Author Topic: PCBPCAD51/PCBPCAD720 Review  (Read 2985 times)

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Offline JohnnyMalaria

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Re: PCBPCAD51/PCBPCAD720 Review
« Reply #25 on: February 18, 2021, 12:11:07 am »
And KiCAD isnt free, you paid for it through taxes and grants.
It is just yet another way of paying for it.

Really? How does that work for me in North Carolina? I thought the E in CERN meant Europe.

I just took your software for a ride. Seriously, WFT is this? I know it is supposed be a 3D view of a PCB but  :-//

[attach=1]

Your software looks and feels cheap. There are numerous typos and appalling GUI elements. You are SERIOUSLY deluded.

Oh, and when I decided to close the 5 instances that were running for god knows what reason, guess what:

[attach=2]

I'd call that a bug, right?

And if I try to close the schematic editor with unsaved changes, I get two options. One saves it and closes. The other closes. I can't back out. Bug or by design?

I tried the XNA 3D viewer - it trashed everything on my display.

I suspect you have so few bugs reported because most people's first experience is so dire that they just uninstall it and find a useable application.

I would be disgusted if I had paid for your program. It's barely out of alpha, let alone beta.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2021, 12:25:39 am by JohnnyMalaria »
 
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Offline nctnico

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Re: PCBPCAD51/PCBPCAD720 Review
« Reply #26 on: February 18, 2021, 12:28:25 am »

I have tested my own software and used it every day for 12 years. I also have a hardware business and go through a lot of pcb designs.
I have programmed for 43 years and tested for 43 years.
I have a degree in software engineering.
And yet the creator of this software https://horizon-eda.org/ got further in less than two years than you in 12.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 
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Offline JohnnyMalaria

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Re: PCBPCAD51/PCBPCAD720 Review
« Reply #27 on: February 18, 2021, 12:40:44 am »
I have programmed for 43 years and tested for 43 years.
I have a degree in software engineering.

From the late 70s, I suspect. Your application feels like something intended for primitive VDU vector graphics. You clearly haven't kept up-to-date on software engineering practices. You violate UI standards, cannot spell and leave the user just utterly confused.
 

Offline Warhawk

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Re: PCBPCAD51/PCBPCAD720 Review
« Reply #28 on: February 18, 2021, 11:11:43 am »
Well, I just wanted to comment on the user interface. I am not a seasoned engineer but I still prefer the look and feel of old(er) software. (Office before Ribbon, Windows 2000 menus, Zuken CR5000 or Formica PCB, etc.). The combination of Windows 10 and Office 2019 drives me nuts every day at work.
I personally think that there's nothing like an "outdated" GUI. There is a functional and a nonfunctional GUI. Unfortunately, most new software prefer design over practical usability. I would give Nigel actually kudos for not jumping on this trend. This does not change the fact that schematic symbols are insane.

Also, there was this other special guy with another PCB software. He used to be active here on the forum too. The SW was for like 15 Eur. He was difficult too.

Offline SiliconWizard

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Re: PCBPCAD51/PCBPCAD720 Review
« Reply #29 on: February 18, 2021, 04:25:17 pm »
I personally think that there's nothing like an "outdated" GUI. There is a functional and a nonfunctional GUI.

I agree!

Unfortunately, most new software prefer design over practical usability.

Agree again. Usability needs rules, guidelines and sticking to them. But nice-looking design is good when it helps usability. And sometimes it does. Even when there is no direct usability effect. Makes you feel more of a "connection" with the software. It may sound silly, but it's really not. Apple had understood that decades ago.

Beyond pure usability, there's something relatively subjective, and yet that can be shared by many... and this is what Steve Jobs called "taste". I remember a fun interview (from the 80s?) in which he was talking about design, Apple software and Microsoft. At some point he basically said that MS was writing good software, but that they just had no taste. This is something that you can relatively easily recognize, yet from the designer's side, it's something you either have or not. It's very hard to learn good 'taste'.

I would give Nigel actually kudos for not jumping on this trend. This does not change the fact that schematic symbols are insane.

Well, I haven't tried the software and am just judging from a few screenshots. The overall GUI looks questionable to me (and not because it looks "outdated"), but having not tried it, I don't know whether it makes it unusable or not. I do think a good overhaul of the GUI would definitely help leaving a better impression. And, I don't know how this software was written nor with what language, but as the GUI looks very "manually implemented", and it's still the same developer, it's likely possible to improve it without breaking everything.

