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Status of VUTRAX 13.2a Before Release of 13.3a (Mar 2009)

Extract of Change Marked Sections from

\SRCE\DOC\VTXLOG.PFM last updated on Fri Nov 14 13:10:26 2008

VUTRAX 13.2a
Entry Date: 8 Mar 2008 - 27 Oct 2008

  • Installation with Linux Fedora 9 requires workarounds for the font setting size described in SAN 215.
  • Installation with Linux Fedora 10 Alpha 1 is not possible. Changes in hand for Vutrax 13.3 resolve this and improve the range of fonts selectable.
  • Files are interchangeable with Vutrax 13.0a..b & 13.1a. Files from older issues are accepted and procedures and/or back converters are available.
  • A new configuration file is required for each licence.
General Enhancements (Windows & Linux):
  • Process priority selected according to type of job to improve interactive performance while running processing bound tasks in background. e.g. Routing, Design checking & Rats-nest generation run at lower priority than interactive graphics.
General Enhancements (Linux):
  • Library pre-Installer is no longer required.
    Files .../rtl/*.so are no longer needed (but are harmless)
  • Compatibility with SE Linux does not require any overrides (SAN214 is no longer needed).
  • Simple utilities can be run direct from Launchers and/or Bash shell.
  • A number of dialogue box & menu layouts and usability improved.
  • Automatic 'stacking' of similar Window types implemented.

Version:    DRAFT 39.03a (Vutrax 13.2a)
Entry Date: 26 Feb 2007 - 8 Mar 2008

  • [Picked All Layers] from (Edit > Picked Items > Layers)
    [Blinked All Layers] from (Edit > Blinked Items > Layers)
    [Boxed All Layers] from (Edit > Boxed Items > Layers)
    BOX LAYER <from layer> <to layer> Z
    PICK LAYER <from layer> <to layer> Z
    BLINK LAYER <from layer> <to layer> Z
    The mass layer change variants with option 'Z' do not reliably stop propagating layer change at the zero width.
    Workaround 1: If a whole structure is being worked on, UNDO (if required) and add 'X' after the layer pair specified to force point by point change without layer propagation.
    Workaround 2: Otherwise correct any errors using menu command
    [Partial Layer] from (Edit > Properties > Layer)
    or typed command
    LAYER <to layer> Z
    Fix: A development fix is available on request.
  • Pad setting and various other dialogues limited pad number setting using Up/down controls to maximum 999 instead of 2047.
    Workaround: Type the pad number into the numeric field.
    o Flash ... (DRAW <n>) used 100% of available processor.
    Avoidance: None needed in normal use. For signal highlighting while doing other work on a single core processor or battery powered laptop (e.g. highlighting a track for fault tracing), use [Blink ...] instead.
  • BOX SIZE <From> <To>
    PICK SIZE <From> <To>
    BLINK SIZE <From> <To>
    <From> & <To> are now treated as three separate parts:-
      * The pad shape number - always to be matched and updated.
      * Orientations (U, Q, H, T, N & L) must be matched if specified
        in <From> but are preserved unless explicitly specified in <To>
      * Degree Turn (D<angle>) must be matched if specified in <From>
        but is preserved unless explicitly specified in <To>.
  • Introduction of a pad with undefined shape offers to enter the setup dialogue.
  • [Linux] Banding uses dotted outline (similar to Windows version)

Version:    DRAFT 39.04a (Vutrax 13.2a Update 1)
Entry Date: 24 Mar 2008
Problem Fixed for DRAFT 39.03a (Vutrax 13.2a):

  • Output of ELONG pad shapes to Postscript format may cause them to be omitted or spurious lines to appear. [Linux] Output to CUPS printers may similarly malfunction.
    ELONG pads used to be used extensively for single sided through hole component mounting, but are little used now.
    Workaround: If the problem occurs use Postscript output from PLOT.
    Fix: A development fix is available as vtx13 2a update 1*.t01 available on the web site.

Version:    DRAFT (*** Update planned for Vutrax 13.3)
Entry Date: 27 Oct 2008
Problem in issues to & including 39.04a (Vutrax 13.2a Update 1)

  • Setting of exact alternate coordinate system dimensions in Dialogue Boxes (the greyed value displayed to the right of the up/down buttons) will produce inaccurate results on large values because they display the alternate coordinate as if 1mm = 40 THOU (1.6% difference) which is safely equivalenced only for lines widths and pad sizing.
    Effects dialogue entries are CURVE radii, ROUND radii, MAKELIB offsets spacing and component height, HATCH pitch settings & DASH line segment lengths.
    Workaround 1:
    Permanently change the drawing coordinates to the ones you are using at
    [New Choice of coordinate] from (Options > Coordinate)
    Reply [Yes] to the question on re-scaling.
    Warning: Don't keep switching back and forth - there is inevitable rounding of coordinate values.
    Workaround 2:
    Work out the radius in the units that you are using for the drawing, and use this value. Windows or Linux calculator is fine. e.g.
    Coordinates in THOU, Required radius 123.4mm 123.4 / 25.4 = 4.85826 = 4858'3 THOU
    Coordinates in mm, Required radius 4.85826 inch = 4858'3 THOU 4.8583 * 25.4 = 123.40mm
    Ignore the exact value to the right of the up/down control when entering the calculate value.
    Workaround 3: (not for MAKELIB)
    If you have a number to do you can use the typed command e.g.
    CURVE N <radius> ...
    where <radius> is THOU if integer or MM in floating, with accurate conversion applied.
    To obtain the appropriate options without looking them up, use the dialogue, but instead of selecting the position click on the command/status line (above the layer list) and edit the values after '<command> n ..' to the required form and value (e.g. 25.4 instead of 1016).
    A redesign for the display and differentiation of scaled and unscaled alternate coordinate system values is planned for Vutrax 13.3.

