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Re: gEDA-user: Collaborative Development of Boards

On Mon, 2011-01-17 at 13:50 +0100, Markus Hitter wrote:

> As you mentioned one of the differences is the inspection of changes,  
> but there's another one. Track positions are more like the  
> programmer's object data, than like source code. So they can change  
> often, and often without the intent to change functionality of the  
> layout.

What about extracting the _topology_ of the tracks (probably using /
refactoring some code from the topological auto-router).

It should not be too hard to produce a "same / different" output from
comparing to topologies, without caring about he minutiae of every
coordinate along the way.

Producing a useful "diff" view would be harder of course.

> One solution would be to not store track positions at all, but always  
> generate them with an autorouter on the fly. As long as autorouters  
> aren't as full-featured as compilers in the software world, this  
> isn't an option, though. Future music :-)

This is an interesting idea. Auto-routing to match a particular topology
would be feasible, even if a full auto-route from scratch would not be.

The topological auto-router can do this. The hard part of auto-routing
is generating an efficient topology to use.

> > there's never a version where the changelog says "Deleted 20 unused  
> > features. Patched 300 memory leaks. No new features added".
> Sure there are. Actually, they're my favourite ;-)

For my money, it sounds like there should have been at least 21 commits
there, if not 320. ;)

Still - PCB designs are more like deployed web-software.. very linear in
their development, and diverging branches don't make a lot of sense.
PCBs are of course harder, as it becomes harder to partition and
segregate areas of conflict so individual changes could be reverted.

Peter Clifton

Electrical Engineering Division,
Engineering Department,
University of Cambridge,
9, JJ Thomson Avenue,

Tel: +44 (0)7729 980173 - (No signal in the lab!)
Tel: +44 (0)1223 748328 - (Shared lab phone, ask for me)

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