Thank you Mr. Lomax,
For you input so eloquently expressed.   I would have eliminated the parts
of the netlist, however it would have been counter productive to goals. The
original design was given to me from a "floor plan" study from June of last
year and is now becoming a real design. When receiving the design, I removed
the orig netlist from the file.    I generated a new netlist in Protel 2
format. I like the new format because I can easily identify nets that have
not been named/ assigned  by the electrical engineer.  For placement, I
generally eliminate VCC and Gnd nets from the netlist because they get in
the way visually.  During the course of my design, I will import the netlist
two more times. Once before it goes to the router and one last time before I
perform final DRCs and gerber files.    My macros end up very clean, no
hits, no runs, no errors.  And it gives me the confidence to put my name on
a design to send it out. The last netlist import before final processing
guarantees accuracy.  I am sure you perform this netlist import as part of
your design process as we have discussed it earlier.
I think there is some limitation to Protel's design size which we are
unaware of.   On medium to large design sizes to about 8000-9000 nets,
Protel slows down but doesn't stall out as I mentioned.   The design I am
working on right now has 500 less components than a similar design I
struggled with last month, however the net count is about 6000 more.  I am
afraid to think what is going to happen on my next import.  I hate to use 98
because I am using features only available on 99....more planes, design
rules . etc.    Maybe I will throw it on a computer overnight and see if
ever loads.  As I mentioned, I was posting this to draw fire and attention
to the issue, which has not been resolved thru a two releases and 6 service

Mike Reagan

----- Original Message -----
From: Abd ul-Rahman Lomax <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: Protel EDA Forum <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Friday, March 16, 2001 2:03 AM
Subject: Re: [PEDA] Netlist will not load

> At 09:20 PM 3/15/01 -0500, Mike Reagan wrote:
> >Rob,
> >Don't anyone get me wrong... I love 99SE.   I just don't understand why a
> >simple task like load the netlist in takes so long on a clean (large)
> >design.
> One thing I would try is to eliminate the part section from the net list.
> If all the parts are already placed, the part section is unnecessary. It
> might not help, but it is worth a try.
> Another trick which I used with Tango when I had a large design that was
> taking a long time to load a net list and to perform certain other
> operations was to eliminate the ground net and perhaps any large power
> from the net list.
> Why does it take so long to load a netlist? My guess would be that either
> the database is not indexed or it is inefficiently indexed. Or there is
> some kind of bug that has the program spinning its wheels. Maybe this is
> the same bug that caused the reported crash after so many hours. Maybe
> there is something in the database that is triggering this behavior. If
> it might be possible to find it by chunking the database (dividing it into
> sections and seeing how the load time is affected when various
> of sections are used). However, this takes time, and most of us simply
> can't take the kind of time it can require.
> I'd think that Protel should take a look at this database and attempt to
> determine what is going on. I know that sometimes Protel contacts those
> write about problems on this list requesting more information. On the
> hand, it is possible that they already know what is causing this behavior
> and perhaps are planning to fix it.
> I wish that communication between the users and Protel were better. It's
> already better than the situation with some CAD companies, and certainly
> better than it used to be. But it could be still better. The users,
> collectively, have far more insight into the program's use than Protel by
> itself could possibly have. Bringing the users together with the
> programmers, in this case by providing the users with more information
> about Protel's knowledge and plans, could greatly strengthen the company.
> There seems to be some kind of idea that if the competitors find out what
> Protel's plans are, sales will suffer. This kind of thinking is very
> common, to be sure; with some kinds of information it might be realistic.
> But too much secrecy actually, in my opinion, cripples the company (as
> as hobbling the users).
> We don't need to know what Protel plans to do two years from now. But it
> would be quite useful to know what is coming next, one step ahead of where
> we are. If we knew, for example, that a new autorouter were scheduled for
> prerelease next month, we might not make that investment in Specctra.
> I believe that I could write, in not very much time, a utility that would
> load a netlist into a Protel ASCII database with reasonable speed. If I
> knew that Protel was not putting effort into this particular issue, I
> write it. But I'd hate to write it and then have it be immediately
> and unnecessary. I think a lot of user development of tools is repressed
> for this very reason.
> I remember when Tango PCB did not have automatic aperture assignment. I
> thought that it was pretty dumb to have to manually type in, yes, I do
> a 50 mil round flash for that 50 mil round pad. So I wrote an aperture
> assignment utility, and debugged and documented it. About when I would
> released it, Tango released the next revision which had, you guessed it.
> Now, my utility was still useful to me because it had some features that
> Accel had not put into PCB itself. I could choose, for example, to
> calculate ground plane blowouts from the pad size instead of the hole
> if I wished. I could therefore make positive/negative merges with Tango,
> which was otherwise not very easy. But there was no longer the burning
> necessity and therefore no longer the ready market for the utility.
> Abdulrahman Lomax
> P.O. Box 690
> El Verano, CA 95433

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