kicad-developers team mailing list archive
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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
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
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,