: 43

Registered: 2011-5-24

Message 5 of 28

31-10-2005 10:25 . am | View his/her posts only
I have sent a file to PCR that I created. A simple block with a radius on a corner and a hole. I then make a sheet with a note and dimensions. I then export it out as dwg then import it back in to a blank sheet. Then I send the entire file to development. The last time it was corrected was for 11.4. When I sent a file in before 11.4 I got a response that a memory leak had caused the problem and that they acted happy to discover what was causing the problem. This again is not my customers not being able to import,
I cant import my file back in. So far imports of dwg files from customers have came in fine. I have been checking before I send anything out. Just as a footnote I brag to my customers how much better VX is then anything they have. Some of my business in fact is just translating and repairing solid models that they cant even tell what they are. VX has only failed me once with an IGES not to give me anything. The follow up model was fine, telling me they had messed up on the exporting.

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ChrisWard2k2

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Registered: 2011-11-22

Message 6 of 28

31-10-2005 02:46 . pm | View his/her posts only
Hi again Chris

I have looked-up your PCR and I can see that there is a VX bug with certain lower-case letters being picked up as in-line fonting controls, which causes the loss of characters that you are seeing. v11.5 has exported the geom and dimensions correctly (DWG and DXF), so if you just change the case of your text, in an Autodesk viewer your file looks like this:

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ChrisWard2k2

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posts: 2

Registered: 2011-11-22

Message 7 of 28

06-11-2006 07:05 . am | View his/her posts only


Hello Dave

I have spent a long weekend working on Autodesk DXF import issues and am interested in your comments. Thank you for the tip that is A9cad, it is indeed useful to work along side VX, and it certainly seems worth paying for. If you want to see how a file will look in Autocad but don't have Autocad, try to find Autodesk's Volo View Express viewer. They have unfortunately let Volo lapse well behind the latest versions of Autocad, but none the less for most DWG/DXF files produced today by non-Autodesk applications, Volo is very useful, very representative.




We cannot see your screenshot or DWG file uploads - perhaps you can try again later, or email them to me directly.




DWG is a proprietary format that belongs to Autodesk and it's a secret. It is a binary file and we, like most others in the CAD-CAM industry, have to rely on the Open Design Alliance code library to handle DWG files. http://www.opendwg.org/ Autodesk are regularly shaking-up the format, presenting a constant challenge. The DXF format however is now published by Autodesk and the ASCII type files are fairly well man readable, making them a better bet than DWG for translation. The greatest problem that we have is the translation of text and dimension text because Autocad uses different fonts in a different way to VX, thus we currently have to make font substitutions and this can only be an approximation unfortunately - any "exotic" fonts used by the Autocad file can therefore translate very poorly.




Geometry should however always be translated accurately and I was dismayed to hear of your "round trip" test failure. I have tested for geom inaccuracy on v12.55 but have not been able to reproduce the fault (DXF out, DXF in) - could you email me a small VX v12.55 file that demonstrates the problem you see?






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cutter

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posts: 55

Registered: 2011-11-23

Message 8 of 28

09-11-2006 10:55 . am | View his/her posts only
Chris, Dad had surgery for cancer Monday and so this week has slipped by without a reply to your post. When I get back home I will send a copy of the screen captures, the dwg file and a link to A9cad to your email address. Don't know why the files could not be opened and I never tried after post as I assumed they would work since they appeared to be there. A9cad is free by the way. I spoke today with VX-Friday the 10th- and it appears that the remainder of the problems ARE being worked on. I am satisfied that what I need to have to deal with my customers is forthcoming. The prior posts re this issue were deleted by me and not vx. I will tell you that they did not like what I posted but they also let it stand. These files will be on there way ti you also Mike. Dave Ault

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Steve

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Registered: 2004-10-9

Message 9 of 28

09-11-2006 11:40 . am | View his/her posts only
The only major problem I now see with 12.55 DWG exports, is the ordinate dimensions don't translate properly.

