> Is there a public domain open source PCB & schematic capture software?

Yes.
        Also, www.gnu.org has a couple (last I looked a few years ago, and I'm
going on memory here)....  And I'm sure that a web search would yield a few
more individual ones.  There are also many freeware and open source SPICE
simulators that are the free spin-offs from academia.

Unfortunately, these are usually of the Autotrax/Schedit caliber and are
usually linux/Unix based... This does not preclude a more complete
Protel99SEsque caliber windoze like version out there....  just need to do
some web surfing...

I like Protel's UI as far as key stroke commands, customizing, and mouse
stuff, but that's about it...  Some of these Open and Free things didn't
seem to think about the UI and used standard UIs from the Calma or Unix 'vi'
days.

Perhaps another solution:  now, I am not saying that Protel should open it's
code doors... we need to pay them money to give us tech support ;-)...
however, they should do a complete rewrite (start a new project in the RAD
environment, from scratch, borrowing some known good code from old and
current versions) and adopt some modern standards (like not using mutated
pascal/Delphi :-).  That's my opinion... get rid of tinker toy Delphi...
(but leave it as an extensibility option for those so inclined)...

If I were to take on a development task like this, I would implement some
modern standards for extensibility like the language independent COM/OLE
Automation or CORBA standards complete with generous usage of a COM/CORBA
extensibility supporting script language like VB (yes VB... with some
obvious provisions), TCL/TK or PERL/TK (the TKs are Tool Kits of
graphics/GUI widgets, cross-platform compatible) or a Rapid Application
Development (RAD) environment that is cross platform compatible (on the plus
side, Delphi/Kylix is cross platform... on the minus side, it's mutated
PASCAL).  This should allow third party tools and Protel rapid enhancements
to complement the tools vigorously.

An example of ease: in Borland C++ Builder, I have been able to (in a few
minutes) make a COM/OLE Automation aware *.dll/*.exe that PERL (and MS-Excel
VBA) can interface to and automate/manipulate/munge-ify.....  I always
advocate PERL, but it is not Mecca for all, and it has a little way to come
with some features...  but it does emulate a syntactual standard and has
some super kick-ass power possibilities.... Again I would leave it as open
language extensible...

Another example, Protel is closed with NDA for limited Delphi SDK.  PERL is
free and Open (and embeddable).  Of all the addins for Protel I have seen a
handful.  Of all the addins for something like PERL, there are 2397 modules
(today's count of add-ins) added for extensibility (this does not include
the modules that come with standard distribution of PERL).  For some reason,
Open code tends to have some apparent greater-than-unity synergy for
development....  Granted, there may be a larger user base for PERL and most
PERL people are programmers.  But I would estimate a fair amount of
(electrical/mechanical) engineers that may use Protel, know how to code in
*some* language (even... FORTRAN?!?!)... it is usually a modern requirement
at most major universities that science intensive majors of study require a
structured programming course... PERL is much like C and has an object
oriented extension.

Another study of infamy: Cadence and their embedded SKILL language to
provide extensibility in their PCB and schematic capture tools.  First, the
documentation is not so good, rather, lousy and non-uniform across tools...
second, how many engineers that use the tools actually know LISP
(implemented as Cadence SKILL)?  LISP is NOT a COMMON language to most
engineering disciplines, despite the label "common-LISP."  Definitely some
non-real-world computer scientist thought that the recursive nature of LISP
would be good to write into the tool (I say that if you want LIS-t
P-rocessing, use PERL, but that's my opinion)....  and then their other
scripting language is full of syntactual holes...  The lesson here is *DON'T
REINVENT THE WHEEL*... I think that we are at least lucky to have
ClientBasic in Protel....


-------------------------
For examples of the power of PERL, see www.perl.com and the perl "CPAN" on
that site.  Some of the features on today's page:

Why Not Translate Perl to C?
Mark-Jason Dominus explains why it might not be any faster to convert your
code to a C program rather than let the Perl interpreter execute it.
[Perl.com]

Creating Scalable Vector Graphics with Perl
Kip Hampton demonstrates how to use Perl, XML, and SVG to generate useful
and attractive graphics dynamically. [XML.com]

Parse::RecDescent Tutorial
Parse::RecDescent is a recursive descent parser generator designed to help
to Perl programmers who need to deal with any sort of structured data,from
configuration files to mail headers to almost anything. It's even been used
to parse other programming languages for conversion to Perl. [Perl.com]

Symmetric Cryptography in Perl
Abhijit Menon-Sen explains how to use Perl to keep your secrets... secret.
[Perl.com]


--
D. Chris Mackensen, EIT
Electrical Engineer
Software Engineer



-----Original Message-----
From: Brian Guralnick [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2001 12:33 PM
To: Protel EDA Forum
Subject: Re: [PEDA] Public open-source PCB software. was-> Changes to
the Protel company name


This made me think of an interesting question.

    Is there a public domain open source PCB & schematic capture software?
This way,
users have the ability to make significant changes themselves & publicly
post them.

____________
Brian Guralnick


----- Original Message -----
From: "Brad Velander" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "'Protel EDA Forum'" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2001 11:55 AM
Subject: Re: [PEDA] Changes to the Protel company name


| Hi all,
| I think that the paragraph below, in their own words, says it all.
| No changes, no significant fixes, the same old bugs, inefficient code and
| glorious marketing driven additions that nobody wants. No changes, no
| improvements, just the same old crap under a new name. Is this what the
| statement means if taken literally, jeeesh, they can't even write good
press
| releases.
| I find it amazing that Protel not once ever makes any promises to
| the users of the product to improve things. Nope can't do that, just
| maintain the status quo. Thus we (users) are still working around bugs,
| issues and inefficient coding that has existed within the product for 2 -
3
| years at least. Give up, there is no hope!
|
| Brad Velander,
| Lead PCB Designer,
| Norsat International Inc.,
| #300 - 4401 Still Creek Dr.,
| Burnaby, B.C., V5C 6G9.
| Tel. (604) 292-9089 direct
| Fax (604) 292-9010
| website www.norsat.com
|
|
| > -----Original Message-----
| > From: Piers Watts [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
| > Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2001 12:26 AM
| > To: Protel EDA Forum
| > Subject: [PEDA] Changes to the Protel company name
| >
| >
| > Hi Everyone,
| >
| > Further to yesterday's announcement that Protel International
| > Limited has changed its name to Altium Limited, we would like
| > to clarify that this will not affect the Protel product line
| > or its development in any way.
| <SNIP>
| >
| > Best regards,
| >
| > Altium Limited
| >
|
|


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