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KiCad Open-Source PCB Design Software Keeps Working Towards Its Next Big Release

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  • #11
    Originally posted by LaeMing View Post

    Very much. While I don't teach, I do spec. some of the student computer labs where I work and keep OSS software available on the machines as an option for anyone who wishes to use them (which is potentially about as often as one of the licensing-servers for what the Academics prefer goes cloud-typical-behaviour, or because our IT department has the audacity to test patches before they deploy them, we don't get our updates on exactly the same day as the students' home systems, so what they save at home the previous night won't open in class because 'old version', or a commercial software supplier changes the licensing for a component to 'free-of-charge' with the odd run-on effect that it is now outside our paid license and we can't install it anymore, etc. etc.).*

    I call it a "learning experience". Someday people may actually learn!

    * If you get the impression I am citing actual things I have experienced recently, you are - sadly - quite correct. The saddest thing being that the vast majority people are conditioned to accept this as 'normal'!
    Now I wonder, was that with KiCAD? Don't they have a more-or-less stable file format?

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    • #12
      Originally posted by rubdos View Post

      Now I wonder, was that with KiCAD? Don't they have a more-or-less stable file format?
      No, I am describing three very popular commercial software suites in different fields that the Academics prefer to teach with for reasons I consider frankly dubious (ie, not related to actual features or functionality exclusive to them).

      Electronics CAD is one only I have use for in our section, not actual students in our courses, and the current UI of KiCAD is a usability problem for me, but from the roadmap linked from this article, it is looking like that is seen as an issue by the devs too, so improvements are highly likely in the shorter term (YAY!).
      Last edited by LaeMing; 08 February 2019, 07:23 AM.

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      • #13
        Originally posted by DanL View Post
        wxWidgets is an abstraction layer; not an emulator. Why is it so important to you to try and make a distinction between an app that uses wxGTK and one that doesn't?
        I perfectly know what wxWidgets is. I am not blaming the developers design choice. I was only irritated by the initial comment, that describes, that this tool will be getting a GTK3 user interface haul. Even using this abstraction layer makes the entire thing somehow alien to the native GTK3 widget set. Because it is - as you say - an abstraction layer. Not the native thing. A middle ware that a) needs the requirements of this middle ware, b) adds another dependency - the middle ware, c) I am quite sure that you can't use the full bandwidth of the GTK3 toolkit through an abstraction layer that needs to ensure that all supported widget sets have a unique interface. So things that you might be able to set within GTK3 directly, might not be possible through wxWidgets due to possible limitations.

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        • #14
          Originally posted by Candy View Post

          I perfectly know what wxWidgets is. I am not blaming the developers design choice. I was only irritated by the initial comment, that describes, that this tool will be getting a GTK3 user interface haul. Even using this abstraction layer makes the entire thing somehow alien to the native GTK3 widget set. Because it is - as you say - an abstraction layer. Not the native thing. A middle ware that a) needs the requirements of this middle ware, b) adds another dependency - the middle ware, c) I am quite sure that you can't use the full bandwidth of the GTK3 toolkit through an abstraction layer that needs to ensure that all supported widget sets have a unique interface. So things that you might be able to set within GTK3 directly, might not be possible through wxWidgets due to possible limitations.
          That's irrelevant, the boards are rendered in OpenGL now not GTK... who cares what the buttons and knobs are rendered with as they aren't performance critical.... if you have performance issues drawing some buttons and fields well, there are larger issues than which toolkit you are using.

          It isn't a tookit change anyway... its a update to how the UI works. AFAIK KiCad already runs on GTK3 via wxWidgets. I wish it worked 100% on QT also... then I could use it on Haiku.

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          • #15
            Originally posted by Candy View Post

            I perfectly know what wxWidgets is. I am not blaming the developers design choice. I was only irritated by the initial comment, that describes, that this tool will be getting a GTK3 user interface haul. Even using this abstraction layer makes the entire thing somehow alien to the native GTK3 widget set. Because it is - as you say - an abstraction layer. Not the native thing. A middle ware that a) needs the requirements of this middle ware, b) adds another dependency - the middle ware, c) I am quite sure that you can't use the full bandwidth of the GTK3 toolkit through an abstraction layer that needs to ensure that all supported widget sets have a unique interface. So things that you might be able to set within GTK3 directly, might not be possible through wxWidgets due to possible limitations.
            This is not a native linux application. It needs to run on Windows and macos also so using GTK is probably never going to happen. If they do change the toolkit I do not see any alternative than to go to QT.

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            • #16
              Originally posted by Candy View Post
              I am not blaming the developers design choice... (goes on to point out perceived drawbacks of the developers' design choice)
              You should be a politician.

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              • #17
                Originally posted by kenjo View Post

                This is not a native linux application. It needs to run on Windows and macos also so using GTK is probably never going to happen. If they do change the toolkit I do not see any alternative than to go to QT.
                There are plenty of cross-platform toolkits other than Qt, like FOX for example (although FOX apps do look very Win 95-ish by default, but that's easily fixable using FOX Control Center or by the dev using custom color scheme).

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                • #18
                  Originally posted by Vistaus View Post

                  There are plenty of cross-platform toolkits other than Qt, like FOX for example (although FOX apps do look very Win 95-ish by default, but that's easily fixable using FOX Control Center or by the dev using custom color scheme).
                  Yes there are, others..
                  Lua for example has its oficial version the tekUI, but there are also others lua Based toolkits out there, and they run virtually anywhere.
                  http://tekui.neoscientists.org/screenshots.html

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                  • #19
                    Originally posted by Vistaus View Post

                    There are plenty of cross-platform toolkits other than Qt, like FOX for example (although FOX apps do look very Win 95-ish by default, but that's easily fixable using FOX Control Center or by the dev using custom color scheme).
                    I wrote "I do not see any alternative than QT" means that its the best option by far. not that it's the only option. FOX is not even close it does not run on macos for example.

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                    • #20
                      If there's one thing I don't particularly care about in a professional tool like KiCAD, it's probably the GUI toolkit (as long as it works).

                      Most cross-platform and/or alternative UI toolkits suck, though. Toolkit like FOX or FLTK are missing a lot of functionality you'd typically expect from a UI toolkit these days. For instance robust complex text layout support or accessibility support for screen readers and the like.
                      Last edited by brent; 08 February 2019, 04:12 PM.

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