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gEDA for Windows?

Discussion in 'CAD' started by Joerg, Oct 30, 2007.

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  1. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Since quite a while I see a hint here or there that someone wants to
    compile a Windows version containing some of the gEDA modules. But
    somehow that seems to always fizzle.

    Is there a realistic chance we'll ever see a somewhat "official" Windows
    version? Maybe along the lines of "Here, use it but please don't call us
    for support."

    I know that it's possible to compile it for Windows. However, lots of us
    are more hardware guys, don't have compilers, don't have much experience
    doing that, and would need something that installs itself just like
    other CAD software does. After that we could be productive for the group
    by contributing library models, tricks and so on. For many reasons
    hardware guys can't migrate away from Windows, mainly because things
    like the mechanical CAD, beamfield simulators and the like would then quit.
  2. It's one of my goals to compile the Windows version of some of the
    gEDA tools, starting with the schematics editor and the pcb layout
    tool. I'm not part of the core team of developers, but I do contribute
    some source code to the project, with that goal.
    I think there is a good chance. Not only that, I'll be glad to answer
    Windows-related questions posted here or at the gEDA user mailing
    list. I expect others would help as well.
    Almost possible, I'll say. Much work has already been done, but a few
    minor user-visible issues remain. I would not wish to make available a
    Windows version until most of these are solved, it could impact
    negatively on the reputation of the project as a whole. But it's only
    a matter of Time.
    Very understandable.
    That would be great.
    I know that feeling...


  3. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    So there is hope. That is great to hear.

    It may be ok to release something that's not perfect if it clearly says
    so on the download page. Maybe with some hints as to what might not
    quite work yet.

    Almost every week someone tells me to use Linux and all the crashes and
    stuff would go away. Then I ask them whether my .NET driven scope would
    still work. "Umm, probably not."

    Incompatibility actually goes as far as Vista. Several of the SW
    packages I use are almost guaranteed not to work there. At least that's
    what the mfgs said. Luckily one can still buy XP (done that again about
    a month ago).
  4. Joel Koltner

    Joel Koltner Guest

    That's optimistic anyway -- buggy software has a lot more to do with the guy
    who programmed it than the particular operating system it's running on.
    Windows "blue screens" (OS crashes) are about as rare as Linux kernel panics
    (crashes) these days. (Although when it comes to Vista they made so many
    changes that you can't really accept Microsoft's claim that it's a
    "compatible" operating system with XP... :-( )

    Have you looked at virtualization software such as VMware? Let's you run
    Windows and Linux (and other OSes) all side by side on the same box.
  5. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    According to compatibility notices from several mfgs of software I use
    it definitely isn't 100% compatible. Which is why I don't use Vista.

    I've only heard that it can take a long time to make everything work in
    the box, virual RS232 over USB and such vital things. But no, I haven't
    tried yet. Basically Windows does everything I need.
  6. Joel Koltner

    Joel Koltner Guest

    Yes... if you need the virtual computer to control Real Hardware (not just
    hard drives, your Ethernet card, keyboard/mouse, etc.), you are better off
    just getting a second machine. For something like gEDA though, a virtual
    Linux box could work quite well.

    BTW, you might find this site useful if you haven't come across it before: . The KiCAD guys made a
    smart move in using wxWidgets for their GUI -- it makes it pretty trivial to
    support releases on multiple platforms. Hmm... I see that Magic is still
    around for VLSI design... that's cool -- as an undergraduate I remember some
    people using it. I used John Beetem's Galaxy program in a couple of digital
    design classes way back when, but it seems to have died when he left the
    University over a decade ago now.
  7. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    2nd machine is out, there are already three PCs here and they must run
    Windows. To be honest I don't know how to roach a virtual Linux box onto
    a Windows machine.

    Quote "To save development time, we will base this version on Eagle and
    re-use as much Eagle functionality as possible."

    Umm, why are they doing this? Wouldn't that be a waste of grant funds
    since a commercial product already exists? Might as well use Eagle which
    I do right now. One reason why I want to bail is that Eagle does not
    support hierarchical sheet structures and Cadsoft does not seem to grasp
    the need for that. V5 doesn't have it either so I won't upgrade. I guess
    the Fritzing guys don't understand that either.

    If I switch I'd like that to be to something that has a potential to
    become mainstream here in the US, not Europe. One other problem with
    Eagle is an utter lack of marketing efforts in the US. In consequence
    none of my clients has ever heard of it, let alone uses it. Same for my
    layouter :-(
  8. Joel Koltner

    Joel Koltner Guest

    They sound a little naive, IMO. See: ... I'm sure
    they genuinely think they can address some perceived "need" that no one else,
    no date, has... and do so before their grant runs out, or at least make enough
    progress to get it renewed. :)
    Hmm... that is a bit of a tough problem, especially if you're trying to keep
    the costs down -- it seems U.S.-based EDA tools are almost always noticeably
    more expensive than their European or pan-Asian counterparts (there's a
    surprisingly large amount of cool stuff that comes out of Oz and Kiwiland
    these days... probably China and Japan too if I knew the language...). (This
    is especially odd when you have trash like ORCAD Capture which is "maintained"
    in India today -- just where are all those maintenance fees going, anyway?)
    I think the first time I saw their ad was in a Nuts & Volts magazine years
    ago. I wonder if they ever moved up to at least, e.g., Circuit Cellar Ink?

  9. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Possibly it's about grants, don't know.

    Paying for the corporate Lamborghinis maybe :)

    Actually CAD is cheaper here. Always was. When I lived in Europe I
    bought OrCad here for half of what it cost over there. Even Eagle is
    cheaper here than in Germany (where it is written!). What I do not
    understand is why the industry in the US blindly plunks down whatever
    OrCad costs, a program that is IMHO not nearly as good anymore as it was
    in the DOS days. It's price has tripled since the early 90's.

    I've never seen an Eagle ad in the US. I stumbled upon it by pure
    coincidence when browsing for a new CAD after OrCad blue-screened on me
    one too many times.
  10. Marra

    Marra Guest

    I've never seen an Eagle ad in the US. I stumbled upon it by pure
    CAD programming can be highly complex.

    When i wrote my program I had to get into things I hadnt done in 10
    years of programming professionally.
    I had to use factorial arrays for autoplacing.
    I had to get into some quite deep algorithms for auotrouting.
    Even clearance checking took some jiggery pokery to get the check down
    to a sensible time.

    What is probably most staggering is the original program was 330,000
    lines of Assembler !

    Right from the start I had to get involved with a Gerber/Excellon
    reader to ensure the output from my program was correct as there
    werent many gerber readers in those days.
  11. Joel Koltner

    Joel Koltner Guest

    Marra, as seems to often happen your response here isn't really related to the
    discussion and comes off just as an advertisement for your own software.
    Neither programming nor designing electronics isn't much fun if you aren't
    doing new things are a semi-regular basis. :)
    Too bad you haven't shown us any results of your autorouter vs. anyone else's
    (or even your user's manual...). My experience is that most of the "included
    with the base package" autorouters produce results that are lousy enough that
    most people would probably prefer to route by hand. I have seen spendy
    autorouters that are pretty good (i.e., one who takes the time to master them
    would definitely save significant time in the long run) -- especially for
    large digital designs.

  12. k k

    k k Guest

    No of course not. It's just your lasiness.
  13. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Then tell me how to hardware-control the ICOM R-1500 or the Instek
    GDS-2204 from a non-Windows platform.
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