Author Topic: KiCAD 7.0.1 released  (Read 10269 times)

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Offline johnboxallTopic starter

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KiCAD 7.0.1 released
« on: March 12, 2023, 03:00:48 am »
 
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Offline Doctorandus_P

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Re: KiCAD 7.0.1 released
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2023, 01:31:29 pm »
It's about once a month for bug fix releases (in the 3rd digit of the version number), so halfway in march was about expected.

I also count 103 bug fixes, (so that's about 3 per day on average) and that is also about what I expect for a new mayor release for KiCad.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2023, 07:24:20 pm by Doctorandus_P »
 

Offline Benta

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Re: KiCAD 7.0.1 released
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2023, 10:05:48 pm »
Just installed it as upgrade from 6.0.11.
Haven't gotten around to really using it yet, but the leap was much smaller than from 5.1 to 6.0.
 

Online SiliconWizard

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Re: KiCAD 7.0.1 released
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2023, 10:17:56 pm »
As with any major version upgrade, it will make your projects and libraries incompatible with v6. Obvious, but something to think about if you're collaborating with people who may have not upgraded. Do not rush it and plan, if that's your case.
For hobbyist use, of course it usually doesn't matter.

Otherwise, 7.0.1 fixes a sizable list of bugs so that's a much better bet than 7.0.0.
Still a few annoying quirks. One of them that I mentioned is that navigating hierarchical sheets has become much slower than in v6. But you get a sheet navigator. Switching sheets (unless they are practically empty, it worsens with the number of symbols and connections) takes in the order of 1s in v7 (it's an order, will of course depend on your computer), while it was much faster in v6. While many people don't seem to care much, I find it pretty annoying and it's been confirmed, so improvements should end up in a future release. Apparently, the development branch 7.99 already has improvements. Of course, for those who don't even use hierachical sheets, it doesn't matter.

I otherwise like the new features in the schematic editor, and also the "complete trace route" feature in the pcb editor, something I had been waiting for. The initial footprint placement has also been improved, so that should all make layouting more productive.

 

Offline Benta

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Re: KiCAD 7.0.1 released
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2023, 10:57:39 pm »
As with any major version upgrade, it will make your projects and libraries incompatible with v6. Obvious, but something to think about if you're collaborating with people who may have not upgraded.

Too true. My enthusiasm has disappeared, and I'm reverting to 6.0.11, which has always done what I expected.
KiCAD 7 is not able to integrate my personal libraries, although they have the same names, format, location etc. And there's no function in 7 to fix this.
I have to add each and every personal library manually, which is intolerable.

Lousy upgrade IMO.
 

Online SiliconWizard

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Re: KiCAD 7.0.1 released
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2023, 11:20:29 pm »
KiCAD 7 is not able to integrate my personal libraries, although they have the same names, format, location etc. And there's no function in 7 to fix this.
I have to add each and every personal library manually, which is intolerable.

Yes, you need to re-add every non-standard library manually, that's pretty time-consuming if you have many of them.

It may be possible to do this faster by copying the list directly from the corresponding v6 configuration file to the v7 one, although I'm not completely sure if that's all that's required.
When you start v7 for the first time, it asks if you want to import your preferences from v6, but those preferences don't include lists of libraries, so yeah.

To be fair, upgrading major versions with some commercial EDA packages is not much easier. Upgrading major versions of Zuken Cadstar was always a pain.

 

Offline Benta

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Re: KiCAD 7.0.1 released
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2023, 12:09:44 am »
KiCAD 7 is not able to integrate my personal libraries, although they have the same names, format, location etc. And there's no function in 7 to fix this.
I have to add each and every personal library manually, which is intolerable.

Yes, you need to re-add every non-standard library manually, that's pretty time-consuming if you have many of them.

It may be possible to do this faster by copying the list directly from the corresponding v6 configuration file to the v7 one, although I'm not completely sure if that's all that's required.
Won't work, don't try that, please.
I've found a (somewhat involved) solution, but am flabbergasted that the developers didn't even think that it's an issue. People don't use personal libraries?
 

