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Re: [Help-gnucap] Which Schematic Program

From: al davis
Subject: Re: [Help-gnucap] Which Schematic Program
Date: Wed, 3 May 2006 22:33:42 -0400
User-agent: KMail/1.9.1

On Wednesday 03 May 2006 15:30, Evgeni Dobrev wrote:
> even though the interface of gschem does seem a bit arcane,
> it is ok for some even no so simple projecs.  It is actually
> quite flexible and capable once you pass the initial learning
> curve.  You should read the tutorial that is comming with
> Debian.
> If you are running the i386 port of Debian and gschem (and
> the whole geda suite) really is not what you are looking for,
> you could try the freeware version of Eagle from CadSoft
> which is quite popular.

I just did.  My impression is that it is MUCH harder to use than 
gschem.  I think even that is being kind.  It is more than a 
bit "arcane".  Then when you "export" to a "netlist", it isn't 
any familiar format.  Maybe I am missing something.

I think the "arcane-ness" of gschem is all small stuff.  Maybe 
that is what is so frustrating to some people.  It is so close, 
yet has these little details that turn off newcomers.

My real objection to Eagle is that it is not free (libre, etc.) 
(Stallman definition)  The so-called "freeware" version is 
actually a "cover crop".

A while back, on another mailing list ("Free Software Business, 
address@hidden), there was a posting about the concept of 
a "cover crop" in marketing.  I will now take the liberty to 
repeat the posting, because it describes my feeling well...
begin quote

For example, many companies are using what you might
call a "Cover Crop" pattern.  (Instead of borrowing
military terms for marketing all the time, let's use
one from agriculture.) 

You plant a cover crop not to harvest and eat it,
but to add nitrogen and organic matter to the soil,
encourage a population of beneficial insects, and
to choke out weeds that would otherwise grow up to
compete with your regular crop.

Some examples of the cover crop pattern are:

* MSFT Visual Studio 60-day license in C# books
(beneficial insects: the ones that can code in C#;
weeds choked out: the next Turbo Pascal

* MSIE included with pre-installed MSFT Windows
(nitrogen in the soil: MSIE-compatible web sites;
weeds choked out...well, IANAL)

* warez copies of Adobe Photoshop

* academic discount programs

* ubiquitous PHP and MySQL in every Linux
  distribution, and on every web hosting site

Cover crops tend to be very cheap and easy to plant,
compared to the main crop that you're protecting.
(And they're not just for established fields -- a
recommended part of clearing land is to plant a "green
manure" crop to be plowed under before planting the
real pasture or crop.)  The benefits of a cover crop
probably wouldn't be worth it if it cost much more.
So part of "Cover Crop" as a business model design
pattern would be that low cost distribution is more
important than high-information-feedback distribution.

end quote

So, for the freeware version of Eagle...

What is the "organic matter" being added to the soil?
What are the "beneficial insects?"

And finally:
What are the "weeds" they want to choke out?

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