> -----Original Message-----
> From: Protel Hell [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] 
> Sent: Wednesday, December 17, 2003 4:26 PM
> To: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
> Subject: Re: [PEDA] What is the meaning of "DXP"
> 
> Protel reminds me of the early versions of ViewDraw, not easy 
> to learn or use, I don't know where you are at or background 

Viewdraw, or as it is called now Pads/DX Designer is not that much better
now.

Up to P99SE the simplicity of the Protel user interface beat Viewdraw or
PowerLogic (which I used from DOS version also). I have only used Protel
since P98 came out, but used Orcad since SDT IV / Powerlogic since P2000 /
Viewdraw (hated that, gave up)

With DXP Altium decided a more cluttered environment was in order and
spoiled that simplicity a bit IMO not only for previous Protel users but new
ones as well. I think it was haste, or developers with a new toy (nice
panels)  and a little additional razz for marketing but I have a feeling the
comments on the DXP list to rationalise the functions within the panels to
tidy them up and reduce the amount open at one time will get a fair hearing.


> all you have to do to see how well sch & pcb match in Protel 
> is look at the cardboard triangle thing they give you, if I 
> every remember all that I'll
> either: be committed to insane asylum or forget everything else I know

It is far more natural than you think.
 
> I hope my bitching is seen as constructive by Altium, 
> ViewDraw which I compared it to is much easier to learn and 
> productivity has increased than it was in the past, hopefully 
> DXP will improve too

No one usually bitches more about DXP as regards the UI and project/file
management structure than me.

But as far as comparing Viewdraw and DXP, I would have to pick DXP every
time, warts and all.

