Author Topic: Is gEDA more usable than KiCad?  (Read 18208 times)

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Offline dino

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Is gEDA more usable than KiCad?
« on: October 08, 2012, 06:19:32 AM »
Hi,
As most people, i'm also trying to find a nice alternative for Altium that would be suitable for hobby and commercial use.
As i'm still a poor student, I've narrowed down the search to Kicad and gEDA. 
Tried Kicad, didn't like it at all, especially that the left mouse button doesn't do anything useful (like select a component).
So i'm asking: is geda better in terms of usability? I'm currently running Windows, but I could install Ubuntu, no problem.
I'm not scared of complexity, I just want something that won't poke my nerves.
 

Re: Is gEDA more usable than KiCad?
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2012, 06:30:19 AM »
I like the gEDA schematic editor gschem better than the KiCAD one. But unfortunately, from there it goes downwards. I just can't stand the PCB editor "PCB" in gEDA.

For windows there is also another open-source program, FreePCB. I never tried it.

Then there are of course the free of charge, non-open source, offerings. Typical with free of charge entry level versions. E.g. Eagle, or Design Spark.
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Offline robrenz

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Re: Is gEDA more usable than KiCad?
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2012, 06:33:38 AM »
I am not promoting it but have you looked at diptrace?

Offline Vasi

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Re: Is gEDA more usable than KiCad?
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2012, 06:48:58 AM »
Is hard to transfer net files from gschem to PCB (is hard to have a correlation between them regarding to components used). If you have small projects, PCB is better used without net. Just place components and draw the traces.

If you came from Altium, your only alternative (because you already tried KiCAD) is DipTrace.
 

Offline Bloch

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Re: Is gEDA more usable than KiCad?
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2012, 07:05:40 AM »
I am not promoting it but have you looked at diptrace?


If you came from Altium, your only alternative (because you already tried KiCAD) is DipTrace.

Why are you talking about DipTrace then it is not free € 585 / $762

As i'm still a poor student


Did you look at Designspark PCB ? it is free but not open source. Beside that it is for me at least much better than KiCad / gEDA. And Next version is just around the corner.

 

Offline robrenz

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Re: Is gEDA more usable than KiCad?
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2012, 07:14:55 AM »
Why are you talking about DipTrace then it is not free € 585 / $762

students get 500 pin version for free.  1000 pin version for $125.00
http://www.diptrace.com/education.php


Offline Bloch

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Re: Is gEDA more usable than KiCad?
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2012, 07:45:20 AM »
students get 500 pin version for free.  1000 pin version for $125.00


Sure a pin limit is better than a board size limit.


But why not choose a program without these limitations ?
 

Offline Vasi

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Re: Is gEDA more usable than KiCad?
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2012, 08:25:05 AM »
You can get the 500 pin version without being student. Just send your request by email. Why DipTrace? Is very similar to Altium in many aspects and he can start working with it without delays. Of course, he also can try DesignSpark, no one is against :) ...
 

Offline Bloch

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Re: Is gEDA more usable than KiCad?
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2012, 08:47:08 AM »
You can get the 500 pin version without being student.
Sure but then you have to agree on "This special license is granted on a non-profit base, which means that it must not be used in any commercial purposes"
 

Offline Vasi

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Re: Is gEDA more usable than KiCad?
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2012, 09:15:24 AM »
Yes, that covers only hobby area. A couple of boards are still allowed for selling (and it comes hand in hand with "poor student") ... but nothing as a constant revenue, which means business already.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2012, 09:21:17 AM by Vasi »
 

Offline Thor-Arne

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Re: Is gEDA more usable than KiCad?
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2012, 11:16:28 AM »
Hi there  :)

Hi,
As most people, i'm also trying to find a nice alternative for Altium that would be suitable for hobby and commercial use.
As i'm still a poor student, I've narrowed down the search to Kicad and gEDA. 
Tried Kicad, didn't like it at all, especially that the left mouse button doesn't do anything useful (like select a component).
So i'm asking: is geda better in terms of usability? I'm currently running Windows, but I could install Ubuntu, no problem.
I'm not scared of complexity, I just want something that won't poke my nerves.

