What does the "do not populate" attribute in eeschematic do?

I recently discovered the “do not populate” attribute in eeschematic, but I don’t quite understand what it does.
It seems to have no effect at all to the board or - which is what I would have expected - to the BOM.

I’m no developer so this is only what I discovered for myself:

  • first: "do not populate” is introduced for v6.99-nightly, so don’t search for it in the current v6.0.x stable
  • I think it’s a little step towards different schematic/board variants.
  • currently it’s implemented in the schematic-view → all "do not populate”-symbols are displayed with lower contrast
  • all schematic print/plot functions already respect this setting
  • I suspect all schematic-side BOM-scripts could also respect this flag, but they need an update because it’s a new introduced flag
  • the board-side doesn’t change, because the board has to contain the footprint for the populated/unpopulated variant and so the layout has to be routed completely.
  • also currently there seems to be no influence on the 3D-view, albeit there it would reasonable to suppress the 3D-model of the non-populate-symbols

Maybe there are more consequences/use-cases for this flag.


a further detail,
when you synchronize the PCB with the schematic this message appear:

Updated R87 properties.
Added R87 'exclude from position files' fabrication attribute.

so it seems that the flag is communicated down to the ‘manufacturing stuff’.
I suppose that this is work in progress…

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