Version:    TOOLBOX 12.03 Dev D (Update in VTX13 2F IDF EXPORT.I01)
Entry Date: 27 Jul 2008 - 14 Nov 2008
Problems in TOOLBOX 12.00c:

  • DXFTOVTX Some issues of AutoCAD emit shapes using the SPLINE keyword. The extensive curve fitting algorithm includes many parameters and is beyond a simple conversion utility. [Save As] in AutoCAD to emit version 12 should avoid the problem. Rather than leave such items undrawn, DXFTOVTX now treats SPLINEs as straight line segments using the default width.
    Customers with problems please contact us for preliminary fix.
  • CREATELIB (Create Library from Artwork) generates the wrong format for some SILKSIZE and PAD directives by including spaces between the pad size numeric and orientation. The problem is detected during Rats-nest generation (WIRE) and shows the offending line.
    Workaround: Remove the offending spaces with a text editor.
  • CREATELIB devices built from named groups and including mounting holes in the SILKSHAPE generated a spurious line (detected and faulted buring Rats-nest) for each such mounting hole at the end of the named groups.
    Workaround: Remove the spurious lines with a text editor.
  • CREATELIB of devices with non-contiguous pin numbers generated an error when presented to Rats-nest. CHECKSOFF is now included before ENDDEV to inhibit this report.
    Workaround: Add the line CHECKOFF before ENDDEV for the reported device(s).
  • CREATELIB has difficulties handling mixes of different Degree rotated and axial devices. This is under investigation.
    Customers with problems please contact us for preliminary fix.

Version:    PLOT 17.07a (VUTRAX 13.2a Update 1)
Entry Date: 24 Mar 2008
Problem Fixed for PLOT 17.06a (Vutrax 13.2a)
Problem Fixed for PLOT 17.05a (Vutrax 13.1a)

  • Styles Effected: Pen plotter, Photoplotter, Postscript output, Milling & Vutrax native output.
    Not effected: Windows GDI, Bitmap Image Printers, NC Drill, Print outputs from DRAFT.
    Zero width points that include the Butt-end designator and are followed by further points in the item are drawn on the plot (as the narrowest pen/aperture permitted).
    Diagnosis: The plot output or Photoplot preview includes thin lines joining unintended points. Most users make little use of Butt-end lines and do not see the problem.
    Workaround: Set all zero-width Butt-end points to Round end. One possible scheme for this is within DRAFT. Prepare a file (say) FIX0B.DEX containing
    PICK ON *
    PICK OFF *
    and run it using [Run Macro] from (Options > Macros).
    You can save the result normally, or save to a new file just for plotting purposes. For one off use just type in the commands at the DRAFT prompt.
    Fix: A development fix is available as vtx13 2a update 1*.t01 available on the web site.

Version:    PLOT 17.08 Dev A (VUTRAX 13.2a Update 2 beta 3)
Entry Date: 27 Jul 2008 Problem:

  • If a square flash aperture is specified in the .HNB file that is larger than the width of an axially drawn butt-ended line in the same artwork, then there is a chance that the butt-ended line will be drawn using multiple-flashes of the oversized square aperture. With automatic Gerber 274X this may occurs if such a square pad is included in the artwork.
  • Some axial butt-ended lines were unnecessarily drawn by construction with a small round aperture. If this create any problem for an existing user use SAN197 on ...\WIN32\PLOT.EXE (Linux: .../xwin/plot) to apply patch
    0 'NeverFlashLines' ; 1 'NeverFlashLines'

Version:    CNCTOOLS 2.02a (Vutrax 13.2a Update 2 Beta 3).
Entry Date: 12 Apr 2008
Problem Fixed:

  • If a tool is selected but not used (e.g. is followed by another tool selection) the re-ordering of tool selections fails with internal error report 'Coordinate Suppress 1'. This condition can occur when PLOT option Q64 is used and all the drilling for a particular item is suppressed.
    Problem is present in Vutrax 13.2a & Vutrax 13.1a
    Workaround 1: Use the original file un-optimised.
    Workaround 2: Text edit the file, find occurrences of successive tool selections (usually a line T<digit><digit> followed by another) and remove the first of the pair. Searching for single letter string 'T' saves loads of paging down. Re-run the optimiser using a [Specify] item with command
    CNCTOOLS <your drill output filename> -1
    (last 3 characters are 'space minus one' if fonts are unclear).
    Fix: A fix is available by email on request. We have only a single report of this occurrence and it is not a hidden error, so will await the next update.

