Author Topic: Eagle is beautiful software  (Read 26935 times)

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Offline Karel

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Eagle is beautiful software
« on: March 30, 2015, 04:23:44 am »
Eagle does not force you to use an insecure os owned by a convicted monopolist and plagued by lots of malware.

Eagle does not use a closed, proprietary format to store your data.
Instead, it stores it in a well specified XML format. This means that you are in control of all of your data.
You can use Git for backup, version control and collaboration.
Also, commands like "grep" and "diff" are much more comfortable to use when handling projects and libraries.

You are able to handle, modify, convert your data (projects and libraries) with or without Eagle.

Eagle provides ULP, "user language programming". A C-style language that gives you access to all objects
inside Eagle and your projects and libraries. Combined with the powerful scripting capabilities,
you will be able to modify and finetune Eagle in the way you want.

Eagle has proper shortcuts for every operation. If you don't like them, you can change them.
You can even extend the menu's inside Eagle with your own extensions.

Instead of using mouseclicks, you can use almost every operation by typing commands in the konsole.
Arrow up/down let's you wander through the history. This konsole is very powerful.

Eagle does not require a permanent internet connection.

Eagle does not require a dongle.

Eagle allows you to install a single user-license on a maximum of three computers.

Eagle can be used as a free viewer to open and view projects made by other people with professional licencees.

Eagle does not require annual payments. Once you have bought a license, you can use Eagle as many years
as you want. Updates are free (within the same major version number).

Eagle has very moderate hardware requirements, it runs on every computer and it starts up very quickly.

Eagle has realtime forward/backward annotation. Changes in the schematic are immediately visible in the layout.

Eagle has the biggest community. Solutions for any problem can be found quickly on the internet without the
need to call a helpdesk.

In my professional career I have been using different packages for schematic capture and board layout.
Many years ago I have used Multisim/Ultiboard. It was a complete disaster, extremely buggy.
Than I switched to Eagle. After moving to another company, we used Altium Designer. This software is not
too bad but can not compare with Eagle. It's way overpriced and unstable. At least four times a day we had
to kill the program and restart because it got in some strange loop. Also, we had lots of problems with the
licenses. Many times we had to call support because the program erroneously reported that too many seats
were in use.
After using Altium for a couple of years, I became an expat and started to work for a company that wanted me
to continue with a mediumsized project made in Zuken's Cadstar. I tried for a while. I tried a little longer.
I tried much longer. Than I decided that enough was enough. Fortunately I was able to convince my boss that
we should switch to Eagle. I manually redrawn the schematic and the layout (6 layers) into Eagle.

It was the best decision I ever took. My productivity went up, the number of errors in prototypes went down
to zero.

Moral of the story, don't be blinded by the many stories about how good or bad some packages are.
Every software has it's quirks. Eagle has them. But the overpriced alternatives have them as well.
The only difference is, you pay more. And stay away from packages that want to integrate FPGA design or
simulation. Those things should be done by specialized software. Integration is bad. Separation is good.
With integrated software packages you pay for functionality that works usually bad.

Last but not least, don't think that expensive (overpriced) software with lot's of bells and whistles
can compensate for lack of experience and knowledge... I have seen colleagues struggling with expensive
software, creating faulty boards because the designrules were setup wrong because the software was way
too complex to setup correctly...

The difference between theory and practice is less in theory than
the difference between theory and practice in practice.
Expensive tools cannot compensate for lack of experience.
 

Offline Christopher

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Re: Eagle is beautiful software
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2015, 04:46:33 am »
For the price(!), eagle is pretty good.

realtime forward annotation is pretty good. Until you delete a wire on the schematic to tidy it up and it removes the WHOLE track on the PCB you spent a while routing.

C-Like scripting is bloody useful. I have spreadsheets to make footprints for SOP,SMD resistors, diodes etc packages. And another to add components to X Y coordinates (useful for testpoints)

Eagle is fantastic software if you want to just route a board quickly for prototyping.  I can lay my components down on the schematic and have gerbers very quickly. Next step is to mill the board on the LPKF, and test it. All in the same day. No fussing about with rules, output jobs etc. Then the complete design goes to the pcb designers to jiggle with in PADS..

