Affordable PCB Layout Software ??? - Page 4

Do you have a question? Post it now! No Registration Necessary

Translate This Thread From English to

Threaded View
Re: Affordable PCB Layout Software ???
Quoted text here. Click to load it


Heh heh.  I have always used Eagle on Linux, and found no confusion.  I
think this is due to the fact that just about every program on Linux is
written with a different GUI toolkit.  You never even know when
double-click vs. a single-click will make something happen.  So you
learn to be flexible.  The result is that something as subtle as Eagle's
inconsistency with standard Windoze apps. grammar easily goes unnoticed.

What's even more fun is when the same app. changes GUI toolkits from one
version to another.  That seems to have happened with OpenOffice, now
using the KDE dialog boxes.  On my newest Linux machines it seems every
program has a different file dialog compared to my older Linux version.
  Completely ridiculous.  But, at least it's not Windoze.



--
Good day!

____________________________________
CRC
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: Affordable PCB Layout Software ???
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Ding ding ding!  Yeah, you've sure got that right.  An incosistent user
interface is one of the major hurdles to get "mass market" acceptance of Unix.

Things are much better these days than, e.g., 5-10 years ago, though.

Unix has a similar problem with configuration files... everyone and their
brother invented their own format for storing settings (since there's still no
standard central repository for settings as the registry in Windows provides),
and while most are simple enough to figure out via examination of what's
already there, many are somewhat "brittle" as well (the common example being
how easy it is to break X windows by, e.g., leaving out a semi-colon in
Xorg.conf ... sheesh...)

It took years for those in the Unix world to even get together on something as
simple as how new programs should be programmatically added to a "start" menu;
happily the Gnome and KDE guys both seem to play nice on this issue today.



Re: Affordable PCB Layout Software ???
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Like the registry, which is *so* much better ;)

Quoted text here. Click to load it

[Using a simple text editor]

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Fortunately, the Windoze registry is intuitive *and* robust.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

As opposed to the years that it took Mirco$oft to figure out
how to do preemptive multi-tasking?

But I digress :-P

--
Michael N. Moran           (h) 770 516 7918
5009 Old Field Ct.         (c) 678 521 5460
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: Affordable PCB Layout Software ???
Quoted text here. Click to load it

It's better than the *NIX approach in that there are standard tools and APIs
for creating, editing, and saving individual entries, branchs, etc.  Is it
great?  No.  But I haven't seen any "great" answers to the problem -- storing
configuration settings is such a general problem that there really aren't any
great one-size-fits-all solutions, I expect.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Actually, yes -- the arrangement is reasonably intuitive, and it keeps backup
copies of itself around to provide some degree of robustness.  (And as with
*NIX text configuration files, you can certainly make as many manual backups
as you feel like.)

Quoted text here. Click to load it

No one considered Windows 3.1/95/98 to be in the same class of operating
systems as *NIX, you know. :-)  That started with Windows NT, which had plenty
of "real OS" programmers on the team (including David Cutler, who had done
plenty of VMS development... and one might argue he learned from many of his
mistakes there? :-) ).

I wouldn't argue that Microsoft is particularly good at innovation... but they
are good at noticing what's becoming popular in the market and then copying
those features for their own OS.

---Joel



Re: Affordable PCB Layout Software ???
Quoted text here. Click to load it

There *are* standard tools for viewing and editing *nix configuration
files - any text editor will do the job.  And of course you can use any
other programs that work on text files - backups can be simple copies,
comparisons are done with "diff", version control can be done with
subversion or any other tool you like, etc.  Copying configuration
between two computers is just the same as copying any other two files.

Although there are no official standards for /etc configuration files
(or user configuration files in hidden directories or files in the home
directory), there are a number of conventions that are used regularly.
For example, lines starting with # are almost invariably comment lines.
  Programs with larger configurations have their own directory under
/etc, while smaller configurations have a simple /etc/prog.conf file.
Programs that need hierarchical settings typically use an apache-style
configuration format.