Offline delfinom

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Re: KiCAD 7.0.1 released
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2023, 04:27:51 pm »
KiCAD 7 is not able to integrate my personal libraries, although they have the same names, format, location etc. And there's no function in 7 to fix this.
I have to add each and every personal library manually, which is intolerable.

Yes, you need to re-add every non-standard library manually, that's pretty time-consuming if you have many of them.

It may be possible to do this faster by copying the list directly from the corresponding v6 configuration file to the v7 one, although I'm not completely sure if that's all that's required.
Won't work, don't try that, please.
I've found a (somewhat involved) solution, but am flabbergasted that the developers didn't even think that it's an issue. People don't use personal libraries?

The flip side of the coin is if you start using your old libraries under V7 and end up saving them, it's file format will get upgraded and become incompatible with V6. Meanwhile a user may want to use KiCad 6 and 7 in parallel where they just use KiCad 6 for older designs.

Perhaps it could be made a startup option.
 

Online SiliconWizard

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Re: KiCAD 7.0.1 released
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2023, 07:53:35 pm »
KiCAD 7 is not able to integrate my personal libraries, although they have the same names, format, location etc. And there's no function in 7 to fix this.
I have to add each and every personal library manually, which is intolerable.

Yes, you need to re-add every non-standard library manually, that's pretty time-consuming if you have many of them.

It may be possible to do this faster by copying the list directly from the corresponding v6 configuration file to the v7 one, although I'm not completely sure if that's all that's required.
Won't work, don't try that, please.
I've found a (somewhat involved) solution, but am flabbergasted that the developers didn't even think that it's an issue. People don't use personal libraries?

The flip side of the coin is if you start using your old libraries under V7 and end up saving them, it's file format will get upgraded and become incompatible with V6. Meanwhile a user may want to use KiCad 6 and 7 in parallel where they just use KiCad 6 for older designs.

Yep, that's what I mentioned earlier. So it's understandable that KiCad v7 doesn't automatically import v6 custom libraries as is - it could make users extremely angry if they need to keep using v6, which is a very likely event as I already said if they have to collaborate with other people/companies that may not have upgraded.

But adding a simple tool to make the import easy in one go, I'm all for it. With all due warnings to the user, and an option to back up custom libraries in some directory so that you don't accidentally lose the ability to use them for v6.

Then again, you should backup your custom libraries on a regular basis anyway and especially before upgrading major versions.
 

Offline Benta

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Re: KiCAD 7.0.1 released
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2023, 10:02:06 pm »
The flip side of the coin is if you start using your old libraries under V7 and end up saving them, it's file format will get upgraded and become incompatible with V6. Meanwhile a user may want to use KiCad 6 and 7 in parallel where they just use KiCad 6 for older designs.

I think you've misunderstood the problem. The issue is not library compatibility. The conversion worked fine from 5.1 to 6.0 (.sym to .kicad_sym), and from 6.0 to 7.0 there's no change in library format. Should it happen in the future, I'm certain that the KiCAD team will take this into account. No worries there.

No, it's simply that the update to 7.0 creates a new index file for the libraries, and there's no way to import the 6.0 custom index list (at least, I haven't found any). That little function would solve everything immediately.
Having to use the "Add library..." function 10, 20, 50, 100... times is tedious, to say the least.
But like I said, I've solved the issue myself.
 

Offline Doctorandus_P

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Re: KiCAD 7.0.1 released
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2023, 12:07:57 pm »
Schematic symbol libraries are listed in the sym-lib-table, and footprint libraries are listed in the fp-lib-table file.

