Wednesday, August 29, 2018

SpankMyRevit – but don't Abuse it! An Update

Let's start at the beginning. Back in April, I posted a few prank articles featuring fictitious Revit add-ins. One of them, SpankMyRevit, for punishing Revit for not doing what one wants, garnered quite a bit of attention in terms of pageviews and feedback. It was just a little funny idea I had, but all feedback was positive and of the type, "I wish this was a real app!" So, shortly afterwards, I reached out to a developer friend of mine and he agreed, in his free time, to make the idea into reality, and I was working with him on this. Unfortunately, owing to his workload and other commitments, and especially to my own health issues, the app didn't get past the Alpha testing stage before...

Developer Bird Tools took the initiative to develop the app independently, cleverly using it to promote their business in the process. I thought this was great, and posted about the app a couple days ago.

Surprisingly, to me at least, there was somewhat of a backlash on Twitter raising concerns over the use of the phrase "domestic violence" in the app. Some went so far as to claim that we were joking about or even promoting physical abuse. There were requests for us to take our post down, and, by extension, presumably, to spike the add-in.

Now, let me be clear, neither we at Revit Add-ons nor Bird Tools advocate violence of any kind. The phrase "domestic violence exception" was used in a message box after excessive "spanking" to recommend potential custom development solutions as a means to alleviate one's frustrations.

I find the suggestion that an innocuous little joke app for venting one's frustrations promotes abuse and domestic violence distressing, especially since I have personally been a victim of domestic violence (yes, it happens to men too). I take the subject seriously and would never do anything to promote such acts.

Let's be clear: Revit is a software application, and that's all it is. It cannot be harmed, neither emotionally nor physically, try as one might. One can harm the container — the hardware — but not the software.

To extrapolate a little computer spanking sound into real world violence is, in my opinion, unreasonable, and to draw conclusions about myself, Revit Add-ons, or Bird Tools based on such an extrapolation is, frankly, irresponsible. Aggressively so.

That being said, as always, I appreciated the feedback and understood the concerns expressed, and I worked with the app developer to revamp some of the language.

The greeting message box that appears after the tool is toggled on now features a disclaimer making Bird Tool's position on violence clear.

SpankMyRevit disclaimer

The message box that appears after excessive "spanking" has also been reworked.

Excessive Frustration Exception message box

While I don't expect these actions to address all concerns, I hope they'll go some distance towards addressing most.

As to taking down our posts or the app, no, that would be caving in to peer pressure and censorship. If you don't like the app or the idea of the app, don't use it, much like you wouldn't listen to music or watch a TV show or play a video game that you found offensive. For those of you who like SpankMyRevit and, hopefully, get a little laugh from it, as intended, please enjoy.

Ye ole editor
Tim Grimm
Greater Seattle area
Not bad for a reformed Bentley guy

SpankMyRevit is brought to you by Bird Tools. It's free.

This add-in is compatible with Revit 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2015.

There's more information available on the Bird Tools website.

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