Mail Archives: geda-user/2012/12/13/22:00:38

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From: Markus Hitter <mah AT jump-ing DOT de>
Subject: Re: [geda-user] Find rat lines
Date: Fri, 14 Dec 2012 03:59:50 +0100
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Am 14.12.2012 um 02:22 schrieb DJ Delorie:

> Even something as simple as adding a single trace could "short"
> multiple existing subnets, and if some of those subnets have been
> assigned to nets but some subnets are as yet unassigned (because they
> have yet to connect to something known to be in the netlist), you get
> lots of arbitrary choices to be made about how everything needs to be
> resolved.

Don't wanna defend Mr. Doty here, but at least his appearance gave me  
some inspiration. How would gschem handle this "shorted tracks" problem?

It doesn't, because gschem tracks don't short by just lying atop of  
each other.  Except in certain conditions, where the short is  
actually wanted.

Conveniently, this pretty much applies to rat lines as well; enter pcb.

To get a more gschem-like behaviour in pcb, pcb would have to give up  
drawing arbitrary, disconnected tracks. It would have to stop  
connecting tracks by just drawing them at the same place. Sounds  
ridiculous, doesn't it?

Possible solution: instead of drawing tracks, board design starts  
with rat lines. Like we currently have them. Then, these rat lines  
are - sort of - pinned down to become, or being morphed into tracks.  
Perhaps with a tool similar to how paths are edited in drawing  
applications. Add vertices, drag these vertices, join them to forks,  
and so on, until the board is done. But never disconnect a track in  
this process.

This way, tracks are never disconnected from a net. Finding a short  
becomes trivial. Probably a number of other tasks, like track length  
measurement, too.

OK, I have no code. But I couldn't resist to forward this  
inspiration, either.

Thanks for listening,

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Dipl. Ing. (FH) Markus Hitter

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