You are correct that there are no one-size-fits-all solutions.  That's
why on *nix, appropriate sizes are used as needed, unlike the windows
registry.

Oh, and one more thing - *nix configuration files are almost always well
documented.  How much windows software comes with documentation for the
registry settings?

There is certainly room for improvement in *nix configuration files - a
little more consistency would not do any harm.  And while some default
configuration files come with clear comments allowing you to make simple
changes without R'ing TFM, others are much less obvious.  But the *nix
system is still decades more advanced than the windows registry - the
move away from .ini files (which had a nice consistent syntax, but had
no good way of storing hierarchical data) was a big step backwards.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

"Some degree of robustness" - yes, the backups can help a bit, unless
things have gone badly wrong.  Then your windows installation is hosed.
  You can't keep backups externally - there is no way to restore the
registry using a live boot CD if it gets trashed.  I know that a *nix
system can be made unbootable if one of the critical /etc files gets
corrupted - but these critical files are much smaller, and much more
rarely modified than the windows registry.  Simple probability gives a
much greater chance of the immense registry files (it's all stored in
three files, IIRC) getting corrupted.  And if necessary, you can fix a
50-line text file by hand using a boot CD - with the binary format
registry file of tens of MB, you have no chance.


I have a W2K installation on a PC that got its registry corrupted - no
amount of "repair" from the installation CD helped.  The registry is so
fubar that the W2K installation disk refuses even to install a fresh
windows installation to the partition (same directory or another directory).


Quoted text here. Click to load it

No, one might not argue that.  One might argue that he tried to make NT
modular and layered, with proper separation of tasks (the gui, screen
drivers, and kernel were all isolated), with multi-platform support and
source code that was independent of details like bit-size and
endianness, and planned support for alternative APIs (Win32, OS/2, and
posix were all to be considered equals).  This was NT 3.51.  *All* these
solid design decisions were thrown out step by step through NT 4.0, W2K,
XP, and Vista (against Dave Cutler's recommendations, I believe).



Quoted text here. Click to load it

They are certainly good at making the appearance of their software nice.
  And they are good at making the easy stuff easy (for users).  But they
are *not* good at the engineering and plumbing that lies underneath.

Re: Affordable PCB Layout Software ???
On Aug 26, 5:49 pm, David Brown
[....]
Quoted text here. Click to load it

You missed an item here.

Most *nix applications are reasonably robust against errors in the
configuration.  They generally will give you a hint about where the
problem in the xxx.conf is.  This is because it is much easier and
natural to print something meaningful when the file being read is
plain ascii.


Quoted text here. Click to load it

Many years back I wrote a DOS application that needed to store a
fairly complex configuration into an INI.  My solution was, I though
at the time a good one:

The program was object oriented and the objects may point to each
other etc.  Each object needed to be stored and loaded and have the
pointers restored without forcing fixed addresses.

I turned the pointers into "name tags" for the objects as I stored
them.  Each object grew a "store()" method to do the write and a
"load()" method for the read.  The type of the each object was written
as a text string.  The result looked like this:

TheObjectType AB_CD_EF_GH (
  Item112%345
  Item2="this is some string"
  )
... etc ...

[....]
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Yes you can do that.  If you keep a Puppy Linux live CD on hand.
Puppy will back up a XP system and a good 50% of the time, you can put
back the damaged files. and get it working again.

It is fairly amazing that they were able to reverse engineer the NTFS
file system.  Microsoft hasn't published a standard for it.

You can even back up and restore a password protected file system.
You can take a snapshot of the whole system and put it back to that
point.

If some fool sets it up as a "domain log in" machine.  It is harder to
get it going again.  You have to put back the local disk and the
directory on the server at the same time.

[....]
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Make a backup of the disk.

Delete the *.reg and try it.

Put back *.reg and instead delete  /windows and try it.

By trying with random collections of the existing files I have managed
to get the Windows repair to put basically an whole new install in
place.

