Author Topic: Autodesk buys Eagle  (Read 56104 times)

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Online f5r5e5d

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #125 on: July 06, 2016, 04:50:06 pm »
I just hope they don't throw the Fusion 360 dev team at it

apparently they think "agile development" means you can skip old style Mech E CAD hard/deterministic curve generation, tangent, dimensioning feature requirements and go with flashy "organic" "sculpting features only "documented" in video clips

and while I may be a few sigma out there on allergy to video as a learning tool people have been complaining for nearly the entire public history of the project about the lack of in tool help and actual logically structured decent quality written documentation anywhere on the site - transcripts of the video presenters yaking isn't that
 

Offline rx8pilot

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #126 on: July 06, 2016, 06:04:56 pm »
FWIW, I disagree that the current interface is "clunky."

I would put Eagle in the top spot of clunky after more than 2 decades of working with high-end graphics, VFX, manufacturing, and process control software. Any modern software that requires a manual calculator, a command line, and user built scripts for it daily use case is broken IMHO. The various software that I like (not for electronics design), has the core functions reduced to a minimum of thought, mouse-clicks, and key entry. They also have the ultimate control available for when you need it, but it is only for corner cases in general. Creating new components in EDA software is a normal thing that happens all the time - it should be a huge priority to make that as easy as possible. Like every other Eagle user, I have learned and created various work-arounds to get my job done, but unlike many - I have not forgotten that they are workarounds that cost me time. Almost every time I need to do something simple, I get referred to a ULP that some user wrote. Changing font sizes, moving things around, whatever - it's always a ULP that sort-a-kinda-works but mostly it's a patch for an absent feature. Many of the ULP's that make big changes end up being hundreds of equivalent keystrokes making 'undo' a major pain if needed. Yesterday, I needed to change the outline of my board and it took a very long time since each line and radius had to be manually entered. Arcs are defined only by end points and degrees - so when I need a sharp corner to have a radius added, it's a slow and manual job. In any 2D CAD software like Autocad, you simply pick a radius tool, tell it what radius you want and click on any sharp corner and the radius is added.

When I need to holes to be a certain distance apart in Eagle - I cannot do that directly. I have to figure out the position of each hole relative to the origin and do the math to figure out the distance.
When I need to move a whole design to accommodate an outline change - I have to select all (no problem) and then use the CLI to type: MOVE (>0 0) (1.25 0) which gets the job done, but is much more clunky than a context sensitive dialog box asking for an X-Y value for the move.
When routing off grid, I hold the ALT key to get finer movements but there is no (apparent) way to lock in 45deg or 90deg traces. I end up with a lot of slightly crooked traces.

I also enjoy standard shift sports cars.  Please don't fix it to be like SolidWorks.

To be fair - I don't want Eagle to be like SolidWorks either, I want it to be sharply focused on the task of electronics design in the same way SolidWorks is focused on 3D mechanical design. There are some cool 2D tricks in SolidWorks, AutoCAD, etc that would be nice to have as a component of the final Eagle solution - but EDA software should obviously consider the task not copy another unrelated solution. I am not an Eagle genius by any means because I don't use it daily but I am also a periodic user of all my software packages and don't struggle nearly as much with any other title. I have watched a lot of Eagle videos and written tutorials by what seemed to be expert users and it takes them a long time too, so maybe daily use would only speed me up a little.

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Offline LabSpokane

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #127 on: July 06, 2016, 06:37:39 pm »
Techno..,

Fix the UI. Please.

Thank you.
 

Online KE5FX

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #128 on: July 06, 2016, 07:30:29 pm »
Techno..,

Don't mess with the UI.  Please.

Thank you.
 

Offline H.O

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #129 on: July 06, 2016, 07:35:30 pm »
When I need to holes to be a certain distance apart in Eagle - I cannot do that directly. I have to figure out the position of each hole relative to the origin and do the math to figure out the distance.
You'll probably consider it to be a workaround but if you use the Mark command you can place whatever features you want relative to the position of the mark. Place the mark at your "reference hole" (or your G54 zero if you like :-)  ) and the coordinates displayed is relative to that. You CAN then of course also use the much hated command line to enter the feature to place, the size and the position directly hole 0.003 (R 0.1 0.25) something like that.

