Author Topic: Autodesk buys Eagle  (Read 56093 times)

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Offline Karel

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #150 on: July 07, 2016, 07:53:54 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.

Personally I prefer IDF but probably other formats will do as well. What is important to us, is that we don't need to deal with 3D-models in Eagle.
What we do is drawing a contour in layer 57 (tCAD) in the footprint. The linewidth is used to indicate the height of the contour above the board (linewidth is height / 1000).
This is a simple but powerfull solution to create simple 3D-box models via the IDF export of Eagle.

There are some interesting discussions about the IDF export in this thread: https://www.element14.com/community/thread/43949/l/idf-export-broken?displayFullThread=true
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Offline technolomaniac

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #151 on: July 07, 2016, 02:54:45 pm »
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?

So anything I say is really conjecture (and keeping in mind that the ECAD tools market is small small small, so I have friends there and I don't mean them any ill-will) but I think the issue is a combination of slow-to-zero adoption of Circuitstudio and Altium's looming fear that they've left a flank open by doubling-down on the enterprise market, forgetting there's a great big world out there that doesn't have $10K for a piece of SW and $2500 / year for maintenance (!). 

Remember these guys have been charging steadily more for the base product and maintenance is far more expensive than it was in the past.  So where once they were the "people's tool" (thru the 90' and 00's) they are now yet another enterprise software vendor, and that leaves open a huge part of the market which doesn't want to be put into that box.

Seems to me that Circuitstudio's drop in price is a reaction (the timing is just too perfect) to the fear that if someone with such a large user base as EAGLE, includes great routing and great polygon management and great wiring and hierarchy, etc. then they just might erode the $12.5K position of a product + maintenance.  These features are not *that* hard to implement.  They just take resources and now - with Autodesk's support - Cadsoft has no shortage of resources to make these things a reality.

What's curious is that they also have Circuitmaker.  So here's what I see and I think people are smart enough to see this: they are shepherding people down a path to where eventually spend $10K with them.  I felt this when I experienced how my files were managed in Circuitmaker.  The notion of locking up people's libraries and design data into their format and their systems is just really outdated and it's a shame really.  I recall when Altium was brave enough to add OrCAD export and folks feared everyone would flee to another tool.  Fact is, they didn't.  Information wants to be free and accessible and we are going to put all of our energy into making sure that we don't lose at *that* game.  And let's be clear - I don't need another ecosystem in my life.  (let's see if they react to these comments and next week we get an announcement that all of the CM files are suddenly open and available...now that would be a great test of what they react to -- the users, or the fear that someone else might be willing to take risks that erode their position?)

 

Offline BloodyCactus

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #152 on: July 07, 2016, 03:27:33 pm »
i can deal with eagles ui...

but when i have to go watch a 30 minute youtube video every time i need to make a part, something needs to change!

I can make parts in diptrace in seconds, in eagle, i need a tutorial each time!

If not for ease of part making in DipTrace, I never would have left eagle, since I dont trust eagle libraries and all  the crap libs on the internet, I make all my own parts, eagle made that so much of an ugly chore.
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Offline uncle_bob

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #153 on: July 07, 2016, 06:06:32 pm »
.....  The notion of locking up people's libraries and design data into their format and their systems is just really outdated and it's a shame really.  I recall when Altium was brave enough to add OrCAD export and folks feared everyone would flee to another tool.  ......

Hi

The gotcha is that library lock *is* the way it works for every PCB program I have ever seen. Go over to the layout guy(s) and simply imply you might do *anything* with their pet libraries and watch the reaction. I have worked multiple places where each person doing layout had *their* libraries and refused to touch the ones done by anybody else. You might say I simply have a bunch of paranoid co-workers over the years. If you sat down with them ... not so much. The issues were very PCB specific.

Bob
 

Offline rx8pilot

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #154 on: July 07, 2016, 06:43:14 pm »
The gotcha is that library lock *is* the way it works for every PCB program I have ever seen. Go over to the layout guy(s) and simply imply you might do *anything* with their pet libraries and watch the reaction. I have worked multiple places where each person doing layout had *their* libraries and refused to touch the ones done by anybody else. You might say I simply have a bunch of paranoid co-workers over the years. If you sat down with them ... not so much. The issues were very PCB specific.

