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Re: gEDA-user: Solving the light/heavy symbol problem

> > Ok, then how do we generate the thousands, if not millions, of symbols
> > we'll need?  
> I've been thinking about that, and to be blunt, I have no frickin'
> clue. ;-)
> Maybe some clever scripting against a set of "generic" parts
> (similar to what I did with those footprints I just submitted).

Yup, I also figured you'd need some sort of database-driven scripting
to generate them all.  Then I realized, you don't need to run the
script at build time, you only need to be able to run the script as
needed by the user - then we don't have thousands of resistor symbols,
we have one (or a few) resistor symbols and thousands of lines in a
database.  Then we replace the database with a CGI at digikey... ;-)

Of course, we just reversed this for the M4 footprint library.  Mostly
because M4 is a bad choice these days, though, not because scripting
itself is bad.

> The only fair way to handle this is to use gschem to conduct a sort
> of extended poll

I wouldn't want information about user's schematics leaked, the
privacy issues are too dangerous.  However, we could collect stats
about things downloaded from, say, gedasymbols.  Perhaps we could have
a small number of "starter" libraries on gedasymbols, and the geda
installer prompts you to pick one to download.  We track how many
downloads of each, and use that to decide which to include in the

Or we include them all in the distro, let the user pick, and who cares
which one is more popular :-)

> > And consider that, no matter how heavy a symbol is, you can always
> > make it heavier.  Let's say we ship a symbol for a 4.7k 0603 resistor.
> > Does it include manufacter's part numbers?  Vendor name?  Tolerance?
> > These are additional data the user could add.  Where does it come
> > from?  How do they add it?  Should we add it up front?  Why?
> Choose attributes that result in an easy-to-hand-assemble board.

Well, yes, but that wasn't the point I was trying to make.  If the
user *wants* to add more info to a part, they need a way to do it.
That way should be easy for them.

> Sounds fair, but I could see a situation where this could overload the user.
> How about adding these options to the library browser:
> -----
> Show symbols where footprints are...
> [ ] Through-hole
> [ ] Basic SMT   <-- catch-all for single resistors, caps, SOTs, etc.
> [ ] PLCC
> [ ] SOIC
> [ ] BGA
> [ ] Board-edge devices
> [ ] Unspecified
> -----

Well, this looks like either (1) multiple available libraries, pick
one, or (2) what I proposed for the component database model.

It sounds like we're agreeing that geda needs a way to manage
libraries, at least, rather than having "a" library.

> > We *do* have the option of changing our symbol-footprint library
> > into a symbol-metadata-footprint scheme.  Maybe gnetlist is feeling
> > left out, and wants its own library and GUI :-)
> Careful, you'll incur John Doty's wrath. ;-)

I've always thought of gattrib as "gnetlist's GUI" but they're not
*that* related.

The component database (i.e. netlister's metadata) idea *would* make
then that related, though.

Gattrib would become the metadata GUI.

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