Another workaround is of course to place the first hole at the origin and then change the grid to whatever spacing you want.
 

Offline Karel

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #130 on: July 06, 2016, 07:46:59 pm »
@technolomaniac, what ever you are going to do, please don't break compatibility with existing ULP's and scripts.
Don't introduce new features without accompanying "console" commands.
Don't throw out the existing realtime forward/backward annotation.

For me, the user interface is the least of the problems. What would make me happy is:
- a correct functioning IDF export based on geometries drawn in layers 50, 57 and 58 (bdCAD, tCAD and bCAD).
- cam processor ODB++ export.
- cam processor Gerber X2 export.
- improved impedance controlled routing.
- push & shove
- a library/schematic diff function a la: http://teuniz.net/eagle/eaglelibcheck/
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 rx8pilot

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #131 on: July 06, 2016, 07:49:50 pm »
Techno....

If your team chooses not to radically deal with UI improvements - please let me know now so I can get a professional tool. (hope that is not too sharp, but it is total shit from my professional perspective). If the new version still requires constant CLI and scripting to get basic tasks done - I am out in a flash. You don't (and shouldn't) have to take those things away, but add the features to the software natively  that people are using ULP's to work around. I love have the ULP option to make custom output for my particular P&P and have no expectation that would be included as a standard feature. Moving groups, panelization, part creation, re-size all text, re-size a trace, are just a few examples of critically absent native features. The ULP system has pushed the development to the end-user and I don't have the time for that.

The question is if the future of Eagle is to be a tool for enthusiasts, hobbyists, makers or is it a professional tool that is also friendly to enthusiasts, hobbyists, and makers? I need speed which comes from delicately developed features from the beginning of the process to the very end. The less I deal with the software, the more I can focus on my design. The more I focus on my design, the better it is. If I get a better design to the market faster - the cost of Altium is all of a sudden a bargain.
Factory400 - the worlds smallest factory. https://www.youtube.com/c/Factory400
 
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Offline rx8pilot

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #132 on: July 06, 2016, 08:01:29 pm »
When I need to holes to be a certain distance apart in Eagle - I cannot do that directly. I have to figure out the position of each hole relative to the origin and do the math to figure out the distance.
You'll probably consider it to be a workaround but if you use the Mark command you can place whatever features you want relative to the position of the mark. Place the mark at your "reference hole" (or your G54 zero if you like :-)  ) and the coordinates displayed is relative to that. You CAN then of course also use the much hated command line to enter the feature to place, the size and the position directly hole 0.003 (R 0.1 0.25) something like that.

Another workaround is of course to place the first hole at the origin and then change the grid to whatever spacing you want.

Those are good options, but yes I would consider them extra effort for a simple task. I don't hate command line at all - it has it's place. I learned my computer skills starting in the early 80's when command line was it. The reason I don't like it for these applications is because it is another memory item that I have to keep fresh. After coding in C, Python, of BASH languages all day - I don't want to remember what the command or syntax of the command is just to move, size, position something. GUI's allow the user to focus on the task and not the interface and are particularly good for users that occasionally use the software. If I used Eagle everyday, I would certainly have a lot more proficiency in the commands - but I don't. I just want a dialog box to pop up and give me my options in context of the selection. If I want a line to be longer, I just want to type in a length - not calculate a start point and end point. If I want two lines to connect off-grid - I expect the software to at least offer to snap two ends of a line together.

To be clear - the command line is indeed powerful and I would not want it to go away. The ULP scripting engine allows outside the box features. What I don't care for is when these things are required for tasks that should be integrated in the core of the system as mouse clickable tools.
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Offline LabSpokane

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #133 on: July 06, 2016, 08:27:21 pm »
Quote
The question is if the future of Eagle is to be a tool for enthusiasts, hobbyists, makers or is it a professional tool that is also friendly to enthusiasts, hobbyists, and makers? I need speed which comes from delicately developed features from the beginning of the process to the very end. The less I deal with the software, the more I can focus on my design. The more I focus on my design, the better it is. If I get a better design to the market faster - the cost of Altium is all of a sudden a bargain.

