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Feedback on 5.1



I've been using 5.1-pre for a couple of weeks on a side project, and thought you might like feedback on it.


1. Common: The general quality (appearance, stability, speed) of the
   apps is much improved. Thank you.
2. Common: I have seen a couple of crashes, mostly when doing something
   a little stupid, but nothing in the latest version I'm using (a week
   old). It would be good to put some energy into a crash-catcher, so
   users can be more specific / informed as to what happened, and
   report such issues more usefully. Perhaps a crash log could include
   a dump of the command history buffer (which would obviously have to
   be easily locatable)?
3. Common: I am still frustrated that the key combinations for similar
   tasks are not the same. For example, to place a wire in schema, it's
   shift-W while in pcb it's shift-X.
4. Common: I am still frustrated that some task combinations aren't
   possible: duplicate doesn't work on wires or connectors, drag
   doesn't work on graphic lines or components, etc.
5. Common: If worried about "muscle memory" perhaps named shortcut
   keymaps can be set up - classic / combined / ...?


1. Kicad: I would love to see a setup kicad libraries action (probably
   not limited to an installer) which configures the library settings
   and installs libraries to match. The reason is that my understanding
   is that because the library files are being updated (great) that can
   make a given project dependent on a given issue of library (witness
   recent change of location of pin headers). I think it would be best
   therefore to not assume a user will have just one copy of the kicad
   library, but potentially several, maybe even one per major project.
   In this case, relying on a "system" library (as is true for
   /Libraries/Application Support/kicad on mac) makes no sense.
2. Kicad: A subsidiary to the above would be to have an action that
   prunes a given library install to those files required by the
   current project, rather than all files. Given we're using Git, the
   pruned files could be replaced with a suitable "git reset" command.


1. Libraries: They are improving immeasurably. Thank you to all
   involved in that aspect. Please keep up the good work :-)


1. Schema: taking part of a diagram and making that into a subsheet
   seems to involve setting up the new sheet, Cutting components,
   entering the sheet, then pasting. Could that be one action: Make new
   sheet with selection?
2. Schema: Could we also have an unmake sheet action, which deletes the
   sheet after placing the content of the selected sheet into the
   current one as if "move" was selected, so the next thing is to click
   to place?
3. Schema: is there an official way to create a subsheet which is used
   multiple times by a parent for the purposes of duplicating component
   I tried setting up a sheet with such a group (by editing the .sch
   file), setting a global connector on it and using that connector to
   link to the parent sheet and it works, sort of; when syncing the
   shema to pcb I got complaints that I had multiple references to one
   sheet, but ignoring that did not seem to have negative consequences.
   What didn't work was that any local label in the subsheet was not
   local to that sheet instance but considered shared with its sibling
   instances, which then messed up pcbnew's ratsnest calculations.
   I don't report this as a bug because to get to this state I had to
   manually edit the schema file... but it would be nice to be
   supported properly.


1. Pcb: Is there a concept of an "air wire" - a link to let the
   connected-ness calculations know a wire exists off-board (on another
   board, as an actual cable, or something else)? If not could we have one?
2. Pcb: I love that we have align and distribute centre/top/left etc.
   However I would like that to be possible for pcb tasks as well (e.g.
   align centre all selected ICs, optionally dragging connections).
3. Pcb: I would love to be able to switch on/off snap-to-pad or
   snap-to-wire, as sometimes I want to make small adjustments to a
   track and to do that I first have to move it a lot and then back
   again. Having snap to grid / snap-to-pad / snap-to-wire as separate
   option buttons would be great.
4. Pcb: is there a chance of a smart snap - where the editor looks for
   things to line up the cursor with (e.g. while moving 1 wire it looks
   to see if there is another wire nearly in line with it, or while
   moving a component it checks to see when this component is 1/2 way
   between two other components?)
5. Pcb: I am still unsure that the windowing model Kicad uses is the
   right one. The app doesn't behave as separate apps, one for schema,
   one for pcb etc, but neither is it really behaving seamlessly. I
   think the best would be that each of the current "apps" - schema,
   etc - becomes a "task window" within the overall kicad app to a
   greater degree than is the case now.

Thank you again for all your efforts,


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