Newbie question: Sub-interpreters for CAD program

Terry Hancock hancock at
Sat Aug 27 23:56:03 CEST 2005

On Saturday 27 August 2005 03:21 am, David MacQuigg wrote:
> The discouraging thing about the EDA tools situation is that no matter
> how loudly design engineers complain about the poor quality of the
> proprietary tools they are using, there is very little interest in
> participating in an open-source project.  They just can't see how it
> would ever do what their expensive tools do now.

Yes. I think this is analogous to the problems with word processors and
office workers.  The concern is driven I think by a fear of incompatibility.
It's certainly difficult to deal with the reality that  many people in business
insist on distributing information in whatever nasty variant of .doc format
their word processor happens to spit out, and it's not easy to be sure you
can read it.

Similarly, if you can't read AutoCAD formatted CAD files in a mechanical
design business, you're basically screwed.  That's a strong motivation to
keep using AutoCAD no matter how awful the program itself is.

It will take a really big, long-term push by a fair number of interested
people to give a free alternative a chance against such an entrenched
existing proprietary application.  In the long term, it would be worth it,
but a lot of people have to back it for a long time, and that's hard to

> There is a similar lack of interest in the academic community.  None
> of this is likely to lead to publications in scholarly journals.

I'm confused by what you meant by this.  Are you saying that academics
are afraid of using or creating open source CAD tools, or that they have
a lack of interest in tools development, because it won't generate papers
(directly anyway)?

Terry Hancock ( hancock at )
Anansi Spaceworks

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