Is this forum too restrictive?

A question was posted looking for feedback from anyone who had used DeepPCB for routing. The discussion was closed because the subject wasn’t considered to be related to KiCad and should probably be posted over on EEVBlog.

I think this was a mistake:

  • DeepPCB has a KiCad connection. To wit: “All our solved boards are Design Rules Checked (DRC clean) and fully compatible with KiCad.”
  • If DeepPCB has an explicit KiCad connection, then the best place to find somebody that has experience using it may actually be the KiCad forum.
  • If the KiCad community isn’t aware of DeepPCB, it’s unlikely someone will write a PCBNEW plugin to make it easy to use with KiCad. Then we’re stuck with FreeRouting. (God knows we have enough posts about FreeRouting.)
  • Some people (e.g. me!) don’t want to peruse multiple forums just to find interesting stuff related to PCBs.
  • The forum has a category filter at the top so you can restrict the types of posts you see to prevent being overwhelmed.

I closed it because the OP decided to take it elsewhere, not because I have anything against AI.

Drawing the line is always tricky. We always get posts about other CAD software that are either “Why is KiCad not just like this” or thinly veiled attempts to advertise

I wasn’t aware that DeepPCB had a KiCad connection

I assume this is the post being referenced.


were never mentioned by the OP.

Quite possibly the closer of the post is unfamiliar with DeepPCB, but in fairness to him, it is not his responsibility to confirm the quality of the OPs thread.The OP should be prepared to justify their posting.

“Is this forum too restrictive?” In this case, no.

Next time DeepPCB is mentioned in a thread, after this posting by you, @devbisme, the thread will probably stay open. Some are now aware of DeepPCB, thanks for the information. :slightly_smiling_face:

Sure, post away if you know something germane to KiCad. Even more so if there is a freeDeepPCB. (Sounds like something artery clogging :wink:.)

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OK, that’s a more accurate statement of events. But he took it elsewhere because he was told it was off-topic for this forum. The point remains about what is/isn’t desired on the forum.

There are two obvious thresholds:

  1. Permit only if the topic obviously is KiCad related (e.g., “How do I stitch vias into a ground plane in KiCad 7.0.1?”)
  2. Reject only if the topic obviously is not KiCad related (e.g., “What is your opinion of these penis enlargement pills?”)

I think in this case we pulled our decision too close to threshold #1 and missed an opportunity to learn about DeepPCB or other similar tools that people may have experience with.


First, I’d like to say the Mod’s have always been great on this forum and it has been one of the best communities around. I find myself of similar mind as @devbisme, probably due to being around the forum almost as long as he has. I would like to see threads like the one referenced stay open, unless they go off the rails. I had found the forum overall to be inviting and encouraging here, and want folks to feel like they are welcome to comeback and ask Kicad questions.

I also recognize that the volume of users has gone up, and with that we have had some bad actors lately (what appear to be vendor posts, unreasonable trolls, waayyyy out-topic, etc.) keeping the Mods on their toes. Keep up the good work everyone and thanks for making this a great forum. It has been a great help to myself and the projects I have worked on over the years.

I admit that I may have been too hasty in closing the topic and could have waited a bit longer for a more knowledgeable user like you to pipe up. I’ve seen reference to a timer which I should look into. If there is a facility to shorten the autoclose to say one day, then in future I would announce that unless somebody speaks up, the timer will expire. Then mods can set and not have to remember.

One type 2 error in a forum isn’t the end of the world. Nobody has been banned or anything like that. New posts are always possible in light of new developments and you can always link to the original post.

It was never my intention to impugn your considerable efforts or motivations. But any system needs feedback or else it can run off into the weeds. I don’t think there is a set of guidelines that will lead to perfect moderation decisions. We can only adjust our human judgement through experience.

Nah, don’t worry about it. I’m not losing any sleep over feedback. Life is about adapting. I’ll use the autoclose timer in future.

Out of curiosity I looked to see how the new enquiry about DeepPCB was faring on EEVblog. No replies yet but more to the point there were already 4 threads from late 2019 early 2020 which could have been found by a simple search. So it looks like it was a “can you do my homework/research please” post.

For me regarding borderline posts it’s not an issue of restriction or judgement on the poster but an assessment of utility. Threads are cheap resources. If you feel that I’ve made a type 2 error just start another thread with the salient information and I can merge with and reopen the original thread.

Several have been elevated to level 4 to help out. Sometimes I’ll open a thread in a closed section to discuss reasoning and things I’ve found useful. Problem with the forum software is you have to do a certain amount of reading and ‘liking’ to get and maintain a level. Kind of a childish feature for a forum like this. So, we do discuss this kind of thing.

Problem is we do have members like you that don’t ‘live here’ but provide valuable input. I’ve just locked you one level up which should give you access to the locked locations.

Three quick comments:

  1. I try to use KiCad as my primary eCAD tool, and have licenses for others I’m trying to distance myself from. When I search for solutions [specifically autorouting];
    a) KiCad Forums,
    b) DuckDuckGo, Google (which find other professional sources)

  2. Never heard of DeepPCB prior to it showing up in this forum. So yes, I do believe it is important to allow for not specifically related to KiCad discussion of other design support tool solutions. I come to the KiCad forums for this information, hoping to find better solutions to KiCad related design problems from other KiCad adopters.
    Autorouting has been discussed at length with the consensus being, it’s a difficult problem, you’re better off spending the large amount of time necessary to learn what you need to do this manually (nice huge list of supporting references posted by one knowledgeable KiCad user). For me, this was a “Who Knew” type moment.

  3. I only visit KiCad forums when;
    a) [ Forums] Summary, something at my level of experience shows up which is interesting (surprising number of other “real professionals” here, who like me are fairly quiet)
    b) I need something
    c) Have something I think is cool to share;
    - 3D Printed Circuit board with references to other design process information
    - Documenting something cool (like KiCost) after noticing so many other users struggling to install and use this useful tool
    d) Can otherwise improve upon the silence with something worthwhile to say


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