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ChrisWard2k2

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Registered: 2011-11-22

Message 10 of 28

10-11-2006 05:24 . pm | View his/her posts only


Hi Steve




What version of AutoCad is that? What version of DWG did you export from VXv12.55? Of greatest interest, if you export DXF ASCII, how does that fair?

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Steve

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Registered: 2004-10-9

Message 11 of 28

13-11-2006 03:02 . pm | View his/her posts only
It's from "DWG TrueView 2007"

It's a free viewer from Autodesk.
http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/index?id=6703438&siteID=123112&DCMP=ILC-DWG-PUV
But if I look at the lower left corner, my leaders are there. But *REALLY* small

So I'm pretty sure it's a MM-INCH problem/datum problem.


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Steve

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Registered: 2004-10-9

Message 12 of 28

13-11-2006 03:05 . pm | View his/her posts only
Oh yeah, and the R2K DWG and the R13 Ascii DXF look identical.

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ChrisWard2k2

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posts: 2

Registered: 2011-11-22

Message 13 of 28

13-11-2006 05:43 . pm | View his/her posts only
Thanks Steve

That is very useful info, especially about the DXF. I find that my collection of viewers all give different results. I shall add the Autodesk one to the list. I think you are correct about the cause of the errors.

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cutter

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posts: 55

Registered: 2011-11-23

Message 14 of 28

30-06-2008 01:01 . pm | View his/her posts only
Hi all, Please note the first post in this thread. Then note the date. It is now 6-30-08. My problems are still DWG imports but as I wallow through more DWG crap today my question, like Chris's, is doesn't anyone check this stuff before release? How can this stuff slip through the cracks for four years. I am a customer and I get very angry over this 4 year long problem. Small staff, small company blah blah I have heard it all. You guys are never going to get bigger if these long standing problems are not fixed. If I did not have a custom Haas post made for me by Jim and Earl I could STILL not post to my mill in v13.55. And do not tell me I am the only one with this issue as support has said in the past when I know personaly other companies here in Tennessee have the same issue. I tried to use it again as it came to me in v13.55 and without the special post and local folder to put in the program I would still after 4 years not be able to use vx post. Surfcams post has worked from 2002.5 till 2007 and never a hiccup and no special files written just for me. Going to look seriously at Solid Edge if this stuff is not fixed by v13.65. I am only one user I know and you do not as a company have to cater to me, but you also don't have to keep me as a customer either as I to do not have to cater to you. I am still of the opinion that if these warts would just be fixed VX is the best package for the money out there but I am tired of waiting. Have a nice day like I am.

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ChrisWard2k2

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Message 15 of 28

30-06-2008 07:41 . pm | View his/her posts only

All I can say cutter is that we are trying our best to raise the bar on quality. All software has faults and CAD-CAM software, being the most complex challenge of them all, has the most faults. Solid Edge is a good program but it is certainly not bug-free.

Should we have released the new AutoDesk translator with the problems still there? The alternative was to delay it's inclusion until everything that our testing came up with was fixed - but that would mean that customers would not be able to take advantage of the improvements it brings to the table. The decision was made to release what we have, then follow-up with improvements and fixes as quickly as possible. Rightly or wrongly, this was done in good faith. In the software business you just can't please all of the people all of the time.

We have tried to deliver not just answers to your queries but solutions where ever possible. I believe that the effort made to get your HAAS machine working with VX is nothing less than excellent technical support. No single program out there has all the answers built-in, off-the shelf, all-in-one. All have their strengths and weaknesses. Before joining VX I was formerly the head of a large design office and in my time I have dealt with most of the major CAD suppliers, sometimes as a VIP customer. VX Corp Technical Support compares well with all of them and is far better than most, even though VX costs our customers a lot less to maintain. We cannot pretend to be perfect but we do strive to be the best that we can be. When choosing any software, we all have to ask ourselves if the product's pros out-weight it's cons. Take a serious look at VX's competition and compare. VX v13 is a versatile product, a good work horse that can do most of the things that most people need and is in my view very good value for money.

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Paul

Moderator

posts: 262

Registered: 2011-9-17

Message 16 of 28

02-07-2008 03:08 . pm | View his/her posts only
FYI.
The OLD and BIG players have their fun too.