Now this is a typical one-person job. It's often very hard to make a lone developer take a different direction. And frankly, if they still manage to sell licenses (admittedly those are very cheap) after all these years, so be it.
 

Offline Bassman59

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Re: PCBPCAD51/PCBPCAD720 Review
« Reply #30 on: February 18, 2021, 06:55:22 pm »

I have tested my own software and used it every day for 12 years. I also have a hardware business and go through a lot of pcb designs.
I have programmed for 43 years and tested for 43 years.
I have a degree in software engineering.

Now, since my degree is in EE, not software, and I'm not quite that old yet, I cannot speak to what was being taught in software engineering curricula 43 years ago. I imagine that there have been a few changes.

But ask anyone with actual experience and they'll say, "you cannot test your own product."

This is true for software, this is true for a hardware product.

Authors hand off their manuscripts to editors for review!

There's a reason why design reviews are employed at all levels, too. But it's quite obvious you've never had to participate in a design review.

Quote
KiCAD give it to someone who hasn't tested a piece of code in their life ! and who probably isnt looking for a bug anyway.

Assertion made without facts in evidence.

Or, put another way, that's what you want to believe, but that doesn't make your beliefs true.

Quote
I deliberately go looking for bugs. Thats why mine is more bug free than KiCAD. 7480 bugs ? seriously ?

Dude, you're dense and you don't comprehend what people are writing. That's not the number of bugs, that's the number of issues reported by anyone who has an issue. Some of those issues are actual bugs. Some are wishlist items. Some are just "I did this, expecting that, why didn't it do that?" and the user gets sorted out.

Quote
And KiCAD isnt free, you paid for it through taxes and grants.
It is just yet another way of paying for it.

Well, to be fair, I have to pay for the internet connection I used to download every version of Kicad I've installed and used. I also had to pay for that internet connection to download Emacs, which is a product of the Free Software Foundation. Hell, I had to pay for that internet connection to download a Linux install and a Raspberry Pi image.

But, hey, again, you can believe whatever you want, but ...

Look, I'd be inclined to give your product a shot, but it doesn't run on my preferred platform (I'm one of the assholes who prefers the Mac, sorry), and quite frankly, you're too much of a dick. The guy doing the Horizon project puts out notices and says, "give it a shot, please report issues and let me know what you like and dislike." He's not combative and doesn't pretend that he has all of the answers.

Hell, even the guy doing pcb-rnd -- the fork of gEDA -- seems to care about user experience. (Oh, by the way, there's a reason he forked gEDA. The gEDA maintainer was a dick and the project never moved beyond whatever interested him.)
 
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Offline nigelwright7557

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Re: PCBPCAD51/PCBPCAD720 Review
« Reply #31 on: February 21, 2021, 06:33:42 pm »
So  I am a dick for defending some software i wrote ? My software is good enough for Ford, British telecom, Aston Martin, Land rover, NHS etc etc.

Software I have designed over 300 pcb's successfully with.  And 3000+ customers over 10 years of which 99% were happy.
If it really was a pile of poo I wouldn't have been able to do 1 pcb never mind 300 !

Also, we are talking about a £4 piece of software so essentially it is given away after taking into account website cost, ebay fees, pc to write the software etc etc.
I get some real idiots buying my software who at work use cadstar, eagle and easypc.
Then they complain mine isnt as good as those.
Well its not,  I admit that but its not £300 either ! Come on lads get real.....

I had a bloke on the phone last week said my software rubbish.
So I calmly asked what the problems were.
It turned out he couldnt work Windows never mind some complex CAD software.

Another said "well it doesnt work like Eagle or have massive libraries."
Thats absolutely correct ! and its not $300 either.

My own opinion of the software is the libraries are crap but otherwise it does a reasonable job for amateur to mid range pcb designers on a budget.
To help with the library problems I added a schematic and pcb footprint wizard for SIL, DIL, quad, valve base and BGA.

PCBCAD51 is not my main source of income, it makes next to nothing so is irrelevant to me and just a hobby now.
My main income is embedded systems where there is a tangible item that isnt being given away.
 

Offline Bassman59

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Re: PCBPCAD51/PCBPCAD720 Review
« Reply #32 on: February 22, 2021, 07:45:36 pm »
So  I am a dick for defending some software i wrote ?

