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Thoughts on Eagle 8? [message #169222] Fri, 03 February 2017 00:03 Go to next message
Adam Drewery
Messages: 4
Registered: January 2014
Junior Member
I believe this is the most fitting place for this post, but please let me know if I am mistaken.

I've been using Eagle since I came into the industry four years ago. We originally had Eagle 5.x, and we have purchased the upgrades as they became available. After we decided the features were worth it. I've long thought the usage was a bit clunky at times, but there was typically an easy workaround for whatever issue I may be having.

Recently, Autodesk launched Eagle 8. We also were starting design on a board with BGA parts (which we have not had much experience with previously), and several of the new features  seemed like they would be really helpful. We went ahead and made the upgrade. I was excited because my company uses Autodesk Fusion - great, there will likely be integration added in the future. I also thought that they would be making an honest attempt to compete with Altium at a much lower price point. Instead, they made it less user friendly.

After struggling with it for two weeks, I have requested a refund. I am curious as to others' thoughts on Eagle 8. Mine are summarized below.

*New Features:*
The module feature sounds really useful, because we use several switching regulators on multiple PCBs. However, I have been unable to get it to work.The context menu for the module tool may as well be another language, because it does not make any sense to me.

The "easy BGA" feature left multiple pads trapped, and it would have been an enormous pain to use them in the future if needed. Should have known - autorouters aren't very good.

I find the simplified selection tools are actually more difficult to use.

The library support causes me a lot of heartburn. Far too often we have had library parts we import in that are either just plain wrong, and on finer pitched parts, our assembly houses have had issues. This ultimately cost us a 1 - 3 week delay in getting boards in.

*Routing:*
Previously, when I was routing a trace, I would click the center mouse button and select the new layer. Eagle would then switch to the selected layer and insert a via. I would then route on the layer I had just selected. Perfect. To me this was very intuitive.

Now, I click the center mouse button, I select my desired layer, and it forces me to route on the same layer I was on. It does not sink the via until after I've dragged the trace over pads that are for different signals. This, in my opinion, makes the routing tool incredibly difficult to use. In fact, I would say it's almost useless. I often have to get around several obstacles and I don't know that I want to switch layers until I am stuck. Then I have to either group all the traces and change the layers, or you have to swap them one by one.

I visited their support site, and I was unable to identify whether I could change this functionality back (note: you cannot). I was unable to find any "support" other than questions about subscriptions. I spent an hour looking for any way to change such a simple setting. I even contacted support, but when I asked if it was possible to change that setting I got, "So you are wanting to leave feedback?" No, I want to be able to use one of the most fundamental parts of a PCB design program.

*Subscription:*
My understanding of the industry is that the most popular PCB CAD programs are Altium, Allegro, and Eagle. With Altium, while you pay an arm and a leg for it, you purchase the product and a one year subscription up front. At the end of the year you can elect to keep your support active. There are also gobs of really nice features that I noticed when I tried it a couple of years ago. At the time, Altium was cost prohibitive. I have not looked into Allegro at all, so I am not sure how the purchasing/subscription works.

So Autodesk buys Eagle, and then immediately turns it into a subscription based service. I understand that many software platforms are going to this model, but I don't want to have to maintain a subscription if I do not think the new features being added in will be worth it. Much less if one of the most basic functions - routing - is useless as it stands right now.

*Conclusion:*
I thought it would be worth giving the upgrade a shot. Some of the features seemed really cool, but none of them are user friendly or intuitive. I saw that the routing tool had been changed, and I gave it an honest shot. After struggling to route only two bypass capacitors for a BGA part, I gave up and started using Eagle 7.6 again. I could get past never actually owning the product if it truly was improved, but I cant' justify the cost at this point. Even though it is a nominal $500/year charge ($250 because we use Autodesk Fusion - I received this email two weeks after the general email blast). Until they fix their routing tool, or at least give you the option to change how it works, I will not be upgrading again. At this point, it would be much more worth it to buy a copy of Altium and have the features I would expect Autodesk is planning on adding.

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Re: Thoughts on Eagle 8? [message #169252 is a reply to message #169222] Fri, 03 February 2017 21:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Jorge Garcia
Messages: 1294
Registered: April 2010
Senior Member
On 2/2/2017 7:03 PM, Adam Drewery wrote:
On 2/2/2017 7:03 PM, Adam Drewery wrote:
> *New Features:*
> The module feature sounds really useful, because we use several
switching regulators on multiple PCBs. However, I have been unable to
get it to work.The context menu for the module tool may as well be
another language, because it does not make any sense to me.
>
I think you are referring to designblocks right? Because modules are
part of the heirarchy functionality that was introduced in V7.