This has truth. It is a big investment for an individual to get a library to a good comfort level for themselves. To get a whole team to work out a shared library is FAR more effort for management to coordinate up front. The end result are design 'islands' that slow things down in the long run. My first push into electronics was to pull in new people to start the department (my focus was in mechanical only at the time). The person managing this allowed the islands to form since their was no coordination up front. This path of least resistance seemed fast and lean at first and then we came to a screeching halt when production level coordination of the team was needed. In the end it was a total failure and I am not going to make that mistake again. Every piece of software in my little world really needs to support a team as I grow. Part of the effort is on me as a manager/leader but the various software products involved have to support the challenge of team libraries. Getting over the natural paranoia that an individual has with a library is no trivial task which is why I am thinking about it before I hire anyone.
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Online nctnico

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #155 on: July 07, 2016, 07:33:33 pm »
The gotcha is that library lock *is* the way it works for every PCB program I have ever seen. Go over to the layout guy(s) and simply imply you might do *anything* with their pet libraries and watch the reaction. I have worked multiple places where each person doing layout had *their* libraries and refused to touch the ones done by anybody else. You might say I simply have a bunch of paranoid co-workers over the years.
The biggest problem with libraries made by others is that some are really lazy and get the holes wrong or the outline wrong. I once made a board using a library from a co-worker in which the outline was too small. Ofcourse I placed the part tightly together which then didn't fit. His response: yeah you should leave some extra space. Long story short: you need to put someone in charge of the quality of the parts in the library and make sure they are production ready (all pads, holes, silk screen, outline, paste mask, solder mask, etc correct). But sometimes it is enough to get some competitive spirit going on and make creating good fitting and nice looking parts a game.
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Offline uncle_bob

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #156 on: July 07, 2016, 08:02:25 pm »
Hi

The gotcha with all of this is an industry wide paranoia about libraries. Semiconductor outfits will spend an amazing amount of money trying to get me to use their latest and greatest part. They all shy away from providing anything more than a pdf of the part to get it into the library. We do *exactly* the same thing for the parts we sell. The why always comes back to the fact that there *is* design work that goes into the library. Without that work being done, it will likely be wrong to some degree for this or that assembly process. I get all that.

I also make the observation that going from an "almost right" item to a "is correct" version is a *much* faster process than creating one from scratch. The barrier to getting the part on the board comes way down. I do not write all my own C libraries. I complain about this and that. Sometimes I patch things. For the most part, I use them as they are, with various flags set as appropriate. That approach is completely missing from the library process for parts. We are still pretty much stuck back in the 1960's and everybody does it from scratch themselves.

No this is not Eagle specific, but Eagle *is* a victim of this as much (if not more) than any other package out there. When I go to the "standards" in Eagle, I have to dig out books that have a *lot* of dust on them. There are an enormous number of packages that simply never made it into the Eagle empire as standards. Yes, I can Google around and find this or that from somebody with who knows what skills. What I need is a fairly consistent (package is the right size, pin numbers are correct) quality inventory of parts.

I don't think any one vendor is going to fix this all on their own. The money proposition lies with the people making the parts. Getting them involved in some sort of standard process is the only way I can see to break the log jam. If Eagle is aiming to be a disruptive force, this might be something they could encourage.

Bob
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #157 on: July 07, 2016, 08:11:10 pm »
The "my library is better than yours" issue has many analogous behaviors in other industries. The process of creating, modifying, and cataloging parts/footprints certainly must improve. I don't think Autodesk is going to be able to solve the human behavior issue. That's a management problem.
 

Offline rx8pilot

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #158 on: July 07, 2016, 08:22:52 pm »
Bob - you are right and it is not Eagles fault at all. The bigger problem is the industry wide approach to part libraries.

Where Eagle has an issue is that it is such a PITA to make parts from scratch. If the part creation/editing process was even reasonably easy, it would not be so bad. But in reality - it is pathetic. Horrible. Time wasting.

I certainly would stand by an effort to have a starting point of a part available as an industry standard. I may choose to edit or modify to better fit my particular processes - but at least I have the basic part ready.