This. ^

Makers and hobbyists do not pay for software. They have decided that free is the only acceptable price. (The will only pay for ICs on breadboard-able PCBs.) Make the tool accessible to "makers" if you feel a social need, but catering to makers is a complete waste of resources.  The market that will pay consists of Jill/Jack-of-all-trades professionals whose sole job is not PCB design.   I believe that market is hugely underestimated. There are no shortage of professionals and businesses trapped - making do with third party hardware and paying through the nose for the privilege - believing that the designs tools are either too primitive or too expensive and time consuming to jump in and succeed.

People that build cell phones and high zoot spectrum analyzers (etc.) will continue to rightfully remain on the high end platforms.

The untapped market is in the middle.
 
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Online PCB.Wiz

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #134 on: July 06, 2016, 09:23:44 pm »
... Yesterday, I needed to change the outline of my board and it took a very long time since each line and radius had to be manually entered. Arcs are defined only by end points and degrees - so when I need a sharp corner to have a radius added, it's a slow and manual job. In any 2D CAD software like Autocad, you simply pick a radius tool, tell it what radius you want and click on any sharp corner and the radius is added.
That's a common issue across most PCB packages, and it seems Autodesk could easily do a 2-D clipboard, where you Select an entity, or group, then paste into a proper 2D editor and then replace original.
Other packages have DXF import/export into PCB area and Footprint editors, but it tends to be coarse-grained.

It's likely to be much easier for Autodesk to include a base-Real-CAD tool, than mess about trying to re-code any editing engine.
 

Online PCB.Wiz

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #135 on: July 06, 2016, 10:04:17 pm »
I agree and as the guy from Autodesk / EAGLE on the board, the thing I'd say is we should look to approach this from multiple directions.  1)  We need to handle input data better.  Ok, fair enough.  The standards for this including IPC, JEDEC, etc - along with what the mfg's have been producing - however, mean there's just SO little consistency in how this data shared.  This I think is the elephant in the room.  This wreaks havoc on anyone building parts.  Grids and reference points and such are all good, but let's call the input data what it is...messy!  (some mfg's being MUCH better than others of course)

Bottom line, we need to flex a bit from the tools side to meet the incoming data in the middle or we are attempting to swim upstream against 40 years of information that's all over the map. 
There are lowest-common-denominator files that can do some useful web-harvesting - those are Gerber and DXF.
These are almost universal, so should be Import/export supported, but those are not easily scriptable or edited.

A much better system for scripting information, is to publish a form of S-expression file
see:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S-expression#Parsing

Important to notice this key comment:
S-Expressions are often compared to XML, a key difference being that S-Expressions are far simpler in syntax, therefore being much easier to parse.


 

Offline chris_leyson

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #136 on: July 06, 2016, 10:20:33 pm »
True, but don't forget about step and igis, pcb design so much more about simple 2D these days.
 

Online PCB.Wiz

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #137 on: July 06, 2016, 10:29:47 pm »
...So it will be a long slow switch to Kicad.

Err, you do know KiCad can now simply import an Eagle design (and can import Altium too, via P-CAD) ?  - See image.
Search Web.Find EagleFile.Import.

This makes the switch to KiCad very rapid indeed, and it is already underway for many web-published designs.

KiCad has an impressive library resource, and I predict others will soon be adding 'Import KiCad Library' buttons.
 

Online PCB.Wiz

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #138 on: July 06, 2016, 10:54:20 pm »
True, but don't forget about step and igis, pcb design so much more about simple 2D these days.
Of course, but my point was more to not ignore the widespread but less lofty common-denominator imports.

