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Re: gEDA-user: File format change needed for metric conversion

Andrew Poelstra wrote in geda.devel:

> But what is our plan for allowing backward compatibility?
> It isn't really difficult to output in the old format (just
> giving a different spec to pcb_printf) so we should give
> the user an option to do this.

Since mortal users like me are not allowed to post to geda devel,
I'll throw in my 2 eurocent here in geda.user:

Please try to make format bumps so, that it is still possible to 
share geda/pcb documents in a heterogeneous environment. That is, 
in an environment where some of the users go with bleeding edge 
versions from git, while others go with the package their distro 
provides. This may be achieved with an option to save in old format.

Or there may be an external conversion script to turn the new file
format into the old format. If this means that some features of the
new PCB version won't survive the conversion, then issue a warning
and convert anyway. The user of bleeding edge PCB may avoid these 
features if compatibility with older versions is needed. An example 
for such a feature is the holes in polygons recently added to PCB

Backward incompatibility hit me unsuspecting a few months ago, when 
I tested the improved grid patch. A quick test with a dummy project 
looked promising. So I started using it for real world projects. It 
was a royal pain to get the modified layouts back into old style

If the bleeding edge version of PCB produces files my colleagues 
can't open, then I can't use it for day to day work. My testing 
will be casual at best.

Kai-Martin Knaak
Email: kmk@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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