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Re: gEDA-user: Is the OrCAD Library Active?

You might want to take a look at Perl as well. It's been around the longest, and one of its primary goals was to do good text parsing (it has built in pattern matching and replacement). Ruby was actually written by a Perl affectionado, and has many of Perl's text handling attributes. Perl also has a huge library (CPAN) of available addon functions, and has lots of people who know how to write in it.


Arthur Baldwin wrote:
Dear Patrick,

Thanks for the update. There is a project labeled "olib" which stands for "OrCAD Library" and which is already part of the gEDA project. The problem with that "side project" is that it was designed for OrCAD version 4.0 (fairly old version). And the author says that there are several bugs in it. In my current study of Ruby, it seems like that language is well suited to parsing the native files of OrCAD (which by the way are ALL plain text files). The key to making olib complete is to choose a language whose strength is searching text and grouping the results of that text search into C++ based objects. The objects can then be manipulated to fit the object "model" of gEDA. Both Python and Ruby are fairly new to me, so I'm really "expert" in neither. But it is important to me to help develop a good solution to this problem. I can't see the point in spending 10K USD "per seat" for the latest version of OrCAD and then having to deal with the "dongle" on the parallel port....just to print out the schematic for an existing OrCAD project. Especially when every single data file in OrCAD is plain ordinary text with a structure similar to AutoCAD drawing files. There's no need to "export" from OrCAD into an "intermediate format" before conversion to gEDA...because of the fact that OrCAD uses plain text for all data. What will eat up our development time is figuring out what current "structure methodology" is used inside the OrCAD data files and then designing a parser to work with that structure. Ideally we should understand the structure well enough to be able to fix "corrupted" OrCAD data files during conversion.

I'm looking forward to the day when users of gEDA will feel totally comfortable with converting in either direction...even with complex projects.



----- Original Message ----
From: Patrick Doyle <wpdster@xxxxxxxxx>
To: gEDA user mailing list <geda-user@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Wednesday, February 28, 2007 5:39:05 PM
Subject: Re: gEDA-user: Is the OrCAD Library Active?

On 2/28/07, Arthur Baldwin <eengnerd@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> My company is interested in being able to take existing OrCAD schematics and
> PCB layouts and converting them into gEDA format(s). If there is someone
> working on this already, I'm "all ears" and ready to begin assisting them in
> the development process.
I thought about this a couple of months ago in terms of bringing
schematics from work (where we use Orcad 10.5) to home (where I use
gschem) and back again. Looking around, I couldn't find any
documentation on the Orcad file format, so I tried exporting my design
to an EDIF file and started writing a parser for that in python. I
never got as far as outputting (or is it outing-put?) the design into
the gschem format, primarily because I couldn't see the point. I had
no guarantee that once I translated a design to gschem, edited it, and
translated it back to an EDIF file, I would be able to import that
EDIF back into Orcad. Not being able to see the light at the end of
the tunnel, I abandoned the project, settling for the start of a
parser that extracted some specific information about a specific

I don't think it would be too difficult to resurrect the parser, and I
can see the light at the end of the tunnel for a tool that would take
an Orcad generated EDIF file and produce a gschem schematic (set), but
I don't have any experience at all with the Orcad PCB tool.


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