Anything more professional than test boards I would definitely want to use altium. Shame the company won't pay for it, though.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2015, 04:50:59 am by Christopher »
 

Offline Karel

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Re: Eagle is beautiful software
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2015, 04:59:44 am »
Quote
realtime forward annotation is pretty good. Until you delete a wire on the schematic to tidy it up and it removes the WHOLE track on the PCB you spent a while routing.

Ripup a (small) segment in the layout editor first.

Quote
Eagle is fantastic software if you want to just route a board quickly for prototyping.

Many engineers are using Eagle to produce professional multi-layer boards for use in commercial, automotive and medical equipment. We are just a couple of them.

The difference between theory and practice is less in theory than
the difference between theory and practice in practice.
Expensive tools cannot compensate for lack of experience.
 

Offline zapta

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Re: Eagle is beautiful software
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2015, 05:08:12 am »
Eagle is a great software but I will gladly jump ship once something comparable with standard UI will available. ;-)

I am sampling kicad and dip trace every few months but no luck so far (e.g. no back annotation).

Non-free or Windows only packages are not a good fit for my open source projects.

Drain the swamp.
 

Offline Jeroen3

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Re: Eagle is beautiful software
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2015, 06:41:35 am »
Are we going to measure tool quality in the number of pages?
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/eagle/eagle-is-horrible-software/
 

Offline rx8pilot

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Re: Eagle is beautiful software
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2015, 07:26:04 am »
I am an Eagle user and I would not likely describe it a beautiful. It has some excellent attributes with the most important for me was the price. I needed a package that I could learn with and produce commercial PCB's. It has done that, but I am keenly aware that it is limiting as I grow my business.

I come from the mechanical engineering world. I started with a weak CAD system early on because I could not afford anything else. Eventually, I broke down and got SolidWorks in 1998.  EVERYTHING changed. SolidWorks was so intuitive that I was able to ficus on design and engineering rather than a fussy tool. There is no absolute requirement for annual fees if you stay with your current version. I generally skip versions to save money. Eagle is the same way, new major versions cost money.

Anyway, I have been looking at Altium Designer as a familiar jump from low-end to high-end. Somehow, I doubt I will look back and miss Eagle. I will say that Eagle played a very critical role in getting my new electronics business successfully up and running.
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Offline Mechatrommer

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Re: Eagle is beautiful software
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2015, 10:11:38 am »
I am sampling kicad and dip trace every few months but no luck so far (e.g. no back annotation).
havent you tried file->back annotate in diptrace schematics?
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
 

Offline 0xdeadbeef

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Re: Eagle is beautiful software
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2015, 10:28:34 am »
I want to like Eagle and every time a new version gets out, I try it, it annoys me and I keep using DipTrace.
Same with KiCAD. I even tried to like DEX. Still in the end, despite of a lot of smaller issues, DipTrace simply works best for me.
Trying is the first step towards failure - Homer J. Simpson
 

Offline Wilksey

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Re: Eagle is beautiful software
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2015, 10:37:31 am »
Some very good points raised, which some people do seem to forget.

Everyone has their preferred package, and they can fully justify why they prefer it over package "x", thing is, your layout is only as good as you are, you can buy Cadence or Altium packages but still not produce a good layout, the software is fully capable, but the designer is not.

People scoff at the thought that Eagle can make something as large as a PC Motherboard, in all honesty there is no reason why it can't be used, and it probably is for some.  Just because YOU wouldn't WANT to, doesn't mean someone else wouldn't or can't.

Eagle has some nice features, KiCAD and DipTrace are bringing new features out all of the time, some packages you will just "click" with, some you will loathe using, but it doesn't mean, just because you don't want to use it, that others don't or shouldn't use it.

Everytime I get asked the question "which package is best", there is no right or wrong answer, try them all, choose which one is best for YOU, if you get into a rut that only something like updating to a newer package will resolve, then do it, doesn't mean there is something wrong with the previous package, just you have reached it's limits.

I use Altium and EAGLE, and I must say that I have seen some very impressive things done with EAGLE, Altium has all of the tools and makes it easier to do certain things, but they are not necessity to get a board laid out, EAGLE can do it, sometimes it takes a bit longer is all.
 

Offline Howardlong

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Re: Eagle is beautiful software
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2015, 11:11:51 am »
I've only used Eagle for the past decade plus for schematic capture and PCB layout, but about a dozen years ago I did try Diptrace and a couple of others, but I was drawn in and blinkered in my decision to use Eagle by the extensive libraries Eagle offers, mistakenly thinking I'd not have to go to the trouble of making my own parts.

