Components, Schematic Symbols and PCB footprints

I am new to KiCAD, because I like to have a Linux open-source design environment. My current tool is Pulsonix and it only works under MSWindows.
KiCAD is great, but as far as I can see now there is an issue with the hierarchical structure of components, There is no distinction between a schematic symbol and a component (like in Pulsonix). This has lots of disadvantages. Important consequences are:

  1. Pin numbers of schematic symbols are identical to those of the PCB footprint
  2. You need another schematic symbol if the pin layout of the PCB footprint is different
  3. Pin swapping and gate swapping becomes more complicated.
    I think it would be better to create a component by assigning schematic symbols (similar or different gates) to a PCB footprint and mapping schematic symbol pins onto the pins of the PCB footprint.
    Is the KiCAD team open to a discussion about this?

Hello and welcome @Anton_Montagne

I had difficulty understanding your post until I watched a couple of Pulsonix “how to” videos.

Pulsonix selection starts with the component (data sheet) followed by the footprint and lastly the symbol.
Kicad selection starts with the symbol and is followed by the footprint and data sheet.

The end result seems to be the same for both products: you have a component with a matching symbol and footprint.

This has been discussed before and I think they’re open to this idea, but it would probably require huge changes both in the code and also in the default KiCad library, so I don’t see this change soon.

So essentially, just saying “I wish KiCad was more like …” won’t really be helpful. Ideally you create a proposal how exactly KiCad would be changed and how compatibility would be handled and how the user interface would look and so on, and then discuss that with the lead developers and then ideally you’d help with the implementation.

Or you could switch to how KiCad currently does it, which is probably more sensible for now. Essentially a symbol is already a component and defines the pin assignment and so on. So you don’t need things as pin/gate swapping, you simply replace the symbol.

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Dear JMK,

Thank you for your answer. I will rephrase this in a better way, considering the remark from Jonathan below.

Dear Jonathan,
Thank you for your answer, I will try to rephrase and present a solution at a later stage. For now, I will of course accept the way things work in KiCAD.