A source code comparison program such as https://meldmerge.org/ works quite nicely here. Use a command such as:


/home/me/.config/kicad$ meld 6.0/sym-lib-table 7.0/sym-lib-table



Also, if you go this way, I recommend you also put your personal libaries in a separate text file, so it's easier to merge them into the next KiCad verson.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2023, 12:18:49 pm by Doctorandus_P »
 

Offline VEGETA

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Re: KiCAD 7.0.1 released
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2023, 07:57:29 pm »
I wonder why doesn't kicad have automatic update feature without the need to download new installer and so on

Online SiliconWizard

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Re: KiCAD 7.0.1 released
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2023, 08:04:01 pm »
I wonder why doesn't kicad have automatic update feature without the need to download new installer and so on

It's a much harder task than it seems.
Writing software updaters that correctly take into account going from any version to any other, with a safe update path whatever the user configuration is, is difficult and likely to bring more problems than it solves.
From experience, the updater would trigger more bug tickets than KiCad itself.
So I can understand why they don't make that a priority.

But I guess anyone is free to contribute.
 

Offline JohanH

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Re: KiCAD 7.0.1 released
« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2023, 08:31:35 pm »

It's a much harder task than it seems.


Totally agree. I've written Windows Installer (MSI) scripts (also for more complex applications) for two decades and they are a pain. In the Linux world, it's totally different. Windows is this abstraction layer upon abstraction layer where you can do so many things wrong. In the linux world, if your installer doesn't work as the distribution requires, it isn't accepted into the repository (whether it's rpm, deb, flatpak or whatever). So on the Linux side, you can expect that updates will work. Not so much in Windows. I've seen so many broken updates in Windows due to the complexity of the Windows Installer format. You can't demand from regular developers that they master installation and upgrades in Windows (unless we are talking about really simple applications). Sad but true. You can do it in the old way without Windows Installer, but updates are still a pain.
 

Offline VEGETA

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Re: KiCAD 7.0.1 released
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2023, 10:55:15 pm »
but now when going from 7.0.0 to 7.0.1 i will remove old package and install the new one. will this affect my libraries and so on?

Online SiliconWizard

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Re: KiCAD 7.0.1 released
« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2023, 10:59:21 pm »
but now when going from 7.0.0 to 7.0.1 i will remove old package and install the new one. will this affect my libraries and so on?

No.
It will update the standard KiCad libraries if you use the installer. But it won't touch your custom libraries and they'll still be available as configured in 7.0.0.
 

Offline Doctorandus_P

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Re: KiCAD 7.0.1 released
« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2023, 07:23:13 pm »
KiCad has all it's user configuration files together in a configuration directory. If you are in doubt, then make a copy of that directory. A backup of this directory can be handy for restoring the configuration, using a merge program to check for differences and other "unexpected" things.

If you want to completely reconfigure KiCad, you can also simply delete (or rename) this directory, and then KiCad creates it again and acts like it has been freshly installed and you run it for the first time.
 

Offline kermitfrog

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Re: KiCAD 7.0.1 released
« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2023, 03:36:20 am »
Hard to believe KICAD is up to 7.01....it has sure come a long ways. So grateful to everyone who has made it what it is :D
 

Offline nimish

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Re: KiCAD 7.0.1 released
« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2023, 05:27:20 pm »
Kicad is a usability mess, unfortunately the source is a disaster too.

It took me two days to fix the build to work properly on a Mac without their awful builder hack, and that's before adding any features.

Hopefully I can fix their build process so adding these basic tweaks is straightforward. It ain't hard to do, it's just that the existing process is awful.
 

Online SiliconWizard

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Re: KiCAD 7.0.1 released
« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2023, 07:54:27 pm »
Really? You sound angry. ;D

I don't know about MacOS, but I have no difficulties building KiCad from source, both on Linux and on Windows. Even using MSYS2 on Windows, which the KiCad team has seemingly deprecated, but it can still be done.

Maybe you can report your build issues on the KiCad forum: https://forum.kicad.info/

Out of curiosity (I don't use MacOS currently), can you tell us what kind of hack is required? You said too little or too much.
 

Offline shapirus

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Re: KiCAD 7.0.1 released
« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2023, 08:05:44 pm »
For the lack of a better place to ask, I'll use this thread: can KiCAD do interactive simulation? Such as e.g. Proteus, where you can build a ciruit, hit a "play" button and watch how the probe measurements change in (quasi) real time, use virtual oscilloscope, push buttons and toggle switches interactively, etc.

