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[Gnucap-devel] Eagle CAD export to gnucap

From: Telford Tendys
Subject: [Gnucap-devel] Eagle CAD export to gnucap
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 2004 22:49:41 +1100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.6i

I've bought myself a license for the "Light" version of Eagle CAD.

Bad news first:

It isn't Open Source, nor Free Software so I hope the GNU police don't
kick my email off the list :-).

On the other hand, for what you pay, it's a nice package and students
can download the freeware demo version and play with it, learn about
CAD, do their school projects, etc.

It runs on Linux, MS-Windows and Mac so at least it doesn't lock you
to a platform and that is probably good for all software, including
Free Software. At least it shows a few CAD vendors taking Linux
seriously and the Eagle CAD architecture does not lock you out of
your own data because exporting to various formats is very easy.

The schematic editor is easy to use, and fast to draw circuits.
Eagle CAD has a built-in interpreted programming language (sort of like
Java, sort of like C) that provides access to the data structures.
You can easily dump out the circuit as a text file using a loop and
some printf() statements.

If you check these links:

You can try my two-stage process to produce gnucap compatible netlists
from Eagle CAD. It only produces the bare netlist, you still need to
collect together some device models and put in option lines, print lines
and analysis lines as usual. This is made easier if you have a "top-level"
simulation file that uses ".<" lines to pull in the models and the
generated netlist. When you edit the CAD schematic, you can re-dump
the topology and re-run your simulation. I don't mind giving people a
hand getting it to work and fixing any bugs (well the easy ones at least).

I realise a two-stage process is a bit of a nuisance but perl supports
native hash tables, built-in sort and regular expressions. The Eagle
CAD language is not as full featured as perl, especially for doing
data transformations where hash tables really come in handy.

Anyhow, I would suggest that gnucap users might want to look at Eagle
CAD (at least download the free version just to give it a test) and of
course I would think that Eagle CAD users might be interested in
giving gnucap a try now that it is easy to generate a netlist.

The Eagle CAD and gnucap combo could be good for teaching purposes
because you can get moderately complex circuits chugging through the
simulator with a lot less heartache than writing the netlist by hand
and it is a lot easier to explain to someone when they have a circuit
diagram to visualise the problem.

By the way, I'm not knocking the Geda project. I really would like a
full open source CAD package, and I think that Geda is making progress.
I'll just say that Geda progress has been a bit slow and it still isn't
easy to just grab and start using. Anyhow, enhancing portability between
applications is a good thing, even when some of those applications
are proprietary applications.

        - Tel

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