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Discussion in 'CAD' started by Don Prescott, Dec 14, 2004.

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  1. Don Prescott

    Don Prescott Guest

    From: Stuart Brorson ()

    On freebe PCB software..
    OH yeh.....! What's the percentage of commercial organisations using
    linux for standard apps....??? Pretty darn small!
    Ha, Ha, download and start crashing more like...!

    * Documented ASCII file formats. The vendor isn't trying to lock you
    in to his tool set by sticking you with a proprietary binary format.

    How many are truly locked..? Most apps have an ASCII storage
    mechanism i.e PADS, P-CAD, Protel, OrCAD Layout, Cadstar....

    Simple. Find someone with a Cadstar, load-in your design and save in
    CPA = ASCII archive format
    That's the point: the support is normally ultra-poor
    Who wants the code...!! Do I want a copy of Microsfot Word code, or
    Excel code...? Of course not. I want an app that's reliable and of
    professional standard...!
    That says it all. Just to save a few dollars some folks are prepared
    to torture themselves and wear sackcloth and ashes....
    Oh yeh, they are...? Nobody I deal with would risk critical projects
    to shareware

    Prescott
     
  2. Leon Heller

    Leon Heller Guest

    It's 'open source', not shareware.

    Where I worked a few years ago on military comms systems, the 'official'
    compiler was so full of bugs that the the software engineers used the GNU
    compiler for development.

    Leon
     
  3. : :> >From: Stuart Brorson ()
    :>
    :> On freebe PCB software..
    :>
    :>>That's what folks said about Linux about five years ago. Those that
    :>>aid it look like backward-looking trogledytes now.
    :>
    :> OH yeh.....! What's the percentage of commercial organisations using
    :> linux for standard apps....??? Pretty darn small!
    :>
    :>>The advantages of free/open-source tools are these:
    :>>* Full versions usually downloadable for free. No cripple or
    :>>nagware. Just download and start designing.
    :>
    :> Ha, Ha, download and start crashing more like...!
    :>

    [. . . . remaining opinions snipped . . . .]

    :>>People are using this stuff in industry. Open your eyes and look
    :>>around. You'll see more of it as time goes on.
    :>
    :> Oh yeh, they are...? Nobody I deal with would risk critical projects
    :> to shareware

    : It's 'open source', not shareware.

    : Where I worked a few years ago on military comms systems, the 'official'
    : compiler was so full of bugs that the the software engineers used the GNU
    : compiler for development.

    Indeed. Herr Prescott certainly has his opinions, and he is welcome
    to them. Nobody's mind will be changed by reading usenet posts,
    anyway. However, some people reading this will take the opportunity
    to actually try out some of the apps (although likely not
    Hr. Prescott), and *that* will likely change some minds.

    I'll end my participation in this thread by noting this:
    Hr. Prescott makes the false association open-source = free/share-ware
    = bad quality. In reality, there is good software and bad software.
    Sometimes, the free stuff is bad, sometimes it's great
    (e.g. Linux, gcc, apache, Python, Perl, TCL, OpenOffice, gEDA
    etc. etc. etc.) Hr. Prescott evidently also thinks
    commercial/proprietary software = good quality. In reality, everybody
    knows of many commercial apps which stink, as well as some really
    great stuff (MATLAB, Mathematica, Mac OSX).

    The point is that the open-source development methodology has proven
    itself capable of developing remarkably stable & usable applications.
    In a penny-pinching economic environment where low-end speciality
    apps (e.g. EDA) are shoddily supported and expensive, folks will turn
    to open-source alternatives if those alternatives are up to the task.
    It's up to the users to make their own choices. And that's what the
    open-source stuff is all about: user choice instead of vendor choice.

    Stuart
     
  4. David

    David Guest

    These astroturf posters are always entertaining...
    Actually, the percentage of organisations (commercial or otherwise) that
    is *not* dependant on open source software is pretty small - and even
    those are dependant on ISPs and other infrastructure that is dependant on
    open source. Linux is, of couse, only one example of commonly-used open
    source software.

    The percentages will vary enormously according to type of software. The
    percentages of companies using open-source EDA software for commercial
    designs is going to be small, albeit growing. The percentage for more
    common software like browsers or word processors is pretty big, and
    growing rapidly. The percentage for server software such as web servers
    and small database servers outweights that of commercial closed-source
    software.
    Sounds like a solid, well-researched, reasoned argument to me.
    And how many of these have complete freely available documentation,
    unencumbered by licenses and restrictions? And how many are considered the
    standard default file format? And how many actually include all the
    features and details of their own closed binary format?

    Basically, the problem is being able to change from one tool vendor to
    another without losing all access to your own data. Each vendor, thinking
    in its own little world is concerned with keeping users locked in - if
    they made it easy to convert data, it would be easy to change vendors.
    What a marvelous solution - ask your competitors nicely if they will help
    you convert files from a proprietry undocumented binary format to a
    proprietry undocumented ASCII format.
    Do you know what the term "legacy support" actually means? It means "able
    to work with old data formats" - something that lots of commercial
    software can't do (for example, the easiest way to get Excel 97+ to read
    Excel 4 files is to use Open Office to convert the formats).

    And if you are talking about support for software - I personally like the
    idea of sending an email on a mailing list and getting a reply from the
    software's author, rather than paying through the nose to be told to
    re-install the software or buy the latest version.
    No one in their right mind wants the code for MS Word. Every time large
    closed-source projects have been open-sourced (Star Office, Mozilla,
    Interbase, etc.), it has been very clear that open-source coders write
    code that will stand the light of day, while closed-source coders can
    write whatever hacks come into their heads.

    For most people, especially large companies, source code access is an
    insurance policy - it means that they always have a way out if the authors
    discontinue the project, or there are bugs which never get fixed. It
    doesn't mean they plan to look at the code - it means they can pay someone
    to fix or change the code if they need to.

    And thanks for the laugh mentioning "MS Word" and "professional standard"
    in the same sentence.
    Open source EDA tools are probably not yet ready for the mass market, but
    they are getting there. There are plenty of people that choose different
    tools for different reasons, and for some, the open source EDA tools are
    already viable. Personally, I don't use gEDA or PCB - but I do use an
    open source tool (confluence) for FPGA design. My alternative commercial
    solutions (VHDL or Verilog) are also free - yet I choose the open source
    tool because it does a better job for me.
    As I thought - an astroturfer, with no idea what "open source" means. And
    if you mean that no one you know uses open source EDA software for
    critical projects, then you are probably right at the moment - it's a
    specialised world. If you mean no one uses open source software
    for critical projects, then you really are talking though a hole in your
    head.
     
  5. Clarence

    Clarence Guest

    I only know of eight multinational corporations headquartered locally that use
    Linux, several others use Open Source for their own apps. Even Microsoft uses
    Apache in-house, as does the NSA and several other government groups. A lot of
    DOD stuff is based on a linux Kernel too.

    My company uses only open source, and we use Linux for all control systems.
     
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