At 01:50 PM 7/23/01 -0500, Ted Tontis wrote:
>Would there be any interest in a PCB footprint lib. with all the parts you
>would ever need for free. I ask this because I am working on trying to get a
>large lib. in Protel. It would have the silk screen, a fence that would be
>on the last electrical layer to avoid component placement conflictions,
>assembly art work, pin 1 id. All parts would be in mm I welcome any input
>towards this idea weather it be good or bad.

Of course I would be interested. I would be *more* interested if we were to 
have a project to develop library standards *before* we build a bunch of 
parts. We could set up Y.A.M.L. (Yet Another Mailing List) to function as a 
committee for that purpose.

Another writer has suggested that "it cannot be done."

If it cannot be done, then surely Protel is wasting a lot of time and money 
trying to do it....

Now, who has more resources, Protel or the Protel user base?

If anyone has any doubts about the answer to this question, I suggest a 
little reflection. All the resources Protel has come from the users (or 
their employers). Necessarily, those users provide only a small fraction of 
their resources to Protel. Further, the users are constantly gleaning 
actual experience with footprints from which Protel employees may be isolated.

Of course, *organizing* the users is the difficult part. But it would be 
quite worthwhile. If a small percentage of the Protel designers were to 
devote a small percentage of their time to providing parts built to a 
defined standard, we could build a truly comprehensive library.

*And we are already doing the hard part, building the parts!*

Essentially, instead of dozens or hundreds or thousands of us building the 
same part, only one or a few parts need be built. (Variations on parts are 
necessary for different conditions.)

While I would certainly like every part built exactly how I want it, I 
would give up that in order to have *validated* parts built according to a 
standard which I consider reasonable.

What I forsee is a system whereby a user wishes to use a part which is not 
in the library we have created. He builds it, and he submits it. The part 
is posted as unvalidated. Another user, certified by the user group for 
this purpose, might check the part. The status of that part becomes 
"checked, not validated." And then users who use the part will report their 
experience with it, particularly with actual fab and assembly. Reports 
regarding the part are tallied and ultimately the footprint is 
automatically given validated status because of a multiplicity of 
validations and an absence of complaints. (If there are validations *and* 
complaints, the matter becomes more complicated, I won't go into that now.)

The key to this will be making the submission and retrieval and validation 
of parts *easy*, so that no user is unduly burdened. Protel might 
definitely help with that part. Ultimately the reporting mechanisms might 
be built into client, with a tool that sends a footprint on command to a 
configurable address, together with comment text.

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

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