I tried it once in the past but couldn't find anything for interactive simulation. Maybe I overlooked something obvious.

Proteus works, but it's not Linux-native, so I have to use wine, and a pirated copy as well, which sucks. I'd much prefer something  that's FOSS and Linux-native, if it's at all available.
 
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Offline nimish

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Re: KiCAD 7.0.1 released
« Reply #21 on: March 20, 2023, 04:29:41 am »
Really? You sound angry. ;D

I don't know about MacOS, but I have no difficulties building KiCad from source, both on Linux and on Windows. Even using MSYS2 on Windows, which the KiCad team has seemingly deprecated, but it can still be done.

Maybe you can report your build issues on the KiCad forum: https://forum.kicad.info/

Out of curiosity (I don't use MacOS currently), can you tell us what kind of hack is required? You said too little or too much.

On a Mac, you need `kicad-mac-builder`, a whole separate repo of cmake scripts. They have their own issues.

They also are unnecessary if the core kicad build scripts were maintained properly. Even for at-the-time cmake, which admittedly sucked hard, they aren't using best practices.

I'm upstreaming my fixes to the build as I modularize them. I've lost enough time to weird Kicad quirks.
 
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Online John B

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Re: KiCAD 7.0.1 released
« Reply #22 on: March 20, 2023, 04:57:51 am »
Are there any hints about when a stable version is being released on Fedora? I'm weighing up whether I should uninstall the native install and go with a flatpak from now on, as flatpak seems to be a prioritised release format with a few software packages I've seen.
 

Online SiliconWizard

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Re: KiCAD 7.0.1 released
« Reply #23 on: March 20, 2023, 05:11:29 am »
Really? You sound angry. ;D

I don't know about MacOS, but I have no difficulties building KiCad from source, both on Linux and on Windows. Even using MSYS2 on Windows, which the KiCad team has seemingly deprecated, but it can still be done.

Maybe you can report your build issues on the KiCad forum: https://forum.kicad.info/

Out of curiosity (I don't use MacOS currently), can you tell us what kind of hack is required? You said too little or too much.

On a Mac, you need `kicad-mac-builder`, a whole separate repo of cmake scripts. They have their own issues.

They also are unnecessary if the core kicad build scripts were maintained properly. Even for at-the-time cmake, which admittedly sucked hard, they aren't using best practices.

I'm upstreaming my fixes to the build as I modularize them. I've lost enough time to weird Kicad quirks.

Ok, I see. I really haven't looked into the Mac build thing.
I can confirm the cmake stuff is not all that great though for all platforms.
 

Offline JohanH

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Re: KiCAD 7.0.1 released
« Reply #24 on: March 20, 2023, 07:34:57 am »
Are there any hints about when a stable version is being released on Fedora? I'm weighing up whether I should uninstall the native install and go with a flatpak from now on, as flatpak seems to be a prioritised release format with a few software packages I've seen.

My understanding is that 7.x will be part of next Fedora release (38) in late April. It's policy with a few exceptions to not update software major versions during a Fedora version life cycle. So major releases often end up in next version of Fedora.

I've been using a copr repository for now. Be aware that it's not official (but I'm quite sure it's the package from this repo that use to end up in official releases). https://copr.fedorainfracloud.org/coprs/g/kicad/kicad/

Otherwise the flatpak is the alternative.
 

Offline VEGETA

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Re: KiCAD 7.0.1 released
« Reply #25 on: March 20, 2023, 09:40:04 am »
kicad 7 is surely a great tool, open source free as well.

in your opinion, what does it lack in order to be equal or better than commercial software?

my humble list is:

1- official, very good, feature-rich penalization function. I mean without relying on plugins and stuff.
2- more text options. i liked the knock-off feature in 7 but want it to be more customizable like making a box then write inside. so that you can fit it anywhere.
3- ability to import parts from digikey\mouser. i don't see why it can't do it. ultralibrarian\snapeda both have tons of kicad models. kicad can just use their API.
4- better integration with mechanical design. certainly not essential but it is nice to have the ability to export and manipulate 3d board and other kicad 3d boards to see if they fit together (when having connectors for example)...etc.
5- flat schematic sheets. not everyone's favorite but certainly desirable. does not look hard to do.
6- all designs in one application by using for example tabs...etc. so no pcbnew and schema stuff.

