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Re: gEDA-user: Reinventing the wheel

On Tue, 2011-05-17 at 20:36 +1000, Russell Shaw wrote:
> On 17/05/11 02:44, DJ Delorie wrote:
> >
> >> I've always been interested in CAD programs and thought of making
> >> a schematic/pcb one from scratch.
> >
> > I've never truly understood why people would rewrite a (potentially)
> > huge application set "just because".  Why not start with the existing
> > tools and just rewrite the parts you're interested in?  Like, start
> > with pcb's HID modules but swap out the core?
> >
> > (and if you really want to get *that* involved in pcb layout tools,
> > there *are* parts of pcb that could stand to be ripped out and
> > replaced... ;)
> Hi,
> A schematic/pcb editor is not "huge" unless it's done in an inelegant way.

Core features in the PCB editor can be pretty complex. We have a lot of
code for dealing with polygon geometry, and I wouldn't even know where
to start when in comes to the auto-router and topo-router!


> Creating a schematic and pcb should be done productively within the first
> hour of never having used the program, yet have no limitations for power
> users.

Always a good aim to have. Granted gEDA can do better in this regard,
but IMO gschem and PCB are very intuitive for drawing with. (Perhaps the
bias of experience applies here).

What I would concede is that our forward / backwards annotation and
cross probing work-flows are pretty un-discoverable. These are all
things we aim to improve, but it is not an instant change.

Knowing the gEDA and PCB code bases well, I strongly feel that it would
be less work (and more productive) to slowly refactor and fix those.

It is almost certain that you will be able to build these features from
scratch in less time than it takes to refactor all the old code, BUT -
you would also have to implement a TON of features which already work.

> Everything in geda is 180deg opposite to what i'd do.

In terms of code, UI design, architecture design? There is no wrong
answer here of course, and there are plenty of things in gEDA which I
would not implement the same had I written them myself.

Please feel free (as far as licenses are compatible), to borrow any bits
of code from gEDA as you bootstrap your efforts.

It would be interesting to see another project develop where different
ideas can be tested without the burden of legacy code and user-base. I
hope that if you continue with this, we can share some ideas - and
perhaps help improve gEDA in the process.

Finally, this has become a little off-topic for geda-user (which has a
very wide audience, not all interested in development details -
especially as this case sounds to be heading, of new, non-gEDA tools!)

Perhaps you could apply to geda-dev and move any development discussion

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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