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Re: gEDA packages for electronics category

n Fri, 2010-03-12 at 08:15 +0100, Petter Reinholdtsen wrote:
> [Peter Clifton]
> > Hi guys,
> Hi. :)
> > I just noted that the "geda" suite is missing from the electronics
> > category of Debian Edu.
> Note that Debian Edu try to pick the best suited package in each
> category, to reduce the cognitive strain on educators when they look
> for applications to use, and not to provide all packages in a given
> category.
> With that background, can you explain why gEDA should be provided as a
> replacement for other similar packages?

gEDA is a nice schematic editor, but I could understand the choice to
omit it in favour of our competitor package KiCAD. KiCAD (IMO) currently
presents a much simpler, and more integrated user experience - but is
not as flexible as the with the gEDA suite.

gEDA's flexibility comes at the cost of a steep learning curve in some
areas. What threw me slightly, was that you include some seriously
advanced packages for things like ASIC design, gEDA's "PCB" package (but
not the gEDA/gaf tools which generate schematics and netlists for it),

And the Xcircuit schematic editor, which is a little quirky.. (but
admittedly produces nice schematics).

One advantage in gEDA I could possibly cite for educational use, is its
ability to paste schematics directly into a SVG image editor - such as
Inkscape, or OpenOffice. (Alright, this is a lie.. my development branch
can do those things - and the 1.8 series probably will, but not the
latest released 1.6.1 version).

> > The closest you might have alrady is KiCad (one of our competitor
> > packages). Some people like one, or the other better. In my opinion,
> > gEDA is a more versatile package in terms of its flexability, but it
> > holds your hand less in terms of a specific work-flow.
> Which one of these are most suited for pupils between 7 and 16 years
> old?  What about pupils betwen 16 and 19?

gEDA would probably suite older / more advanced pupils.

I'll freely admit that KiCAD probably matches what people "expect" more
closely. gEDA follows a more unixy toolkit philosophy, and is not as
well integrated between its pieces. We (use / make available) gEDA at
Cambridge University, but it is use is not compulsory as part of any of
the curriculum.

Perhaps this is something we can revisit when we've made gEDA a bit more
user friendly. I am perhaps selling gEDA a little short, but if you're
interested take a look at some demos I made for the university:


NB: Graphics rendering in the schematic editor package (particularly
text) has been much improved since I made that video.

See also:


And various screen-shots under this folder:


Such as:


> Happy hacking,

Peter Clifton

Electrical Engineering Division,
Engineering Department,
University of Cambridge,
9, JJ Thomson Avenue,

Tel: +44 (0)7729 980173 - (No signal in the lab!)
Tel: +44 (0)1223 748328 - (Shared lab phone, ask for me)

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