thanks

Offline nimish

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Re: KiCAD 7.0.1 released
« Reply #26 on: March 20, 2023, 06:30:17 pm »
Really? You sound angry. ;D

I don't know about MacOS, but I have no difficulties building KiCad from source, both on Linux and on Windows. Even using MSYS2 on Windows, which the KiCad team has seemingly deprecated, but it can still be done.

Maybe you can report your build issues on the KiCad forum: https://forum.kicad.info/

Out of curiosity (I don't use MacOS currently), can you tell us what kind of hack is required? You said too little or too much.

On a Mac, you need `kicad-mac-builder`, a whole separate repo of cmake scripts. They have their own issues.

They also are unnecessary if the core kicad build scripts were maintained properly. Even for at-the-time cmake, which admittedly sucked hard, they aren't using best practices.

I'm upstreaming my fixes to the build as I modularize them. I've lost enough time to weird Kicad quirks.

Ok, I see. I really haven't looked into the Mac build thing.
I can confirm the cmake stuff is not all that great though for all platforms.

It isn't, and Kicad is in the same state as many other open source projects where there's little resources to improve it. It's not up to the standard that the Kicad project sets for its own contributions, which is the really baffling part. They have rails for the C++ and Python code, but not the scripts.

I'm particularly annoyed because I end up having to modify KiCad core every major release to do something or other, usually involving forwards/backwards compat. It has a lot of promise but really does not do itself any favors by having breaking changes as a regular thing.

I don't even mind writing my own upgrade/downgrade scripts but there's only so much good will you can extend, especially when they ask for donations. As long as I end up needing to be a QA tester, it's tough to justify.
 

Offline ve7xen

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Re: KiCAD 7.0.1 released
« Reply #27 on: March 20, 2023, 07:51:59 pm »
For the lack of a better place to ask, I'll use this thread: can KiCAD do interactive simulation? Such as e.g. Proteus, where you can build a ciruit, hit a "play" button and watch how the probe measurements change in (quasi) real time, use virtual oscilloscope, push buttons and toggle switches interactively, etc.

I tried it once in the past but couldn't find anything for interactive simulation. Maybe I overlooked something obvious.

Proteus works, but it's not Linux-native, so I have to use wine, and a pirated copy as well, which sucks. I'd much prefer something  that's FOSS and Linux-native, if it's at all available.

KiCad has included a simulation frontend (for ng-spice) since IIRC version 5. There are some improvements in KiCad 7. Personally I haven't found it very ergonomic to use in the past, so haven't really used it.

You might give Qucs-S a try, I've been using it for a while. The UI is a bit weird, but it's reasonable nice to use once you get the hang of it. Quite a bit nicer than LT-Spice, IMO.

Quote
It took me two days to fix the build to work properly on a Mac without their awful builder hack, and that's before adding any features.

Why 'without their awful builder hack'? As much as its existence and/or necessity may annoy you, doesn't it make sense to use the same build tooling used by the project's other developers and release pipeline? Improving the build process is a laudable goal in itself, but you don't seem interested in that, so why not just use the existing tooling?
« Last Edit: March 20, 2023, 07:53:37 pm by ve7xen »
73 de VE7XEN
He/Him
 

Online SiliconWizard

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Re: KiCAD 7.0.1 released
« Reply #28 on: March 20, 2023, 08:03:41 pm »
Are there any hints about when a stable version is being released on Fedora? I'm weighing up whether I should uninstall the native install and go with a flatpak from now on, as flatpak seems to be a prioritised release format with a few software packages I've seen.

My understanding is that 7.x will be part of next Fedora release (38) in late April. It's policy with a few exceptions to not update software major versions during a Fedora version life cycle. So major releases often end up in next version of Fedora.

