← Back to team overview

kicad-developers team mailing list archive

Re: specctra_export of vias


--- In kicad-devel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, Dick Hollenbeck wrote:
> <snip>
> I would say PCAD vendors and the like might actually be impacted
> financially by Kicad & Freerouter in the near future, because this
> combo of Kicad & Freerouter is no longer serving just the needs of
> the hobbyist world.
> This is my limited opinion of an industry that I do not know
> intimately...
> And I am being very careful to include Freerouter in my
> guestimations, because its routing capability drastically exceeds
> that in Kicad. It is the combo that is becoming a powerhouse.
> Dick


For your information (and anyone else who is interested), P-CAD is no longer under development; the last major version of it that was ever released was the 2006 version, and it has been well over a year since the very last service pack was provided for that version.

The P-CAD application was acquired by Altium a few years back (though I am reasonably sure that that happened during an era when they were then known as Protel), but they eventually discontinued it in favour of ongoing development of (just) their Altium Designer application.

Having said that, I still wouldn't discount the possibility that the combination of KiCad and Freerouter could still have a significant impact upon Altium. In past versions of AD (Altium Designer), a lot of development effortwas devoted to implementing the ability to specify logic within assorted types of FPGA devices, and to permit users to test that logic within a development environment of a "Live Design" nature, with a consequence that correspondingly less effort went into enhancing and debugging their Schematic and PCB servers -- and I have no reason for believing that that situation hassince changed.

And the quality of the software within at least some versions of AD left *alot* to be desired. As (just) one example, while details of each instance of a new type of object (for use within PCB files, and first provided within AD 2004) were saved within files saved in (the "native") binary format, that was *not* *also* the case for any files which were saved in an alternative ASCII format instead.

Altium has been struggling to make a decent amount of profit for some time now (and given the quality of their AD S/W, who would have thought that such a thing could possibly happen? :-^) ), and the current price of their shares is *much* less than at the time of their IPO (and has been so for a number of years now).

So as I see it, it is not totally implausible that ongoing development of KiCad (and Freerouter) could put Altium under yet more pressure, and perhapseven result in its demise (or otherwise in a takeover by some other party,and hopefully one with a far greater commitment to software quality). And I certainly don't think that that would be a bad outcome, as their customers and shareholders (and employees) have suffered on an ongoing basis for many years now...

I have thanked you before for all of the work which you have put into KiCad, and I am thanking you yet again for the same reason now. (And while I have had some PC-related issues to deal with in recent times, and have yet to fully get on top of them, I am still hoping to be able to make more contributions to KiCad yet again, and hopefully not too long from now.)