I’m still using Eagle myself, it has its flaws and so on, i’ve tried Kicad it just seems to suffer the same fate of a lot of OSS that the UI isn’t that great, just as every other tool has its flaws but i’ve gotten used to it, i do try others and i’ve used altium and before that protel 99. I still do some work in Pulsonix because i like some of the track features. DipTrace i liked for its gerber work, same for Altium Its easier to RE gerbers in Altium.
In my experience programmers seem to be more willing to give up free time than some other fields, UI design/artists (not always, it isn’t binary, there is always nuance and exceptions). You can often shame a programmer for not making their project OSS but if you do it to say an artist, you’d be a CB.
Another factor is for me is that often, and it has been my experience with KiCAD is that the support environment becomes toxic. Like even writing this post stresses me out, so much so i’ve often written a response( elsewhere) and just chosen to stay quiet, i’ll only know at the end of the post if i’d actually post it.
If for instance as i am now doing, saying i prefer eagle over kicad i’d often get a lot of toxic responses and dismissals even though eagle used to be the darling of the maker/hackerspaces until Autodesk took over. If i post responses in other places helping other eagle users, and which 90%+ of the other answers will be switch to kicad and usually for only money reasons, not if its better/more usable. You get drowned out in the negative responses so sometimes you don’t want to help publicly.
I recently made a keyboard (using it now) that was mostly because of an internet forum comment saying it couldn’t be done. It’s way overkill and doesn’t make a lot of sense for a lot of people. Most of the comments about it were, you should give out the designs , you probably used existing firmware so share( i didn’t since no existing keyboard firmware works the way this one does) and very few people actually made comments, or the you are dumb, about the design etc. It was mostly just give it to me, regardless of anyone making it
Plus I really do like Fusion 360 its so much cheaper than some of the alternatives and if they can get the Eagle integration polished and better than it is now, it’ll be much more useful that it is now.
Same thing goes for GCC, GCC ARM used to be so bad that ARM themselves were ashamed of just how bad it was and paid for the development of it to make it better, but at the time if you said anything about it at the time, you’d be drowned in responses.
I use Windows, Visual Studio, IAR, Keil, Eagle, I often use MFC (one of the most used/tested UI classes in existence) since 99% of my current professional work is in Windows. So you can probably imagine the levels of toxicity you’d get. But they often all just are easier to work with, I do believe in using the right tool for the right job and being open to change, I don’t believe in OS wars or compiler wars. I’ve used GCC extensively, even maintained an internal Nintendo branch for a long time. I just sometimes wish that it’d be more merit based and that there was less splintering.
I understand that money is important and its a factor. I’ve done consultancy work very recently where the original engineer used Altium to design the PCB and then Arduino to write the software, and only supplied PDFs and gerbers, I reversed them all back to Eagle and taught them how to make the basic changes in Eagle as well as aware of other tools and how to deal with external contractors, even when they have a contract that says the client owns everything.
I’ve always been in involved in open source, since before it was open source, freeware, shareware, giveaways, or just when no one ever distributed binaries only source code, so i’m not opposed to it at all, but it just seems like the support communities around it become so toxic, there is a lot of gate keeping and its hard to walk that line, especially if you are cheering for the underdog its hard to be visible without seeming fandom.
Perhaps its because you’ll end up with a lot of people who aren’t developers as such and they become spokespeople or wards of the software, but then take it into the personal realms, or that people get upset about subscriptions or before than even paying for software, they’ll pay way over for hardware though, see the aforementioned mechanical keyboards
It’s a shame really, I wish it weren’t like and the tribalism wasn’t there. That we’d all help each other out regardless of software choices. If people are interested in learning that is so great, encourage them to explore.
There are so many splinters. programmers especially seem to suffer excessively from the NIH or the last person sucked mentality and we end up with so many things that are almost OK. Like GCC, we have llvm now which is great, but now we also have so many programming languages based from llvm. Practically every place i go now uses a different language and they’re often just in house, or the only users. I just started to work with a place that uses an llvm language that they beyond a few people playing around where the sole users, so much so they hired the dev who wrote it.
We’re also often guilty of lacking the nuances needed to make objective decisions , that not every project is a 16 layer analog routing nightmare and you’d don’t need super fancy. you know like the mass of programmers who use Vim.
It’s all pretty interesting to me, the various ways the computer world has changed. I still occasionally try kicad and other tools to see if they are more usable than they were, but at the moment the two way fusion integration is really useful to me, as well as the project sharing especially at the moment.
anyway apologies for the out of place, rambling first coffee of the day post, hopefully i haven’t butchered my thoughts too much. hope you all have a great day.