On 06:58 PM 17/10/2002 +0100, Terry Harris said:
On Thu, 17 Oct 2002 10:47:19 -0400, Rob Young wrote:

>Plus it is far superior to P99SE!
>I just ran a BOM with the new simple BOM generator and it is by far the best
>BOM output in Protel yet!  In fact, I can just open the *.csv file in Excel
>and don't really have to modify anything.  In the designator column, you can
>set the cell to wrap the text and adjust your column width.  I have been
>wishing for this for years!

Well you could have downloaded my partlist generator from Protel BOM csv
files for years.

I don't recall seeing too many references to it over the years - I do forget stuff so maybe you gave mentioned it. But if someone asked me I wouldn't have known.

(There is also a P99SE server that will generate a consolidated BOM/parts list i.e. C1, C3-C10, C23, C59-C59 with the ability to save and recall setups for one key BOM generation.)

Components used to have 16 part fields which I and no doubt others used to
store essential BOM information. The BOM reports generated a fixed format
csv with all fields.
DXP has more fields, of course, as you can set your own. These can then be included in the BOM. They are called parameters now.

The issue I suppose you are really getting here is the fact that the CSV formats are not fixed-format any longer so complicating post processing. Couple this with the inability to save/recall a BOM report setup (major issue in BOM output making it much more likely that output will not be consistent).

However, since the header row is included in the CSV file the extra processing to extract the format of the following data is trivial - assuming that the user has remembered to include all the correct fields in the output.

We have been told that there will be changes to the report generators. I would hope that this will include the ability to save and recall settings and even recall a saved setting as a process parameter to allow a BOM to be generated with a single keystroke/menu/button. This would require another process parameter - the just-do-it parameter which would produce the BOM without showing the dialog box.

Another point - again we find that Protel will produce an external data file and then insist on opening that. When I produce a CSV it is very unlikely that I want Excel to open it straight away. I find this intensely annoying. If I want the CSV file opened I will open it in what ever editor I wish to open it. Please Altium - do *not* automatically open a user exported file. Or at least provide an option (application not design) to disable this behavior.


Another issue for which maybe someone knows the answer. How do you globally
add a schematic component parameter? Or come to that how you globaly edit
them - they don't appear in the inspector.
The query:
IsParameter And (ParameterName Like 'Text Field1')

Will gather all the 'Text Field1' parameters. Assuming you had "Clear Existing" and the "Select" check boxes checked (in the List Panel) before applying the query these will be selected and appear in the list panel.

You can then select all the entries in the List panel (click in the text grid and Cntrl-A) and then right click on any "Text Field1" entry and choose "Edit Selected..." you can then replace all the selected Text Field1 parameters with some text or use the substring replacement {old=new} to be more selective.

The Inspector can't show everything it seems for the odder stuff (by whose definition?) you have to revert to the less friendly List interface. I don't have a big problem with this as long as the interface is clear enough.

I have *not* yet found a way to globally *add* a new parameter or model to selected components. I could, of course, add it into the library and then update the design from the lib but I was really looking for a way of adding a new parameter to selected components in the sch and populating this with some default value.

Does that help? Don't bother talking to me about how complex all this seems, I know. I love the power of the new query engine but I am sometimes spending some time working out what the correct form of the query should be. There is some inconsistency in the query engine key words that could be cleaned up.

I have pushed through the punch the screen stage on a fully DXP design - I am getting there but I am sure I have some distance to go yet. Currently, my main interest in pushing through the learning curve is the much improved ERC engine which should help make single-pass engineering less dependent on the memory of the engineer. Once I get the placement Ok I will then be running it through both the P99Se and the DXp routers and see what happens - I would normally hand rout this fairly small board but this is a good opportunity to test the environment without having a ridiculous amount of work to do if I have to step back to P99SE.

Ian Wilson

PS I have copied some of the reply to the DXP forum so that Altium will get to see it. I believe they do not spend too much time on this forum any longer as in one of their words "it is now pretty much a chat room".

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