For designblocks you go File > Save selection as Designblock. Form the
group of parts you want to be in the block and ctrl right click. This
will take you to the board, repeat the selection by adding the traces
you want to be part of the designblock. Ctrl right click one more time.

Now you can save it as a reausable block you can bring into new designs.
> The "easy BGA" feature left multiple pads trapped, and it would have
been an enormous pain to use them in the future if needed. Should have
known - autorouters aren't very good.

The BGA router is highly configurable and it's likely that a different
set of parameters may have resulted in a better fanout.
>
> I find the simplified selection tools are actually more difficult to use.
As a long time EAGLE user, I feel your pain. It takes a little bit of
getting used to, but you'll find that you can largely still work in a
way that's familiar to you. All of the commands still maintain their
modal properties so you can use them in that way if you see fit.

You can also disable this property altogether by going Options > Set >
Misc tab, uncheck the Group default on option.
>
> The library support causes me a lot of heartburn. Far too often we
have had library parts we import in that are either just plain wrong,
and on finer pitched parts, our assembly houses have had issues. This
ultimately cost us a 1 - 3 week delay in getting boards in.

This is the nature of the beast we call EDA. All supplier provided
libraries should be taken with a grain of salt and verified. Many users
(in all tools not just EAGLE) have adopted the position that they will
only use parts they have made themselves. This is something you will run
into regardless of the program you use.
>
> *Routing:*
> Previously, when I was routing a trace, I would click the center
mouse button and select the new layer. Eagle would then switch to the
selected layer and insert a via. I would then route on the layer I had
just selected. Perfect. To me this was very intuitive.
>
> Now, I click the center mouse button, I select my desired layer, and
it forces me to route on the same layer I was on. It does not sink the
via until after I've dragged the trace over pads that are for different
signals. This, in my opinion, makes the routing tool incredibly
difficult to use. In fact, I would say it's almost useless. I often have
to get around several obstacles and I don't know that I want to switch
layers until I am stuck. Then I have to either group all the traces and
change the layers, or you have to swap them one by one.

This is really odd, are you using other keys in conjunction with the
route command? The middle mouse click, puts the via on the end of the
current trace after you select the layer you want to be on. Now you
place the via and then continue routing on the layer you selected. Using
the spacebar allows you to cycle through the various layers and avoid
the dialog all together.

If you want to place a via and then continue routing on the same layers,
once you are in via mode hold shift and left click.

>
> I visited their support site, and I was unable to identify whether I
could change this functionality back (note: you cannot). I was unable to
find any "support" other than questions about subscriptions. I spent an
hour looking for any way to change such a simple setting. I even
contacted support, but when I asked if it was possible to change that
setting I got, "So you are wanting to leave feedback?" No, I want to be
able to use one of the most fundamental parts of a PCB design program.

Thank you for reaching this forum, you could also reach us on the
Autodesk forums. It may be to late now, but I thought this might be
useful for the future.
>
> So Autodesk buys Eagle, and then immediately turns it into a
subscription based service. I understand that many software platforms
are going to this model, but I don't want to have to maintain a
subscription if I do not think the new features being added in will be
worth it. Much less if one of the most basic functions - routing - is
useless as it stands right now.

I think a demo is in order to show how the routing function is used
since it's drastically different to how EAGLE worked before. Once it's
understood though, I don't think I could ever go back to the way it was
before.

Please feel free to contact me directly jorge.garcia@autodesk.com

Let me know if there's anything else I can do for you.

Best Regards,
Jorge Garcia


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Re: Thoughts on Eagle 8? [message #169257 is a reply to message #169252] Fri, 03 February 2017 23:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Adam Drewery
Messages: 4
Registered: January 2014
Junior Member
Jorge,

Thank you for the reply.

Are there any tutorial videos on any of these new features? I feel like I looked around for quite a while, but I could only find the screenshots or 20 - 30 second clips on the Autodesk website. I realize it is new to Autodesk. When you make such large changes to basic functionality, I would expect a better (or any) tutorial would go a long way.

