As you have seen in the past year and more, I am more than happy to answer any questions I can on the Revit API submitted in comments to this blog. Sometimes, however, questions are submitted that I really cannot answer. In many cases, there are other forums which are very suitable alternative places for either asking such questions or starting a thread or discussion on a specific topic.
I occasionally also receive emails with questions. In many cases, I will ask the sender to have a look at some of the blog posts and submit their questions as comments to those, so that other developers can respond as well.
And obviously, before you ask any questions at all, you can often save yourself and others some unnecessary effort by searching existing resources for answers. An efficient tool for finding answers on Revit API programming topics is Rod Howarth's global online Revit API help described in this previous post.
Here are some examples:
Question: I have some questions about sending and receiving keyboard input in Revit. I tried to reserve some keys in my plug-in, but haven't found any delegate to handle keystrokes. Unfortunately as a student I haven't got ADN subscription and I don't know anybody to ask... I hope you'll give me some tips... I found some resolution of this problem but it still isn't a good idea.
Answer: This is a question that is a bit too vague for me to say anything about directly. Instead of sending it to me by email, can I ask you to have a look at some of the blog posts dealing with these kinds of issues? If anything remains unclear and you have a specific question, please post it as a comment to the relevant post.
If you are looking for more general background information and a discussion among your peers, there are lots of people to ask out there, an unlimited number.
For instance, you can open a thread on AUGI, the Autodesk Users Group International. AUGI provides a large number of dedicated forums for discussions on topics such as Revit, with numerous subtopics including the Revit API, and also lots of international forums.
You can also initiate a discussion in one of the Autodesk discussion groups, for instance on the topic of Revit Architecture or the Revit API.
Here is a comment by Vincent providing an example of the kind of query that I cannot really answer at all, since it does not have to do with the API itself:
Question: Can you recommend a consultant in the Los Angeles area that understands the basics of the API? I would really like to work with someone for a day or two. Again, I'm learning C# programming and I feel adding source code and code regions are probably pretty easy to do once I gain a better understanding of the basics.
Answer: The short answer is no, sorry. I'm in Switzerland, in Europe. Some of the people I talk with may or may not be in your area, but I really don't know.
I completely agree with your assessment that it is not hard to make use of the API once you have gone through the getting started material. Still, for more complex issues, a bit of professional guidance can be invaluable.
You might be able to find someone in the ADN member database. Or you might post a query to the Revit API discussion group under http://discussion.autodesk.com > Revit Architecture > Revit API, or to AUGI, either in a specific forum e.g. under Revit or the Revit API, or possibly searching the AUGI web site globally for Los Angeles or something.
Autodesk Developer Network
At this point, I should not forget to mention my real work, which is providing developer support as part of the AEC workgroup of the DevTech team for ADN, the Autodesk Developer Network. The Autodesk Developer Network is a program providing professional support to programmers writing add-in applications for Autodesk software. One advantage of being an ADN member is that you can ask question on the Autodesk APIs and are guaranteed an answer within a certain time span, three days for standard and 24 hours for professional members. Here are some other of the program benefits:
- Access to almost all Autodesk software and SDK’s, including early access to Beta software
- Members-only website with thousands of technical articles
- Unlimited technical support
- Product direction through conferences
- Marketing benefits
- Exposure on autodesk.com
- Promotional opportunities
- 1 to 3 free API training classes
You don’t have to be a commercial software developer to join ADN.
And there is yet another level of even higher guidance available: if your needs go beyond simple generic support for the standard Autodesk APIs, you can also ask ADN or the Autodesk Consulting group for mentoring or custom development services.