The "my library is better than yours" issue has many analogous behaviors in other industries. The process of creating, modifying, and cataloging parts/footprints certainly must improve. I don't think Autodesk is going to be able to solve the human behavior issue. That's a management problem.

Yes, I admitted that to myself earlier for sure. What Autodesk could do is consider software tools that facilitate sharing libraries. Maybe an bitmap overlay that allows you to see a transparent PDF or image file of the part over the pad layout to visually confirm what is happening. ( I do that all the time in SolidWorks ). The drawing or image gets scaled to match the dimensions on the sheet in X/Y. Maybe having a locked down library and users can make tweaks and save them as alternates to be considered. Never really thought about it, but I feel like for management to have a fighting chance - the software needs to play along and keep the pain at a minimum.
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Offline uncle_bob

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #159 on: July 07, 2016, 08:42:08 pm »
The "my library is better than yours" issue has many analogous behaviors in other industries. The process of creating, modifying, and cataloging parts/footprints certainly must improve. I don't think Autodesk is going to be able to solve the human behavior issue. That's a management problem.

Hi

It's the same human nature that works in other areas as well. We got over it in a lot of them (the C library example). The counter is ease of use. It's also human nature to be lazy. If you make the alternative easy enough .... it will take over. Nothing ever happens for free or without sweat. Management didn't force us to use <stdio.h> instead of "/bob/ascii/parseit_and_do_stuff/try_again/try23792.h". They neither know or care that printf comes from Bob or from a library. They do know that the project works and got done on time. Forcing Bob to use stdio.h ... not so easy. Tricking Bob into it because Bob would rather be at the beach ... much easier.

Bob ... at the beach.
 

Offline PCB.Wiz

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #160 on: July 07, 2016, 08:46:20 pm »
What's curious is that they also have Circuitmaker.  So here's what I see and I think people are smart enough to see this: they are shepherding people down a path to where eventually spend $10K with them.  I felt this when I experienced how my files were managed in Circuitmaker.  The notion of locking up people's libraries and design data into their format and their systems is just really outdated and it's a shame really.
Of course, but this is not just shepherding, a large chunk of the Binary closure, is rather more self interested turf protection.

..  (let's see if they react to these comments and next week we get an announcement that all of the CM files are suddenly open and available...now that would be a great test of what they react to -- the users, or the fear that someone else might be willing to take risks that erode their position?)
That will never happen, because of the turf protection thinking. Altium (& Mentor ) have a vested interest in ensuring the simpler tools cannot nibble into their much more expensive stake-outs. If the level of closure actually harms end users and exposes them to more risk, that is not really viewed as a 'down side' at all, more as a 'sales opportunity'. Expiring license offerings will quickly go the way of the Dinosaur.
 

Offline PCB.Wiz

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #161 on: July 07, 2016, 08:51:07 pm »
Personally I prefer IDF but probably other formats will do as well. What is important to us, is that we don't need to deal with 3D-models in Eagle.
What we do is drawing a contour in layer 57 (tCAD) in the footprint. The linewidth is used to indicate the height of the contour above the board (linewidth is height / 1000).
That's a very clever idea - is that a widespread convention ? Google suggests that is somewhat Eagle only ?
 

Offline uncle_bob

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #162 on: July 07, 2016, 09:03:29 pm »
What's curious is that they also have Circuitmaker.  So here's what I see and I think people are smart enough to see this: they are shepherding people down a path to where eventually spend $10K with them.  I felt this when I experienced how my files were managed in Circuitmaker.  The notion of locking up people's libraries and design data into their format and their systems is just really outdated and it's a shame really.
Of course, but this is not just shepherding, a large chunk of the Binary closure, is rather more self interested turf protection.

..  (let's see if they react to these comments and next week we get an announcement that all of the CM files are suddenly open and available...now that would be a great test of what they react to -- the users, or the fear that someone else might be willing to take risks that erode their position?)
That will never happen, because of the turf protection thinking. Altium (& Mentor ) have a vested interest in ensuring the simpler tools cannot nibble into their much more expensive stake-outs. If the level of closure actually harms end users and exposes them to more risk, that is not really viewed as a 'down side' at all, more as a 'sales opportunity'. Expiring license offerings will quickly go the way of the Dinosaur.