I tried to go to the Autodesk forums for help, but the Autodesk website is rather confusing to navigate. It was also shortly after launch, so I guess it wasn't fully operational at the time. Until just now, I was unable to find an EAGLE specific forum there. I want to include this post here, because this is exactly what irritates those of us in small businesses. Solved: New EAGLE licensing - Autodesk Community ( http://forums.autodesk.com/t5/eagle-forum/new-eagle-licensing/m-p/6814846/h ighlight/true#M3)​

That's a lot of long time users who are switching to KiCAD, or they are refusing your subscription based model and sticking with legacy Eagle versions. I was willing to look past it, but I cannot get past some of the changes Autodesk has made.

As far as the routing is concerned, I have the Route command set to a hotkey. I am not using anything else with it. I will include pictures here to hopefully clarify what I mean.

I want to be able to place a portion of the trace, like below:
[start.JPG]
Once I click the center mouse button/hit space bar and select my new layer, I want to have the via sink and then I can route on that layer. Like this:
[finish-7_6.JPG]
Eagle 8.0 does not allow you to do this. Instead, you continue routing on the +current+ layer, and then it sinks the via after you click. Then you start routing on the new layer. I tried holding shift + clicking but it did not change.
[finish-8_0.JPG]
I respectfully disagree with you that this is actually more intuitive or useful. I could see times where I would want the routing to work as it does in Eagle 8, but most of the time I prefer to have it work as it did in legacy Eagle versions. Part of this is being comfortable with how it works, and part of it is how I prefer to do board layout. At minimum, I should have the option to decide how something so fundamental and important works. Much in the same manner as there are two variations of each wire bend type.

Regards,
Adam Drewery

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Re: Thoughts on Eagle 8? [message #169258 is a reply to message #169257] Sat, 04 February 2017 01:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
geralds
Messages: 220
Registered: February 2014
Senior Member
Hi Adam,

now, wow, the routing needs a little bit training to use intuitiv.

That works fine if you know the workaround.
1) - press routing
2) - select with the left mouse button the layer
3) - route from to where you like stepping
4) - press the mittle mouse button -> the via appears -> you can forward routing on the same active layer (the via goes with you picked up),
or you can
4a) press the LEFT mouse button -> the via will fixed on this stopped place AND the next activ layer can be routed.
4b) by pressing the left mouse button the layer will changed, if you have more then two layers,
or if you have just two layers you will routing toward the top.
This can misunderstood if you haven't seen this. May be this is your little problem.

This is the flowchart:
LEFT -> rotates the Layer, MITTLE -> sets the Via, RIGHT -> rotates the wire corner shape
The left mouse button also has a multifunction: start / stop routing; select / pick up / lose the selected part

Gerald
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Re: Thoughts on Eagle 8? [message #169262 is a reply to message #169252] Sat, 04 February 2017 12:26 Go to previous messageGo to next message
geralds
Messages: 220
Registered: February 2014
Senior Member
Hi Jorge,

At 2h02 i answered Adam. Now tried testing the routing flowchart.

Eagle V 8 free::
I seems there is a software bug.
a) if the mouse button have distortion than it can switching more then once.
Then the routing stops and routing again on this wire can be difficult.

b) if the mouse button /via was pressed and the via appear AND then the routing was stopped
because contact distortion, the layer can not be changed nor routing.
-> a second via appears and after that i can route a wire on the changed layer.
So it can be placed more vias than one at the same place.
-> I suggest that switching the menu "Layer" and the mouse buttons must better checked.
Because the activating or deactivating can be more complex.

Best Regards,
Gerald
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Re: Thoughts on Eagle 8? [message #169264 is a reply to message #169262] Sat, 04 February 2017 22:05 Go to previous messageGo to next message
rickb
Messages: 15
Registered: March 2016
Location: Junction City, OR USA
Junior Member
If the mouse button contacts are bouncing enough to produce multiple outputs with 1 press, you need a new mouse. That's not the fault of eagle software.
Re: Thoughts on Eagle 8? [message #169265 is a reply to message #169258] Sat, 04 February 2017 22:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Adam Drewery
Messages: 4
Registered: January 2014
Junior Member
Gerald,

Thank you for the reply. While the suggestion did help to a small degree, I still do not think that it's very intuitive. If it were truly intuitive then training or a flowchart would not be needed. For something like routing a trace, I think use of a flowchart adds confusion, but everyone learns in their own way. In this case, it was a complete overhaul to a completely functional system. I've tried to keep an open mind, and I've messed around with another layout. I think the more I use it the more frustrated I get. To me, it makes more sense for step 4 to be:

