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 Post subject: Feature requests
PostPosted: 20 Apr 2015, 20:11 
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Joined: 01 Apr 2015, 05:55
Posts: 39
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Hi guys. As a relative newbie with Diptrace (I've been using it for 5 years but only for relatively simple boards) I would like to see a few features included that in my opinion would improve the software and increase productivity, sales and compatibility for others who may look to be moving to it from other software. The following is my own opinion and indeed some of these things may be currently possible with the software and that I am just too simple to work out how to do it. If I am wasting time, I apologise up front for doing so.

1. Rotatable pads at part and pattern design level. I've seen this mentioned but I tried to find it again and couldn't so sorry if I'm doubling up. There are dozens of pages of requests here and while some of the posts are requests, the rest is people commenting on them. If it has been asked for already then plus 1 here. I've already posted in another thread but it might not be seen there as a feature request.

2. Rotatable pin numbers. Nothing looks worse than a nice schematic/circuit diagram with pin numbers all over the shop. Allowing us to orientate them where we want seems a basic necessity in any CAD type program. F10 allows us to move them anywhere in relation to the pin, why not be able rotate or orientate them as well?

3. Micro-adjustment using the mouse wheel. I found this in another CAD program I was trying and it is very handy. I often want to position objects or shapes precisely and while there is a dialogue for doing that, one has to manually input X/Y co-ordinates and figures from the keyboard - if one knows them that is. One program had a calculator-type interface pop up to allow numeric input (again fine if you know the figures you want to enter) but also you could click the mouse cursor anywhere into the numbers and manipulate the digit to the immediate left of the cursor up or down with the scroll wheel on the mouse, allowing real-time positioning without having to take my eyes off the screen or enter figures on the keyboard all the time. If you had a X/Y figure like 17.568 you could click next to the 8 or 6 and scroll up or down that column for really fine adjustment. Similarly clicking between the 7 and 5 allowed scrolling of a lot larger increments and so on. Excellent feature and one that would resolve a lot of the productivity issues I have with positioning stuff in Diptrace.

4. Plus one with bigger/wider existing dialogues mentioned elsewhere to include more buttons. Setting part marking positions is a real fiddle and one has to click all over the place just to do it.

5. Double-clicking on any placed part could open that part's properties with a dialogue showing the attached pattern, attached nets and all other relevant information without us having to open many different dialogues to get that information. Our monitors are large enough these days to cope with showing all a part's properties at the same time.

6. The ability to position and orient part markings at a component design level. Many times I create a part and place it only to find the default markings are obscuring a pin or part of the component, requiring an F10 key strike and more fiddling around to get them out of the way (and even then not being able to orient some part numbers as they should be (see item 3 above)). It's all about reducing clicks and improving productivity (not to mention the hand and wrist problems that go along with too many clicks).

7. This one could be a bit sensitive. Poor English translations and grammar still exists in some of the dialogues and much of the help documentation. Years ago when I first trialed this software I offered to provide proper translations for some of the dialogues. I even suggested alternatives but I heard nothing back (perhaps the developers thought I was being offensive by even suggesting it). These dialogues are still the same some years and several releases later. I know it smacks of racism and/or xenophobia but I mean no disrespect by mentioning it. While I realise English is not the developer's first language, programs released and translated for English speaking customers should have proper translations and it reflects badly if they don't. Many of us laugh at Chinese or Japanese English (indeed there are many websites set up just so us perfect Westerners/Europeans can have a good laugh at their attempts at English - and this actually is borderline racist behavior) but while that is supposedly all in fun, where income and potential sales are concerned I would have expected offers of other-language translations to be welcomed rather than fobbed off. If I made software and wanted to sell it to China, for example, I'd make damn sure that any Chinese translation I had for it was perfect because if it isn't, sales would suffer and I see no difference in this case.

My offer still stands - I'd rather Novarm sold more copies of Diptrace so they could make a better living out of it and be able to hire people to assist development and add new features to make it even better. Free offers of help don't come every day and it always surprises me when they are not taken up.

That's about it. None of these things are real complaints or show-stoppers, just improvements, and the fact remains that Diptrace works and does the job for me exactly how it is. But we all have ideas on how it could be even better (for our own reasons) and hope that eventually our suggestions (if they are good enough) may be incorporated into the software. It's a very competitive field in the PCB/CAD software game and any potential advantage over the competition (I'd have thought) would be grasped with both hands.

I also realise it isn't just a matter of adding "a few lines of code" to implement even the simplest of features and some things could take months to write and test and release; in many cases adding something breaks something else so it isn't like I am hoping the things I suggest will be implemented immediately, if at all, or even in the next few releases if they are.

