(V6) Just curious: why different approach for symbols and footprints libraries?

Hi, I’m curious why the symbol libraries uses single file to represent whole library and footprints uses directory to represent library and each footprint has its file?

I guess both approaches has its own pluses and minuses, for example the dir/file approach is much easier to merge and move footprints between libraries, I have just done multiple logos in image converter, and the result is single footprint library and multiple symbol libraries…

So I’m just wondering why the difference?

I use one file per device, exactly for that reason. Makes merging easier. You are free to choose :slight_smile: I’ve also converted my lib to the new .kicad_sym format, with it’s nice S-expression format.

Wait, you can use the dir/file also for symbols, or you end up with multiple libraries with just one symbol?

You will end up with multiple libraries with one symbol. It’s not bothered me but it may bother some.

The reason is that footprints are independent but symbols may be derived for some other symbol. It would have been more complicated to take of all situations with symbols if a base and derived symbol could have been in different files. Now they are always in the same file and the base is available for the derived symbol because they must be in the same library and are always in the same file.

Certainly there are more pros and cons for each system. When the new file format for v6 after v5 was planned, we expected one symbol per file, but the plan was changed (or at least the current direction was chosen) for the said reason. That’s how I understood the situation.

To have a freedom to choose between directory- and file-based libraries for symbols and footprints, please feel free to upvote (click on the “thumbs up” icon) this issue: Support both "packed" and "unpacked" footprint and symbol libraries (#6917) · Issues · KiCad / KiCad Source Code / kicad · GitLab

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