RC2 release summary
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The purpose of the IFC2x Edition 4 is to enhance the capability of the IFC specification in several areas of building elements, building service elements and structural elements and accompanying basic definitions. It also corrects several known technical problems found since the release of the IFC2x Edition 3 specification and to improve the documentation generally. Some elements that have been deprecated in earlier releases have been removed or adjusted.
The Release Candidate 2 is the basis for developing and publishing the Committee Draft CD of ISO 16739. The ISO/CD 16739 is submitted to the International Standardization Organization ISO in May 2011. The main new characteristics of RC2 is the new documentation format, now including introduction, scope, terms and definitions, information requirements and other supporting pages that should ease understanding and navigation. It also includes an example section that is linked back to the definitions.
A "What's new in IFC2x4 RC2" section is added to the specification for a quick overview of major changes, the "IFC2x3 TC1 to IFC2x4 RC2 change log" should be consulted for more details. Please also look into the "IFC2x3 TC1 to IFC2x4 RC2 list of deprecated elements". For a basic introduction to IFC2x4 see the unveiling of IFC2x4 summary presentation.
Purpose of the Release Candidate
The main task that had been resolved in Release Candidate 2 is the switch to a new documentation format. Beside the reference sections of the individual descriptions of each type and entity, several sections on overall scope, terms and information content are added. Another exciting news is the incorporation of examples - a much needed addition to help readers. It should be noted that the example section in RC2 is only a beginning and that it will grow with the next publications. RC2 focused also on the consistency and stability improvement for IFC2x4. The list of deprecated entities had been discussed with all interested parties and a decision had been made to remove some obsolete definitions.
The purpose of publishing the IFC2x4 RC2 is to further encourage the international buildingSMART community to provide feedback and issue reports in order to increase quality and implementability of the next IFC release. The focus of the feedback should be the improvement of documentation, adding new examples and better overall guidance of the readers. Any comments about the ease of use and examples to demonstrate the use of IFC concepts that could be incorporated are highly appreciated. No major schema changes are acceptable for the upcoming Release Candidate 3, only small schema bug fixes.
Invitation for review
We invite all interested parties to review and comment on the IFC2x4 RC2. See "how to use the issue database" on details for registration and usage of the issue database, if you are registered already go directly to the IFC Review Issue Database. The IFC2x4 RC2 review process has started on 01. October 2010 and is expected to close on 01. December 2010.
The next Release Candidate 32, IFC2x4 RC3, will focus entirely on enhancing the new documentation format and thereby on improving the readability of the specification. All interested parties are invited to suggest new ways of providing an introduction into the IFC2x4 specification (as a primer, an overview implementation guide, or similar). Please contribute to the improvement of IFC as the international openBIM specification.