Thanks for your reply.
As a (woo hoo!) 16-day KiCad user, more than half that time has been diverted away from useful learning to (as Bob puts it) by being out in the weeds. He had suggested I should get down to building some boards BUT, the fact is this: as a result of the suggestion to just drop (uninstall) v4 (which was running OK for a newbie) and to install the ‘nightly’ v5, my internal pathways to the Libraries were turned into a mess. And as a result, nothing was behaving even remotely as it should’ve. And so I wasn’t able to build anything.
So, if as Eelik says, I am a guinea pig then Squeak Squeak, I need to say something about my experience.
In response to
I thought, Woh! maybe I am really out of line here----the suggestion seemed to be that those who start a Post just sit back and watch/listen to it unfold, so I’m just too involved in this one. So, I did some checks into other posts (n=5, enough to get a sense of things) and the originator of the Post averages 42.4% of the contributions (w/ standard deviation = 12.2%). I have in fact contributed 46 of 140 posts (now 47 of 141…), or 33%, so I am well within the norm… in fact somewhere in the bottom third of the range…
I can readily understand that. It’s a common situation for the “subject matter experts” to be so immersed in their subject area that they have a hard time stepping back and taking the perspective of a newcomer / non-expert, and may not even have the vocabulary to do that. Having written more than a few technical manuals, having been an editor and coauthor of many peer-reviewed publications , that is a concept that I am quite familiar with and it’s the point I’m trying to get across in this Forum.
In regards to the *.step vs *.wrl files, I Get It (and not, “D’oh! I finally get it!”): v5 can make use of both file types. But it has been pretty clearly stated along the way that, while *.wrl is very nice to look at, *.step is the real workhorse of v5 (even though it is visually ‘bland’), and that the ability to make use of *.step files is a big leap forward of v5. [See %% below]
A significant diversion in this Thread has been the mistaken conclusion that I was trying to use *.wrl files that I had created, and that these files I created were incompatible “flavours” of *.wrl. I have only ever created just one *.wrl (exported from Solidworks), and that one behaves just fine, thank you. Another improper conclusion was that I was trying to view v4 projects I had previously created, inside v5.
These problems arose only after “up-versioning” from v4 to v5, and the mess created in the environment variables, paths, AppData\Roaming entries, and so forth.
%% Currently, the fact that the footprints were pre-filled with *.wrl files (not *.step files, which are ONLY associated with v5 and future releases), means that when a *.wrl file is associated BUT NOT DISPLAYING, I am faced with the possibility that this is a reference to a v4 file lurking somewhere on my system (not cleaned out after uninstalling v4)
And this last point brings me back around to my point: I am still struggling with this v5 installation because, at various turns, I cannot be sure that the non-intuitive and/or peculiar behaviour I observe is the result of the current (possibly corrupted) state of my environment variables, paths, AppData\Roaming entries, and so forth…or whether it is some quirk of KiCad resulting from one or another development decision.
For this reason, this Guinea Pig goes Squeak, Squeak to say: Developers, thank you— your efforts have resulted in a truly impressive software product but, please help me, help yourselves and help all those who will upgrade to v5 and all those who will come newly to KiCad at this point in its life. It will be effort well spent.
Having spent 50+ hours now fussing with this v4 to v5 up-versioning and the fallout from it, and the fact that I still have a system that I don’t / can’t assume to be properly set up (paths, environment variables etc), I respect the opinion but don’t feel the criticism of Maui (below) to be on-the-money. It’s not about me. It’s about the wider community of users.