"Autodesk may be shipping Inventor 2009, but it hasn't forgotten 2008
users. Service pack 3 fixes nearly 200 bugs in numerous modules and the
API. " Source: www.upfrontezine.com

Add that to SP1 and SP2!

All up though, some things are becoming fundimental minimum performance requirements. Robust data exchange being the most important if VX users are to live happily alongside the other players.

Cheers

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Robert

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Registered: 2011-11-22

Message 17 of 28

14-07-2008 08:38 . am | View his/her posts only
Hi Dave,

I'm sorry for the trouble that you're having with DWG. Here's an excerpt of an email that we're sending our resellers...

Dear ,

We will soon release Version 13.65, so we felt it is important to let you know what you can expect in the area of fixes and improvements to the translators. VX Corp is well aware of the need for accurate translation and to meet market demand, we have trippled the number of people working on translators.

DWG Translator

" Using the latest DWGdirect" library from open DWG Alliance.
" Fixes and Improvements  DWG translation is be better than any prior release.
- All versions of ACAD files can now be imported.
- All 2D Geometry, even hidden geometry is imported.
- Improved handling of Unicode (double byte characters), which is primarily found in Asian DWG translations.
- Entities are placed on the correct layers. Layer support is a first for our translator.
- Fonts import accurately, with the exaction of ACAD only fonts which are converted. Fonts will round trip from VX to ACAD to VX.
- More Hatching support with much better accuracy on boundaries, angle, type, and spacing - Matches original. Also, since custom ACAD hatches are not supported, they are converted very closely to ANSI31 or ANSI37 hatches.
- Line and color translation improvements. The accuracy is much better.
- Dimensions importing has been greatly improved.
- Units Import Overhaul:

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Paul

Moderator

posts: 262

Registered: 2011-9-17

Message 18 of 28

15-07-2008 06:38 . pm | View his/her posts only
Hi Bob,
thank you for the Heads Up. It is a much appreciated notification and adds HOPE at the right time.
Now all we need is 13.65 to arrive on MJL's time table.

The Chinese are promoting the 2008 Olympics in China with the buy line:
One world, One dream - posters everywhere - not sure I have any idea what it means to them but it sorta sounds suitable for CAD?

Cheers

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chris

Assistant Engineer

posts: 43

Registered: 2011-5-24

Message 19 of 28

21-07-2008 03:48 . pm | View his/her posts only
WOW, my old rant made it back into the news. for the record dwg into auto cad 2000 and cad key are working just fine. the only problem is color which is not VX problem. dark blue in VX is pink in cadkey. Customer feed back allows me to set up for their system. auto cad is in their own little shinking world. I just made
a hit with a customer programing a laser, before the laser ran all over the table cutting here and there, now the program cuts in a logical order.