That makes sense. Besides, it's not just about one single package, KiCad v7 likely depends on versions of other packages that aren't in the current release.

If you want the latest packages in a timely manner, pick a rolling release distribution.
Or use flatpaks, or build things yourself.
 

Offline nigelwright7557

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Re: KiCAD 7.0.1 released
« Reply #29 on: March 20, 2023, 08:36:56 pm »
If a major revision takes place its common in software to add in version data converters.
Like V6 to V7 that converts all the file formats accordingly.

Microsoft often have headers on files that refer to the version the file was made from.
This automates file update when new software is run.
 

Offline nimish

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Re: KiCAD 7.0.1 released
« Reply #30 on: March 20, 2023, 09:31:56 pm »
Why 'without their awful builder hack'? As much as its existence and/or necessity may annoy you, doesn't it make sense to use the same build tooling used by the project's other developers and release pipeline? Improving the build process is a laudable goal in itself, but you don't seem interested in that, so why not just use the existing tooling?

I did attempt to use their documented process and then debugged it after it failed. I've shot off some minor MR's to make that happen less which may help fix it for others.

I have a private fork with both internal proprietary changes to work with custom CI/CD as well as other, open-sourceable, ones that do fix the issue. If the latter changes can be upstreamed, I'm happy to upstream them.

Quote
If a major revision takes place its common in software to add in version data converters.
Like V6 to V7 that converts all the file formats accordingly.

The issue for me is going the other way and least surprise: you want to know if running Kicad on data will change it meaningfully. Automating this with python usually handles it for me, but it'd be nice not to have to do that. Some projects make a point of maintaining compatibility, some projects don't.

The KiCad NGSPICE integration is pretty good. You use KiCad as the schematic capture for the spice sim. You do have to make sure components have proper SPICE models. It's a lot nicer than LTSpice IMO.
 
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Offline Ranayna

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Re: KiCAD 7.0.1 released
« Reply #31 on: April 03, 2023, 08:59:24 am »
The Arch based Manjaro offered the new KiCAD in the latest group of updates. I installed it, because i have not done much, if anything, with KiCAD in the last year.

But now i am a bit curious. I am relatively new to Linux as a daily driver, and until now i always just installed everything that the updater presented.

How should i have proceeded if, for compatibility reasons, i would not want to upgrade KiCAD? It was just a single entry in a large list of hundreds of updates, i could easily have missed it.
How would i do a downgrade? Looking for KiCAD in the repository only shows the latest version.
 

Offline retiredfeline

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Re: KiCAD 7.0.1 released
« Reply #32 on: April 03, 2023, 12:43:29 pm »
Preventing updates is something that's done in your packaging system. Typically you lock a package from being updated. Details depend on your distro.

Downgrading is also a function of the packaging system. Typically you have to tell it to let you override the stipulation that versions must increase.

But beware, you cannot go backwards on projects that have been converted to a higher version. So keep snapshots of projects and/or work on copies when you upgrade your project, in case you need to go back.
 

Offline ve7xen

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Re: KiCAD 7.0.1 released
« Reply #33 on: April 03, 2023, 05:44:31 pm »
The Arch based Manjaro offered the new KiCAD in the latest group of updates. I installed it, because i have not done much, if anything, with KiCAD in the last year.

But now i am a bit curious. I am relatively new to Linux as a daily driver, and until now i always just installed everything that the updater presented.

How should i have proceeded if, for compatibility reasons, i would not want to upgrade KiCAD? It was just a single entry in a large list of hundreds of updates, i could easily have missed it.
How would i do a downgrade? Looking for KiCAD in the repository only shows the latest version.

See IgnorePkg in /etc/pacman.conf for the 'basic' approach to this. It will just prevent the KiCad package from ever being upgraded. Unfortunately I don't think there's a way to pin a semantic version match (e.g. take all 7.x.x upgrades but don't upgrade to 8.x.x).

However it's likely this won't work forever, as the rest of the system gets updated around it, either this pinning will prevent upgrades of the system or it will just stop working (not sure whether Pacman resolves/checks dependencies for Ignored packages).