Even back then when I first needed a reasonable schematic capture and PCB package, the Eagle UI was so god damn ass backwards, to coin a phrase from across the pond, and it still is now. It was like going back to the 80s where every DOS program had its own UI you had to learn.

In short, everything I try to do with Eagle is a fight, but I'm pretty much tied into it what with all the investment in time and money I've made in the product over the years.

If they really wanted to make Eagle a killer product, they'd invest in a "simple mode" to wrap the innards with a modern and consistent interface like Diptrace has while maintaining the ass backward mode for old farts like me.

Working with Eagle is like living with your mother-in-law. You might not be able to stand her, but divorce is probably going to be worse.
 

Offline alexanderbrevig

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Re: Eagle is beautiful software
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2015, 11:14:19 am »
I have Altium Designer, KiCad and Eagle installed. I prefer them in that order, though I use (or convert designs to) KiCAD for open source stuff. I'm mostly annoyed by Eagle now, but it is the tool I learned schematics and layout so I have some kind of weird emotional investment in it so I forgive the quirks (in my opinion there's a lot of them).

The most beautiful side of Eagle is the community surrounding it.

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Eagle is beautiful software
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2015, 11:39:00 am »
If they really wanted to make Eagle a killer product

It seems like they don't.
Element14 (who own Eagle) have reached out to Altium to provide them a mid-high end package in CircuitStudio, leaving eagle to the low end.
Also, I've heard rumors that there have been staff cutbacks at Eagle. Anyone confirm?
 

Offline zapta

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Re: Eagle is beautiful software
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2015, 12:58:32 pm »
I am sampling kicad and dip trace every few months but no luck so far (e.g. no back annotation).
havent you tried file->back annotate in diptrace schematics?

Will give it a try, thanks. It's still installed, tried it again yesterday.

I like eagle's sch/bed integration. My understanding is that DEX is even better in that respect, maintaining a single database for the schematic and layout.
Drain the swamp.
 

Offline Corporate666

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Re: Eagle is beautiful software
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2015, 01:25:00 am »
Eagle is a 'beautiful' program in the same way that the android Ash described the Alien as 'perfect'.

If quirkiness, non-standard UI design, glaring lack of features and shockingly bad at keeping up with modern technology are beautiful, then Eagle certainly is.

-You can't orient a crosshatch ground plane at anything other than up/down.  Whenever I've seen a crosshatch plane, it's always at a 45 degree angle to the PCB.  Eagle doesn't let you change it, and their suggestion is to keep the plane straight and turn *everything* else 45 degrees.   :o

-Arbitrary pad shapes are still a total kludge.  Arbitrary pad shapes have been important in modern components for at least 10 years now, and Eagle still doesn't let you just draw whatever pad shape you like without using polygons + pads secretly embedded within and having to screw with your stop/cream layers after

-No ability to have different design rules for different areas of the PCB

-Horrendous drawing tools.  "You can import from CAD" - no, you really can't.  Not without a 3rd party tool that doesn't work with splines or arcs.  The coordinate reference system has always been horrible.

Multilayer PCB support is basically a kludge, as are many other things.  Love the totally non-standard interface like to copy... you can click the "copy" icon and click a part.  But that just locally copies it... if you want to copy to another PCB, you have to draw a box around the part, then click the copy tool, then *right* click your part, then you can paste it into another open board.


It reminds me of the days of Borland shit software where Borland had their own idea of UI design with green check marks and red X's instead of following the Windows standard.  UI design has gotten where it is due to millions of man hours and huge amounts of user feedback.  It's not likely a few old guys at a small software house know how to do UI design better.  That is the prime reason Eagle is kludgy.





Altium is powerful and has a lot of features - but why on earth does a PCB design software need to use up SO MUCH room on my HDD and why does it run slow as shit (compared to Eagle) on a 4Ghz quad core i7 with 16GB of RAM and nothing else running? 

 
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Offline free_electron

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Re: Eagle is beautiful software
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2015, 02:24:40 am »
glorified pen and paper..
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Any comments, or points of view expressed, are my own and not endorsed , induced or compensated by my employer(s).
 

