I skipped trying to learn and use 5.x as it didn’t have some of the features I wanted and the workarounds where a PITA. So as v6 is due soon I thought I’d sit down and take a look.
Initial impression was good - I disliked what seemed to be ‘thick’ enlarged icons - but hey!
I set about doing a VERY simple schematic and the first annoyance hit - there is no running component placement. Surely this should be the norm! Why do you have to continue into the component pick dialogue box EVERY TIME? Surely a better solution would be keep on placing the same component unless cancelled via, say, the right mouse button. If 1 out of 4
gates was chosen then the second, third, forth could be placed seamlessly using this method.
Jumped in the PCBNEW, again initial impressions where favourable when compared to 5.x.
Wanted to setup a board outline but noticed there is dedicated area - no button, no icon, no wizard nothing. It would be nice to have a button invoking the board outline ‘environment’ - setting the grid size to mm, say, automatically (setup in preferences) would be a fantastic.
From playing with 5.x I know you have to use lines etc but come on new software better GUI, but old mentality perhaps? Would be nice to have an entry point to these functions - almost a ribbon menu which could be swapped out freeing up tollbar space.
On screen dimensions GREAT liked that.
So I proceeded to draw my shape using lines and wanted to refer to a pdf (single monitor), but found that within the command you are unable to move outside the design window - REALLY BLOODY ANNOYING. Pause the drawing command at window boundary’s then pick it up again when focus/mouse returns.
No Dedicated menu area or similar for drawing tools - by tools I mean some bells and whistles for the command eg trim, extend, stretch, import DXF import vector /SVG whatever.
I wanted to draw an xPlained mini outline which is 60x60mm and has a 15x12mm USB extension on one side. I drew a rectangle moved over the requisite number of grid points and drew the extension. Came back to trim where this extension met the rectangle but no. So I tried to delete this line but again no the whole rectangle is selected. - clunky just clunky! Once the rectangle/ polyline is placed have it revert to individual line primitives this way end points of other lines could be used as references. There was no ability to snap to an end point of a line when continuing to draw, meaning you have to zoom in enough for the grid to be clear and the end point of visible - again a bit clunky!
The big thing for me is UI. The right mouse button is massively under used making the software somehow feel a bit old - a bit Win95 ish!!!
On the whole though this version is a massive improvement - I have the feeling it has ‘come of age’ now and virtually complete and cohesive piece of software.