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Re: gEDA-user: weird names in PCB part library

On Fri, Aug 20, 2004 at 01:06:49PM -0400, Dave McGuire wrote:
> On Aug 20, 2004, at 12:57 PM, Stuart Brorson wrote:
> >>>Perhaps back in the stone age, when PCB was written for the=20
> >>>Altair 8800^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H Atari [2], generating symbols on the 
> >>>fly
> >>>from an M4 macro was a good idea in order to save space memory.=20
> >>>
> >>Seems to have totally misunderstood.
> >
> >Well, perhaps I don't know exactly why M4 was used to generate symbols
> >when PCB was written over 20 years ago.  But I *do* think I know a
> >thing or two about circuit design.  And from the standpoint of a
> >circuit designer (i.e. our target audience for gEDA), M4 is
> >unnecessarily old, scary, nasty, and obscure.  For PCB to make inroads
> >into the circuit design community, it needs to act and feel like a
> >contemporary PCB layout tool.  M4 is unnecessary baggage.  Footprint
> >files -- i.e. PCB's second lib -- are the way it's done these days.
> >Creating parameterized footprints using stand-alone TCL, Perl, or
> >Python scripts would be more attractive and more contemporary.
>   M4 is "obscure" and TCL, Perl, and Python are not??
>   M4 has shipped with EVERY UNIX-like OS for the past 20+ years.  By my 
> definition, that's called "ubiquitous", not "obscure".

This is good. m4 is everywhere. I am always getting upset when I realize
what all uber-modern scripting languages I have to install until the
particular application I am downloading thru freshmeat at the moment starts
to work.

>   Use a scripting language to process macros instead of a macro 
> processor, in other words.
>   PERL (you know, the Practical Extension and Reporting Language) is 
> not the right tool for this job.

PERL is constantly changing it's versions and it would result in old
scripts not working, IMHO.