[.. Microsoft..]
Quoted text here. Click to load it

I have never found Windows easy to use.  For some reason I can almost
never double click.

Re: Affordable PCB Layout Software ???
Good post, David -- thanks.  I don't agree completely with everything, but I
think your points have plenty of merit.  I'd only add that I just haven't had
the amount of problems with registry corruption that it appears that you
have -- if I had, I could very easily find myself thinking much more poorly of
the registry.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Yes, my criticisms were that the format isn't standardized (as you point out),
often *isn't* hierarchical, and -- for the *average* user -- isn't always in
an "obvious" location (copying /etc is easy, but then you need, umm...
.mozilla?  .gnome-desktop?  etc.? --> the average user shouldn't have to dig
through their home directory figuring out which "dot" directories contain
configuration information).

Quoted text here. Click to load it

For publicly-developed programs, almost as many?  ...it's just that so many
more "typical" programs on a Windows PC are commercial, and these of course
often don't document their settings.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Yeah, I know -- ostensibly it was for performance, right?  That video back in
the NT 3.51 days going through the Kernel each time was never going to be fast
enough for games/multimedia applications?

---Joel



Re: Affordable PCB Layout Software ???
Quoted text here. Click to load it

I've only seen one windows installation with the registry as completely
trashed as the one I mentioned (as another poster said, there are a few
more recovery procedures I could have tried).  But partly corrupted
registries are not uncommon - I've had my user registry scrambled a
couple of times.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

The average user doesn't need to directly access configuration files (or
the windows registry) for common programs.  To most users, it does not
matter whether Firefox settings are in ~/.mozilla or ~/.firefox, as they
access them with "Tools | Options".

Having said that, the location for almost all configuration files *is*
obvious.  If it is a system level configuration file, it will be in
/etc.  If it is a user level configuration file, it will be in a hidden
file or directory in your home directory (it's hidden simply because you
are not normally interested in seeing these files when you are looking
for other files in your home directory).

Quoted text here. Click to load it

If by "publicly-developed" you mean "open source", then I think you are
probably wrong.  Windows registry settings are often considered
"developer information", not "user information".  So they are documented
in the same way as most programmers (open or closed source) document
most of their code - there are brief comments, but otherwise the
programmer assumes the information is obvious.

For windows "commercial" software (or more generally, closed source
software - including freeware), you are right that the registry settings
are seldom documented.  However, for commercial and/or closed source
software on *nix, configuration files *are* generally documented.


Quoted text here. Click to load it

Many of the changes were for performance reasons, others were for
backward compatibility, and others were for economic reasons - sales on
non-x86 platforms were too low for MS to spend the time and money on the
Alpha, MIPS and PPC ports of Windows.  Of course, if they'd just written
the system properly, the ports would have involved only a tiny
proportion of the source code at negligible cost.  The problem was that
in large sections of the windows code that could easily have been
cross-platform, programmers were assuming an x86 architecture.

Re: Affordable PCB Layout Software ???
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Same thing happens if your configuration files get corrupted on *NIX systems
and, as I mentioned, often far lesser corruption leads to far greater loss of
functionality (e.g., Xorg.conf being a little corrupted completely removes
your ability to get to a GUI desktop.)




Re: Affordable PCB Layout Software ???
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Thus increasing the user's productivity significantly!

http://www.simson.net/ref/ugh.pdf (chapter seven)

--
Grant Edwards                   grante             Yow! I'm a GENIUS!  I want
                                  at               to dispute sentence
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: Affordable PCB Layout Software ???
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Here's direct link to that chapter:

http://art.net/~hopkins/Don/unix-haters/x-windows/disaster.html

  [Somebody needs to run a spell-checker on that page -- I've
   never seen so many typos on a web page before.]

--
Grant Edwards                   grante             Yow! I brought my BOWLING
                                  at               BALL -- and some DRUGS!!
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: Affordable PCB Layout Software ???
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Nice.

I think it was the Qt documentation that, at one point while discussing fonts,
made a point of how easy it was with Qt compared to, "...the horror that is
X."



