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Re: Kicad Tool Framework


----- Original Message -----

> From: Dick Hollenbeck <dick@xxxxxxxxxxx>
> To: kicad-developers@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Cc: 
> Sent: Monday, August 12, 2013 2:26 AM
> Subject: Re: [Kicad-developers] Kicad Tool Framework
> On 08/11/2013 01:44 AM, Lorenzo Marcantonio wrote:
>>  On Sat, Aug 10, 2013 at 04:34:03PM -0500, Dick Hollenbeck wrote:
>>>  The push and shove router is something I could have used today.  
> Whatever confidence I
>>>  used to have in freerouter is gone.  It is not working for me very well 
> on this current
>>>  board, and I am frustrated to no end with it and the lack of support 
> now.
>>  Strange... what has freerouter of bad other than is java-slowness and
>>  foggy display?
> Under freerouter, I saved to a dsn file after 5 hours of push and shove routing, 
> a
> partially complete design, and went to lunch figuratively, shutdown freerouter, 
> when I
> came back to load back in the dsn file, it could not load its own file.  This is 
> the file
> that *it* wrote to disk, presumably with the commitment that it could reload it 
> later.  My
> mistake was in believing that.  I could have concurrently saved to *.ses file 
> also, at
> least that way my intermediate work progress could have come back through 
> pcbnew, then
> back to freerouter. *.ses -> pcbnew -> *.dsn -> freerouter.
> For years I have had numerous conversations with Alfons, mostly always the same 
> two questions:
> a) why he does not go open source?
> b) why do you not report line numbers when you puke loading a file?  The 
> procedure has
> been "send him the file in personal email, and he walks through the code 
> under a debugger
> to find the problem".  This is now rubbish since he has retired.  So you 
> are stuck
> guessing.  This is guessing:  load the *.dsn file into a text editor, cut huge 
> portions
> out, try reloading again, when it finally loads, add back in the content in 
> smaller
> increments until you find the problem.  Then doctor it, load it and proceed.
> So when I wrote my posting about freerouter, I was at that point of losing 5 
> hours of work.
> Fortunately in this case just this morning before church, I ran the freerouter 
> written dsn
> file through my s-expression beautifier, which you build under our 
> <kicad_src>/tools dir by
> $ make property_tree
> Then tried beautifying Alfons' file:
> $ tools/property_tree a.dsn > /tmp/pray_hard.dsn
> I got lucky.  /tmp/pray_hard.dsn loaded.  (Remember, I was on my way to church.)
> In my tech support thread on his forum, I finally asked what I hope is a 
> profoundly
> important question to his many man years of excellent work.  The question is: 
> "now that
> you are retired, is it your intention to let freerouter simply fade into 
> retirement also?
> Why not take pride in your retirement and let freerouter live on so you can at 
> least take
> a sense of pride in this extraordinary work?"

Wow ... I always considered freerouter a serious liability since it was not open, but I was hoping it wouldn't become a problem so soon.  It really would be a shame if Alfons simply lets it die; it's not only KiCAD people using it.  As for push/shove - I see that as a basic and essential tool and the biggest bit missing from KiCAD - I can't wait for the work being done by the folks at CERN.

- Cirilo