Now that Coppers initial version is released to the public I want to give an outlook of what will be the next few steps. Copper has been developed from scratch and from the ground up to be a native Mac OS X Cocoa Application. It uses latest Apple technology and I will do so in the future. I don’t have any plans at the moment to port it to Windows as this would slow down development pace and wouldn’t be a lot of fun at all.
It will be a long road to actually build a full EDA software suite that allows you to create a PCB from scratch as this involves quite a few modules that we have not implemented at all. But, to be clear: That is the goal. I want Copper to be the state of the art EDA Software Suite for the Mac with modern User Interface. Focusing on ease of use and tools to master complexity of modern PCB development. For beginners that play around with Sparkfun or Adafruit breakout boards and Arduinos, to electronic enthusiasts developing their own PCBs and even professionals working on large scale projects.
In this release we focused on general user interface, basic cloud services like our cloud based 3D parts library, implementation of Octopart.com for easy part sourcing, general file management conventions and of course reading and displaying Eagle PCB layouts in 2D and 3D.
Our general software development strategy is a tik-tok model. That means that after each feature release (a tik) we focus on bug fixing in the next release (tok). The main intention is to keep stability, usability and performance as high as possible while the application will get more complex over time. To make this happen we need your support: Please write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org whenever you recognize a bug.
As we did extensive (beta) testing for the initial release we hope we don’t receive a lot of bug reports for this initial release and we’ll concentrate on the next feature release.
The next release will add schematics rendering and analyzation and a very nice loupe feature. While we waited for the App Review to complete we already developed the core components to get this feature done. You’ll be able to display the schematics alongside your layout, when hovering over a signal in the PCB the signal will also be highlighted in the schematics and the other way round. Here is a sneak peak of our schematic rendering (color scheme is not complete yet).