Hi

These sort of things never happen until all of a sudden ... they do. Get a critical mass of parts onto some sort of open standard and it happens. The critical point is that the mass probably needs to be in a format that is not exclusively controlled by a competitor.  If Bob Inc can change the standard on a whim, nobody in their right mind would use it. It would be like writing software to run on a closed source operating system .... errrr .... yes, it can happen if 98% of the market is controlled by one guy. That's not the case here so it's got to be a bit more open.

Bob
 

Offline technolomaniac

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #163 on: July 07, 2016, 09:46:35 pm »
.....  The notion of locking up people's libraries and design data into their format and their systems is just really outdated and it's a shame really.  I recall when Altium was brave enough to add OrCAD export and folks feared everyone would flee to another tool.  ......

Hi

The gotcha is that library lock *is* the way it works for every PCB program I have ever seen. Go over to the layout guy(s) and simply imply you might do *anything* with their pet libraries and watch the reaction. I have worked multiple places where each person doing layout had *their* libraries and refused to touch the ones done by anybody else. You might say I simply have a bunch of paranoid co-workers over the years. If you sat down with them ... not so much. The issues were very PCB specific.

Bob

Hi Bob -- I totally agree that people are (and should be) careful about managing changes to libraries...Especially when something's gone to production!!!  So I'm with your PCB team on this one!  But what boggles the mind about Circuitmaker (and this was really the point of that comment) is that the libraries are published to a public library system in which your components are then a part of the larger parts 'ecosystem' and in a format that isn't easy to get at.  I am all for sharing libraries but:

a) let me decide if/when I'm ready for this...  and
b) let's use a format in which I can easily read the data and even export them to another tool

...Otherwise, the "ecosystem" that the classic EDA tools guys are creating is all about "their" ecosystem, and not about truly building a community.  That's the strategy for locking-in users that we're trying desperately to avoid (and which in my opinion is one of the major reasons we're all still building the same parts as everyone else). 

What made EAGLE so attractive [to Autodesk] was the spirit of open source HW and the community around it.  I just happen to be one part of that community and when we were looking to make a move in electronics - having come from Supplyframe / Hackaday - I was super excited to see EAGLE as a prospective target.  It's built on a great foundation and it already has a completely open file format (something we intend to keep moving forward).

For sure, we're a big company and could make a run at some other ecad tools but the goal from the outset was to tap into what's different these days than say, 10 years ago or more.  So expect we'll push to make things even more open and not try to lock folks in in a way that means they lose their right to their content.
 

Offline technolomaniac

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #164 on: July 07, 2016, 09:52:49 pm »
What's curious is that they also have Circuitmaker.  So here's what I see and I think people are smart enough to see this: they are shepherding people down a path to where eventually spend $10K with them.  I felt this when I experienced how my files were managed in Circuitmaker.  The notion of locking up people's libraries and design data into their format and their systems is just really outdated and it's a shame really.
Of course, but this is not just shepherding, a large chunk of the Binary closure, is rather more self interested turf protection.

..  (let's see if they react to these comments and next week we get an announcement that all of the CM files are suddenly open and available...now that would be a great test of what they react to -- the users, or the fear that someone else might be willing to take risks that erode their position?)
That will never happen, because of the turf protection thinking. Altium (& Mentor ) have a vested interest in ensuring the simpler tools cannot nibble into their much more expensive stake-outs. If the level of closure actually harms end users and exposes them to more risk, that is not really viewed as a 'down side' at all, more as a 'sales opportunity'. Expiring license offerings will quickly go the way of the Dinosaur.

All too true.  Unfortunately.  So the aim here is to do the opposite of "that".  Because we don't feel folks gain anything by it.  If nothing else, it's an easy point of differentiation.  :) 
 

Offline technolomaniac

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #165 on: July 07, 2016, 09:56:13 pm »
Personally I prefer IDF but probably other formats will do as well. What is important to us, is that we don't need to deal with 3D-models in Eagle.
What we do is drawing a contour in layer 57 (tCAD) in the footprint. The linewidth is used to indicate the height of the contour above the board (linewidth is height / 1000).
That's a very clever idea - is that a widespread convention ? Google suggests that is somewhat Eagle only ?

