[Discuss] FOSDEM 2016 EDA devroom Call for Participation

timofonic timofonic timofonic at gmail.com
Fri Oct 30 00:44:34 UTC 2015


I'm just a lurker. I just wish the EDAcore idea gets reconsidered and taken
more seriously.

I think usability is extremely underrated in FOSS, specially in the
technical tools.
Both gEDA and KiCad are very cumbersome to use and has too many quirks.
* What about collaborating with entities such as OpenUsability.org and
start pilot survey programs to get feedback from users? I could do one in
my vocational training school if someone assist me on it and teachers.
* Usability doesn't mean to make software dumber, but more comfortable to
use and customize to users needs. It requires to understand the psychology
of users, different workflows and skills/experience of users.
*  Please don't follow certain toxic approaches chosen by many popular FOSS
and proprietary software, making software less featured and even
frustrating in certain cases.

I think it's just not enough to have open formats, but to provide
interoperability between FOSS and many proprietary EDA tools.

- I think the final goal would be something like OpenDocument, even better
if itbecomes part of OASIS. It would require an agreement between many FOSS
 and some smaller proprietary EDA developers, I'm sure big ones aren't
interested in breaking this way of vendor lock-in.

- What about sharing a common format and repoaitory for symbols, footprints
and simulation models? What about the issue v of copyright in SPICE models
from component manufacturers?

For the good of FOSS and OSHW communities, there must be an agreement to
join in common goals instead differences.
- All egos must be taken apart and share as much source code as possible to
save reaources.

Real Time/Online Collaboration: This is underrated in OSHW, but it's quite
used in proprietary tools and big companies with software such as Altium.
- I think there's also a need to make GitHub-like services provide better
capabilities for OSHW by extending already available protocols.
* Git extensions for RTCE?
* Visual diffs?
* Use of WebRTC/ORTC (aka WebRTC 1.1)? Wave protocol?

- Software development has a better culture and availability of tools for
collaboration and organization:
* Source Code Management tools exist since longer time.
* There's lots of tools in FOSS from CVS to Git and many many proprietary
* There's tons of bugtrackers and ways to debug software easily by users.
* There's better documentation.
* Cowboy programming us discouraged and a failure for a project, but cowboy
electronics is the usual way. There isn't a good culture for collaboration
and helping, but a competitive and isolating one.

- How to protectively promote and make it as easy as possible in hardware?

- This could be quite useful in:
* Big OSHW projects: Why just design simple stuff? Why not a complete
computer device, big industrial hardware, a professional grade oscilloscope
or whatever?

* Education: With some modes (read-only, blocked app, logging user
usage...) this could be very useful for teaching and training.

- Please take into account i18n:
* I know English is the pidgin language of these days, but some very
skilled professionals still refuse to it.
* Many languages like ones from Asia are very different from English and
have serious issues learning it in an acceptable level at least.
* You are from Spain like me, so you know even my inaccurate English is a
lot better than the average one, even from higher education.

Organization and coordination of FOSS projects:

- Many FOSS projects lack a proper organization and coordination:
* They need good project managers with strong leadership and open minded
but practical thinking. Stubbornness is discouraged and sometimes a core
team is needed to avoid chaos. Meritocracy can level up or down the ranges
and responsabilitiea of contributors in the organization.
* This makes projects to eventually stagnate and die, it's very sad this
happens so commonly on many really interesting projects.

Kind regards.

On Thursday, October 29, 2015, Javier Serrano <Javier.Serrano at cern.ch>

Dear all,

This year we are again organizing a FOSS Electronics Design Automation
(EDA) devroom at FOSDEM:


It is clear that electronics designs are best shared using file formats
which can be viewed and modified using free-as-in-freedom tools. There
has been quite a lot of progress feature-wise and quality-wise in many
of these tools in recent years. This event is a great opportunity to
catch up with the latest developments and discuss with developers and
users of these tools.

Please consider submitting a request for a talk or just attending, and
feel free to pass this on to anybody you think could be interested.


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