Offline Karel

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Re: Eagle is beautiful software
« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2015, 04:25:11 am »
It reminds me of the days of Borland shit software...

I remember that. Actually, it's the same shit that is still being used to write altium designer.
It's one of the reasons that it's so bloated and buggy.
The difference between theory and practice is less in theory than
the difference between theory and practice in practice.
Expensive tools cannot compensate for lack of experience.
 

Offline Corporate666

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Re: Eagle is beautiful software
« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2015, 04:49:40 am »
It reminds me of the days of Borland shit software...

I remember that. Actually, it's the same shit that is still being used to write altium designer.
It's one of the reasons that it's so bloated and buggy.

Altium is written in Borland/Delphi????   :-DD

If so, what a bunch of buffoons. 
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Offline Rigby

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Re: Eagle is beautiful software
« Reply #17 on: March 31, 2015, 05:12:11 am »
It is. 

Goes to show just how little actual effort goes into the EDA "genre" as a whole.  Lots of old and crusty software floating around here being sold as new.
 

Offline marshallh

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Re: Eagle is beautiful software
« Reply #18 on: March 31, 2015, 05:28:41 am »
I used to think that Eagle is decent.

Then I started doing FPGA boards with Altium. Eagle is a complete joke. It might be faster to route the pcb in MSpaint..
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Offline Monkeh

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Re: Eagle is beautiful software
« Reply #19 on: March 31, 2015, 05:42:17 am »
I used to think that Eagle is decent.

Then I started doing FPGA boards with Altium. Eagle is a complete joke. It might be faster to route the pcb in MSpaint..

Eagle's crap. But so are the alternatives at the moment.

I'll take the crap with proper back annotation and a single process.
 

Offline Christopher

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Re: Eagle is beautiful software
« Reply #20 on: March 31, 2015, 05:48:47 am »
What he said ^


We're in 2015, not 1998. Try laying out a board with Altium's interactive router then go back to Eagle's dumb line tool. Routing an 8-bit bus all to the same length can be done in a few minutes, quite enjoyably. All 8 lines at the same time. One click is replicated across all 8 wires, genius.

Watching this video (from 2010) made me _want_ to try a "real" editor.
 

Offline Corporate666

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Re: Eagle is beautiful software
« Reply #21 on: March 31, 2015, 05:59:13 am »
It is. 

Goes to show just how little actual effort goes into the EDA "genre" as a whole.  Lots of old and crusty software floating around here being sold as new.

I can't understand how a large-ish company like Altium wouldn't hire a small team of crack programmers/graphics&UI designers and a software project manager, put them in a room away from the rest of the marketing and administrative people and let them come up with a modern version of the software with an XML back end and .Net front end.  I can't imagine all the bullshit & redundant processing that pig software must be doing in the background.  It's shameful how slowly it runs on my machine.

Pity we need to choose from "archaic, lacking features and counterintuitive, but fast" and "full featured, but bloated and slow".

These PCB software companies are lucky their market is small enough not to attract real competition like Dassault or Siemens.
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Offline Rigby

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Re: Eagle is beautiful software
« Reply #22 on: March 31, 2015, 06:08:40 am »
His points about platform agnosticism, open file format, and user scriptability are good points, though.

Eagle sucks overall, certainly, and it does function as intended with the features he described.

Watching this video (from 2010) made me _want_ to try a "real" editor.

That video is a great example of what Eagle DOESN'T do. 
 

Offline Rigby

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Re: Eagle is beautiful software
« Reply #23 on: March 31, 2015, 06:10:28 am »
I can't understand how a large-ish company like Altium wouldn't hire a small team of crack programmers/graphics&UI designers and a software project manager, put them in a room away from the rest of the marketing and administrative people and let them come up with a modern version of the software with an XML back end and .Net front end.  I can't imagine all the bullshit & redundant processing that pig software must be doing in the background.  It's shameful how slowly it runs on my machine.

Well, it functions, and people keep buying.  Market pressures haven't forced them to pay attention to it.  It's that simple, most likely.  The impetus to make a fundamental change like that just isn't there, yet.
 

Offline Jeroen3

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Re: Eagle is beautiful software
« Reply #24 on: March 31, 2015, 06:56:57 am »
Is there some place on the internet where a proper objective comparison can be found of all active eda design tools?

Because this is useless.
 


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