← Back to team overview

kicad-developers team mailing list archive

Experiences/feedback with 'nightly'


I've been using the nightly build for the last couple of weeks on a hobby project, with generally good results. I thought it might be helpful for you some feedback on it. My comparisons are against 5.1.14:

I love the new cut/paste, click to move etc. Very much easier. I love too the Schematic's 'edit endpoint' on a wire to extend it, but couldn't it support general movement too, as is true for 'd' on the PCB?

I like the new part Group and part Lock options, and the dialog for lock override. Have I missed finding a general Unlock All, though?

The router tool to drag whole parts with their tracks (opt 'd') gets very easily confused with conflicts on tracks that shouldn't be there and for any many-pin part it's almost unusable. I didn't notice the same problems in v5.1. By 'shouldn't be there' I think there is a conflict is with THT pads where the hole itself becomes something to avoid. You can also conflict with existing track segments which should and can move and are at least 1 segment distant from the part being moved (e.g. part has pad A, which has a track segment on it B, which then bends at 45deg to a segment C. Moving the part moves A and B, but not C, which could move but is instead counted as a conflict. Where the part movement is in line with tracks, things are generally ok; problems arise when part movement is at an angle to track connections.

A nice enhancement would be for PCB drag to support dragging of contiguous groups of parts (e.g. when you use an area selection).

The 3D viewer is great as always. I'm not sure if this is a regression, but when the solder resist layer (green etc) is not clipped at pcb holes, e.g. mounting holes, and should be, so currently you can't see all the way through holes. Switch off display of solder resist and you can. You also can't see through THT part holes when components are not shown.

The new library format was obviously needed and makes more sense (internals-wise). However, integration with older libraries needs improvement, specifically there needs to be a way to auto import specific symbols to an existing new-format library (e.g. project-specific) from an old-format library (or if present this option is not obvious), and ideally a way to export an new format symbol to an old format (even if that is then marked as potentially broken and needs checking). At present it is not practical for everyone to be on the new format all the time. Migration old->new was good when that was appropriate.

The new project viewer tool layout is improved, but could the clickable area for each tool encompass the text as well as the image? Perhaps also the icons could be somewhat larger.

I was slightly confused, when setting up my board, that I wasn't allowed to specify a single sided board... there is no option for just one layer of copper. It so happens that my project grew and I do need 2 layers, but still.

My project has so far had a major revision, as I reimplemented the core of the circuit, and in the process reset the part numbering. Of course there was a fair bit of movement and redoing of pcb placement but some non-core parts stayed put. I was hoping/expecting the areas that hadn't been changed would either show up with lots of broken connections or be retained as-is, but no. For parts that were renumbered  but not moved on the pcb, the track was left with its original net, while the part's connections were those of the new one. (e.g. old part R1 pad1 = 3V3 and has track 3V3, following change now R1 pad1 is GND. After change, R1 still refers to the same footprint so pad1 is now GND but track is still 3V3, and yet the ratsnest showed nothing wrong). NB Rule checker dialog not invoked, just the ratsnest.

Hope this helps,


Tel: 01223 414180
Blog: http://www.ivimey.org/blog
LinkedIn: http://uk.linkedin.com/in/ruthivimeycook/

Follow ups