A few suggestions for making the DRC a bit more efficient and useful. In
general, the idea is that if the system can detect an error then it's
better to detect it as early as possible in the design process. That
allows the user to decide if they want to fix the issue right away or not.
But at least they know. Of course, some may want to turn that feature off
and should have a way to do that as well.
1) It would be nice to be able to run the DRC on the visible window. Many
designs I work on are incredibly dense so I continually need to make sure
that I haven't introduced an issue. Continuing work with one DRC error
that isn't fixed can lead to a lot of rework that isn't necessary--trust
me, I know
To make things quick I assign a key sequence to run the DRC directly
(clicking buttons takes too long when you run it as much as I do). But it
still runs the DRC on the entire design. I could use the mouse to select
and then run on that but that still takes longer than activating a quick
sequence. Being able to run on the visible aspect (which would typically
be what I was just editing) would be useful and cut down on a bunch of
processing. With complex designs the DRC can take quite long.
So either a mechanism at getting back the portion of the design that's
visible (which can then be passed to DRC) or a command line option on the
DRC to just run it on the visible part.
2) A pseudo-real-time DRC. I've used systems that have the real-time DRC
(Altium for one) and while it's sort of nice it can also be annoying just
as often. I'm not advocating for a system that tries to tell me what I
actually want to do.
A nice compromise I think would be to automatically run the DRC only on the
trace/via/element that was just edited or added. That way it should be
pretty fast (not running DRC on the entire design). And maybe the
real-time DRC would only check for some things and not others (for
instance, you probably wouldn't want to force a ratsnest to pour polygons
to check for those clearances).
Then maybe add the DRC errors to the display right away (like what the DRC
does now) or even a audible alarm. And reporting the DRC error and what
element is causing it in the status line would be great so you know exactly
what the problem is.
3) Related to above, add the ability to have more than just a beep for
audible feedback would be helpful. Assigning a particular sound file to
various errors would be great. So the online DRC could quack like a duck
James Morrison ~~~ Stratford Digital
Specializing in CadSoft EAGLE
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