Almost rage uninstalled KiCAD


#1

I give up on Kicad. I almost rage-uninstalled it for the third time (last time was v4 and I heard a lot was improved in v5). So much basic features are still missing and program components are so inconsistent with each other. Even the way scrolling works and the mouse is re-positioned is right out of an 80s DOS program. But I need it because I’m collaborating now.


Filled rectangle?
#2

Which ones?

You’re aware that this is a volunteer open source not-for-profit project?
And you’re also aware that the layout editor underwent big changes in the last 3 years that finally are settling down, while the schematic editor has this still ahead of it, yes?

Life sucks, huh? :wink:

Smile, it could be worse.

PS: there is donations available (if you want to chip in) via CERN or if you’re a programmer with a lot of free time you could get your hands dirty.

PPS: this is a support forum from users for users, so not a lot of devs will see you here.


#3

I would ask for the money you paid for this dreadful software back too …


#4

I think this has happened to most of us at some point. At least for a split second. So don’t worry, you can live with it.


#5

That is called mouse warping and can be disabled under settings


#7

I never noticed this feature in all the time i used kicad. So either my workflow is such that i never triggered it (Zooming without an active tool does not trigger warp) or it feels natural while working.


#8

@Zom-B:
To me, among the “free” CAD tool, event compare to commercial one. I still love KiCad, and see it can offer me a lot of flexibility, light way and still effective create “pro” PCB in the result. So I would not give it up that easy. Instead, I still keep dreaming one day I can contribute some code into this tools.


#9

Kicad has been pretty stable for me. I have more crashes and hours of lost work in solidworks than in kicad. It gets so bad I usually end up saving after every change, like I had to do with Autocad back in the 90s. That specific combo of Autocad and windows was super flakey, memory leaks galore.

I can’t imagine going back to 4 after the added features of 5.


#10

Hi,

Dev here (working on KiCad since 2012). Maybe you’ll find this surprising but mouse warping drives me mad too (EDIT: even though you can disable it in the preferences) and personally I would erase all traces of its existence from Kicad’s code :wink: . IIRC, early versions of modern canvases didn’t warp mouse at all (and scrolling worked exactly as in most other apps - i.e. Wheel = up/down, Shift+wheel = left/right, Ctrl+wheel = zoom). Sadly, some long-time users complained about this (people can be very vocal about their issues) and we had to port it to the modern canvases.

Why? Some people figured out that holding F4 (center cursor on screen) while moving the mouse pans the view. It was just a side effect of how KiCad handles keyboard/mouse events, but folks who didn’t have a mouse with 3 buttons (middle/wheel being the usual ‘pan’ button) started using it to quickly pan the view. A quirk most users and even developers didn’t know about became a useful feature for others (just like here: https://xkcd.com/1172/).

We need to somehow keep balance between adding new features, fixing bugs and working on the UX and we are a rather small team. The UX part is often the hardest because many people coming from other EDA programs often want exactly the same UX as in their previous tool - ‘Why doesn’t Kicad work like Eagle/AD/PADS/DS/whatever’ is a very frequent question. I agree the schematic and PCB editors UIs are quite inconsistent at this point (PCB = new canvas, SCH = still old canvas), but we want to fix this before Version 6 comes out.

Regards,
Tom

PS. Your rectangle/circle drawing feature request will be taken into the V6 development cycle.


#11

Some nightly V4.07+ were more stable then the official V4.07; and had many more features.

I’m not certain why this one individual keeps recommending to go backwards.


#12

Ok we need a definition here. Stable means free of major changes. A single version can by definition not be stable. Only when you compare it to the previous ones can you make this observation!

Nighlies are never stable. (Unless we are in feature freeze. Which we kind of where since the v5 feature freeze was announced. But only for the backend. The user interface is only stable after string freeze. Which will come shortly for version 5.1)


What you guys mean under stable is “i did not trigger a critical bug” (Which could mean that there are fewer critical bugs in that version, or that the critical bugs in that version simply did not effect you personally.)


#13

Major Problems.

Crashes, Glitches, and Quirks were all in the “Stable Versions” Win 7 64 bit KiCad installed onto my machine.

Anyways, just my experience that “Major Changes” does not really equate to “Un_stable”.


#14

When the devs talk about stable they really only mean free of change. The kicad 5 release series is stable in this regard. v4 nightly never was stable in this regard until the feature freeze. (This is why i wanted a clear definition. If we use the same word for different things then there will only be chaos)

If we go with your definition of stable then well there is a correlation. If major changes happen then there is simply much more chance of introducing bugs.