+1.  That is pretty awesome. 
 

Offline PCB.Wiz

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #166 on: July 07, 2016, 10:35:48 pm »
Semiconductor outfits will spend an amazing amount of money trying to get me to use their latest and greatest part. They all shy away from providing anything more than a pdf of the part to get it into the library. We do *exactly* the same thing for the parts we sell. The why always comes back to the fact that there *is* design work that goes into the library. Without that work being done, it will likely be wrong to some degree for this or that assembly process. I get all that.

I also make the observation that going from an "almost right" item to a "is correct" version is a *much* faster process than creating one from scratch. The barrier to getting the part on the board comes way down. I do not write all my own C libraries. I complain about this and that. Sometimes I patch things. For the most part, I use them as they are, with various flags set as appropriate. That approach is completely missing from the library process for parts. We are still pretty much stuck back in the 1960's and everybody does it from scratch themselves.

Autodesk is in an ideal position to help here.

Many mention human inertia -  well, the same applies to those working in the Parts Suppliers too :)
- so the vendors need a simple, free, open tool to create footprint examples - complete with 'as is' disclaimers.
This means those furthest upstream on this problem, can start creating widely portable footprint data.

The output of this should be in scriptable/readable format, provided both in file url, and even as text in the PDF.

I'd suggest here DXF and a s-format variant of DXF - exactly the same information, but in a less spaghetti form, and CrLf agnostic.
This should export as a choice of
* simplistic DXF, - lines with circles and arcs converted to lines. yes, Ugh, but this is close to 100% 'DXF portable'
* moderate DXF - but have polylines and circles and arcs, and entity end points on all PAD centre points.
   quite modest conversion smarts/rules will be needed to create a footprint, eg using circle diameter as pad diameter, inner as drill etc.
* Block DXF - as above, but with terminals defined as Blocks, and inserted - this should be  able to do 100% PCB footprint definition.

A good DXF summary I found here  (better than Autodesks more verbose help)
http://www.klayout.de/dxf_format.html

... that allows you to see a transparent PDF or image file of the part over the pad layout to visually confirm what is happening. ( I do that all the time in SolidWorks ). The drawing or image gets scaled to match the dimensions on the sheet in X/Y.
Noooo.... anything that says "The drawing or image gets scaled" opens a whole can of worms.
Best to export in a proper CAD format, that has explicit units, be those mils, or mm or even inch.
 

Offline PCB.Wiz

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #167 on: July 07, 2016, 10:43:19 pm »
What made EAGLE so attractive [to Autodesk] was the spirit of open source HW and the community around it.  I just happen to be one part of that community and when we were looking to make a move in electronics - having come from Supplyframe / Hackaday - I was super excited to see EAGLE as a prospective target.  It's built on a great foundation and it already has a completely open file format (something we intend to keep moving forward).

For sure, we're a big company and could make a run at some other ecad tools but the goal from the outset was to tap into what's different these days than say, 10 years ago or more.  So expect we'll push to make things even more open and not try to lock folks in in a way that means they lose their right to their content.
Sounds great.

One thing that Eagle could do, to both prove those credentials, and get early access to a nice Shove router, is to add a Import from KiCad button, (and test the KiCad Eagle importer that is already in place, under File.Import).
Maybe add a command line launch & button that says 'Open in KiCad'

To the few boards I've tried, the KiCad Eagle importer already looks pretty good, (as does their Altium importer), but if you want to round-trip this into a Router, that needs another level of  detail checking.
 

Offline rx8pilot

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #168 on: July 07, 2016, 10:52:11 pm »
Noooo.... anything that says "The drawing or image gets scaled" opens a whole can of worms.
Best to export in a proper CAD format, that has explicit units, be those mils, or mm or even inch.

I understand, but it could be a very long time before it's common to get data in a dimensioned CAD format. Maybe because I come from a mechanical design world, it seems too easy and normal? It's at least a baby step IMHO while we wait 20 more years for an industry standard device definition format.

Right now, I print out the pads on a laser printer and physically place the part on the paper to see if I am good to go. Hilarious.
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Offline PCB.Wiz

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #169 on: July 07, 2016, 10:56:18 pm »
These sort of things never happen until all of a sudden ... they do. Get a critical mass of parts onto some sort of open standard and it happens. The critical point is that the mass probably needs to be in a format that is not exclusively controlled by a competitor.  If Bob Inc can change the standard on a whim, nobody in their right mind would use it. It would be like writing software to run on a closed source operating system .... errrr .... yes, it can happen if 98% of the market is controlled by one guy. That's not the case here so it's got to be a bit more open.
Fully agree, which is why I suggest an open DXF (or S-expression https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S-expression#Parsing DXF variant) as most tools already can import DXF.
All you do is define some rules for better footprint extraction from DXF.
Some of that can be built into the Footprint editors, and some can be embedded in the DXF structure itself.
See my post above about levels of DXF.
 

Offline PCB.Wiz

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #170 on: July 07, 2016, 11:01:01 pm »
Right now, I print out the pads on a laser printer and physically place the part on the paper to see if I am good to go. Hilarious.
Hehe, well, yes, I'll admit do doing something similar myself, before release of the board.

I understand, but it could be a very long time before it's common to get data in a dimensioned CAD format.Maybe because I come from a mechanical design world, it seems too easy and normal? It's at least a baby step
There are already DXF files on the web, from many vendors.  DXF import is common/widespread.
I've used those, and they work well, (see my link above to a Relay-DXF) but a modest increase in IQ is all that is needed.
(and you keep the lowest common denominator DXF too)

Nothing is discarded, and things get incrementally smarter and easier :)

 

Offline uncle_bob

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #171 on: July 07, 2016, 11:13:00 pm »
.....  The notion of locking up people's libraries and design data into their format and their systems is just really outdated and it's a shame really.  I recall when Altium was brave enough to add OrCAD export and folks feared everyone would flee to another tool.  ......

Hi

The gotcha is that library lock *is* the way it works for every PCB program I have ever seen. Go over to the layout guy(s) and simply imply you might do *anything* with their pet libraries and watch the reaction. I have worked multiple places where each person doing layout had *their* libraries and refused to touch the ones done by anybody else. You might say I simply have a bunch of paranoid co-workers over the years. If you sat down with them ... not so much. The issues were very PCB specific.

Bob

Hi Bob -- I totally agree that people are (and should be) careful about managing changes to libraries...Especially when something's gone to production!!!  So I'm with your PCB team on this one!  But what boggles the mind about Circuitmaker (and this was really the point of that comment) is that the libraries are published to a public library system in which your components are then a part of the larger parts 'ecosystem' and in a format that isn't easy to get at.  I am all for sharing libraries but:

a) let me decide if/when I'm ready for this...  and
b) let's use a format in which I can easily read the data and even export them to another tool

...Otherwise, the "ecosystem" that the classic EDA tools guys are creating is all about "their" ecosystem, and not about truly building a community.  That's the strategy for locking-in users that we're trying desperately to avoid (and which in my opinion is one of the major reasons we're all still building the same parts as everyone else). 

What made EAGLE so attractive [to Autodesk] was the spirit of open source HW and the community around it.  I just happen to be one part of that community and when we were looking to make a move in electronics - having come from Supplyframe / Hackaday - I was super excited to see EAGLE as a prospective target.  It's built on a great foundation and it already has a completely open file format (something we intend to keep moving forward).

For sure, we're a big company and could make a run at some other ecad tools but the goal from the outset was to tap into what's different these days than say, 10 years ago or more.  So expect we'll push to make things even more open and not try to lock folks in in a way that means they lose their right to their content.

Hi

The idea I'm pushing would be something that is open source, but with a sponsor. Get a few other outfits on board. Publish an open source spec. Set up a license that makes sense. Have some sort of "adult supervision" that keeps things from going off track. A lot of the software companies are headed this way. Even Microsoft seems to have gotten into the spirit. More or less, a bigger market helps everybody. The task is daunting. A general library with a few hundred thousand parts (the way they are counted) is nonsense. If you are going to call every unique part number an entry ....the library is in the hundreds of millions of entries. The only way to get that all in is to get the marketing guys at the component outfits onboard. $500 gets a family of parts into a standard format. They will spend that on a single trip to some guy named Bob ... Yes, you need a format that couples pin names, schematic symbols, CAD and all the rest. There is some work. It's not all *that* crazy to do.