Re: Affordable PCB Layout Software ???
Quoted text here. Click to load it


Except that on a unix/linux system, the config file can be repaired.  On
windows, it'll be impossible to even run regedit or to even reinstall
the OS without blowing away the entire system.


Re: Affordable PCB Layout Software ???
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Easy to fix.  Boot with init 3 then cp your xorg.conf.orig to xorg.conf.
  Or you might not even have to reboot.  Just switch to a virtual
console via Ctrl-Alt-Fn.



--
Good day!

____________________________________
CRC
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: Affordable PCB Layout Software ???
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Every *NIX OS I've ever installed requires you to set up an administrative
account too, you know? :-)

That being said, it was of course poor that it wasn't until Windows XP that
the default install didn't make some effort to *not* have you "sign yourself
up" as an administrator, and that until Vista operating as a regular or
"power" user and then occassionally needing to perform administrative actions
was rather klunky; many *NIX distributions (including the Mac's OS X) were
well ahead of Microsoft in this area.

That being said, you have to keep in mind that the "computer model" for *NIX
was always that you'd have multiple users with various skill levels/needs and
therefore it was obvious that a system providing different capabilities to
different users was necessary.  With Windows, the model started with "there is
one person using this machine, and they're user, administer, everything" --  
and even today this is probably true for 75+% of PCs.  Hence, it took time to
get all those "single users" used to the idea of needing too different "access
levels" on their PC, educating them about how always running as an
administrator is a real risk they may very well not want to take.  I just
can't imagine that back in 1995 the whole, e.g., Vista user authentication
control (UAC) system would have been successful at all -- look how many people
still bitch about it today.  (Granted, Microsoft did go a little too far in
UAC, IMO -- I remember one of the Vista service pack 1 "improvements" was
something like, "only requires 1 UAC activation rather than 4 to rename a file
residing in a system directly."  Uggh!)

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Yes, although poor administrators can and do cause plenty of problems and lost
productivity for regular employees as well... and poor administrators seem a
lot more common in the Windows world than the *NIX world.

---Joel



Re: Affordable PCB Layout Software ???
On Tue, 26 Aug 2008 09:56:37 -0700, "Joel Koltner"

Quoted text here. Click to load it

<snip>

Quoted text here. Click to load it

What i am seeing recently is a bunch of MSOS users trying to turn into
Linux administrators and poaching the pooch.
  

Re: Affordable PCB Layout Software ???
Quoted text here. Click to load it

So re-install the software.  *NIX has the exact same problem -- if you restore
configuration files for a different version of some applicaiton, it's a toss
up as to whether or not the software will still work.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

One monolithic registry, one monolithic file system storing all your
configuration files -- it's really not much different.  The registry is just a
database optimized for storing program settings... heck, some *NIX programs
use, e.g., SQLLite these days for their configuration settings...



Re: Affordable PCB Layout Software ???

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Unfortunately, with proper user rights it can also be pretty hard to
_use_ a Windows isntallation - so many apps need to be installed by an
Administrator (not just a Power User), and some even need to be _run_
thus.  So [almost] everybody does.

Back to the Subject - has anybody here used BRL-CAD[0] in anger?
(It's "just" a CSG modelling tool with Tcl and a raytracing engine, so
its best application is in the physical-layout arena, but I can see
how it could be bent to PCB layout with some little effort.)

mlp
[0] it's free, and runs on multiple platforms

Re: Affordable PCB Layout Software ???

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Thanks. That made me laugh out loud. :)

--
Grant Edwards                   grante             Yow! An INK-LING?  Sure --
                                  at               TAKE one!!  Did you BUY any
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: Affordable PCB Layout Software ???
Quoted text here. Click to load it
   The *idea* of a registry seems to be OK, but in WinDoze, it is a
veritable garbage can.
   I think that each program should have its own *findable* (and
readable) registry in the same directory that the program is stored.
   That might make it easier to !totally! remove a program...

Site Timeline