Mail Archives: geda-user/2012/12/14/19:06:19

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Subject: Re: [geda-user] Find rat lines
From: John Doty <jpd AT noqsi DOT com>
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Date: Fri, 14 Dec 2012 17:04:57 -0700
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On Dec 14, 2012, at 4:18 PM, Britton Kerin wrote:

>> In my experience with pcb, it's all punishment and confusion. It's impossible to get the program to do anything *simple*. Instead, it tries to read the user's mind, frequently getting it wrong. And it isn't just me: a couple of years ago I had an experienced professional engineer working for me. One of his tasks was learning pcb (I was thinking, OK, maybe it's just one of those things a simple-minded physicist can't get). He failed.
> I find this really surprising, since for me pcb was the simple part of gEDA
> to learn.  It was the combination of figuring out which attributes had to
> be set in gschem, how symbols and footprints connected together, and how
> the whole arrangement was propagated into pcb that was painful.

But gschem is so easy to understand. Everything is accessible. Select a symbol, Hs, and you can see its construction down to the level of individual primitives. Primitives are simple things, pretty easy to understand. Modify any attribute. Add new attributes. Draw lines, text, whatever. Encapsulate arbitrary complexity in a symbol with hierarchy. Make it work for you.

> Since you don't use pcb, I'm curious: is it pcb itself that causes confusion,
> or are the above issues bothering you and/or this other engineer?

In pcb you cannot do anything simple, and you cannot deconstruct complexity to understand it. Complex objects are not constructed of simple objects. There are no simple objects. Object properties are immutable and inscrutable. Normally, I'd figure I was "fighting the paradigm", slap myself a few times, and get on with it. But there isn't a paradigm I can recognize here. It reminds me of navigation in downtown Boston, with streets that don't represent any sort of plan.

John Doty              Noqsi Aerospace, Ltd.
jpd AT noqsi DOT com

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