4) press the middle mouse button - > select layer -> via is placed at current trace end and layer is switched

Why does there need to be TWO additional steps? 4a and 4b are unnecessary mouse clicks in my opinion. I suggest giving the user the option to determine how that works. Especially considering the system was completely changed. It could be just like the different wire bend styles. When the middle mouse button is pressed and the new layer is selected:
Option a) The via is sunk immediately, and routing begins on a new layer. (Legacy Eagle routing operation)
Option b) The via is carried until an additional left mouse click has been made. The via is then formed where that mouse click occurs. (Eagle 8 routing operation)

I guess my questions to you are:

1) Do you feel there was any real improvement made in changing the routing engine?
2) What do you think about the other changes that have been made?
3) Does the fact that it's a subscription make any difference to you?

My answers to those questions are:

1) No, not really. I think I've made it pretty clear that I am not a fan of how it works now.
2) I really don't think there's been any real improvement. The snap to pin feature was cool on the schematic, but in using it quite a bit I felt like it is overall more difficult to work with schematics.
3) I absolutely hate the idea that I will never own the product, and this undoubtedly will color my opinion of the changes and new features.

This also brings up perhaps the biggest issue of all. Why was there not some sort of basic, easy to find tutorial highlighting some of the new features and changes to existing features? Something that would highlight the changes and offer some suggestions for using Eagle how it used to be? If Autodesk truly intends to have Eagle CAD remain a quality product, then their support and tutorials need a drastic improvement. Thus far I have been sorely disappointed.

Regards,
Adam

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Re: Thoughts on Eagle 8? [message #169266 is a reply to message #169264] Sat, 04 February 2017 23:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message
geralds
Messages: 220
Registered: February 2014
Senior Member
I think there is a fault in the software too.
Bouncing, ok, but this was not my argument.
I meant switching from one layer to the other - if - the wire was stopped
AND i like routing again i must go a step of grid and then i can change the layer.

I created a small video you can see what i mean.
Please open this video with the Mozilla Firefox browser.

With the old version i can start routing directly after changing the layer.
Yes bouncing the  mouse contact also sleeping fingers can stop routing.
But i like go forward at the place where i stopped, on the same layer or on an other layer.

Best Regards,
Gerald

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Re: Thoughts on Eagle 8? [message #169267 is a reply to message #169264] Sat, 04 February 2017 23:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
geralds
Messages: 220
Registered: February 2014
Senior Member
I think there is a fault in the software too.
Bouncing, ok, but this was not my argument.
I meant switching from one layer to the other - if - the wire was stopped
AND i like routing again i must go a step of grid and then i can change the layer.

I created a small video you can see what i mean.
Please open this video with the Mozilla Firefox browser.

With the old version i can start routing directly after changing the layer.
Yes bouncing the  mouse contact also sleeping fingers can stop routing.
But i like go forward at the place where i stopped, on the same layer or on an other layer.

Best Regards,
Gerald

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Attachments:
eagleV8-routing-layer.zip
Re: Thoughts on Eagle 8? [message #169268 is a reply to message #169265] Sat, 04 February 2017 23:55 Go to previous messageGo to next message
geralds
Messages: 220
Registered: February 2014
Senior Member
Hi Adam,

Oh yes, I absolutely agree with you.

The old version was easier to use.

Please see the video, what I meant.


I think there is a software bug available.


Yes, two steps would not be effective.


It's like having a car that gives you gas that gears and brakes together.

Regards
Gerald
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Re: Thoughts on Eagle 8? [message #169270 is a reply to message #169268] Sun, 05 February 2017 00:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
rickb
Messages: 15
Registered: March 2016
Location: Junction City, OR USA
Junior Member
Gerald:

My comment was only related to your possible switch bounce problem. You would be better off starting a new thread with a relevant title concerning the change in Eagles operation, since it is more likely to be noticed. Try another mouse to see if the unintended extra mouse click is still there.
Re: Thoughts on Eagle 8? [message #169271 is a reply to message #169270] Sun, 05 February 2017 10:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
geralds
Messages: 220
Registered: February 2014
Senior Member
Hi Rick,

;)  My mouse is running well because gets feed every day.

This was just an example of the possibility and also my intention to help Adam, together with the flowchart.
I'm just waiting for Jorge's answer, so I've also created the video.
Yes of course, if this issue will be a fundamental point then we can open a new thread.