Here's hoping Diptrace continues to grow and improve despite the unsettling events happening over in that part of the world.

All the best

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: Feature requests
PostPosted: 21 Apr 2015, 06:03 
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Location: Vilnius, Lithuania
1. Why ? Where do you actually use that ? (you can rotate by 90°, but I haven't seen components that use non orthogonal pads)
2. Meh, not that important, but nice to have.
3. Just use the arrow keys.
4. OH GOD YES.
5. related to 4.
6. No, I see this one as useless - in the final sch or pcb you have to drag those around yourself, no matter how well it was positioned beforehand - this is done in especially retarded way in eagle, where you have to exlode the parts just to move refdes and name.
7. Haven't seen much of that or haven't read any help files, go figure.

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 Post subject: Re: Feature requests
PostPosted: 21 Apr 2015, 16:24 
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Joined: 01 Apr 2015, 05:55
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Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
VEC7OR wrote:
1. Why ? Where do you actually use that ? (you can rotate by 90°, but I haven't seen components that use non orthogonal pads)
2. Meh, not that important, but nice to have.
3. Just use the arrow keys.
4. OH GOD YES.
5. related to 4.
6. No, I see this one as useless - in the final sch or pcb you have to drag those around yourself, no matter how well it was positioned beforehand - this is done in especially retarded way in eagle, where you have to exlode the parts just to move refdes and name.
7. Haven't seen much of that or haven't read any help files, go figure.


Re 1, I can give you a very good example. I mainly do music electronics with lots of valves -- I know, who gives a toss about valves. right? But I do, and any CAD software should be able to cope with it. Most valve sockets have pins that are more like spade terminals or tabs; 0.5mm thick but 2.7mm wide. When making the pattern, I end up with a huge hole in the middle of a very thin pad as there is no room to expand the solder area outwards without fouling adjoining pins, which makes for a huge wasted area in the center of the pin that needs to be filled with solder (which is messy and not easy in itself) and the resulting physical connection is tenuous to say the least. You can create a pad with a slot-shaped hole the perfect size in Diptrace it but the slot can only sit at 0, 90, 180 and 270 degrees, which is hopeless as the terminals on the socket are at no time anywhere near those exact degrees and twisting them to fit is out of the question. If I could rotate the pads, the socket would fit like a glove into the board and be stable with a good electrical connection and physically very strong. That's why I would like rotating pads, and since other programs I've tried have it, someone's obviously thought about it and implemented it in those programs.

Re 6. In 99% of my schematics, the RefDes and other markings end up being in exactly the same place on each component. When I have to go and manually adjust 50-odd components after placing them just to put the markings in an identical position, does it not make sense to be able to do that once in part design? It might not matter a damn to you but it does to me as it adds an enormous amount of work that just shouldn't be an issue. Makes sense to me. I agree the way Eagle does it is God-awful but other programs do it wonderfully and this is a feature request forum..

Re 3. Yes, I do use the arrow keys and thank goodness we have that. But again this is a feature request part of the forum so that is what I am posting; a feature request for something I found good to use in another program and that could improve usability in this one, for me. As I said in my original post, it is only my opinion. Some of the other requests on here I don't see as important in the way I work the program but they are to the OP or they wouldn't have posted them.

Thanks for taking the time to respond.

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 Post subject: Re: Feature requests
PostPosted: 22 Apr 2015, 07:43 
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Joined: 14 Jun 2010, 06:43
Posts: 2760
Hi Dave,
Thanks for the feature requests. Some of them are in our feature list already, others will be considered.
On the 7th one, could you email to support at diptrace dot com and give some examples of mistakes.


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 Post subject: Re: Feature requests
PostPosted: 22 Apr 2015, 20:23 
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Joined: 01 Apr 2015, 05:55
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Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Alex wrote:
Hi Dave,
Thanks for the feature requests. Some of them are in our feature list already, others will be considered.
On the 7th one, could you email to support at diptrace dot com and give some examples of mistakes.


Certainly, I'll have to find them again first. There are not many but those I find I will forward on to you.

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 Post subject: Re: Feature requests
PostPosted: 07 Mar 2017, 08:52 
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Joined: 07 Mar 2017, 08:29
Posts: 3
Dave - I could almost have written your original post myself! Couldn't agree more.
However, when correcting any English, please remember that:
"Orient" means "of the East" and
"Orientate" means "positioning" (either in 2d or 3d space)
These are correct earlier on in your post.
I'd personally use "behaviour" rather than "behavior" but then I am from the old country and most users are probably from the U.S.

Admin: I would particularly like the ability to rotate pins other than orthogonally (i.e. at any angle one desires).

J_P


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