No. You are a dick because you make incorrect assertions about other products, and when your mistakes are pointed out to you, you ignore the responses.

I'm specifically referring to your claim about Kicad having "7480 bugs." It was pointed out to you that the program doesn't have 7480 bugs, it has 7480 entries in its issues database.

If you are a professional software engineer for some 43 years, you should know how issue trackers work.

But you haven't come back and said, "Oh, I see what you are saying." You just double down on it.

And it's not a bug if your user interface preference is not implemented in the software.

And again also: you claim you test your own software, but as a professional software engineer of some 43 years, you should know that you cannot possibly test your own software. And you have not responded to this, either.

Now you say your software is used by various large companies. Maybe someone at Ford bought a copy of your software. Who was that person, and for what purpose did they buy your software? Or put another way, was something designed with your software put into production, or did a test person buy a copy of your software to do a one-time test jig board? Now it's perfectly fine for the test tech to get the job done with your software but for you to say "Ford is a customer!" is disingenuous. For the record, any time I see a company advertising the Big Name Customers who've bought their product, I ignore all that, and exactly for the reason I just stated. So it's not just you.

And you say "3000+ customers over 10 years of which 99% were happy."

Clearly you recognize that most customer feedback is negative. People love to complain! But consider. Your software is so low in cost that someone who spend the five bucks on it and found that it doesn't work probably won't complain. That person will just move on to something else and forget about it. So "no complaints" doesn't necessarily mean "happy customer."



So, again. Maybe your product is perfectly fine. I've looked at the screenshots and it looks like it does what you say. The schematics look better than the old Ultiboard. User interface is of course a preference.

Look, I've been using Kicad since before the version 4, and I did a handful of things with 5.1. A few days ago I installed the v6 nightly (v5.99 they call it) and I'm honestly impressed by the number of user-interface improvements. The developers really did listen to a lot of the input about the user experience. Some of the improvements are not obvious unless you have reasonable experience using the previous versions. My point here is that Kicad does the job and does it well and at this point, I really see no compelling reason to switch.

Also, I'm one of those assholes who prefers the Mac and your software doesn't run on it. ;)
 
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Offline nigelwright7557

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Re: PCBPCAD51/PCBPCAD720 Review
« Reply #33 on: February 23, 2021, 12:31:12 am »
Your absolutely right kicad doesnt have 7480 bugs but 7480 "user issues."
But 7480 of anything really worries me.

All  I can do is give my experience of kicad which is minimal because I really struggled with it. I keep going back and sometimes get a little further.
Sadly because I am also a CAD vendor that makes me a dick.
Which means I am obviously grossly biased.

The using of a new PCBCAD package is worst when you come from something else.
Different menu structure, different shortcut keys, different context menu's all make it a nightmare.
If a customer comes from EasyPC (£400) then FFS go and buy EasyPC and dont try to claim a £4 package is not the same or as good.

kicad did do me a favour. I printed out a small schematic I managed and its quality was much better than mine.
It seems the windows printer driver scales down pixels by 10 before printing.
This makes a mess of the print out by a factor of 10.
I eventually found a "printscaling" function in windows and tried that and suddenly my print outs were as good as kicad's.

I am quite comfortable with criticism if its constructive. Some people were very constructive but others made stupid comments like "its only 2 colours" or screenshots were "worse than kicad."
My pcbcad360 actually uses C++ same as kicad so its the same windows drivers for the screen so cant possibly be any worse or have any different amount of colours.
Its 32 bits ARGB colours same as any other Windows app.

When  I said I did software for Ford its not my PCBCAD software.
I have done work on various systems in their cars from wash/wipe through to ECU work.

« Last Edit: February 23, 2021, 12:32:58 am by nigelwright7557 »
 

Offline Monkeh

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Re: PCBPCAD51/PCBPCAD720 Review
« Reply #34 on: February 23, 2021, 12:43:08 am »
My pcbcad360 actually uses C++ same as kicad so its the same windows drivers for the screen so cant possibly be any worse or have any different amount of colours.
Its 32 bits ARGB colours same as any other Windows app.

Your ability to miss the point is nothing short of extraordinary.
 
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Offline zeqL

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Re: PCBPCAD51/PCBPCAD720 Review
« Reply #35 on: February 23, 2021, 01:30:29 pm »
Your absolutely right kicad doesnt have 7480 bugs but 7480 "user issues."
But 7480 of anything really worries me.

