Fwd: GEDA discussion on fedora-list

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fwd as requested
----------  Forwarded Message  ----------

Subject: GEDA discussion on fedora-list
Date: Sunday 09 April 2006 10:43
From: Stuart Brorson <sdb@xxxxxxxxxx>
To: gene.heskett@xxxxxxxxxxx
Cc: Stuart Brorson <sdb@xxxxxxxxxx>

Hi Gene --

Thanks for forwarding the discussion from Fedora-list to geda-user.  I
read the discussion on the Fedora-list archives with great interest.
I would like to reply, but don't want to subscribe to Fedora-list --
too much traffic.  Can you please forward this e-mail to Fedora-list?



Hello Fedora-list --

I am the guilty party responsible for the gEDA Install CD, which
attempts to install the entire suite of gEDA tools onto an aribtrary
Linux box.  This installer was the subject of a recent thread on
Fedora-list.  I'd like to add a couple of bits of information to the
topics previously discussed.

*  Somebody asked for information describing gEDA so he could approach
his manager about using it.  Several articles have appeared about gEDA
recently.  January Linux Journal had an article, available online here:


Also, articles have appeared in "Circuit Cellar", March 2005, as well
as March 2006 and April 2006.  The last two issues should still be
available at better magazine stores or libraries.

*  About the difference between the RPMs available on the .pl website
and the suite of tools available on the CD:  The CD is a superset of
the RPM collection.  Also, the CD is a source distribution which
includes a distro-independent install wizard which automates the
process of checking for dependencies and building the software.  The
CD follows the Gentoo philosophy, instead of just installing binary
RPM (or .deb or whatever) packages.

The original gEDA project was limited to a schematic capture program,
a netlister, and some other utilities.   These programs are formally
referred to as gEDA/gaf; the are distributed as the RPMs on the .pl
list (amongst other places).

Allied with the gEDA project are a number of other EDA programs
(written by other programmers) which are now collectively members of
the gEDA project.  These allied programs include a PCB layout editor,
Gerber viewer, analog and digital simulators, waveform viewers, and a
couple of other utilities.

The entire suite of
gEDA/gaf and the other allied programs are now referred to as the gEDA
project.  (Confused  yet?)  I have bundled this entire set of
programs onto the CD so EEs looking for a design suite can get
everything with a single download.

You can read more about the project (and perhaps have this
particular question answered better) here:


*  About problems using the CD to install on FC5:  When I build the CD
install disk, I take pains to test it to ensure that the install
wizard will run successfully on a variety of Linux machines.  In
particular, I run a little test/validation lab in my basement where I
have some old, junk machines onto which I can install (and reinstall,
and reinstall ...) various Linux distros, and then install gEDA on top
of them.

Currently, I validate the CD on SuSE 9.2, SuSE 10, and FC4.  I also
validate the CD on FC 1 and an FC 2 boxes, although these are my
developement machines, and so they don't hold a generic install
(i.e. lots of stuff has been updated).  Other testers validate the
installer on Debian.

I spin a new CD every 4 -- 6 months, depending upon the main gEDA
release schedule.  I haven't tested the CD on FC 5 yet since, well, I
have a busy, professional-life schedule and haven't had time to do the
work, and Linux distros move fast.  :-)   Therefore, I'm not suprised
that FC 5 presents a couple of small problems.

(Also, the decision
to use gcc-4.0.x as the default compiler on FC 4 and beyond kneecapped
a couple of slower-developing programs, and we are still working on
getting them up to speed again.  Forgive my whining.)

Work-arounds and release notes pertainent to installing gEDA are put
on the gEDA wiki here:


The other gEDA developers and I do try to squish bugs quickly,
GEDA/gaf is particularly good w.r.t. keeping up with distro changes.
Other programs, however, can take longer as the individual developers
are all busy with other things.  The install wizard always offers you
the option of just skipping a failing program and continuing, and
that's what I recommend for gnucap.  Since the source tarballs are
bundled on the CD, you can do a manual install of any failed program
after running the install wizard.

*  Finally, somebody mentioned that the install wizard puts things
into non-standard places.  I would appreciate hearing more about this
issue.  FWIW, I designed the installer to put system packages into
/usr/local/src, and put the built programs into the
/usr/* hierarchy (i.e. --prefix=/usr).  Using the installer, the gEDA
stuff itself can be put into any directory you specify.

I appreciate any and all constructive suggestions/comments/bug
reports.  I am very interested in seeing gEDA (and other open-souce
CAD packages) developed further and finding wider use amongst Linux
users.  If you want more info about gEDA, or have a problem with the
installer, please check the wiki first.  If that fails, feel free to
e-mail me at  sdb (*at*) cloud9 (*dot*) net.




Cheers, Gene
People having trouble with vz bouncing email to me should add the word
'online' between the 'verizon', and the dot which bypasses vz's
stupid bounce rules.  I do use spamassassin too. :-)
Yahoo.com and AOL/TW attorneys please note, additions to the above
message by Gene Heskett are:
Copyright 2006 by Maurice Eugene Heskett, all rights reserved.

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