Electronics > Altium Designer

Altium REJECTS takeover bid from Autodesk

<< < (34/36) > >>

olkipukki:

--- Quote from: voltsandjolts on August 27, 2021, 10:57:46 am ---
I wonder what Microchip, ST, AD etc use for their datasheets?

--- End quote ---
It's depend...

You can have a look the related field (aka source application) in PDF metadata/properties.

Nominal Animal:
TL;DR: I don't know what will happen, but here is a reason why something like Altium takeover by Autodesk makes a lot of long-term commercial sense for Autodesk; and surprisingly, it reveals an interesting facet of what is happening wrt. PCB design/EDA right now.


One important aspect regarding Altium/Autodesk is that due to the appearance of cheap prototyping services (including surface mount component populating and soldering services cheap enough for pure hobbyists), PCB design is bifurcating into cheap+hobbyist and professional aspects.

(As you probably know, I'm more a software/physics person with only theoretical and butterfinger hobbyist knowledge about electronics, but I do have seen this more than once before: in mid-1990s with multimedia CD production ("true" programming vs. authoring software like Macromedia Director), and in the last two decades in various web site authoring tools (initially single-user offline only, then online; now with entire mainentance stacks up to customizable themes, not only for websites, but starting to focus on specific subjects and approaches like EduX and MIT courseware tools).  So, I'm saying this based on extrapolation to similar situations I've observed before, and not as someone who is actually in the midst of the events.  This means this is extrapolation + speculation, and definitely not reliable information you should trust.)

Considering Autodesks product portfolio, they probably also see this, and are looking to add such a "pair" into their lineup, both as a new subfield to expand into, but also as a way to increase the customer base to their main product lines.  (It is easier to sell packaged software deals, than individual software, to customers who are not already users of your software.  It is somewhat a marketing issue: "think of everything you could do with these tools, now that you're considering trying to do some of this!".  Those that are already users of your software, are more a customer retention issue than a marketing/approach issue.)

The free/cheap but limited (note: not just hobbled, but simplified, so that the tool is easier to approach for new users) package as an introduction to the professional quality costly package, is a tested and true approach.  It is not a gold mine or marketing trick, but it does work to increase market share, and user base for the pricy package.

I do suspect that EasyEDA, a purely web-based no-cost PCB design software, is being carefully observed by the established EDA software vendors.

On one hand, its purely web-based implementation likely seems attractive to pointy-haired-bosses who dream of new revenue sources, without realizing that it is actually the one downside in the hobbyist domain.  (If anyone were to replicate EasyEDA functionality with configurable integration to various PCB manufacturers, using a free standalone Linux, Windows, MacOS, Android application, they could capture the hobbyist market.  However, the price is key in that segment, quite opposite to the professional segment.)  It would be very interesting to know what kind of communications they have had with the various EDA vendors (if at all).

As a butterfinger hobbyist, I do not really know what is happening in the professional segment.  I see that Eagle etc. seem to be still considered way more productive environments than e.g. KiCAD, but I do not know the precise reasons.  The fact that the cheap prototyping services can now do modest-precision four-layer boards (say, BGAs with 0.8mm pitch or larger) at the very low price point, means capability limitations (as used on older Eagle versions, I think) won't really work; the free/cheap packages should concentrate on simplicity and easy to approach user interface, and not "professional experience" with limited features.  Yes, the free/cheap should be a bit of a "toy" compared to the professional ones, because that way those who do start to learn the skills, will upgrade to the professional tools.
(Why that really is so, is related to why most Linux developers do not care about the popularity of Linux, only about its capabilities.  It can feel weird, but there is a sound, robust logic behind it.)

If Autodesk or anyone else asked me, I'd say this: "Provide long-term support for a new, free, offline, open-source EDA project, that implements an user interface as simple and as easily approachable as EasyEDA, with user-customizable integration to PCB prototyping services, and on-line parts catalogs.  For those users who outgrow it, ensure a simple upgrade path to a more powerful professional package.  You can use existing cores, but the user interface you'll probably need to revamp.  Make it modular, so that additional revenue can be obtained by task-specific extensions, like heavy-computation (GPGPU) autorouting, via a subscription service.  Use true UX professionals, observing actual professionals using various EDA tools, to make the user interface efficient.  Forums like EEVBlog are a good source for ideas to test.  The UX is what makes a package stand out, since any other proprietary EDA vendor can create their own as an upgrade from the free package; that competition is necessary to maintain the development efforts long term, without stagnating the product, and one day unexpectedly losing market share catastrophically to a competitor as that competitor was not observed in time."

Although software business is only a few decades old, and we're still "learning" how it really works, software almost always dies in one of three ways: slow stagnation as the domain it targets itself dies out, bad design and management diverting the tool from something users need to something that is no longer worth the cost or effort, or being usurped by a better competition because leadership believes that a leading marketing position once gained is forever held even without development efforts.

Unfortunately, in my experience, the middle management in software development houses is too stupid to see or leverage any of the above.  There is a definite opportunity for both open-source and commercial proprietary software development, but to work financially, especially long-term (as opposed to, creating a company for the purpose of one of the bigger software houses purchasing it), it needs shrewd management that understands more than their own small domain; something I fear is unobtainium in the software sector.

dunkemhigh:

--- Quote ---I'd say this: "Provide long-term support for a new, free, offline, open-source EDA project
--- End quote ---

It's the offline that's the killer. They won't do it because they lose control and potential revenue stream. Anyone sensible would want it because of the unreliability (not in terms of  connection but because the vendor changes things on a whim, you can't not take an 'upgrade' to the user interface, etc) of 'online'.


--- Quote ---For those users who outgrow it, ensure a simple upgrade path to a more powerful professional package.
--- End quote ---

That would seem to be the sensible route to more dosh. However...


--- Quote ---You can use existing cores, but the user interface you'll probably need to revamp.
--- End quote ---

It would need to be forware and backward compatible. If you can't open your existing projects in the other product, or can't figure out how to operate it without 3 weeks practice, you might as well use a different vendor's stuff.

nctnico:

--- Quote from: Nominal Animal on August 27, 2021, 10:24:53 pm ---Use true UX professionals, observing actual professionals using various EDA tools, to make the user interface efficient.  Forums like EEVBlog are a good source for ideas to test.  The UX is what makes a package stand out, since any other proprietary EDA vendor can create their own as an upgrade from the free package;

--- End quote ---
That won't work because for the occasional PCB layouter an intuitive UI will be the most productive where such a UI will only get in the way of someone doing PCB design all day.

EEVblog:

--- Quote from: nctnico on August 27, 2021, 10:59:16 pm ---
--- Quote from: Nominal Animal on August 27, 2021, 10:24:53 pm ---Use true UX professionals, observing actual professionals using various EDA tools, to make the user interface efficient.  Forums like EEVBlog are a good source for ideas to test.  The UX is what makes a package stand out, since any other proprietary EDA vendor can create their own as an upgrade from the free package;

--- End quote ---
That won't work because for the occasional PCB layouter an intuitive UI will be the most productive where such a UI will only get in the way of someone doing PCB design all day.

--- End quote ---

I can remember doing a KiCAD first impressions video and pointing out all sorts of thing that might suck for daily use, and I got hammered for it. All the people complaining about my comments I'm sure had never worked 8 hours a day every day for 2 months on a single PCB as a full time PCB professional  ::)

Navigation

[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

[*] Previous page

There was an error while thanking
Thanking...
Go to full version