John



> 
> 
> 
> >From: Abd ul-Rahman Lomax <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> >Reply-To: "Protel EDA Forum" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> >To: "Protel EDA Forum" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> >Subject: Re: [PEDA] What is the meaning of "DXP"
> >Date: Tue, 16 Dec 2003 17:56:03 -0500
> >
> >At 02:40 PM 12/16/2003, Protel Hell wrote:
> >>so what's the excuse for pcb not matching schematic?
> >
> >The history was two different DOS programs... Then there are 
> >differences in what is natural with schematics and what is 
> natural with 
> >PCB design. In schematic, symbol representation is important but not 
> >electrically functional, in PCB, most everything creates a physical 
> >structure with important characteristics. It is clear that 
> the programs 
> >were not originally designed to have a common way of doing things; 
> >sometimes this is appropriate, sometimes it is merely irritating.
> >
> >
> >>I hope they work on the productivity, it is obvious the system was 
> >>designed more from the EE designers perspective, and that's 
> great, but 
> >>for the person that only does pcb design it is very slow, I hope I 
> >>never have to do a large board with this, I'll use 
> something else if 
> >>it is up to me
> >
> >As a printed circuit designer, I found Protel quite easy to use, I 
> >started with Protel 98. (I had used the Autotrax demo years 
> before to 
> >write a Tango
> >- Protel bidirectional translator, but the real key to my Protel 
> >experience was Tango itself, since it was pretty much an Autotrax 
> >killer, written by Accel to grab the U.S. market of Protel, 
> for whom they had been the U.S.
> >rep.)
> >
> >I'm not sure I agree that Protel is designed "more from the EE 
> >designers perspective," partly because I'm not sure exactly what Mr. 
> >Protel Hell means. Protel definitely appeals more to 
> engineers than to 
> >in-house printed circuit design specialists, but the reasons 
> for that 
> >are complex, having a lot to do with the kinds of characters who are 
> >attracted to -- or qualified for -- the two fields. I'm a printed 
> >circuit designer, a specialist to be sure, but my training and 
> >inclinations are more like an engineer and, when I worked at large 
> >companies, tended to get along very well with the engineers 
> and not always so well with other designers..
> >
> >Protel is a highly flexible design system, there are usually 
> many ways 
> >to accomplish a task, and it has an open database, which gives even 
> >more flexibility. I might be called a "printed circuit design 
> >engineer," rather than a CAD specialist per se. I was never 
> shy to dig 
> >into the inner workings of the programs I worked with, to 
> write my own 
> >utilities to manipulate databases when the command set of 
> the program 
> >didn't do what I needed, or didn't do it with sufficient 
> power and speed.
> >
> >I find it interesting that I almost completely stopped writing 
> >utilities when I started using Protel, because the program 
> already did 
> >most of what I needed to do; what remained could usually be handled 
> >simply by opening up the ASCII database with Word or Excel.
> >
> >Productivity is a double-edged sword. Sometimes what makes a program 
> >difficult to learn can increase productivity for one who has learned 
> >it; the reverse can be true as well, i.e., what makes a program more 
> >productive can make it harder to learn. A good program is both 
> >intuitive *and* efficient, that is, it may have, for 
> example, plenty of 
> >menus with logical names, but it may also have lots of keystroke 
> >shortcuts, since the keyboard is faster than the mouse for a 
> skilled user.
> >
> >Protel is quite satisfactory for large boards *if you know 
> how to use 
> >it.* I don't think there is an easier PCB CAD system. I once had a 
> >customer who required that I use OrCAD Layout, which was, at 
> the time 
> >-- I don't know if it has changed -- a very rigid and very 
> >non-intuitive design system, which cost about triple the price of 
> >Protel at the time. The customer wanted me to use OrCAD even 
> though he 
> >hated it himself, because he had spent $13,000 on it and 
> Capture and he couldn't get his money back.... It was a disaster.
> >I've talked to a lot of designers about the experience, and 
> apparently 
> >I was not uniquely stupid. I'd spend a day figuring out how to do 
> >something that would take a few seconds in Tango or Protel; 
> next day, 
> >when I needed to do it again, I had forgotten, it was that complex.
> >
> >Yet there are designers who swear by OrCAD. My conclusions 
> are various: 
> >(1) They don't know any better, and/or (2) more importantly, 
> they are 
> >accustomed to OrCAD, and when you've been doing something a 
> certain way 
> >for ten years, it definitely becomes the "intuitive way" to 
> do the thing.
> >
> >If you really want to compare two CAD systems, ask designers 
> who have 
> >become expert with both systems, anything short of that is pretty 
> >arbitrary, depending on the history of the evaluator.
> >
> >>like it or not, for beter or worse, MicroSoft rules the 
> world, if you 
> >>expect to suceed software must conform to Windows, it must 
> be easy to 
> >>learn in any case, DXP is the most unintuitive CAD I have 
> ever seen, 
> >>and I've been in CAD over 20 years
> >
> >Windows conventions were largely designed for use with 
> documents; once 
> >you get outside of text documents, the "conventions" see a lot of 
