Contributing new symbols to official gitlab libraries while still using version 5.X

I’d like to contribute new symbols, footprints, and 3D models as I work on my projects.
I’m following the contributing directions laid out here: https://kicad.org/libraries/contribute/

Alas, I’ve run into a problem: I’m using KiCad 5.1.8, but all the symbols in the master branch of the gitlab repository have been converted to version 6.

According to this post, file formats have changed in version 6. So, it seems like I can’t follow the contributing directions while using version 5.1.8.

What’s the best way to proceed in contributing new library files while still using the stable 5.1.8 version?

Should I make my libraries while in version 5.X, and when version 6 gets into my distro’s repos, put in a merge request to the official gitlab repos?

Disclaimer: I am no longer the head of the library team but i have been for quite some time so i think i am still qualified to answer this.


The library team is not lacking in contributors. It is lacking in maintianers. This means rules are written to make the most of the limited resources available. Right now the goal is to have the library ready for the version 6 release. To achieve this goal a decision was made to move the library to the new file format (not just for symbols but also footprints). This allows the team time to implement symbols with the new feature set.

The limited resources of course mean you can not contribute in version 5. Why should the team use precious resources to convert single contributions over to version 6 instead of dealing with the vast amount of open work that is done already in preparation for version 6?
Remember we never lacked contributions of new assets. The main thing lacking has always been finding people who improve on already existing work (this is mostly left to the library team).

So if you truly want to contribute (in the sense of your goal aligning with the project goal of reaching v6) then you will simply install a current nightly in parallel and do your work on the official lib in that version. If not then accept that the library team simply does not have the resources to do this work for you.

1 Like

There is nothing stopping you publishing 5.1.x libraries to your own account on GitHub or GitLab

Plenty of others have done this before.

I think there has been a misunderstanding; I’m not interested in being a maintainer at the moment. I’m interested in adding the symbols, footprints, and 3d models that I create to the official libraries so that other people don’t have to make them if I’m already making them.

Parsing your post, it seems the best way for me to proceed is to continue to work on my own libraries in version 5.1.X and wait until version 6 comes out. After version 6 is released, I will convert my symbols, footprints, 3D models, etc to version 6 and put in a merge request.

If this is not the correct way to contribute symbols, footprints, etc to the official libraries and adhere to KLC, please let me know.

I do hope, robut, that you will share your footprints, symbols, and 3d models with us as they now are.

There wasn’t any misunderstanding.

The library team lacks manpower. Therefore new contributors can’t just add a merge request and think that their contribution will be accepted soon. The library team has a queue of works and they already have too many contributions waiting in line. The minimum you should do is to make faultless merge requests. Bad symbols and footprints are useless, they just add work for the maintainers who are already overburdened.

I think it is correct as long as you make sure beforehand that your contributions are in a shape where they don’t need any fixing. Being a library contributor isn’t easy. I believe many people have noticed that it’s more reasonable to not try to contribute. The situation would be different if there were more maintainers who would continually check new contribution merge requests and communicate with the contributors so that the contributions would be in a good shape and could be merged.