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Re: Gerbview wishlist and development


Le 11/03/2012 18:37, Element Green a écrit :
On Sat, Mar 10, 2012 at 10:00 PM, Dick Hollenbeck <dick@xxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:dick@xxxxxxxxxxx>> wrote:

    On 03/10/2012 12:29 PM, Element Green wrote:
     > It seems like the current state of gerbview leaves a lot to be desired.  From what I can
     > see though, its pretty close.  Here are some of the lacking features which cause me to
     > resort to using gerbv (which also has its own set of limitations and issues).
     > I've added these to the Wiki here:
     > http://wiki.xtronics.com/index.php/Kicad#Gerb_View
     > Wishlist:
     > 1. Location and size information for selected geometry.
     > 2. Layer names (based on file name by default).
     > 3. Re-ordering of layers.
     > 4. Easy toggling of layer visibility (select ranges of layers to toggle, etc).
     > 5. Interactive layer offset, rotation and flip.
     > 6. Show drill holes as geometry (circles at the drill hole sizes).
     > I've started adding code for #1.  So far it shows basic location and size information
     > for circles, rectangles and ovals in the status bar when an item is clicked on.
     > For items 2-4, it seems like the layer selection panel needs to be changed to a list
     > control of some sort, which allows for re-ordering, SHIFT/CTRL multi selection, right
     > click menu, etc.
     > Before I delve into it too much, I'd like to know if anyone else has been
     > planning/currently working on gerbview or if there is some sort of vision for it.
     > I've been using Kicad for a few months now to make schematics and PCB layouts.  Its
     > great software and its nice to see how active the development is.
     > Best regards,
     > Element Green

    Do you go by Element or Mr. Green?

Thanks for your interest about Gerbview.
Guys who want to work on Gerbview are very rare.
(In fact, only Dick and me worked on Gerbview)

First of all, you *should* take in account the complexity of Gerber files.

So please, read and reread the Gerber RS-274X Format Specification.
Take a particular care to some exotic features like
- negative objects (not very exotic, and frequently found)
- complex aperture macros (having many positive and negative basic shapes)
- Gerber layers inside the Gerber image.
- The best: knockout areas (not supported by Gerbview), just for the fun.

the item 1 is certainly not trivial, and perhaps the most complicated feature to code.
For basic shapes, this is easy, at least when they are visible...
For complex aperture macros and polygons, location and size information could be meaningless.
And Gerber items can be negative (i.e. not visible)
This mean you should be able to show these negative items to select them.
Please also consider the fact negative objects are often at the same location as negative objects (or very near)

Item 2 : what do you mean by layer ? In Gerber format layers exist and have nothing to do with filenames.
I guess you are talking about Gerber images (or Gerber files)

Item 5: is by far the most easy to code and very useful.
These options are found inside the Gerber files, so the code exists inside Gerbview to do that.

Item 6: What do you mean by Show drill holes as geometry?
Gerbview already is able to read and display Excellon files (in fact a subset of Excellon format)
By the way holes are no always circles.

	"For items 2-4, it seems like the layer selection panel needs to be changed to a list
	control of some sort, which allows for re-ordering..."
Previous versions of Gerbview were using only a list control.
The current layer manager (also used in Pcbnew) is *by far* better.
It can be enhanced (Some enhancements will be also useful in Pcbnew) but certainly not replaced by the "old" layer control.
Note, like in Pcbnew, we still have this list control in the main toolbar for this kind of enhancements.

Jean-Pierre CHARRAS

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