For example, below is a DXF file of a relay, that someone like Autodesk should be able to import, and with a few smart mouse clicks, create a footprint.
Select outline -> Silkscreen
Select circles -> Add Terminals, use circle X.Y.D as Seed. Prompt for drill size. If multiple concentric circles seed Drill & mask too..
Delete construction lines. Save footprint, use DXF name as a seed.

https://www.omron.com/ecb/products/DXF/G6DN.DXF

Export footprint as DXF, using simple layer name rules and circle rules like above, should also be possible.

 
 

Offline chris_leyson

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #139 on: July 06, 2016, 11:11:44 pm »
Sorry man had my 3D head on, but you're right, use a common file format for 2D footprints, DXF and GErber, it makes a lot sense. Thanks
 

Offline technolomaniac

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #140 on: July 07, 2016, 04:59:25 am »
@technolomaniac

I have been an Eagle user since 3.x, got an academic/educational license at 4.03.  I certainly appreciate and agree with you that Autodesk will do what it sees fit to do, and doesn't need to be told.

FWIW, I disagree that the current interface is "clunky."  In fact, I rather enjoy having control rather than having some piece of software telling me what it wants to do, which gets back to my second sentence above.  I also enjoy standard shift sports cars.  Please don't fix it to be like SolidWorks.

The real point of this post is to ask that another class of customer be considered -- maybe something like a loyalty discount for long-time users or retired users.  The last time I looked, Eagle had a package for about $169 that offered 6 layers, a reasonable size board, and was only for non-commercial use.   Since the education package is gone, I hope you can keep a similarly priced (i.e, <$200), very functional package available.

Regards, John

Hi John --

Thanks for the suggestions.  We'll definitely keep the cost low and continue the $169 Make license.  This is essential to EAGLE's success and we want to avoid anything that might make it harder for folks to use the product.  This community is largely responsible for the glut of content, tutorials, and other resources available and we want to be sure we enable everyone to continue to make & share resources that make designing electronics easier.  This includes both keeping the product cost low but also making sure we don't force people to adopt a complex data management system when they have already decided on a model for sharing and communicating data.  (Point being, we want to reduce the friction and work with the community rather than try and build our own wonky ecosystem that forces others to join it if they want to play along.)

Regarding the UI, what we will absolutely avoid is making it heavy like so many other packages with their dozens of workspace panels and menus and toolbars, etc. (I mean honestly, if your Preferences dialog has hyperlinks that launch another series of dialogs, it might be time for a refactoring :) 

Hope that helps set some expectations.  Please feel free to contact me directly anytime with questions, concerns, ideas, etc.  I'm at @technolomaniac on Hackaday.io & Twitter and you can email me directly at matt@cadsoft.com or matt.b-e-r-g-g-r-e-n@autodesk.com. (no dashes).

 

Offline technolomaniac

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #141 on: July 07, 2016, 05:03:36 am »
@technolomaniac, what ever you are going to do, please don't break compatibility with existing ULP's and scripts.
Don't introduce new features without accompanying "console" commands.
Don't throw out the existing realtime forward/backward annotation.

For me, the user interface is the least of the problems. What would make me happy is:
- a correct functioning IDF export based on geometries drawn in layers 50, 57 and 58 (bdCAD, tCAD and bCAD).
- cam processor ODB++ export.
- cam processor Gerber X2 export.
- improved impedance controlled routing.
- push & shove
- a library/schematic diff function a la: http://teuniz.net/eagle/eaglelibcheck/

Oh man, this is awesome.  So we have a all of these on the list, even the last one.  Routing is actually SUPER high on my list but depends on real-time DRC in PCB coming into the fold.  So we have some sequencing to get right but it's all very clear what needs to happen.  The other mfg output is all in the pipe.  As is the interface to mechanical.  Let me ask though...

do you want IDF or would you prefer a "real" mechanical interface?  something that supported bringing a design into e.g. Fusion or Inventor (or whatever else you might be using)?  Id suspect most folks would say "just give me an interface to a mechanical tool" as the IDF format is pretty sparse.  especially if we can preserve copper features and layer construction, etc. 
 

