live schematics histories for all Qi hardware KiCad projects

Wolfgang Spraul wolfgang at
Sat Oct 2 03:05:22 EDT 2010

I'm happy to announce a big step forward in our copyleft hardware
project: live schematics histories!

What this does is that for every commit of a KiCad project into
the projects server, a visual diff will be generated showing what
was changed in the schematics.
An excellent way to follow, understand, review and give feedback
on the schematics work, and very helpful in tracking down bugs
later, understanding what was changed, when and why.

I hope this will also encourage those working on the KiCad files
to write meaningful commit messages, to commit small autonomous
improvements one by one, and in general to follow more of the good
development practices that were created by the free software
Let's start with good commitlogs: If you commit something into a
KiCad project, don't think anymore that nobody will see your stuff
anyway :-) Instead, spend a little extra time to write a good
commitlog. Thanks!

The two biggest KiCad projects right now are Xué, the digital
camera, and AVT2, our old Ben NanoNote prototyping board.

Another nice side-effect of the scripts is that we will always
automatically have a full PDF version of the schematics of each
KiCad project, updated after every commit. See the 'All Sheets'
link in the top right corner of the big schematics diff overview.

A little outlook: If we can keep the schematics diffs up and running,
and people like them, the next thing on our nearly infinite copyleft
hardware wishlist would be automatically generated visual diffs of
layout changes, or renderings of mechanical files, or automatically
created BOM 'shopping lists', or ... :-)

Thanks a lot to Werner for pushing things forward with schhist, if
you think you can help anywhere please don't hesitate to join...
Feedback welcome as always, Cheers,

I have uploaded Debian packages (64-bit only) for KiCad including
Werner's patches.
In the coming weeks we will spend a bit more time to package fped
(a parametric footprint editor) as well, hopefully making it easier
for people to join the KiCad fun.

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