There is however another thing at play. Are the changes to the backend or only to the graphical interface. The former has much more impact and therefore much more chance of introducing critical bugs


#15

“Center and warp cursor on zoom” is just half the story. There are a dozen other actions where the mouse gets warped, like closing almost any modal opened from a component, and drag-panning.

“The UX part is often the hardest because many people coming from other EDA programs often want exactly the same UX as in their previous tool” — I hesitated if I would day this because it feels so obvious to me. It sounds like you assume those people only ever do EDA when they’re on a computer. They don’t. Those users are also familiar with Windows-style and Office-style UX flows (and recently also with touch-style interfaces) and won’t be surprised if EDA tools had a similar flow. (For example incremental selection with Ctrl pressed)


#16

These are however kind of necessary. Otherwise you would make changes to the board just by opening the right click context menu. (In most tools the tool itself is attached to the mouse. so if you suddenly teleport the mouse by simply opening the context menu then you will not be happy with the result.)

Notice that there is a second cursor in such cases (marked with the cross). All that happens is that kicad puts your mouse back on top of the cross instead of teleporting the cross on exit of the context menu.


Just because something is different than other tools does not always mean it is bad. Be open to learn new workflows when coming to a new tool. And don’t be surprised if it takes you the same amount of time to get used to it that it took to learn the tool you previously used.

One example is the use of the context menu. I personally do not really use it. Nearly all of its functions are reachable with shortcuts. Meaning i have my left hand on the keyboard and simply use it to control the things you do via the context menu right now.


#17

Use [Shift] instead of [Ctrl].

In the paint prog I’m using (Paint Shop Pro from Corel) the selection tool with [Shift] adds areas while [Ctrl] removes them.
So also different to what is ‘normal’ on Windows.


#18

Why is the response to every thread pointing out issues in kicad populated by folks being extremely defensive and even offensive to those bringing things up? If the philosophy is “don’t like it? Piss off!” Then kicad is going to stay niche software while everyone goes to Autodesk.

KiCad is great software, and it’s not entirely volunteers as we have a paid programmer at CERN do we not? But it is not without it’s flaws and bizarre UI decisions. This is hardly the first time I’ve heard criticism for KiCad’s predeliction for moving the mouse cursor without the user’s consent. Turning off Mousewarp only affects one of these cases.

I’m very excited about 5.1 and it has some huge improvements. I hope a checkbox can be added to prevent the mouse hijinks especially when modal dialog boxes close. This is not normal behavior at least on Windows.

My pet peeve, by the way, is being able to select hidden objects in pcbnew. This literally makes no sense. Every time I’m in tight quarters, I have to either go into the objects tab and uncheck 15 checkboxes, or sometimes I use “high contrast mode”. I’ve designed 3 PCBs with KiCad so far and my biggest pain point is turning objects off and on to prevent erroneous selections from layers I’ve ostensibly hidden.

KiCad benefits from outsider viewpoints and the experiences of users of other PCB design software. If we can make a few changes or add a few checkboxes and greatly reduce the learning curve or increase creature comforts and pickup hundreds of altium, eagle, etc users, why wouldn’t we do that?

I’m a fan of KiCad and I recommend it to people (and yes I donated thank you) but I’m not a blind fanatic.


#19

There is a huge difference between pointing out problems in a constructive way and simply ranting your ass out. OP made a one paragraph rant post without giving any details about what their problems are. After being bugged about it they could only bring forward one small detail where they could have simply fixed it with a simple setting. (When this was pointed out they doubled down on the same minor problem instead of admitting that they might have judged too early.)

We see this a lot. People come from other tools and simply want kicad to have the exact same behavior as their previous tool. Problem is if two people come from different tools then you will find that they do not want the same behavior.


Now to your problem. Things being selected even if they are invisible would be a bug. Did you report it? Did you check if it is already reported? Did you check current nightlies still have the same behavior?


#20

It was definitely ranty, and I’m glad he was asked to give specific examples, but the replies were mostly “Don’t like it? Leave!” Or “You didn’t pay so you have no right to complain.”

And turning off mouse warp doesn’t fix most of the “KiCad moves your mouse cursor” cases.


#21

Elaborate please. Especially on the offensive posts.

I agree on that one. Real PITA. Not even locking a FP does help there and keep it from interacting. :angry: