At 11:16 PM 3/15/01 -0800, Tony Karavidas wrote:

>I'm not sure I agree. They had source code for a Tango ASCII imported with
>2.8. I don't think Protel has ever done a re-write from the ground up, so
>why couldn't this source have been carried through 3.x, P98, and to P99 as
>most of us are using now?

The version 3 database is quite different from version 2. Whether the 
rewrite was from ground up, I don't know, and one could speculate that the 
internal data structures are the same between 2 and 3, but it seems pretty 
unlikely. So, yes, they had code which would read Tango into 2.8, but not 
code which would read it into v. 3. Remember, when a file is imported into 
2.8, there are certain kinds of error checking, etc. It is quite 
conceivable that the 2.8 importer makes use of routines or structures in 
2.8 that are absent in v3.x.

The strongest evidence that it was not a simple task is that they didn't do 
it! Not proof, of course, but evidence. Translators that were written for 
v3.x were carried forward through P98 and P99; the database is basically 
the same through those versions.

I think that they might have been able to make a standalone utility that 
would read Tango and write 2.8; but they already have that, really: it's 
called Protel Advanced PCB version 2.8, and they supply it on request. What 
they *should* have done that they did not do is to clearly state all this 
in documentation, so that anyone who was thinking "Protel will import 
Tango" would be on notice that they needed to get 2.8; that way they would 
not be sitting on the file angry that they have to go through the time and 
delay of making the request of Protel and waiting for the file to arrive. 
Perhaps Protel could make 2.8 available for download with a non-publicized 
URL. With libraries, 2.8 fits on two 1.4MB floppies, so the PCB executable 
alone and necessary files might even be quite a bit smaller, I haven't looked.

Abdulrahman Lomax
P.O. Box 690
El Verano, CA 95433

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