Arch sometimes gets people configuring AUR builds based on older releases, if the demand is high enough.

Another way you can approach this is using the Flatpak, which should be self contained, so less likely to break as the system updates around it. See flatpak-mask.

Generally speaking, this is 'downside' of running a rolling release, even if you pin your software version, they will break eventually.
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Offline Reckless

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Re: KiCAD 7.0.1 released
« Reply #34 on: June 08, 2023, 10:08:05 pm »
How does KiCad compare to Altium?  I want a simple software that doesn't require hours and hours of training to get comfortable with.  Easyeda looks pretty simple to use. 
 

Offline LazyJack

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Re: KiCAD 7.0.1 released
« Reply #35 on: June 09, 2023, 11:37:21 am »
Every EDA tool is different has has its quirks. It took me a couple of hours from installing KiCAD for the first time (back at version 5) to produce a PCB (sure it wasn't very complicated design) and send it for manufacturing. I was not familiar with KiCAD, but familiar with other EDA tools and the design workflow.
I suggest you try it. Lot of things will work differently than in Altium, you may need to think differently, but don't despair, you can do practically anything. For sure, Altium is a professional tool with many many features, and some high end features may be missing from KiCAD or work very differently. KiCAD is an opensource free tool, which has left its infancy, and especially since version 6 it is very capable.

For me, what I do KiCAD is more than enough. YMMV.
 

Offline VEGETA

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Re: KiCAD 7.0.1 released
« Reply #36 on: June 09, 2023, 06:30:33 pm »
Kicad now in version 7 and it is very stable and reliable, totally recommend it. no need to pay money for PCB tools if you don't require extra high end features.

Offline bson

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Re: KiCAD 7.0.1 released
« Reply #37 on: August 20, 2023, 07:38:48 pm »
I have a personal library, but each symbol is in its own .lib file and .pretty folder.  To use one I copy it to a project as needed; this may seem like redundant copying, but it ensures each project is self-contained so if someone else clones it they don't get a bunch of dead library references, and I don't have to share my entire collection of symbols.  Not because I would mind, but because some are embarrassingly ad-hoc.  There's an inherent value in not needing anything other than a single repo for a project, including firmware, openocd config, gdb macros, fonts, python build help tools, etc if relevant.  The other is that if I change the symbol to fix something in project B it will likely break project A; this could be handled with git submodules, but that's just out of hand.  I consider inclusion of a library symbol a one-off, and feel free to make project specific tweaks, or improve something and add it back upstream.  In fact, I wish kicad would handle this automatically, that when I add a symbol from a library to a project, it makes a local copy of it in the project.  Even symbols included with it.  If I want to update them I could easily just replace them with an updated version later.  My experience has been that sharing a single lib file between multiple projects tends to create a lot of problems in the long term.  Not just related to changes to the symbol, but also some projects might still even be kicad v5 while libraries might have gotten updated to v7.
 

Offline Doctorandus_P

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Re: KiCAD 7.0.1 released
« Reply #38 on: August 21, 2023, 11:39:31 am »
I have a personal library, but each symbol is in its own .lib file and .pretty folder.  To use one I copy it to a project as needed; this may seem like redundant copying, but it ensures each project is self-contained so if someone else clones it they don't get a bunch of dead library references, and I don't have to share my entire collection of symbols.

This does not happen anymore. Starting from KiCad V6 the schematic embeds all used schematic symbols directly in the schematic file.

  Not because I would mind, but because some are embarrassingly ad-hoc.
Time to do some maintenance and clean up your mess...

  There's an inherent value in not needing anything other than a single repo for a project, including firmware, openocd config, gdb macros, fonts, python build help tools, etc if relevant.
Yes, of course, but starting from KiCad V6, you just need 4 files, the project file, the kicad_prl file and the schematic and PCB files. Libraries are optional.


The other is that if I change the symbol to fix something in project B it will likely break project A;
No it won't anymore,because of the embedded symbols. KiCad does maintain a link to the original source of schematic symbols (so you can update them if you want, and ERC warns you if your symbol is different from the libary symbol, but updating it is a manual process as it should be.

