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Re: gEDA-user: PCB: Stale rat's nest?
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- Subject: Re: gEDA-user: PCB: Stale rat's nest?
- From: Vanessa Dannenberg <vanessadannenberg@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 3 Mar 2006 08:08:12 -0500
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On Friday 03 March 2006 06:42, Stuart Brorson wrote:
Before you read this one, please bear in mind I'm not trying to be critical of
the program, it shows a lot of promise. I'm just writing in my usual style,
so take it with a grain of salt.
> Note that I do belive that you *shouldn't* need to read documentation
> to make a program work.
Documentation is the tricky part. What I did look through wasn't much,
admittedly, but I side with you - documentation should not be necessary to
use a program, it should only be needed if you get stuck. Until just now, I
never knew there were links to a wiki and a tutorial on the website.
> ... However, you appeared to be stuck more than once...
Actually I never got *stuck* exactly. I was going through the usage of the
program as I see it from the perspective of a seasoned Linux user who is new
For example, when I ran into the slotted components issue with the 7400, I
didn't know what a "slot" was. To me, they're individual gates, not slots.
Consider this: When you work at a grocery store, you learn certain
terminology.. "blocking" means to push all of some item to the back of the
shelf, while "air space" means the empty space betwen adjacent products. To
the average person who has shopped there all her life prior to working there,
these terms probably refer to football and airplane flight, respectively.
Perhaps it would be a good idea to show the user normal everyday words in
stead of 'refdes' and 'slot' and whatever else. It makes a lot more sense at
first, and seems less daunting. When I'm confronted with weird terms like
these, I think "Huh? What does this mean? This is too complicated for me."
In the case of the gnetlist procedure issue, if it hadn't explicitly told me
which file it had tried to load and from where in the filesystem, I would
have had to try go Google for a correct answer. Likely as not, it would not
have helped (Google's search result quality has been steadily declining over
the last year or so).
Nevertheless, gnetlist should at least choose a default procedure to use when
none is specified, and it should be in keeping with the basic theme of the
package as the website seems to suggest - export a file from gSchema to PCB.
> 3. Bugs in "geda", the deprecated project manager. The wiki,
> discourages its use.
Fair enough, it is deprecated. However, when you first visit the gEDA website
you are greeted with a big, bold, yellow "gEDA" graphic at the top. The
first thing that comes to mind is "ok, when I download this, just type `geda`
to get started". Then I get to the download screen and I am overwhealmed by
the sheer number of individual tools, support libraries, and so on.
> 4. Issues having to do with the philosophy of gschem's (or any EDA
> tool's) usage...
> Also, you can configurably have auto-refdesing performed within
> (Indeed, this brings up the whole interesting idea of making the
> various settings in gschemrc settable within gschem via a pull-down
> menu item called "settings". Hmmmm . . . . .)
This is precisely what gSchem should do. While I was layout out the PowerSID
project (the board I was working on when I filed the 'stale netlist' bug), I
found myself having to name every single individual component one at a time.
After the first 10 or so (out of about 50 small 200-mil capacitors and
resistors, along with about 15 IC's), it became very tedious.
as a side note, like gSchem, PCB doesn't auto-number it's parts, and there
doesn't seem to be a way to tell it to do so either.
"Sometimes paranoia can be helpful. Usually it
isn't, and when you learn that, life improves."