Author Topic: KiCad gripes list - post gripes here  (Read 31212 times)

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Offline jsquaredz

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KiCad gripes list - post gripes here
« on: June 07, 2015, 03:07:03 pm »
Let's put together a list of gripes about KiCAD.  My intent is to be as comprehensive so I can go through the bugs list on launchpad and make sure all gripes are submitted for evaluation by the new dev project manager for the next release after the new stable is released in July.
I will consolidate the gripes at the top of this post and in a google sheet. This sheet is also editable by all, so feel free to update it and if you know something has already been solved in the current build, then you can note that.

PS  I really like KiCAD, but as many of us users know, there is a lot of potential for improvement.  Lets tell the Devs what we really want and how we want it to work.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1runOkCoLX0lRAS_svmz9kO9Lydj9lR_2YHzMhu6pIQw/edit?usp=sharing

4   No "save as" option in schematic editor, SERIOUSLY??
27   None of the programs remembers last opened file dialog, have to enter same directory each... and... every... time
29   Windows installer doesn't automatically associate file types
30   Windows Version development builds don't have a BZR number, or at least the one I use doesn't. This can be found by looking in control panel->uninstall.
32   Windows Version: When creating a new project the file kicad-dir/share/template/kicad.pro is copied to kicad-dir/noname.pro, this causes an error in windows since file writing is not normally allowed in "Program Files" (install to other folder works fine). Also, this causes all you files to be named to noname
33   Add Delete node hotkey "backspace"
35   Full screen cursor is not working in the current MAC build 5717
36   Ability to create inverted text (text etching on copper layers)
« Last Edit: June 16, 2015, 07:25:11 pm by jsquaredz »
 

Offline firewalker

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Re: KiCad gripes list - post gripes here
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2015, 03:10:55 pm »
Schematic and pcb editor without screen leftovers when moving parts.

Alexander.
Become a realist, stay a dreamer.

 

Offline jsquaredz

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Re: KiCad gripes list - post gripes here
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2015, 03:42:45 pm »
Schematic and pcb editor without screen leftovers when moving parts.

Alexander.

Thanks.  I added it to the spreadsheet.
 

Offline Thor-Arne

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Re: KiCad gripes list - post gripes here
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2015, 08:30:53 pm »
This is a good idea.  :-+

Hopefully stuff will be fixed and optimized.

I use the kicad-product-r5640.
Quite happy about this version, but some things are really sluggish (part selection. switching canvas).



Build issue(?):
The development builds doesn't have a BZR number, or at least the one I use doesn't.
This can be found by looking in control panel->uninstall.

Windows installer:
Only main program (kicad.exe) and pcbnew is registerd on the start menu.

General:
(#2 on your list) When creating a new project the file kicad-dir/share/template/kicad.pro is copied to kicad-dir/noname.pro, this causes an error in windows since file writing is not normally allowed in "Program Files" (install to other folder works fine).
Also, this causes all you files to be named to noname.*.



For your list I have these comments:

3
Not entirely sure what you mean here.
Active libraries comes from the .pro file which is copied from the template upon creation.
IMO this is just fine, all libraries should be there by default, and you just remove the ones not needed for that project.

4
The save-as menu appears if you open eeschema directly, but not if you open it from a project.
It seems like this is a deliberate choice by the developers, why I have no idea.

6, 9, 10, 11, 18, 20, 23, 26,
This works just fine in my version.

12
I don't consider language in a library to be a kicad bug.

14
Moving components (M key) shouldn't preserve wires, use drag component (G key) to preserve connections.

15
Use delete node (no hotkey, should be backspace) to delete part of wire .

24
This is to be expected since the libraries is defined in schematic editor and stored in the .pro file.


 

Offline c4757p

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Re: KiCad gripes list - post gripes here
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2015, 08:44:31 pm »
Schematic and pcb editor without screen leftovers when moving parts.

Alexander.

I actually just submitted a patch that fixes some of that, hopefully it's committed soon.
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Offline c4757p

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Re: KiCad gripes list - post gripes here
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2015, 09:06:14 pm »
12
I don't consider language in a library to be a kicad bug.

It is one though, but not against kicad, against its libraries. Language should be consistent.
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Offline Thor-Arne

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Re: KiCad gripes list - post gripes here
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2015, 09:22:34 pm »
Yes, I agree, language should be consistent.

I'll admit I haven't looked at the libraries on github.
 

