We seem to be locking horns today ;-)

On 05:58 PM 14/03/2001 -0800, Abd ul-Rahman Lomax said:

>It's important to realize that CAD programs may be thoroughly checked for 
>bugs, but when they hit the real world, they may be fed data that was not 
>anticipated and therefore the behavior of the program has not been tested.

Abd ul-Rahman, I have a problem with the manner in which you are expressing 
things in your post?

Are you saying it is OK to introduce a bug in a new version of software 
that did not exist in a previous version?

There is a bug.  Drill file does not match Drill Drawing = BUG.

Protel allows holes in surface pads *but* doesn't mark those holes in the 
Drill Drawing.  The program does however recognise that a hole should be 
drilled there (it is in the drill file).  So there is a bug.  Drill file 
does not match drill drawing = BUG.  No excuses or discussions on this, 
surely.  This bug did not exist in previous versions of PCB so the argument 
about real-world data is a bit facetious - I think that after all this time 
Protel could reasonably have realised that non-zero sm holes were used in 
the field.  If they wish to change this then making the drill files 
erroneous is hardly a sensible method.

You are broadening the subject to now include your opinion on how it should 
be fixed, which is great. However, I have found that some of your 
discussion on the matter seems to be clouding the issue that there is a 
bug. I think you should clearly accept the bug and then clearly move on to 
express your opinion in how to fix it - not mix the two aspects to the 

I think:
1) Protel should make sure the drill drawing and the drill file match, 
exactly.  I would consider doing this by generating the drill file 
internally and using the results to make the drill drawing.  The same 
process would be used for both then - no code synchronisation issues at all.

2) Protel should consult on what, if anything, should be done about 
continuing to allow/not allow non-zero hole sizes to be entered.

In order not to break existing designs Protel *must* maintain support for 
non-zero hole sizes in surface pads but there could be appropriate DRC 
warnings.  New versions of the software could prevent accidental entry of 
non-zero hole sizes in surface pads by, as you say, greying out the hole 
size edit box, in the Change Pad dialog, if the layer is not multilayer.

Ian Wilson

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