On 12/22/05, John Perry <j.e.perry@cox.net> wrote:

How about dxf format? Most cad applications, including Eagle, have
conversion utilities, and it's a text-only format that can be put under
version control with no trouble at all.

Since I've not had occasion to use it except to convert to and from
Autocad to another mechanical cad format, I can't give any advice or
endorsement myself, except to say that my mechanical conversions went in
both directions without a hitch.  But no one seems to have mentioned it
yet, so it may be worth a look.

John Perry

Hi John,

You may find that exported DXF is graphical, more for documentation purposes than electrical implementation.  Does Eagle import DXF as well?  If it does, there is hope that the process isn't too lossy and enough electrical properties are preserved to be useful.

Historically, the more common ASCII format used for exchanging graphical/symbolic representations of PCB circuits between software applications has been EDIF.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EDIF

I used to use it a lot between Protel and some in-house tools, back when I was reverse-engineering stuff at Chipworks. ;-)

My own personal preference based on more recent endeavours is something XML-based like SVG.  It's a LOT easier to mark-up, filter, and massage an intermediate XML-based format using XSL Transforms, to handle those subtle differences between what one program puts out and the other expects, as well as write out to whatever destination format you need.  The tricky part is coming up with the initial "db2xml" parser...


Disclaimer:  I work for Cadence Design Systems, albeit on the semiconductor design software, so I choose to keep my distance with respect to downloading and/or using Eagle to check things out for myself.  A necessary evil, unfortunately.


If you don't know what to do, do something.