> >variation. In PCB design, placement position is critical. Simple 
> >cut-and-paste doesn't cut it, so to speak.
> >
> >But where it is reasonably appropriate to use known conventions, 
> >certainly they should be used. My point, however, is that this may 
> >sacrifice the productivity of an expert user for ease-of-use for a 
> >novice. Protel, I think, has a good set of compromises, but 
> certainly 
> >it can be improved; in fact, it *has* been improved quite a 
> bit since I started to use it.
> >
> >I originally commented on Protel Hell's complaint about 
> inconsistency 
> >between CAMtastic and PCB, which, indeed, are far more inconsistent 
> >than, say, Schematic and PCB. It is irritating and frustrating that, 
> >for example, zooming around the board requires drastically different 
> >procedures in the two programs. That's a productivity 
> killer. But both 
> >programs have users accustomed to the existing interfaces, 
> which makes 
> >changing one or the other tricky. I'd suggest having alternate 
> >interfaces; that is, the existing interface for one of the programs 
> >would be retained as an option; but the standard, default 
> interface, if 
> >it differed, would be designed to form a common standard 
> interface for all the programs in the set.
> >
> >For example, in PCB, I'm accustomed to zooming in with Z-W, draw box 
> >with mouse. The window can be panned by grabbing the view box in the 
> >Browse PCB mini-display and moving it, or it can be panned even more 
> >quickly by hold-right-mouse, which grabs the screen, which 
> can then be 
> >panned directly, which works great for short pans. Or I can 
> simply zoom 
> >out (perhaps Z-B, which will show me the entire board) and 
> then zoom in 
> >again to the area of interest. Lots of ways to do the task, not to 
> >mention the pull-down menus, the rt-click popup menu, and 
> PageUp and PageDown.
> >
> >Now, in Schematic, hit the Z key and you get the zoom menu. W works 
> >just like in PCB, so that the Z-W method of zooming in works 
> the same 
> >as in PCB, and since it is my default way of looking about, I 
> >experience PCB and Schematic as being quite similar in this respect. 
> >Some of the options on the Z menu are the same in PCB and in 
> Schematic, 
> >some are different. Some of the differences are appropriate, some 
> >represent ways in which Schematic
> >-- or maybe PCB -- could be improved. For example, why is 
> there a Zoom 
> >Select command in PCB and not in Schematic?
> >
> >But there is no Panel display of the whole schematic and there is no 
> >grabbing the screen with the right-mouse and panning that 
> way. How much 
> >of a loss is this? A little, not a lot.... The range of 
> scales used on 
> >a schematic is not as great as on a PCB; the panel display 
> is thus less 
> >important. But I don't use it a lot in PCB, simply because I'm quite 
> >accustomed to doing without such a thing, I just zoom in and 
> out a lot.
> >
> >And I'm very grateful that my Protel/hardware combination draws the 
> >screen quickly. I remember CADstar running on early PCs.... 
> I've still 
> >got the original boxes for CADstar and Redlog in the closet.... 
> >Installed, used once, replaced with a $250 program called 
> EasyPCB, and 
> >put away.... (That was about $14K worth of software at the time, the 
> >loan or gift -- it was never clear -- of a customer who was acquired 
> >and disappeared; they used to sell CADstar/Redlog. And it 
> was way too 
> >cumbersome to use.)
> >
> >It's easy to look at a program and find something wrong with 
> it. In the 
> >end, however, it seems that there are a lot of engineers and 
> designers 
> >who use Protel because they like it, they find it better than the 
> >options, it works for them. It's not better than it could 
> theoretically 
> >be, but better than the other programs that are actually 
> available and 
> >affordable. (Protel has gotten more expensive, but the 
> competition is 
> >generally even more expensive. If I were in marketing at 
> Altium, I'd be 
> >very conscious of the entry market. At a startup, cash might 
> be short. 
> >How can I encourage small companies to get started with 
> Protel, how can I make it easy for them?
> >There are some other programs out there that might be appealing to a 
> >startup; for example Tsien Boardmaker, and it costs very 
> little to get 
> >into Boardmaker; and it does, in fact, do printed circuit design.... 
> >but Protel it is not, I would not recommend Boardmaker to 
> someone who 
> >can afford Protel and who needs to do serious work, but if 
> you *can't* 
> >afford Protel
> >-- even a resold license, which might be 25-50% off -- then 
> you do what 
> >you
> >can.)
> >
> >When I bought Protel 98, I paid for it out of my own pocket. It was 
> >truly a bargain. (I was fortunate enough to have a friend with an 
> >un-upgraded Autotrax license, so I only paid about $1995; full price 
> >then was, as I recall, $3995.) Many of those who write for this list 
> >are similarly working for themselves, they have chosen to 
> use Protel, 
> >no one is standing over them making them use it. If you are 
> accustomed 
> >to something else, it can seem like cruel fate to be forced to use a 
> >new tool. But don't let yourself imagine that the tool is useless!
> >
> >
> >
> 
> _________________________________________________________________
> Working moms: Find helpful tips here on managing kids, home, 
> work    and 
> yourself.   http://special.msn.com/msnbc/workingmom.armx
> 
> 
> 



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