Free software is too dear (importing from cadence allegro)


[quote=“skuep, post:20, topic:7092”]
4. We are not afraid of programming and plan on giving back to the community
[/quote]Pretty much all someone can ask for. I do my part by NOT coding. Believe me, this is a GoodThing™. :wink:


Coding is not the only way to give back.
Helping out with the documentation effort, the library or even here on this forum are ways to give back.


I didn’t know KiCAD had a marketing team. And since I picked it up over two years ago I have used it to produce products for a (very!) small manufacturer serving a niche industry.



So much this. Hard to overstate how helpful it is to just have people who know how to use it around to help out people who don’t.


For me the 3D scripts and library maintaining started out at my work, where I was doing more and more work with the mechanical guys. The step export was a really awesome for this, but the libraries didn’t have any support for the step export. Some cookies for Oliver and 1500 models later and here we are :slight_smile: step export is so much easier and I really think the community got together for this!


Love that part. :thumbsup:

I was just exasperating for effect and to stay within the OPs tongue in check :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


After all, it is just drawing lines and shapes like when first learning to draw?

For me, depending upon my schedule, I don’t like to see newcomers not get a reply within a day. I may not even understand their question without at least trying to help; even if it ends up failing.

Most of the time it ends up sideways after that; but I’m okay with it.


Sure, importing is a minefield. As programming in general. Yet most of packages do import projects created in either other POPULAR packages or in some kind of standard exchange formats. As KiCAD offers exclusively import in DFX and Allegro, and neither of two work properly, as it appeared with a simplest board - to protect lack of accuracy in programming and testing with words “nobody do it” is pointless. Yes, they do. Yes, there are standards to interchange data. Yes, it MUST be with any serious, not toy-like looking products. Yes, it’s not a “1% of demand” when people are switching from one tool to another or trying to use multiple ones to get best of each of them.
Addressing briefly others points: nobody says that “commercial means bugs free”. But “commercial” usually means that people are responsible for what they sold. And quite often legally responsible, their responsibility is enforced by law. With free product – yes, you exactly get what you paid. Plus a lot of fun, of course.
The attitude to use exclusively free stuff for “startup” (just because it is a “startup”) – I think it’s funny. And when it won’t be a startup anymore, what’s then? Switching from free shiny beauty into an ugly, expensive yet at least workable commercial stuff? ))
About learning curves in general: I didn’t come with any negatives to KiCAD. Yeah, I read different negative comments on it from so-called “professional community”. Yet I was quite opened to this and the only thing I wanted: to see its autoruter. Sure, I know it is “not important” and not even necessary thing at all, same as import/export feature.) No more than 1% if people using that and nobody should care about it. But I just wanted to give a try. Even with any “learning curve”. Yet KiCAD didn’t’ give me any chance with it: very sophisticated package, claiming having strengths here and there – cannot parse the simplest text file properly, at the very beginning. Would I like to learn more about it? No, my time is not free, unlike KiCAD software. I’ll wait till it become stable and till in response to “here you have a bug, guys” the bug will be fixed instead of saying “it’s not important bug for us, as despite we claim we have a feature – in fact only 1% is using that so we don’t care”.
Thanks for all the answers, it was quite instructively)


You do realize the vast majority of people who replied here aren’t KiCad developers, right? This is primarily a user forum. Nobody who actually makes the decisions told you that.

When I get time, I may collect what you have here into a formal bug report and file it to be reviewed by the dev team. If you have found a parser error, it should be fixed.


Sorry, I didn’t realize that. Another learning curve needed.))
From the head of this category:

“This category is meant for discussing the software itself, specifically how to build it from source, problems with versions and other quirks you are finding with the software. As a general rule, IF YOU SEE AN ERROR BOX YOU SHOULD POST IN THIS CATEGORY.”

And I saw them, the boxes! Three of them within 2 minutes of try. Sorry for misunderstanding again.


Oh sure - this is a good place to discuss errors, I’m not telling you otherwise. This just isn’t the formal bug tracker, so you shouldn’t treat comments here as an official response from the dev team.

Personally, I appreciate having bugs reported here. This is a good place to tidy up bug reports and gather details and information from other affected users before filing a formal report - especially given that Launchpad is a pain. Just remember, you’re going to get responses from regular users too :slight_smile:


Thanks, c4757p, and sorry for a bit of frustration :slight_smile:


And another thing. If you state what is wrong without the emotional part you get better answers. Nearly halve of the discussion got out of hand because you insisted in attacking the idea behind open source instead of making a proper bug report.
I get that you wanted to rant put this is the response you get for that.

And if you read the first response you got, you will see that i told you that this is a user forum. I even told you how to make a proper bug report.


where did you get this info?
please RTFM and you will see that import DXF is a way to import a mechanical Edge of the board to have a precise way to create a pcb.
For other formats you need to use:
‘Import non KiCad Board File’ Menu which accepts:

  • Eagle XML board
  • PCad ASCII PCB board
    please RTFM again

if will you not spend any time in learning how to get features, you will just through your time away

with open source software you can implement or pay someone to implement the features you need… the code is available… I would see you in asking a commercial firm to implement a feature you need :smiley:


Ehh. The bug tracker is a pain. I don’t fully expect users to submit directly to it. If you know what you’re doing and how to file a nice bug report, go ahead, but I like getting a chance to discuss and fine-tune a report before filing something for the developers to deal with.