Offline jsquaredz

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Re: KiCad gripes list - post gripes here
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2015, 11:18:04 pm »

Thanks for your post.  I have incorporated your input and reposted the list.  Also updated the spreadsheet.

The original list wasn't mine, but some items I found in this forum someone was complaining about KiCAD.  I figured there were a lot of the items that would have been solved but hadn't had a chance to check them all yet (believe the person griping was using the latest "stable" build.

This is a good idea.  :-+

Hopefully stuff will be fixed and optimized.

I use the kicad-product-r5640.
Quite happy about this version, but some things are really sluggish (part selection. switching canvas).



Build issue(?):
The development builds doesn't have a BZR number, or at least the one I use doesn't.
This can be found by looking in control panel->uninstall.

Windows installer:
Only main program (kicad.exe) and pcbnew is registerd on the start menu.

General:
(#2 on your list) When creating a new project the file kicad-dir/share/template/kicad.pro is copied to kicad-dir/noname.pro, this causes an error in windows since file writing is not normally allowed in "Program Files" (install to other folder works fine).
Also, this causes all you files to be named to noname.*.



For your list I have these comments:

3
Not entirely sure what you mean here.
Active libraries comes from the .pro file which is copied from the template upon creation.
IMO this is just fine, all libraries should be there by default, and you just remove the ones not needed for that project.

4
The save-as menu appears if you open eeschema directly, but not if you open it from a project.
It seems like this is a deliberate choice by the developers, why I have no idea.

6, 9, 10, 11, 18, 20, 23, 26,
This works just fine in my version.

12
I don't consider language in a library to be a kicad bug.

14
Moving components (M key) shouldn't preserve wires, use drag component (G key) to preserve connections.

15
Use delete node (no hotkey, should be backspace) to delete part of wire .

24
This is to be expected since the libraries is defined in schematic editor and stored in the .pro file.
 

Offline Wilksey

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Re: KiCad gripes list - post gripes here
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2015, 11:46:26 pm »
If you run EESCHEMA on it's own it has a save schematic sheet as option.

The BZR version can be added to a version.h otherwise it will default to a "unknown, before may 2015" or something "version", I always add the date and revision number to my version.h before building, that way I can keep portable versions and know what they are.

If you run PCBNEW and EESCHEMA outside of the main KiCAD project editor then you get more options, might be worth looking at if you think something is missing.

Thankfully you can move away from using CVPCB now, and adding the footprints at schematic level, the footprint editor still leaves a lot to be desired, but there has been some decent improvements over the last year or so, and for the price, you can't grumble, I rebuild every week and sometimes see differences, sometimes not.
 

Offline Bassman59

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Re: KiCad gripes list - post gripes here
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2015, 11:47:12 pm »

Thanks for your post.  I have incorporated your input and reposted the list.  Also updated the spreadsheet.

The original list wasn't mine, but some items I found in this forum someone was complaining about KiCAD.  I figured there were a lot of the items that would have been solved but hadn't had a chance to check them all yet (believe the person griping was using the latest "stable" build.

Depending on platform, the "latest stable bug" may be quite old indeed.
 

Offline c4757p

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Re: KiCad gripes list - post gripes here
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2015, 12:01:39 am »
Even the latest official stable is ancient, we've been discouraging its use for a while now. Development branch is almost ready for release and will be released soon.
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Offline zapta

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Re: KiCad gripes list - post gripes here
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2015, 01:25:00 am »
I tried kicad a few months ago, looking for an eagle alternative.  My main qualm was the need to go through a schema export to start the layout. Why can't it has a single repository for the design and having both the schema and layout editors updating the same repository?

I decided to stick with eagle for now. Will sample kicad again next year.
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Offline jsquaredz

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Re: KiCad gripes list - post gripes here
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2015, 01:39:48 am »
I tried kicad a few months ago, looking for an eagle alternative.  My main qualm was the need to go through a schema export to start the layout. Why can't it has a single repository for the design and having both the schema and layout editors updating the same repository?

I decided to stick with eagle for now. Will sample kicad again next year.

I think that change was just committed yesterday or today. You will see it in the next stable release next month unless you want to check out the development branch today.
 

Offline Palmitoxico

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Seg Faults
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2015, 01:43:28 am »
I'm getting segmentation faults with the last revision of kicad (BZR 5717) when I try to open an Pcbnew file. Trying to open Pcbnew with no file makes kicad hangs in a loop.

Code: [Select]
traps: kicad[24070] general protection ip:7fd777d9f558 sp:7fffc80652b0 error:0 in libgobject-2.0.so.0.4400.1[7fd777d7e000+51000]

I'm running Debian experimental on a x86_64 machine.
 

