There is a growing movement in the world of electronics called “Open-source hardware” – it has rapidly become very popular over the last 5 years or so, we’re very close to defining what it is and what we need going forward. It’s been a long road with hundreds of talented people working very hard releasing their projects and helping others. Today we just got some great news from the CadSoft EAGLE development team about the their long term commitment to text based file formats in the world of electronics development. With their permission I am posting this here. It’s extremely exciting for those of us who wanted an XML format for files and we’re thrilled CadSoft EAGLE has said they’re committed to it!
Here’s the overview of what we learned:
- CadSoft EAGLE (our preferred schematic/layout software) has told us they are committed to a text based format in the long term.
- The CadSoft EAGLE development team is developing a new format for schematic, layout and parts libraries that is XML, this means every object and line will be written out in text description.
- You won’t have to worry about binary file corruption, you will be able to hand-edit or generate schematics and layouts and of course the magic of version-control (such as github) will be easier than ever with real text ‘diff’s!
- This will be a fully documented format and also of course a converter for old CadSoft EAGLE binary-type formats.
This is a great direction and I encourage you to support EAGLE as you decide which tools to use now and in the future. But that’s not all, I’ve chatted with the element-14 folks and they’re all set up for your feedback, if they’re very interested in Maker voices their product development. So here’s your chance folks – please stop by the element-14.com site and community.
I’ll post up more as there are new developments. For the folks have asked for a “file format” anyone can read for schematics, layouts and parts libraries – we’re now one step closer with a commitment from one of the most popular tool makers. Special thanks to Windel (EMSL) and Ladyada (Adafruit) and Drew from element-14!