Hi there, just wanted to let you know that I created a Java 9 compatible version of freerouting: http://freerouting.mihosoft.eu/.
I had to go and read up what JDK9 was. Very new stuff.
What is your long term intent with this? If you want to move it forward this might be a good place to get some feedback/help.
I just wanted to make sure this software can survive in the future. I am not a PCB expert but I am starting to use KiCAD (and freerouting) for some Hobby projects. I will probably improve the UX in the future. I am not too much interested in improving the algorithms themselves since for my needs they seem to be sufficient.
But I am happy to maintain the package and integrate improvements from other contributors!
I can say with certainty I will be using Freeroute until I can achieve the same level of efficiency on a quick interface board using the v5 autorouter. IIUC, the v5 auto-router is computer-assisted and requires a human to select or determine (or accept) route options provided by the v5 auto-router. Do I understand correctly? I’m a newb designing my own PCBs and I haven’t been following v5 autorouter news in detail, is the basic v5 routing workflow described somewhere?
So long as the v7 spectra-format-autorouter export and session import continue to be supported I am satisfied, and understand the argument for removing direct support. I don’t have an issue so long as I can continue to get into and out-of a stand-alone auto-router (i.e. freeroute).
Freeroute appears to be being maintained as part of the commercial proprietary “LayoutEditor” tool suite (http://www.layouteditor.net/), which at first glance appears to be similar to KiCAD but targeted very specifically at multi-chip-on-substrate-type modules. There’s a manual for Freeroute available at https://freerouting.org/ and it has a page for KiCAD. FBOW, the recommended install procedure for Freeroute is to install the free version of LayoutEditor (i.e. what you get if you don’t purchase a license key). The installer doesn’t create a menu selection for freeroute, and you have to browse the install bin directory for the executable and create a desktop short-cut (or copy the jar file to the appropriate kicad/… directory and rename, but that reportedly won’t work in v5 because the menu/button will be gone).
I am somewhat concerned that I couldn’t find a link to the freeroute source on the layouteditor site, but they are claiming GPL so I won’t complain so long as they continue to provide Windows binaries for updates. I’m also pragmatic.
Doh! I profusely and humbly retract my implied criticism. I will now slink away in shame and send out the fab files for a new pcb…
Well, I had to dig around a bit, and it would be nicer if they had set up a github fork, but they appear to be complying with the GPL while taking commercial advantage of the code. It doesn’t seem that they have made any improvements to the autorouting engine, but the GUI changes might be useful.
If I have time I will try building their source.