In an ideal world, we’d have a separate frontend for bug reports directly from users and a dedicated person to review them and help put together the “paperwork”, but we’re a FOSS project, not a business :slight_frown:


Think what you will. I don’t think it is funny.
First of all, neither have I said nor are we going to use “exclusively” free stuff for our startup. This is something that you inferred. I might have articulated myself a bit too drastically. There is a lot of stuff that we will not be using free software (like a Electromagnetics Simulation Software Package).
Secondly, I did not say “free”. I said

I also said that we see KiCAD as “trending upwards” in the future. With other words, we assume at this point, that the software will be much more feature rich in the (near) future. So I do not see your point. It is actually quite the opposite as maui already said.
I mean, you are complaining in this thread, that a board import from a third party package does not perform as you want. We will not have this issue, so it might be a bad example to prove the point that you are trying to make here.

Agree. Since it is open source, we can actually fix it ourselves or pay someone to do it. Even better, we can donate to CERN (and thus pay very low taxes on this money) to help them fix stuff that is on their roadmap.
Try that with Altium. Believe me, it has a lot of bugs and problems and workarounds that we need to use currently and there is no incentive at all to change that from Altium side, since the money is flowing to them anyway. We had people from Altium in-house and they said: That’s how it is. You can send a bug report, but changing that is not on our roadmap. Which is corporate lingo for: What you are trying to do is niche, go fuck off. And we are left helpless, even if we are willing to fix the problem on our own.

Here is the opinion of Linus Torvalds. Think of it, what you want. I like his opinion. Minute 59:00

Best Regards


So, you “articulated yourself a bit drastically” and then “I inferred”. Also “a bit drastically”. Good that we understood each other.)

– I complain that it doesn’t work as it supposed to, not as I want.
If it says “import Specctra session” and it cannot perform the import – that means it doesn’t do the job for Specctra session file, not for me.
It’s like to hear from the guy, who was roofing your house and ruined it down to the ground - “Oh, well, don’t even try to complain we were roofing your house not as you wanted. If you don’t like what we’ve done – you can rebuild your house yourself. We are open-source building company (may be even “startup, after all”:slight_smile: ) and that’s what we expect our customers to do – “DIY”.


I go to “PCB editor”, go to menu “File” (where else should I look for “import” option?) – and off we go: “Import”! Expand it and there are two more options, precisely “Specctra session” and “DXF file”.
First doesn’t work, second works badly. Do I need to supply a screenshot of “Import” options?


I saw your response , thanks, and appreciate it. However, the idea for me was to try to use a tool, not to create “proper bug reports”. I described what I saw, gave the lines it failed on, and I think it’s pretty much enough to understand where the problem is.

And about being emotional or dragging the discussion away from the root of the problem. The excuse is that I’m not the only one here doing so, as, except very few people (probably actual developers?), the rest didn’t hesitated to participate in both emotions and shooting from behind the breastwork at “open-source offenders” :grinning:

have a good day, guys, and keep working on possibly and potentially good product!:wink:


Hummm … troll, troll, troll around … second one in few days IMO …
may be it is just my opinion


Well, maybe not so much trolling as just being argumentative. @Rene_Poschl nailed it in the first response: this is a user forum, not a developer forum. Of the three errors that Alex reported, each could be the topic of its own thread, with kiCAD users here offering explanations, solutions, and/or work-a rounds. But Alex joins after downloading and installing the “free” software to complain, mistakenly addressing his concerns to “Dear kiCAD Developers!” and not really looking for explanations, solutions, and/or work-a rounds. And so we wind up with this thread and its thirty-plus comments.

I am new here, too, having joined in May after downloading kiCAD. Unlike Alex I have yet to use kiCAD to design a circuit board. I am a member of the Dayton Amateur Radio Association, and their Thursday Night Group of hands-on experimenters and home-brewers decided to use kiCAD on a major project last year.

Project was designed by committee, but PCBs did get made (eventually) and the project was a huge success at the 2016 Hamvention, displaying the winning ticket numbers of attendees on four six-digit 7-segment LED displays mounted on a pole high above the floor. And no, I was not involved except as an interested observer. But the success of the TNG project inspired me to give kiCAD a try.

My only previous experience with ECAD for PCB design was a one-off project using PADS PCB late in the previous century. Took me about two months to learn enough about it to design two PCBs. Passed cost of software on to the customer and never used it again. Too expensive to maintain.

Prior to that, my only experience was laying out single-sided PCBs using crepe tape and Bishop Graphics “Puppets” at full-size to make contact-print negatives on Kodalith film sheets. Yeah, in this R&D lab I was working in, we bought pre-sensitized copper laminate on FR4 board stock and then exposed, developed, etched and drilled our own boards in-house. On just a few occasions, when double-sided boards with plated-through holes were needed, did we send the artwork out to a PCB house to have boards manufactured.

Of course today you don’t even need physical artwork… just send Gerber files and Excellon drill files via e-mail attachments, usually to a fab in China, and get back finished product in less than a week. Orville and Wilbur Wright probably didn’t see that coming.


Submitting a bug report or feature request is the supported method of interacting with the developers.

Thus is driving force behind open source projects. A community joins together to make a tool they feel they can benefit from, and developers rely on user feedback to drive the direction of development. Everyone is in it together. Discovering something doesn’t work as intended and informing the developers is how you get a better tool.

You initiated the conversation by being callous and condescending, its a wonder users responded to you in kind.