FYI; the left mouse button actually does selects the component (popup a clarify selection dialog if there are multiple), you should see the selected components data on the status bar. (Double clicking will open the component properties) You can then use hot-keys or the right mouse button to select command.

There's also a bug that not always allow you to change the text items by double clicking them, the developers is aware of the problem.

I know the UI is a bit odd, but it's learn able.
 

Offline westfw

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Re: Is gEDA more usable than KiCad?
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2012, 11:21:55 AM »
The "commercial OK", size-limited, version of EAGLE is $49...
 

Offline dino

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Re: Is gEDA more usable than KiCad?
« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2012, 08:18:26 PM »
Thanks for your replies!
I tried Eagle already, and I was frustrated.
Dreamspark was actually really, really nice! As i like to nitpick, I didn't like the fact that DEL key doesn't only rip pcb track, but deletes both pcb track and net.  that would lead me to tons of errors. Maybe they'll change that in the future version?
KiCad and geda will be better with each new release. I'll just wait a year or two :)
i'm going to give Diptrace a try :)

Offline Narmaraktuk

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Re: Is gEDA more usable than KiCad?
« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2012, 09:43:00 PM »
Long time lurker, first time poster here. I have never tried KICAD, Eagle or Altium, because geda pcb works for me :). It is quirky, but:
  • It is simple; you see pretty much all of it during the design of your first board
  • No real limits to board size, number of layers, or number of holes
  • Plain text file format, so your (hobby) hours are not tied up in an otherwise unreadable file format
  • Plain text file format, really great if you like editing the file outside of PCB: i.e. for ensuring silk is similar in size, or adding components using shell scripts
Disclaimer: this is all hobby for me, have only "designed" 4 boards in my life, all schematics in geda gschem and then layout in geda pcb.
 

Offline robrenz

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Re: Is gEDA more usable than KiCad?
« Reply #15 on: October 08, 2012, 11:04:51 PM »
Thanks for your replies!
i'm going to give Diptrace a try :)

I predict you won't look back.

Offline free_electron

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Re: Is gEDA more usable than KiCad?
« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2012, 01:13:45 AM »
As a pooor student you can get an Altium licence for 100$ ....
Professional Electron Wrangler.
Any comments, or points of view expressed, are my own and not endorsed , induced or compensated by my employer(s).
 

Offline MarSik

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Re: Is gEDA more usable than KiCad?
« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2012, 01:39:39 AM »
Regarding KiCAD vs. gEDA. I used them both and I think KiCAD is now a better choice, mostly in a way it deals with custom library and how new parts/footprints are created.

- gEDA requires you to know the textual constants for pin types, KiCAD has them in dropdown
- gEDA uses directories and loose files to look for parts, KiCAD uses "packages" (.lib)
- gEDA references parts by path, KiCAD accompanies the .sch file with a part cache, so you can move it without loosing the symbols
- gEDA has spice elements in standard library and can generate spice netlists, but I use LTspice, so I do not care much..
- I like the way KiCAD asks you about the target for selected action when you are doing something in crowded area
- gEDA PCB deals with pcb traces without thinking about netlist, also only 5 different trace widths can be preset at the same time
- KiCAD allows you to set thickness for nets, so it is easier to keep track of power traces for example.

gEDA can be powerful, but you need to write scripts to accomplish that. It is the unix way of doing things, but I realized I do not need it that much.

KiCAD is more user friendly and has integrated rule checks (both electric and pcb design).
 

Offline dino

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Re: Is gEDA more usable than KiCad?
« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2012, 07:44:44 AM »
Thanks for your replies!
i'm going to give Diptrace a try :)

I predict you won't look back.

Your prediction was correct :)


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