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PICList Thread
'Re[2]: [OT] Common Schematic Software'
1998\08\17@091831 by lilel

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>      The problem I see with GIFs it that I don't believe the
>      majority (any?) of schematic capture programs out there can
>      save or print to a GIF

Aha - so that's why there's resistance to GIFs.  I'm spoiled by
AutoCad, it prints to almost anything (Except Gerber
$%#^$%#%#$@^%#%!!!!!)

On my web page I've begun including schematics in a couple of
different forms.  Maybe I'll begin including PS files as well...

What we need is a StarTrek-like Universal Translator built into any
graphics format reader.  Gifs, Tiffs, Biffs, Miffs, Gerber,
Flubber, Whatever, no problem.  Hey you software guys, get off your
duffs!


-- Lawrence Lile

    "The ideal design has zero parts"  -
           (attributed to Harold Hallikainen)

Download AutoCad blocks for electrical drafting at:
http://home1.gte.net/llile/index.htm

1998\08\17@115555 by myke predko

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Oops, I replied and didn't notice that it went back to Lawrence Lile directly.

Sorry about that.

Lawrence Lile wrote:
>What we need is a StarTrek-like Universal Translator built into any
>graphics format reader.  Gifs, Tiffs, Biffs, Miffs, Gerber,
>Flubber, Whatever, no problem.  Hey you software guys, get off your
>duffs!

I've been watching this thread for a while and I just wanted to throw in a
couple of cents worth of thought:

Would it be worthwhile creating a set of requirements for the tool to be
adopted as a standard?  I'm not sure suggesting packages and deciding on the
best one is the best way to go about it.

For a schematic capture tool, I would suggest creating requirements for the
following areas:

Platforms (Hardware and Operating Systems)

Input (File/Netlist/Component Types)

Features (Multi-Page/Colours/Cut and Past/Projects/etc.)

Outputs (Gif/Windows Meta/PS/Netlist types/VHDL/Windows Clipboard)

Simulator (UMPS/Others...)


For a Board Layout tool the requirements could be taken into the following
areas:

Input (Netlist Types/Design on the fly/Multiple Projects)

Component Design (Hole diameters/Solder Mask Apertures)

Features (Layer Count/Graphics Importing/Autorouter/Additional Design
Importing/trace widths)

Output (Gerber/Gif/PS/Windows Meta/Windows Clipboard)


And the final criteria being cost.  Ideally, I would like to see < $100 USD
per year for a product that could create a two layer 8.5" by 11" board with
up to 10K nodes (basically a PC-AT motherboard).


With these requirements in place, we could do one of two things:

a) approach a company already doing work in this area and ask them to
develop a product that meets our requirements.  There is over fifteen
hundred people on the PICList, that should be some kind of critical mass for
a company to work through a product.

As a subpart of this, we could ask for a company to modify an existing
product to meet these requirements.

b) take the GNU approach with everybody on the list creating a bit of the
project and working it through from there.  I particularly like this because
it spreads out the worst part of the work, entering in all the component
information could be done by many people.


I'm not trying to say that Eagle is not an excellent product.  I have not
tried it, and as my previous note indicated, I have been working mostly with
Ulti-mate.  What I'm trying to do is see if there is a common set of
requirements that we can agree upon (after all, this is a "Common Schematic
Platform").


I will be out of town for a couple of days, but if this idea has merit, I
would be willing to provide space on my web page for doing the polling.

myke

This week in the Book Room; "Video Hound's Golden Movie Retriever"; the best
movie review book I have found with over 22,000 movies reviewed with many
cross references and indexes.

http://www.myke.com/Book_Room/book1a.htm

1998\08\17@122136 by Peter L. Peres

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On Mon, 17 Aug 1998, Lawrence Lile wrote:

> Aha - so that's why there's resistance to GIFs.  I'm spoiled by
> AutoCad, it prints to almost anything (Except Gerber
> $%#^$%#%#$@^%#%!!!!!)

Gifs are not popular since the people who own the copyright on its main
(LZW) compression algorythm charge royalties for any GIF generator used
for commercial publishing or operations. The web is also getting off gifs
and into jpg.

BTW I have tried to convert schematics into jpg (which is 'lossy') and it
works very well with compression set to 75% and no (0) depletion.

> On my web page I've begun including schematics in a couple of
> different forms.  Maybe I'll begin including PS files as well...
>
> What we need is a StarTrek-like Universal Translator built into any
> graphics format reader.  Gifs, Tiffs, Biffs, Miffs, Gerber,
> Flubber, Whatever, no problem.  Hey you software guys, get off your
> duffs!

There is something that is nearly that, under Linux. It's actually
shareware but uncrippled, and it's called XV. Comes with any Linux
distribution. Can do much more than display images (color correction etc).
I'm using it to turn schematics printed to file from a schematics drawing
package, through a pbm converter that I wrote, into anything I like.

Most DOS-based picture viewers also understand nearly all formats.

<flameproof suit on>

Could it be possible that one certain (16 color) BMP format be used for
this ? Knowing that the format is old, supported by free/shareware viewing
tools, including under DOS and other OSes ?

<off>

FYI XV also does BMP.

I still maintain that a vector-based format in ASCII representation is
superior in every way imho.

Peter

1998\08\18@073648 by Caisson

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> Van: Peter L. Peres <spam_OUTplpTakeThisOuTspamACTCOM.CO.IL>
> Aan: .....PICLISTKILLspamspam@spam@MITVMA.MIT.EDU
> Onderwerp: Re: Re[2]: [OT] Common Schematic Software
> Datum: maandag 17 augustus 1998 20:52
>
> On Mon, 17 Aug 1998, Lawrence Lile wrote:

[Cut]

> <flameproof suit on>
>
> Could it be possible that one certain (16 color) BMP format be used for
> this ? Knowing that the format is old, supported by free/shareware
viewing
> tools, including under DOS and other OSes ?
>
> <off>

And , as a bonus, one could easily implement a viewer for any OS  itself ,
what could not be said about JPG or even GIF.

> FYI XV also does BMP.
>
> I still maintain that a vector-based format in ASCII representation is
> superior in every way imho.

And, again as a (important) bonus, it's easy to implement (because of the
non-encrypted way the data is presented) on any OS and a multitude of
programming languages from Assembly to Quake-C :-)

I second the "Readable format" proposal.

Greetz,
 Rudy Wieser

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