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cutter

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Registered: 2011-11-23

Message 20 of 28

01-09-2008 12:05 . pm | View his/her posts only
Excerpt from a letter sent to an SE user on the SE forum this week asking what my VX beefs were.
"Still after 4 years can't import DWG's, which are the vast majority of files I receive, from 2000-02 even though as an inducement to get me to reup for v13 they promised me their "new totaly rewritten" translator was top drawer and would perform FLAWLESSLY--ha!. Last time I tried 4 out of 10 failed miserably and they just don't seem to grasp the importance of this as what would happen to me if I bid on a job based on trusting their translators?" How many PCR's should be sent before this "user feedback survey" works for this problem. The real reason, in my opinion that the PCR system is a miserable failure in this regard is that generaly when an issue is not addressed in a timely fashion submissions stop as why bother if it is not going to be fixed. And then it quickly mushrooms into a user sentiment of "the last two [ or 10 ] I submitted were not ever fixed so why bother with this new problem I have". Like it or not that is paying user sentiment and I myself do this in the cam side of VX as I am not paid to be a beta tester, I pay to get readily usable RELIABLE software and I get tired of bringing up the same issues repeatedly. So now these users are unhappy and each version further the issues exist in creates exacerbated ill will you never even hear of because our decision as paying users is that these problems were not important enough for VX management to fix before so why tell them about them again? And why tell them about new ones as that will surely get the same response. Timely surveys of user real time opinions ARE the only barometer of satisfaction. Another side of this issue is presented now for your perusal. The forum here represents feedback and posts from what percentage of VX users? [ .001%? ] You see most of the time the vast majority of users won't spend the time to frequent these forums and sadly to say this is true with the PCR idea. Sounds good, may even look good but why is it not used? Now if we did a poll based on comments recently on the forum in response to my posts it is 3-survey and 0-pcr. Does this indicate overall user sentiment? Who knows as this is not a large enough sample to be statisticaly significant.
It was my intention not to post again but as I cooled off after more DWG failures that day I began to think about how close the expiration of my subscription was, November to be exact, and the time left to effect change without spending more money was soon drawing to an end and I am loathe to spend more money here at this time under current ongoing issues lack of resolution. And no I am not submiting a PCR on these latest DWG failures until I see what v13.65 does. And when It comes out I will make the time to go through over 200 of these and each failure will be a pcr let me assure you. A total waste of over a days time but I will do it. And they will be the last time I do this as I will know I am not being taken seriously if they are not fixed before November and my subscription lapses. If they do not fail I can also assure you I will be very happy in THIS area and will post that too to whoever and where ever I have been posting about issues. Good news deserves time also afterall.
VX has I am reasonably certain a method for contacting all current subscibers and asking them relevant questions. Unless of course new subscibers and current new feature projects are more important than preserving your user base. Look guys, I dont have to sit in the boardroom meetings to know you have a subscriber loss problem as that is the ONLY reason maintenance amnesties like last years are offered. And you might even try to contact past users to see WHY THEY LEFT, a scenario where most assuredly PCR's will not work. [ And how could you get them back?] I know you can do this too as I was contacted 6 months after I let my maintenance lapse last year over these issues to reup.

By the way, the heading to the SE users response to me was "Wow! OK, I see the situation VERY clearly." We users do see the situation VERY clearly and you will in all likelyhood never know what we see if you never ask.

I have just one caveate to this by the way. Do not do a comprehensive survey if you do not intend to fix problems as you will just exacerbate the problem of the user perception of being ignored.

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ChrisWard2k2

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Message 21 of 28

01-09-2008 02:43 . pm | View his/her posts only
Hello cutter

There are millions of DWG/DXF files out there in a multitude of versions, formats and flavours. I can hand-on-heart guarantee that VX will have problems with many of them - just as other applications also do, including AutoDesk. We, in tandem with many of our competitors, are using the Open Design Alliance library as the code base for our AutoDesk translator. I believe the VX v13.65 translator stands out even from this crowd because we have tackled some very difficult issues such as conflicting units and mixed font sources (and many other "gotchas" as well, none of which are solved by the ODA lib). However, no matter how good the ODA lib + VX code is, AutoDesk formats are a moving target - a deliberate effort by AutoDesk because they want you to buy their software of course.

If you do have the time to try out some files with the new VX translator, we will of course be extremely interested in the results. Would be even more interesting if you were to compare VX results with those of SE too. For a true comparison, the quality of the import in terms of overall presentation as a 2D drawing is important, but equally so is how the geometry can then be used in the receiving application, i.e. is it easy to edit, can it be developed into a 3D model.