Kicad has a lot more features than your software and also have more experienced users and projects, so having more issues is quite normal.
And taking the absolute number of issues is irrelevant.

I'm just taking an example: your software doesn't seems to consider differential pairs, so you can't have bug/issues related to this. Less features, less potential issues.

All  I can do is give my experience of kicad which is minimal because I really struggled with it. I keep going back and sometimes get a little further.
Sadly because I am also a CAD vendor that makes me a dick.
Which means I am obviously grossly biased.

The using of a new PCBCAD package is worst when you come from something else.
Different menu structure, different shortcut keys, different context menu's all make it a nightmare.
If a customer comes from EasyPC (£400) then FFS go and buy EasyPC and dont try to claim a £4 package is not the same or as good.

I know Kicad for years as I discovered it during my engineering school (10 years ago). Then during my work life I had access to the major CAD : Allegro and Xpedition.
I haven't done hundred PCB in 10 years because I'm designing complex PCB with SoC, DDR, switch, 10G etc. and it takes usually 2-3 months to do the layout (and the same time for the schematic).
Even the major CAD are not perfect, even on basic features but you learn to work with.

Kicad has a professional philosophy in its design, with schematics, BOM assignment, layout, layout rules, etc.
It's not as powerful as Allegor, Xpedition, Pads, Orcad, but if you come from these major CAD software, the workflow will be similar.

I'm really waiting for the Kicad 6 because it means for me that Kicad could be an acceptable professional CAD for some complex board. Kicad 5 lacks some important features that help a lot for high density board (it's not impossible to do but it takes a lot of time).

On the other hand your software is targeted at small and basic boards, and is probably good at it. But clearly you don't play in the same league as Kicad.

I didn't have the time to test your software but by looking at the screenshot, when I see a resistor symbol this large or same with capacitor symbol, I've got a bad feeling.
 

Offline Bassman59

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Re: PCBPCAD51/PCBPCAD720 Review
« Reply #36 on: February 23, 2021, 05:09:53 pm »
As for Kicad (spit) you wait 6 months for a bug fix. If you email me I fix a bug in less than a day usually.

Please don't spit. It's disgusting.

I am testing (something you don't do) the 5.99 pre-release for the upcoming Kicad v6.

This morning, while creating a footprint, I found a bug. I filed the bug report. Within an hour, one of the developers was able to reproduce the bug, triaged it and noted that it's "high priority," which means it'll be fixed presently.

I'd say that's quick turnaround.

I would fix the bug myself but I don't know much about the underlying wxWidgets stuff used to implement this part of the user interface.
 

Offline Bassman59

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Re: PCBPCAD51/PCBPCAD720 Review
« Reply #37 on: February 23, 2021, 05:48:46 pm »
As for Kicad (spit) you wait 6 months for a bug fix. If you email me I fix a bug in less than a day usually.

Please don't spit. It's disgusting.

I am testing (something you don't do) the 5.99 pre-release for the upcoming Kicad v6.

This morning, while creating a footprint, I found a bug. I filed the bug report. Within an hour, one of the developers was able to reproduce the bug, triaged it and noted that it's "high priority," which means it'll be fixed presently.

I'd say that's quick turnaround.

I would fix the bug myself but I don't know much about the underlying wxWidgets stuff used to implement this part of the user interface.

... and I just got the Gitlab commit notice saying that the bug was fixed, about 45 minutes after a developer saw my bug report, so less than 2 hours turnaround time.
 

Offline JohnnyMalaria

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Re: PCBPCAD51/PCBPCAD720 Review
« Reply #38 on: February 23, 2021, 05:57:57 pm »
My pcbcad360 actually uses C++ same as kicad so its the same windows drivers for the screen so cant possibly be any worse or have any different amount of colours.
Its 32 bits ARGB colours same as any other Windows app.

This statement alone reveals an amazing lack of understanding. C++ is just a language. What compiler? What frameworks? GDI, GDI+, DirectDraw etc etc?

Kicad uses wxWidgets.

Your software doesn't.
 

Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: PCBPCAD51/PCBPCAD720 Review
« Reply #39 on: February 23, 2021, 09:43:43 pm »
Sadly because I am also a CAD vendor that makes me a dick.

Not at all.

Quote
When  I said I did software for Ford its not my PCBCAD software.

Disingenuously implying that "Ford, British telecom, Aston Martin, Land rover, NHS etc etc" used and liked your PCB software makes you a dick.
 


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