Regards,
Gerald
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Re: Thoughts on Eagle 8? [message #169280 is a reply to message #169265] Mon, 06 February 2017 20:45 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Jorge Garcia
Messages: 1294
Registered: April 2010
Senior Member
On 2/4/2017 5:56 PM, Adam Drewery wrote:
> Gerald,
>
> Thank you for the reply. While the suggestion did help to a small degree, I still do not think that it's very intuitive. If it were truly intuitive then training or a flowchart would not be needed. For something like routing a trace, I think use of a flowchart adds confusion, but everyone learns in their own way. In this case, it was a complete overhaul to a completely functional system. I've tried to keep an open mind, and I've messed around with another layout. I think the more I use it the more frustrated I get. To me, it makes more sense for step 4 to be:
>
> 4) press the middle mouse button - > select layer -> via is placed at current trace end and layer is switched
>
> Why does there need to be TWO additional steps? 4a and 4b are unnecessary mouse clicks in my opinion. I suggest giving the user the option to determine how that works. Especially considering the system was completely changed. It could be just like the different wire bend styles. When the middle mouse button is pressed and the new layer is selected:
> Option a) The via is sunk immediately, and routing begins on a new layer. (Legacy Eagle routing operation)
> Option b) The via is carried until an additional left mouse click has been made. The via is then formed where that mouse click occurs. (Eagle 8 routing operation)
>
> I guess my questions to you are:
>
> 1) Do you feel there was any real improvement made in changing the routing engine?
Hi Adam,

I think so. Being able to backspace segments(hit the backspace key and
you undo the previously laid segment) has been very useful for me. The
idea behind the extra click is that you can determine on the fly where
exactly you want the via to be, without having to commit to the end of
the last segment you placed. It may seem like an extra click now but
once push and shove comes into the picture(some time this year), you'll
see that it beneficial to be able to carry the via around as you
determine the best way to layout your signal. Keep in mind that now you
can switch layers by using the spacebar and shift+spacebar keys which I
find to be faster than the middle mouse click.

> 2) What do you think about the other changes that have been made?
I really like designblocks and I think its one of the strongest new
features. The new GROUP mode and routing engine would be up there for me
as well.
>
> This also brings up perhaps the biggest issue of all. Why was there not some sort of basic, easy to find tutorial highlighting some of the new features and changes to existing features? Something that would highlight the changes and offer some suggestions for using Eagle how it used to be? If Autodesk truly intends to have Eagle CAD remain a quality product, then their support and tutorials need a drastic improvement. Thus far I have been sorely disappointed.

I'll own up to the tutorials thing. We do need to make more of those,
there just wasn't any time before the release to do it.I was doing so
many other things in preparation for it, I can only imagine what the
rest of the team was up to.

In the coming months you'll see more content up on our website showing
how these new features can be leveraged to be more productive in EAGLE.

Support wise I'm also trying to stay on top of the forums and e-mail as
best as I can, the rest of the team is also doing their best. Feel free
to post here or in the Autodesk EAGLE forum since that has the best
chance right now of being spotted by support personnel.

Let me know if there's anything else I can do for you.

Best Regards,
Jorge Garcia

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Re: Thoughts on Eagle 8? [message #169282 is a reply to message #169266] Mon, 06 February 2017 21:35 Go to previous message
Jorge Garcia
Messages: 1294
Registered: April 2010
Senior Member
On 2/4/2017 6:38 PM, Gerald Schwarz wrote:
> I think there is a fault in the software too.
> Bouncing, ok, but this was not my argument.
> I meant switching from one layer to the other - if - the wire was stopped
> AND i like routing again i must go a step of grid and then i can change the layer.
>
> I created a small video you can see what i mean.
> Please open this video with the Mozilla Firefox browser.
>
> With the old version i can start routing directly after changing the layer.
> Yes bouncing the mouse contact also sleeping fingers can stop routing.
> But i like go forward at the place where i stopped, on the same layer or on an other layer.
>
> Best Regards,
> Gerald
>
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> https://www.element14.com/community/message/215190
>

Hi Gerald,

I hope you're doing well. I saw something like this when I was first
testing this release. We are releasing a bugfix release in the next few
days.

When that one is released please try it and let me know if the problem
continues.

Let me know if there's anything else I can do for you.

Best Regards,

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