Junction Dots Revisited


Continuing the discussion from No contact crossing wires:

I found the above as the first part of my search, and I agree with it completely.

However, I would like to discuss a couple of possible feature requests regarding this topic.

1)I’d like to be able to toggle the visibility of the junction dot; either “on/off”. Modern schematics have not used junction dots for quite some time now.

2)The junction dot is HUGE in comparison to the “not-connected square”. I would like to be able to change the size and boldness of this item. I would not suggest being able to change the visibility of this feature to “off”.

3)Move the junction dot menu button icon from the current right side menu bar to the left side menu button.

4)The current non-connect symbol is a round circle at the ends of parts, and is a square on the ends of wires. Is there any reason why these are different?



One could argue it is all about readability and giving the user more control helps toward that end. What if I print out something for a meeting and want to emphasize a few things. Should a schematic editor be less capability than a word editor in terms of expression? Why can’t I colorize certain items for emphasis? I want some junctions to be red to emphasize possible danger points.

I have simple designs that don’t require lines crossing so really shouldn’t need dots at all, let alone overly large dots so they just become clutter.

Disclaimer: Thoughts and opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster. :wink:


No. But, the text editor should not add things automatically by itself that the user does not want.

A recent bug fix is now going to add a junction dot to every connection in the schematic (if I understood the bug report correctly). There are going to be unnecessary junction dots everywhere.

The “not-connected” symbol is must-have item, the junction dot is a personal preference.

It just seems to me that the recent bug-fix was not as well thought out as it could be. I certainly will complain when I get a download with dots everywhere that I can’t turn of the visibility.


[quote=“Sprig, post:3, topic:9027”]
No. But, the text editor should not add things automatically by itself that the user does not want.
[/quote]Well, that was my intention in that statement. User choice. You only need a junction at a cross and having two different wires leading into the same place on a wire isn’t that common in my simple designs. If it is easier to use them everywhere for coding purposes, I’d vote to at least make them a lot smaller than they currently are.


Good call.
1 2 3 4 … 20


Really? [citation, please].


Somewhat surprised by that statement too. Junction dots are really important, especially when you work with people who will happily put a junction at a crossover rather than offsetting one of the lines to make two three-way junctions rather than one single 4-way. Without the dots I’d not know whether they were doing something annoying or something really stupid.


I guess Andy and Dave, you are talking about the junction dot (force 2 wires to be connected) and the non-connected “x”.

While Jim calls junction dot the little circle of a pin and non-connected the little square at the end of a wire that vanish after pin and wire are connected.

Sorry if I’m wrong. In that case I don’t understand this thread at all…


My personal experience is not good enough?
I joined the USAF in 1986 and all the older drawings had junction dots; all the more recent ones did not.

I recently worked for a defense contractor, all the older schematics had junction dots, the newest ones did not; as in documents created as little as of 6 years ago. I’d have happily provided proof to everyone here had an NDA not been part of the agreement.


Crossing Your Wires

Were it to be me in charge, I’d get rid of the junction dot altogether. I’d have KiCad not allow 4 way crosses to ever connect together. In a complete schematic it is very easy to read.

The one junction dot in the KiCad image above is not needed. The power port is at a “Tee” junction; which implies connectivity.


[quote=Sprig]My personal experience is not good enough?
I joined the USAF in 1986 and all the older drawings had junction dots; all the more recent ones did not.[/quote]

Well, anecdote is not evidence.

I have Altium open on the computer right now; all of its junctions between wires are indicated by circles, just like Kicad.

I have not seen the “no junction” examples you provide in any schematic, from DOS OrCAD 386+ to PCAD for DOS to PADS to Accel to Altium, pretty much ever. OK, there’s my anecdote.

What CAD package were they using to draw their schematics?


I’d rather have explicit indications of connection rather than rely on implicit expectation.


If I were in charge (of the whole world), people who make software limit the user’s options like this would be tarred and feathered. Make it behave how you want by default, sure, but it is not the place of the software to outright force what the developers consider good practice. This is coming from someone who thinks four-ways should always be avoided in schematics.

If my text editor forced me to write code in what the authors considered a good coding style, I’d throw it away because it’d be garbage. Even if I like that style too.


I don’t know.
Now that you ask, I think it may have been that the board layout team used a different EDA program then the CAD program that the schematic development team used. When we got the first spin of boards there were cuts and jumpers needed to get the board to match the schematic; which should not have happened had both teams used the same software.

I guess it all depends on what one is used to seeing. I did not work on simple things like computers where it is all circuit boards connected together like an Aurduino with a shield.

In many drawings dots were used to indicate a physical property of the signal line. It could be a test point, or a wire tied to another module.

Not having junction dots really made the schematics easier to read overall.


Can I get feathers with LED lighting?

[quote=“c4757p, post:13, topic:9027”]
it is not the place of the software to outright force what the developers consider good practice. [/quote]

Which was the point of the thread in the first place. It is my understanding that now all joints will have a junction dot. This appears to be exactly the opposite of what you expect the software to do to a user.


That’s not new though. With a couple weird exceptions (e.g. pins are misleading) eeschema has never considered a wire endpoint overlapping a non-endpoint to be a connection, you need the junction to tell it otherwise. I’d argue that’s not forcing good practice, that’s just how junctions work in eeschema.

Now, I’m not debating whether the new behavior is good or not. Honestly, I haven’t had a close enough look at it to have an opinion. But I don’t think it makes any changes in terms of whether you’re forced to use good practice in your schematic.


Thanks, Jim. Now I understand what you meant.


You assume that everyone here works on simple things. That would be a huge mistake.


And that’s exactly my point. How is EESchema (or any other schematic-design program) supposed to know that wires that cross are supposed to be connected or not? An advocate of “no junction dots” might say, “well, the user can just draw the wire, click on the orthogonal wire and then continue drawing the wire to the next endpoint.” That doesn’t help when dragging wires, that doesn’t help when deleting wires, that doesn’t help when the connection is made when one isn’t expected.

From a simple usability perspective, the junction dot is an unambiguous indicator that “these wires are connected.” The netlister doesn’t have to guess whether the wires are connected and the person reading the schematic doesn’t have to guess. The fewer assumptions that a program needs to make, the better.

Just because @Sprig has had a bit of experience with schematics drawn one way, that doesn’t mean that his way is now the new standard. As I noted earlier, every schematic package I’ve worked with in my career has used junction dots to indicate wire connections.


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If one is intellectually honest, it can be seen that by following the newer convention, in the most recommend ways, that the junction dot becomes redundant and unnecessary.

There are also some additional merits to not having them. One example is when working with paper schematics subject to non-library environments. Debris can be added to make a connection appear, or wear can make connection disappear.

If Eeschema must have extra junction dots for whatever reason then I would prefer that I could choose the size of the dot (hopefully extremely small).