Offline technolomaniac

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #142 on: July 07, 2016, 05:05:04 am »
True, but don't forget about step and igis, pcb design so much more about simple 2D these days.
Of course, but my point was more to not ignore the widespread but less lofty common-denominator imports.

For example, below is a DXF file of a relay, that someone like Autodesk should be able to import, and with a few smart mouse clicks, create a footprint.
Select outline -> Silkscreen
Select circles -> Add Terminals, use circle X.Y.D as Seed. Prompt for drill size. If multiple concentric circles seed Drill & mask too..
Delete construction lines. Save footprint, use DXF name as a seed.

https://www.omron.com/ecb/products/DXF/G6DN.DXF

Export footprint as DXF, using simple layer name rules and circle rules like above, should also be possible.

Indeed, this is helpful.  Let us have a crack at this and see what we can come up with.  There's a lot we can do in this space to make footprint generation easier.  :)  Best regards, Matt (Autodesk / Cadsoft)
 

Offline technolomaniac

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #143 on: July 07, 2016, 05:06:34 am »
True, but don't forget about step and igis, pcb design so much more about simple 2D these days.

We're pushing hard on mechanical interfaces / content.  So expect some interesting things to happen here soon -ish!  Best regards, Matt (Autodesk / Cadsoft)
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #144 on: July 07, 2016, 05:10:10 am »
@Dave, it's not going subscription.  So there.  :)  At this stage, that isn't anywhere on my roadmap.  Thought about it.  Decided against it.  Can I say that we will never in the life of any product do that?  No, of course not.  That would be at best unfair, at worst dishonest.  But I have so many things that are more pressing.  The point of my response - which I agree was unclear was - routing, real-time DRC, some improvements to polygon handling, better revision management and versioning, better BOM tools, better interface to manufacturing, some library improvements, interface to 3D, etc are all good things to worry about today as they drive value for the users.  Those are the priority.  We'll shelve the other stuff until get to a place where that makes sense.  That was the point of that comment.  I've got other stuff on my radar.  And I think that the shortlist today is pretty much a who's-who of what folks have been asking for for some time.  Only now we have a combined development team that can really drive some of this home.  Thanks for calling me out...I sounded like a politician and it was totally fair.  :)

Thanks for the clarification!
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #145 on: July 07, 2016, 05:17:31 am »
But I have so many things that are more pressing.  The point of my response - which I agree was unclear was - routing, real-time DRC, some improvements to polygon handling, better revision management and versioning, better BOM tools, better interface to manufacturing, some library improvements, interface to 3D, etc are all good things to worry about today as they drive value for the users.  Those are the priority. 

Baring in mind I'm not an Eagle user...
Out of that list of items the only thing I would say to drop is better revision control. I'd put that waaay down the list. It might be important for the mid to high level packages like Altium and their professional customers, but let's face it, Eagle isn't exactly competing in that mid to high level space. It's for the makers, the one man bands, and the small few people companies making relatively simple products.
They either don't use version control, or they can implement it themselves.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #146 on: July 07, 2016, 05:18:55 am »
Matt, what do you think about the new $995 Altium Circuit Studio move?
Do you think more than coincidence in timing with the Eagle buyout?
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #147 on: July 07, 2016, 05:30:46 am »
Out of that list of items the only thing I would say to drop is better revision control. I'd put that waaay down the list.

Yup.  Forget about the rev control for now.
 

Online PCB.Wiz

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #148 on: July 07, 2016, 06:58:53 am »
...Out of that list of items the only thing I would say to drop is better revision control. I'd put that waaay down the list.
The key element is to not break revision control that users may already have.
Provided Eagle sticks with an ASCII file, and maybe even adds the easier to parse S-expression file I linked above, users revision control they have now should work. 
 

Offline Karel

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #149 on: July 07, 2016, 07:37:44 am »
We use git for revision control (and backup) and it works perfect with Eagle's XML based files.
We have absolutely no need for any integrated revision control.
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.
 


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