If you like the both belt and braces method, you can use: Schematic Editor / File / Export / Symbols to New Library, make the new library project specific (KiCad asks for this choice), and then KiCad also asks you if you want the library links in the schematic to point to your new library.

In fact, I wish kicad would handle this automatically, that when I add a symbol from a library to a project, it makes a local copy of it in the project.
So again, indeed this is what KiCad does now. but because that copy is directly in the schematic file you had not noticed it. If you do not believe me, then check it yourself:

1. Create some new bogus symbol.
2. Use that symbol in a dummy project.
3. Delete the original bogus symbol.
4. The dummy project still works.

If I want to update them I could easily just replace them with an updated version later.
Indeed, KiCad also supports this now. It makes a local copy, but a link to the original source is maintained, so you can easily update schematic symbols if the "master library" changed.
[/quote]

  My experience has been that sharing a single lib file between multiple projects tends to create a lot of problems in the long term.  Not just related to changes to the symbol, but also some projects might still even be kicad v5 while libraries might have gotten updated to v7.

KiCad V5 also maintains a local copy of schematic symbols, but it does so in the [project]-cache.lib file. A lot of people deleted this file, or did not include it if when backing up or sharing a project. This damaged the KiCad project, but they did not notice it, because KiCad silently created new copies from the original libraries each time they start the project. Only when both the [project]-cache.lib file and the orignal libraries are missing, a user notices that the project is damaged.

So overall, this has improved a lot over the last few years. I suggest you spend some time to get familiar with these improvements, and then adjust your workflow. You are now doing a lot of extra work that eats your time, reduces your productivity and has no benefit at all.

I suggest you:
* Create a KiCad project with the single purpose of experimenting and practicing with the improvements in library management.
    (you can also use a copy of any existing project to practice with).
* Create a KiCad project with the single purpose of doing library maintenance. (Add all your libraries to this project).
* Put all your old schematic symbols in a single, or a few libraries.
* Make those libraries global, so you can use their contents in other projects.

Library management can also be done in the other direction, and this is probably easier for you:
* First create a global personal library. (You can pin it, so it stays at the top of the list in the Symbol Editor.)
* Select a schematic symbol in one of your projects.
* Depress ctrl+e to edit that symbol in the Symbol editor (which is also the library management tool).
* (optionally) Enable: Symbol Editor / View / Show Symbol Tree (It is disabled by default when you open it directly from a schematic file).
* Symbol Editor /File / Save as... and then browse to the library you want to save the symbol to and save it there.

Edit / addition:
I started using KiCad some 10 years ago but did not use it much in the last few years. I am now also adjusting my own workflow, cleaning up old projects and fixing the mess I made of my old libraries. I have not figured out my workflow completely, but the last method seems to be a clear winner. So just start with making some global libraries (Schematic symbols and Footprints) then open one of the old projects, and from there put parts you want to manage into the libraries you just created.

https://xkcd.com/386/
« Last Edit: August 21, 2023, 06:03:20 pm by Doctorandus_P »
 
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Offline nigelwright7557

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Re: KiCAD 7.0.1 released
« Reply #39 on: September 02, 2023, 10:47:00 am »
How does KiCad compare to Altium?  I want a simple software that doesn't require hours and hours of training to get comfortable with.  Easyeda looks pretty simple to use.

The more a PCBCAD package does the more training is required.
There are numerous free "simple" packages out there.
The expensive stuff is full of extra's that need to be learned.
 

Offline Moriambar

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Re: KiCAD 7.0.1 released
« Reply #40 on: September 08, 2023, 08:49:10 am »
How does KiCad compare to Altium?  I want a simple software that doesn't require hours and hours of training to get comfortable with.  Easyeda looks pretty simple to use.
I migrated from easyeda to kicad. Way better imo, it's not that difficult actually, you just have to learn a few idiosyncrasies of the software. I think that that training is required just to use it at the best of its capabilities. You can use it just like easyeda, no problem. But I think that learning it better is a good use of your time
 


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