Offline c4757p

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Re: KiCad gripes list - post gripes here
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2015, 02:30:37 am »
Any chance you can get a backtrace? Feel free to submit to the bug tracker.
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Offline Palmitoxico

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Re: KiCad gripes list - post gripes here
« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2015, 03:06:33 am »
Any chance you can get a backtrace? Feel free to submit to the bug tracker.

I'll do some futher investigation before report this bug.
 

Offline zapta

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Re: KiCad gripes list - post gripes here
« Reply #16 on: June 08, 2015, 05:46:14 am »
I think that change was just committed yesterday or today. You will see it in the next stable release next month unless you want to check out the development branch today.

Thanks, I will give it a try in a month or two. I would love to switch to kicad and it seems to move fast these days.
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Offline firewalker

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Re: KiCad gripes list - post gripes here
« Reply #17 on: June 08, 2015, 10:56:19 am »
Did we mention proper clipboard (copy-paste) functionality?

Alexander.
Become a realist, stay a dreamer.

 

Offline jsquaredz

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Re: KiCad gripes list - post gripes here
« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2015, 11:14:54 am »
Did we mention proper clipboard (copy-paste) functionality?

Alexander.

Can you expand on this?  What are some scenarios you are looking to be able to do?
 

Offline Bassman59

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Re: KiCad gripes list - post gripes here
« Reply #19 on: June 08, 2015, 04:51:31 pm »
I tried kicad a few months ago, looking for an eagle alternative.  My main qualm was the need to go through a schema export to start the layout.

A schematic is the "source code" for a PCB design. Why you'd want to start laying out a board without a schematic is sort of crazy for anything other than the absolute most trivial design.

Quote
Why can't it has a single repository for the design and having both the schema and layout editors updating the same repository?

Because one schematic can be used to make different layouts.

 

Offline zapta

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Re: KiCad gripes list - post gripes here
« Reply #20 on: June 08, 2015, 04:56:38 pm »
A schematic is the "source code" for a PCB design. Why you'd want to start laying out a board without a schematic is sort of crazy for anything other than the absolute most trivial design.

I was talking about the export step, not about creating a schema.


Quote
Why can't it has a single repository for the design and having both the schema and layout editors updating the same repository?

Because one schematic can be used to make different layouts.

A repository can contain more than one layout.  The design flow should be seamless, in both directions.
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Offline Bassman59

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Re: KiCad gripes list - post gripes here
« Reply #21 on: June 08, 2015, 05:00:48 pm »
Quote
Why can't it has a single repository for the design and having both the schema and layout editors updating the same repository?

Because one schematic can be used to make different layouts.

A repository can contain more than one layout.  The design flow should be seamless, in both directions.

What do you mean by "repository?"
 

Offline zapta

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Re: KiCad gripes list - post gripes here
« Reply #22 on: June 08, 2015, 05:09:58 pm »
What do you mean by "repository?"

It can be implemented in many ways, for example a data file. The key point is that the user doesn't need to deal with import/export between the various steps of the design. They are all parts of a seamless design process.
Drain the swamp.
 

Offline Bassman59

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Re: KiCad gripes list - post gripes here
« Reply #23 on: June 08, 2015, 05:40:07 pm »
What do you mean by "repository?"

It can be implemented in many ways, for example a data file. The key point is that the user doesn't need to deal with import/export between the various steps of the design. They are all parts of a seamless design process.

OK, I wasn't clear, because "repository" has a particular meaning in engineering.

What you are asking for is that the software doesn't build a netlist from a schematic which gets imported into the PCB layout program. (Altium does that, it's called "compile.")

Now I understand what you are asking.

I think the "right thing" to have would be a schematic option called "Update PCB from schematic" and it automagically updates the layout based on preset rules.  But I think you don't want that update to be automatic upon each schematic save, because what if you change your mind and need to undo something? Then you have to undo the layout, and that could get messy.

So what I mean is: is the two-step export-netlist/import-netlist mechanism in Kicad really that awful? That said, I think it's on the roadmap to make it the one-step process after the upcoming stable is released.
 

Offline firewalker

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Re: KiCad gripes list - post gripes here
« Reply #24 on: June 08, 2015, 05:50:22 pm »
Did we mention proper clipboard (copy-paste) functionality?

Alexander.

Can you expand on this?  What are some scenarios you are looking to be able to do?

https://answers.launchpad.net/kicad/+question/162993
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