(Noob here) I’m giving Kicad a go at last, trying to get through the “Getting Started” tutorial. It seems to be still referring to an old version? Right-click menus are different, there is no “PIC12C508A” microcontroller anywhere to be found, do I press “A” key or “Shift-A” to add a component, if 25mils is the recommended grid size why default is 50mils…?? etc etc etc. I’ve barely made a dent in the tutorial & I’m already about to give up!
Maybe there is some better tutorial for a noob to get stuck into that somebody can recommend me? Something more recent & up-to-date? The “Getting Started” guide has “October 5, 2015” on the 2nd page, but has anything been revised for this new version 4??
I mean, the “Help” files don’t even link to the pdfs that exist in the install folder! Gah!!
People are working on various docs, but whether or not ‘Getting Started’ is updated really depends on volunteers doing the work. You might have better luck poking around on your own and asking questions on the freenode IRC channel #kicad. The timestamp on the manual might just be the date the PDF/html was generated from the original sources and no indication of the actual revision time.
The ‘Help’ menu not finding the files is a problem people are working on and will definitely be fixed before the release.
One of the big problems we have is that there are really extremely few volunteers doing work and the devs are (a) already too busy implementing features essential to their own companies’ work and (b) not the right people for the job anyway because they lose track of how much things have actually changed and will not be the best people to work out what new users will need to know.
Quite correct. Here’s a tip: The website won’t allow downloading the videos for offline viewing, BUT if you install the Udemy mobile app from Google Play store, you can! (This is what I did).
Also a shout-out of course to Contextual Electronics. Although it is a paid subscription course (incl private forum, one-on-one & supplement pdf stuff etc), the actual videos can be found on youtube, or even downloaded straight from the CE webpage with a simple Firefox add-on. http://legacy.contextualelectronics.com/kicad-course-outline/ .
True, I see they’ve changed the wording on the Downloads page. On the “About” dialog box it does say “Version: 4.0.0-rc1-stable, release build”. But yeah, RC is not “Stable”, I stand corrected. Although the team leader seemed to be in a bit of a stink over this issue? lol
That Udemy course, btw, is using the older “stable” Kicad. Node7 is using the current version though.
I’m heartened by the discussion here. I was also recently put off by the outdated Getting Started guide. It has quite a lot of power to influence first impressions. Ultimately I was won over by the slick software and the solid community support, but that first experience was marred by the same problem so many Open Source projects have - up to date docs.
I can’t offer much that hasn’t already been said, but I do encourage those that have influence to give the Getting Started tutorial the priority it deserves as the first experience for many new users. Tutorials aimed at the newbie are a challenge to maintain - either you’re like me and not experienced enough to improve it, or you’ve become experienced and no longer see much point in it!
Thanks Heath. I didn’t really want to come across as a “troll”, I think it was legitimate gripe. Surely KiCad wants heaps of new users, the more the merrier, noob hobbyists like me as well as the seasoned EE. But don’t undervalue the noob!
Btw, the “missing” microcontroller component at the start of the Getting Started guide can easily be found on github, just a heads up!
Since there is an existing document with decent structure and usable (though outdated and clumsy) content, a new user is an excellent choice for making meaningful contributions.
It’s important to have a lead author with at least a journeyman’s mastery of the subject matter (PCB layout and design), some understanding of the program’s recent history and a grasp of the program’s present direction and goals. This person (Principal Author, Editor-in Chief, or whatever you wish to call him) is the one who ensures the final document is lucid and effective across the widest audience, and retains its relevance into the future.