At 11:31 AM 11/9/01 +1100, Ian Wilson wrote:
>I think I would like to be able to define named collections of layers that 
>can be used during pad stack creation and display manipulation.  With this 
>technique, multi-layer as an explicit layer is no longer needed - it 
>merely becomes a layer collection consisting of all copper layers.  Any 
>pros or cons for this idea.

The "multilayer" layer causes all kinds of problems. For example, vias live 
on "multilayer," intrinsically. But blind and buried vias are most 
certainly not on every copper layer. As as result of how Protel treats 
"multilayer" and vias, one cannot get a true, simple, single-layer display 
showing only the blind and buried vias present on a particular layer. It's 
a mess. The only way to correctly view it -- as far as I know -- is to 
generate the gerber and then view it with a gerber viewer or import it back.

If it is imported back, presumably after removing everything but those 
vias, I can turn off "multilayer" and see the pads that will then exist on 
the appropriate layers. But then it will be a pain to edit, as well as 
increasing the file size.

Basically, multilayer should go. Instead, there should be a button that 
enables all copper layers. Or perhaps "multilayer" should stay, but not be 
necessary. In other words, pads and vias will display even when multilayer 
is turned off, if they exist on the enabled layers.

I thought that Protel worked this way, but I could not get P99SE to do it. 
If I wasn't so busy, I'd go back and see what Protel 98 did with this.

(In other words, if you had "top layer" enabled, you saw pads and vias in 
the top layer color instead of the multilayer color. As it is in P99SE, 
they aren't in the display at all, only *surface* top layer pads display. 
As far as P98 is concerned, maybe my memory is incorrect.)

Technically, this too is a bug. If you have "top layer" enabled, you should 
be able to see everything on the top layer....

It only becomes a serious bug when one is trying to do complex blind and 
buried via work. As it happens, that's my job at the moment.... grrr....
The saving grace is that Protel will cheerfully route over those spuriously 
displayed vias. And the plots are correct.

Abdulrahman Lomax
Easthampton, Massachusetts USA

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