Work with both 5.x and 4.x on pcbnew

If for some reason you still need to use both 5.x and 4.x for your project while doing layout. I have this script that may help the process a lite bit easier:

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Useful for emergencies, but generally users should avoid opening V5 projects with V4


You might at least include a check if non v4 compatible things are used in the pcb and abort the “backport”. (roundrect or custom pads, the more detailed specification for differential pairs, …)

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It is a good idea. But I think this simple script should not mess it up if 4.x cannot open it after converted. 5.x should still have no issue with it. So it is no harm as I see to do this simple conversion.

Well you change the 3d model offset from the version 5 option to the version 4 one. So one could argue that one can no longer open the downgraded file in v5. And if it does contain other v5 only features then the user is kind of screwed.

I can understand sticking to KiCad V4.
I can understand wanting to backport KiCad V5 libraries to V4.

I have difficulty in understanding of why you would want to backport a KiCad V5 project to V4.
KiCad V5 has many improvements to V4 and at some point backporting to V4 seems not much more than stubbornness of keeping with the “old way’s” or not wanting to invest some time to get used to the changes (mostly improvements).

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This is why the KiCad developers don’t officially support backporting projects. It can get very complicated for little benefit.

I hope you can understand why I’m not using 2019 Tesla auto drive car, but still drive the old and low tech one. Or still using VIM as a code editor instead of visual studio or eclipses. It just a taste my friend!

If someone wanted to exchange my 20 year old car for a new one I would gladly accept it. Except maybe when it’s bright pink with bears in the wheelhubs or something like that.

Don’t bash on Vim. It is a good editor, but unfortunately a bit of a pain to learn.
Do you know that vi is older than edlin?
The only good thing about edlin was that if you tried to use it you would only waste at most 5 minutes on it before you knew it was garbage.
Wich I had access to vi then…

Apart from that. When you’re mixing KiCad versions and continuously switching between them you are just making life difficult for yourself.

I do not understand this:

I have no problem with people having such fetishes, and I’m (mildly) curious to the reasoning behind such behaviour.

Working with people, I need to make sure it been proving work, and all the utilities / script go with it works. None of 5.x version been very stables… so it is a stopping point and wait. So I don’t have to spent large amount of time keep following a moving target. I’m see a lot of user using so many difference version of 5.x, and nightly. So that is no difference than what I’m doing, is it? They simple try for use multiple features that aren’t stable for any one 5.x but keep try difference versions for what they need to do.

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