If there were a service pack 7 that also included some long requested new
features that are now included in DXP, I would be much more inclined to pay
for SP7 than for DXP.  DXP is promising in some areas, but completely
useless for me in it's current state.  I fail to understand why Altium had
to so drastically change the interface that long time Protel users will now
have to retrain themselves.  Features that I would pay for in SP7 that are
currently in DXP would be items such as:

1.  Layer Pairing in PCB
2.  Associative Dimensions
3.  Break wire with part in Schematic
4.  Right-click panning in schematic like in PCB now.
5.  Better padstack control in PCB
6.  Part editing in Schematic like in PCB now.
7.  Multi-channel capability in Sch and PCB.
8.  Automatic edge pullback on PCB planes.
9.  Query ability (but please leave existing global options alone!)
10.  Ability to exclude certain components from the BOM.

Items I could do without and which are preventing me from upgrading to DXP

1.  Upon opening a P99SE board with over 20 complicated split planes on two
plane layers, DXP assigns them to one net and completely disregards their
individual net assignments.  (Altium has my file and is looking into this
but I have not heard anything back them yet despite my numerous requests.
My demo is now over, so I give up anyway.)

2.  Global editing still needs some work as in some cases, it does not work
as intended.  (Altium has refused my numerous requests to confirm that the
DXP demo is the same as the production DXP so perhaps the demo version is
I enter "IsComponent and OnBottomLayer" in the List Panel query box and
This selects all components on the bottom layer.
I then go to the Inspect Panel and uncheck the "Lock Primitives" checkbox.
DXP then goes through time consuming analyze nets process and upon
completion, changes my selection from components to various tracks which of
course eliminates the possibility for any additional component edits without
clearing the new selection set and reselecting the components again. This
all happens after I change any component property with no further action on
my part. Also,  I don't understand why if you happen to globally change the
text height on the silkscreen does DXP have to go through and analyze the
nets again.  No copper was changed so why the analyze nets process?  This
can be time consuming on a very large design, although this was never an
issue in P99SE.

3.  I wish they would have added the query ability and left the old global
editing in place.  The query method is much more powerful, but takes longer
to make some simple global edits that were just a few clicks in P99SE.
example:  (change via diameters in P99SE)
   1.  Double-click on any via
   2.  change the hole diameter
   3.  click the "Global" button
   4.  click "OK" button
   5.  confirm number of edits and you are done.
Attempting this in DXP requires more steps and time, but perhaps I just
still need to learn how to use DXP.  The same holds true with global track
edits, text edits and pad edits.  These are all very simple edits and in my
opinion don't require such a powerful query system although the new query
system will have advantages in other areas.

4.  Demorgan alternatives are gone in schematic.

5.  Cam manager is gone from PCB.  Instead of hitting "F9" to process all
your cam outputs in one keystroke, you will now have to process gerbers, nc
drill files, pick & place and testpoint data individually.

6.  Metric coordinates still do not work properly in DXP.

7.  New method of zooming is slower than in P99SE.

8.  Panning is choppy in DXP where in P99SE, it was smooth.

9.  Netlist loading from other capture packages has changed and is now more

10.  Creating netlist formats from schematic for other PCB packages is gone.

11.  Manual track editing with old grab points is different.

12.  Plot quality in PDF format is not even close to what it was in P99SE.

There are many more "bad" items in DXP and many other "good" items, but this
message is already getting a bit long.  I have posted several issues on the
DXP forum, but now that my DXP days are over, I will only monitor the DXP
list and wait for either SP7 for P99SE or an "SE" version of DXP before
upgrading.  I say "SE" because if past experience with P99 proves true, DXP
SP1 might not be ready either, but that remains to be seen.


Rob Young
Design Engineering Consultant
Tel:  352-799-7977
Fax: 352-799-8977

* Tracking #: BB9B82FACC9AF841873474B289A0C9B0D4D271EF

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