Mail Archives: geda-user/2012/12/20/05:19:37

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Date: Thu, 20 Dec 2012 11:18:19 +0100
From: Gabriel Paubert <paubert AT iram DOT es>
To: geda-user AT delorie DOT com
Subject: Re: [geda-user] Find rat lines - summary
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On Tue, Dec 18, 2012 at 08:06:14PM +0000, Peter Clifton wrote:
> On Tue, 2012-12-18 at 17:46 +1100, Geoff Swan wrote:
> > I'll briefly throw in my 2 cents...
> > I think being able to manually assign nets to copper would be really
> > useful. I've done this when designing with altium and it works great.
> > If this where to become possible I think it would be well used. I also
> > think that having tools/heuristics/macros to assist along the way is a
> > great idea. As has been said neither heuristics nor net tagging are
> > complete solutions in isolation, but both sound like they would be
> > useful to have (even if not both can be done).
> > 
> > 
> > My main reason for emailing though is to go back to what I think may
> > have started this thread in the first place... is there any chance of
> > getting the functionality whereby when I press 'O' to optimise a rats
> > nest, then hover over a net and press 'F'  I get everything in that
> > net highlighted? (whether routed, partially routed or just connected
> > via a rat) I'm sure I used to be able to do this, and it feels like
> > I'm hamstrung without it... I note that 'F' will still highlight
> > connected copper, but it no longer treats a rat line as connecting
> > disconnected copper...
> I'm testing some changes which introduces a new "compromise" behaviour,
> where you get a different colour for connected, and rat-connected
> objects.
> If you want to test, pull my branch at
> git clone git://
> And checkout the "for_master" branch..
> git checkout for_master origin/for_master
> Unresolved questions so far...
> 1. Colour is hard-coded (for testing only) - need to add a configurable.


> 2. Which set should get the "FOUND" flag assigned.. both, or just the
> physically connected ones.

Well, this would imply a file format addition, no? Why not remove
the found flag in the saved files and ignore it on load for a start
(I never found, no pun intended, saving and restoring found and selected
flags to be very useful).

Then you can split the found flag into 2 different flags: 
found_and_physically_connected and found_by_following_rats
(I have not found, no pun intended again, better names).

> > It was a fantastic tool... I could use 'F' without the rats nest
> > showing to highlight only connected copper, or I could use 'O' -> 'F'
> > to highlight all the copper that needed to be connected...
> I realised that trick recently, and had I done so before would perhaps
> have not bothered with the change.

I was using it quite frequently, so I'm glad that you realise that
you broke some people's workflow.

> HOWEVER.. the ability to erase / restore the rats nest might go away at
> some point in the future if we ever sort out continuous real-time
> rats-optimisation, so I'm hesitant to suggest people start relying on
> it.

The suggestion to follow or not rats depending on whether the ratsnest
layer is visible may be worth pursuing, although I'm not entirely 
convinced (it looks a bit kludgy). I'd probably prefer a global flag
with ratsnest on/off.

That's the eternal problem with software, once people have become
accustomed to a capability, you can't break their habits/workflow. 

> Try the split-colouring, and see what you think. I'm also going to
> experiment with de-saturating colours or increasing transparency on
> non-found objects in the GL renderer, to see how that feels.

I will try over the week-end. I feel that split colouring might 
work well enough.


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