Bob
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #172 on: July 07, 2016, 11:21:08 pm »
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.

Yes, if you have a text based file format then integrating version control in the software makes little sense. It's just trying to feature-match Altium.
With Matt being a long time ex-Altium guy I think he needs to be careful here to not take the same do-everything mindset into Eagle. It doesn't need that, it needs to simply be a better and more usable basic PCB tool.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2016, 11:23:25 pm by EEVblog »
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #173 on: July 07, 2016, 11:28:41 pm »
.....  The notion of locking up people's libraries and design data into their format and their systems is just really outdated and it's a shame really.  I recall when Altium was brave enough to add OrCAD export and folks feared everyone would flee to another tool.  ......

Hi

The gotcha is that library lock *is* the way it works for every PCB program I have ever seen. Go over to the layout guy(s) and simply imply you might do *anything* with their pet libraries and watch the reaction. I have worked multiple places where each person doing layout had *their* libraries and refused to touch the ones done by anybody else. You might say I simply have a bunch of paranoid co-workers over the years. If you sat down with them ... not so much. The issues were very PCB specific.

Bob

Hi Bob -- I totally agree that people are (and should be) careful about managing changes to libraries...Especially when something's gone to production!!!  So I'm with your PCB team on this one!  But what boggles the mind about Circuitmaker (and this was really the point of that comment) is that the libraries are published to a public library system in which your components are then a part of the larger parts 'ecosystem' and in a format that isn't easy to get at.  I am all for sharing libraries but:

Yes.
Forcing publicly libraries is fundamentally and demonstrably a stupid idea.
Public libraries are great for seraching and getting parts, essential in fact.
But then once you have the parts and used them, you want to lock them away locally so no one can ever touch them except under expert adult supervision.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Autodesk buys Eagle
« Reply #174 on: July 07, 2016, 11:32:00 pm »
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?

So anything I say is really conjecture (and keeping in mind that the ECAD tools market is small small small, so I have friends there and I don't mean them any ill-will) but I think the issue is a combination of slow-to-zero adoption of Circuitstudio and Altium's looming fear that they've left a flank open by doubling-down on the enterprise market, forgetting there's a great big world out there that doesn't have $10K for a piece of SW and $2500 / year for maintenance (!). 

Remember these guys have been charging steadily more for the base product and maintenance is far more expensive than it was in the past.  So where once they were the "people's tool" (thru the 90' and 00's) they are now yet another enterprise software vendor, and that leaves open a huge part of the market which doesn't want to be put into that box.

Seems to me that Circuitstudio's drop in price is a reaction (the timing is just too perfect) to the fear that if someone with such a large user base as EAGLE, includes great routing and great polygon management and great wiring and hierarchy, etc. then they just might erode the $12.5K position of a product + maintenance.  These features are not *that* hard to implement.  They just take resources and now - with Autodesk's support - Cadsoft has no shortage of resources to make these things a reality.

What's curious is that they also have Circuitmaker.  So here's what I see and I think people are smart enough to see this: they are shepherding people down a path to where eventually spend $10K with them.  I felt this when I experienced how my files were managed in Circuitmaker.  The notion of locking up people's libraries and design data into their format and their systems is just really outdated and it's a shame really.  I recall when Altium was brave enough to add OrCAD export and folks feared everyone would flee to another tool.  Fact is, they didn't.  Information wants to be free and accessible and we are going to put all of our energy into making sure that we don't lose at *that* game.  And let's be clear - I don't need another ecosystem in my life.  (let's see if they react to these comments and next week we get an announcement that all of the CM files are suddenly open and available...now that would be a great test of what they react to -- the users, or the fear that someone else might be willing to take risks that erode their position?)

Yep, bang on, my thoughts exactly.
Perhaps I should do another video...
 


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