About 1 year ago I posted up that CadSoft EAGLE v6 promised the open-source hardware community they would include XML import/export as part of version 6. Last week they released v6 and it was in there. Here’s part of the note from last year.
- The CadSoft EAGLE development team is developing a new format for schematic, layout and parts libraries that is XML, this means every object and line will be written out in text description.
- You won’t have to worry about binary file corruption, you will be able to hand-edit or generate schematics and layouts and of course the magic of version-control (such as github) will be easier than ever with real text ‘diff’s!
- This will be a fully documented format and also of course a converter for old CadSoft EAGLE binary-type formats.
And here’s the featured item on the “what’s new in v6″
XML database structure redesign. Read, edit and parse the data outside of the EAGLE tool. The new XML database structure provides the ability to write scripts that manipulate designs in the EAGLE format which will give users huge productivity benefits. You can make design changes, import information from other designs, and even translate from other formats. EAGLE is one of the first Commercial CAD Programs that adopts a ASCII XML data structure as their native file. This makes EAGLE the most flexible, user friendly and productive PCB tool on the market.
I think we’ll see many open tools like KiCAD and gEDA (and more close source tools, including EAGLE) all supporting the importing and exporting of data for more sharing. I’m also looking forward to visual diffs as services like GitHub add more features for hardware.