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cutter

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Message 22 of 28

02-09-2008 08:47 . am | View his/her posts only
Chris, this may be true and all I can tell you about are the files I have to deal with personally and the results I get. On the files in question, which are from 2000 to 2002 and so really are not moving targets I should think, here are the results. Voloview, Inventor LT, and Solid Edge open them perfectly. Alibre and A9CAD, both free programs, have really trivial text issues in the BOM but the drawings themselves have no errors. VX has significant problems up to things as bad as dimensions are double what they should be. The bad part is that it is four years running now and I stand by my statement that evidently it is not an important enough issue with VX to have devoted sufficient resources to fix it as others have clearly done. Hopefully this will change as I know two new people are hired to work on translators but part of my extreme irritation with this problem is that Jarred promised me that I would really like the all new for v13 translator and how good it is. I had let maintenance drop for 6 months and this was the primary arguement used to get me to reup for v13 as it was one of my biggest complaints. I respect Jarreds ability and took him at his word. I still trust his ability but it would have to be proven to me in this area next time before a single thin dime would be forthcoming. I bought the promise you see and here I am no further ahead and two grand short on cash. Translators have become one of the single biggest CAD issues for me and before I bought Solid Edge I can assure you they were put through the wringer on these with files they had never seen before brought with me on my flashdrive. How serious management takes these problems is the real key here Chris, and the method we users use to determine this is are these problems resolved in a timely fashion. So far as actions speak over four years compared to statements it becomes very clear other things have been more important.

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ChrisWard2k2

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Message 23 of 28

02-09-2008 11:56 . am | View his/her posts only
Hello cutter

VX Corp do take translation issues very seriously, they are important to most if not all of our customers. There was a delay in our AutoDesk translator development. At the time, there were legal issues between AutoDesk and the ODA. Unlike some, we ensured that the activities of the ODA were deemed to be legal before we committed to using the new library. The original translator served the majority of customers well enough, a long way from perfect but in earlier times the greatest use was mostly importing, for 2D to 3D conversion. Thus, the most important area of DWG/DXF translation was "OK".

We have been comparing VX importing with that of AutoCad, TrueView (the successor of VoloView), Kubotek Spectrum and various other similar 3rd party viewers, Various other 2D CAD programs (including A9, as introduced by you via this forum) plus our main MCAD rivals, so we know where VX v13.65 stands - you have not tested that version of course. When studying the results in fine detail, I find that they are in fact all different, with varying levels of acceptability. There are files that TrueView cannot display correctly that VoloView can display, which is an indication of the mess that AutoDesk have created. VX has successfully imported DWG/DXF files from other applications that also fail the AutoDesk viewers, which might suggest that those of us outside of AutoDesk may not have interpreted the formats correctly (DXF format is now published by AutoDesk, but not DWG), but equally it is just as likely that there are errors or omissions in the AutoDesk translators themselves. VX v13.65 will be released soon, I hope you like it.

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cutter

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Message 24 of 28

03-10-2008 05:47 . am | View his/her posts only
VERY pleased to say that my short list of DWG files that has been my litmus test for VX has finally passed in 13.65 with flying colors. What few minor issues there were were similar to those found in other software and none were show stoppers for the first time in 4 years. Have not done any round trips yet but looks good so far.

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Steve

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Registered: 2004-10-9

Message 25 of 28

03-10-2008 08:05 . am | View his/her posts only
My only issue with 13.65 DWGs is on export, the font aspect ratio gets all screwed up. Hidden lines also don't always show up properly. At least in to Autocad '07.

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ChrisWard2k2

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Message 26 of 28

03-10-2008 11:08 . am | View his/her posts only
Hello Steve

There definitely a number of issues on DXF/DWG export still to be addressed and we are working on them. For example, VX permits "360degree arcs" but AutoDesk wants only circles (subtle but a gotcha).

However, concerning the font aspect ratio, that is up to the receiving program. When it goes goofy, it is because the nearest equivalent font available on the receiving PC is not actually similar enough to the font prescribed in the DWG/DXF. Using True Type Fonts in VX could help. I think the hidden lines problem is down to us, but for such a simple thing it is a complex issue - again, the receiving program selects an available font that is the nearest equivalent to the one described in the DWG/DXF file. However, AutoCAD seems to generally display line fonts in a "fine" mode, VX does not, so the round-trip in VX would be deceptive.

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Steve

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Message 27 of 28

03-10-2008 11:22 . am | View his/her posts only
Font doesn't matter. The font aspect ratio on VX export is wrong. I've attached a couple of JPGs showing the problem even using such a common font as Arial True Type.


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ChrisWard2k2

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Message 28 of 28

04-10-2008 09:24 . am | View his/her posts only

Looks like that is our fault. I will define a test file and raise a PCR. Thanks Steve.
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