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Re: gEDA-user: Two things ... or actually, three

Op donderdag 26-05-2011 om 11:07 uur [tijdzone -0400], schreef DJ
> > I'd really like to contribute something back -- but as I'm not really a
> > proficient coder
> Contributions come in other forms, Certainly, library work and
> documentation are sorely in need of contributors and even owners.  If
> you read the light/heavy thread, you'll see I just put out a call for
> folks to put together sample self-contained heavy libraries, those can
> be as small as one component (although something big enough to be a
> 'starter library' would be better).

OK, I'll start by reading up on the light vs. heavy symbol discussions.
Do I understand correctly that heavy symbols basically have certain nets
with predefined names (e.g. VCC, GND) implicitly included, whereas light
symbols offer the pins to connect those nets oneself? In that case, I'm
a big advocate of light symbols, because they offer maximum freedom to
the designer, whereas heavy symbols would require the use of those
predefined net names. Or is all this too simply put?

> As a new user with experience (huh?) documentation might be a good
> place to contribute too, pick a chunk of one of the manuals and
> replace it with something modern, for example.  Or find an old
> tutorial and update it to match the current tools.

That's an area where I think I can make a contribution too -- I've done
a dozen or so "Dummies" book translations, so explaining tricky stuff in
simple words is something I'm quite used to.

> In any event, don't feel that you have to be a code guru to help out,
> and don't wait for an invitation - pick something you can do and do
> it.
> > - Zero length lines in PCB: I found that when drawing lines in PCB,
> I think you're tripping over the metric-rouding bug, where what you're
> seeing is lines that are 0.01 mil long.  We're working on that with
> the metrification of PCB.

Is there already some sort of script to eliminate those micro-lines? And
would it be a good idea if I wrote such a script? Or is it not advisable
to eliminate those lines, for reasons of connectivity?

> > Now I was used to the work flow of gschem -> [update pcb in] xgsch2pcb
> > -> PCB, but this appears to have changed.
> It's still available, there are now alternate ways that are more
> integrated, that's all.
> > I wondered if someone could explain this in a few words.
> gsch2pcb, xgsch2pcb, and pcb's File->Import all do the same thing -
> they run gnetlist.  In all three cases, *someone* needs to know which
> schematics are read, and which layout is updated.

Um, OK ... but somehow, my older xgsch2pcb (or perhaps just the older
PCB build) doesn't recognize the layout file edited with the newer PCB
version any more. As a result, I haven't succeeded in updating any
changes in my schematic into the newer PCB version (also see below).
When I try updating the schematic now with xgsch2pcb, I get a completely
new PCB window with all the elements in the upper left corner, and not
the 99% completed and routed layout I have.

> The File->Import case is different in that the list of schematics you
> need, is stored in the layout that needs them, and PCB is running the
> process so it knows that it also needs to read the new info and update
> the board.
> Look at the documentation for the Import() action in the PCB
> reference, it tells you what needs to be added to the layout to store
> this information.

I checked the PCB reference on this subject for my PCB build
(http://pcb.gpleda.org/pcb-20100929/pcb.html#Import-Action ), but it
isn't clear at all what I should do to import a set of schematic files
(say, myproject_page1.sch, ïmyproject_page2.sch
and ïmyproject_page3.sch, all located in

In fact, it reads much like a manpage to a Linux newbie, but without the
clarifying examples. As in: even after an hour of scrolling and browsing
back and forth, I don't understand what it means, and I definitely think
that I can make a contribution documentation-wise here, once I /do/
understand it ;-)

When I simply choose File -> Import Schematics, PCB's log shows the same
response as when I press "O" -- it tells me the number of remaining rat
lines. At this point, I'm not asked for any schematic files, changed or

>   There are menu options for editing "layout
> attributes", which is where they go.

After choosing Edit -> Edit attributes of -> Layout I get a window with
two entry fields, one ïcontaining "import::src0", and one ïcontaining

Should I fill in a space-separated list for src0, pointing to the
various schematic files? And what to do about "(null)", if anything?

I tried entering a space-separated list with my .sch files, and
subsequently the File -> Import Schematics does actually offer me an
opportunity to choose a (schematic?) file -- but just one, not the six
I'm using in my project. After this, I can't import another one, and to
tell the truth, I don't understand at all what I'm doing at this point.
It sure doesn't look like I'm properly importing my schematic files.

> > Do I also need a newer gschem version?
> No.  The gnetlist backend is part of pcb, just make sure it gets
> installed with the other netlisters.
> > And has anything changed with regard to custom created symbols and
> > footprints (as in: how do I make the new gschem and PCB versions
> > aware of their existence?).
> You need to make *PCB* aware of your footprint paths.  Use the
> Preferences dialog to set these paths, and check them with the Library
> window (if they show up in the Library window, the import will work)

OK, at least this works fine :-)

> > Anyway, thanks once again, and please tell me if e.g. footprints or
> > symbols I created are welcome (and where I can send these).
> Email me privately and I'll set you up with a gedasymbols.org account.

I definitely will, as soon as business here slows down just a little,
hopefully in a month or so -- I'm quite willing to make a contribution,
to put it mildly.

Anyway, thanks again,

Best regards,

Richard Rasker

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