Dear Andy Lintz,

I've been wodering about this myself. Why does everyone have to re-invent the
wheel ?

Andy Lintz asked for library advice:
> I want to set up a system to maintain orderly control over my parts and
boards.   Some of you seasoned pros probably have some good advice on the topic
that might get me started off on the right path.
>There are so many library files and it seems impossible to tell where a given
part originated from once it is in a design.  Is it wise to make a company
library of only the parts actually used, and copy individual parts to this
company maintained library?

I've been trying to do that. But it seems that all the other designers have
their own ideas on how to organize a library, so we've ended up with an
individual library for each person. When a person takes over a project (or when
he wants to use a part originally used on someone elses's project), stuff gets
copied into his personal library.

I keep thinking there ought to be a better way.

>Is it correct that the libraries are only accessed when a part is first placed,
when the 'update parts from cache' in Schematic Editor is executed, or when the
'Update PCB' in the PCB Footprint Editor is executed?  (The libraries are not
used or needed each time the design is opened, right?)

Yes. If you email a ".sch" or ".pcb" file to me, I can view it, even though I
don't have any of your libraries. By using "Design | Make Project Library" I can
extract a library of symbols from your schematic, or "Design | Make Library" to
extract a library of footprints from your layout.

>If I execute a 'Make Library' command from inside a schematic or pcb design, do
all parts then reference that new library instead of whatever library they were
originally placed from?

No. Stuff inside a schematic or pcb always references the cache embedded in that
same ".sch" or ".pcb" file. Those things never reference any library.

Often I would like to know which library a particular item came from. But
unfortunately, with Protel 99SE s.p. 6, it's impossible to find out which
library it came from.

>What is general practice on the use of the library read-only fields and part
fields?  Are company part numbers usually assigned to one of the part fields,
one of the library fields, or not at all in Protel?  (If its the library fields,
I think that means a unique library part for each value of resistor and cap)
>Andrew Lintz

Good question. The designer next door to me has a unique library symbol for each
value of resistor and cap on his schematics; the "Lib Ref" field (symbol name)
contains the company part number.

Another method I've seen for naming schematic symbols (which Baldwin insists on
calling a ``gate decal'') and naming footprints (which Baldwin calls a ``pcb
  PCB Design Guidelines:Naming Conventions

I keep thinking there ought to be a better way.

David Cary

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