Version:    CNCTOOLS 2.03a (*** Update Pending).
Entry Date: 28 Aug 2008
Clarification & :

  • The option '-1' to produce and optimise a tool selection is normally used automatically and safely by PLOT. If you use it explicitly be careful that the file is a reproducible Drill file. Any other file type is likely to be corrupted.

Version:    WIRE 69.03a (Vutrax 13.2a)
Entry Date: 14 Oct 2007

  • Problem: Trace shapes specifying Butt-end lines that appear in a Rats-nest libraries (.LIB) cause file import to stop with the error diagnostic:-
    "Invalid format for description part of PADSHAPE for TRACE"
    You only need to fix this fault if the diagnostic occurs
    Fix for Windows:
    Implement SAN 197 to patch ...\WIN32\WIRE.EXE using
    A1  ?  ?  ?  ? 83 F8 01 0F 8c 9b 00 00 00  ;
    90 90 90 90 90 90 90 90 90 90 90 90 90 90
    Fix for Linux:
    Implement SAN 197 to patch ...\XWIN\WIRE using
    83 F8 01 72 24 83 ;
    ?  ?  ? 90 90  ?

Version:     PRINTFRM 41.05a (*** Issue pending)
Entry Date: 12 Apr 2008

  • If a printer font (.FDF) filename includes spaces then it should be quoted, but PRINTFRM does not recognise the quotes and only uses the filename up to the first space. (Spaces and quotes in the main filename are handled properly) The problem is present in Vutrax 13.2a & Vutrax 13.1a
    Workaround: Normally only occurs if Vutrax is installed in a directory path that includes spaces. Copy or move the ...\Vutrax directory\*.fdf files to a simply named folder, and select the files from there.

Version:    MENUVTX 10.15a (Update in VTX13 2F IDF EXPORT.I01)
Entry Date: 14 Nov 2008

  • Dialogue proforma compatible with VTX2IDF version 2.00 dev C

Version:    VTXHELP 3.04a (VUTRAX 13.2a)
Entry Date: 8 Mar 2008

  • [Linux Only] Detects problems with distros and updates not supporting the Amaya editor/browser used by the Vutrax help/Tutorial system and suggests appropriate update or quick workaround.

Version:    VTXHELP 3.05a (*** Update pending)
Entry Date: 18 Aug 2008

  • [Linux only] Fedora Core 9 and similar do not alias Netscape or Mozilla to the only browser Firefox, and Firefox is not in our list of browsers to try. Workaround is in SAN 215.

Version:    VUTRAX.MNU 10.12a (VUTRAX 13.2a)
Entry Date: 8 Mar 2008

  • Typical heavy processing jobs VUROUTE, AUTOTRAK, DESRULE and WIRE are often run in background while other work is performed. These are now run at reduced processor priority to provide better interactive performance.

Version:    SQUASH 12.05a (VUTRAX 13.2a)
Entry Date: 8 Mar 2008

  • The order of files stored in packed archives can be controlled using new option -it.

Version:    VTXSETUP (*** Update pending)
Entry Date: 18 Aug 2008

  • [Linux only] Fedora Core 9 and similar do not include some essential fonts and the installer does not run. Workaround is in SAN 215.

Version:    VTXSHELL 5.09 Dev (Vutrax 13.2a)
Entry Date:  26 Feb 2007

  • [Linux only] Command styles
    TYPE <source text> > <filename>
    TYPE <source text> >> <filename>
    TYPE <source text> < <filter name>
    were very slow on large files. No known impact on normal Vutrax use.
    Fix: A development fix is available on request.
  • The HINT command includes the WINNAMEs used for Vista variants.
  • Determining Windows/Linux by environment variable is formally specified
  • New command PRIORITY (and environment variable VTXPRIORITY) to change the priority of an program you start.
  • [Linux] VTXSHELL gets back top window and keyboard focus after reactivation following running another program.
  • [Linux] Time stamps of copied files now match the originals so far as mixed filing systems and mixed time-zones permit (i.e. does the same as standard Shells)
  • [Linux] DIR /A option extended to list only files matching select file MODE bits.

Version: LIBTWIN32.SO    8 Mar 2008 (VUTRAX 13.2a for Linux)

  • Discontinued - no longer used by Vutrax modules

Version:    VTX2IDEA
Entry Date: 14 Nov 2008

  • This module is discontinued in favour of the completely re-written VTX2IDF 2.00 Dev C.
    Customers with active maintenance contracts will be transferred to the new module on request.

Version:    VTX2IDF 2.00 Dev C (Update in VTX13 2F IDF EXPORT.I01)
Entry Date: 14 Nov 2008

  • Complete re-write to manage problems relating to device orientation, and to introduce requested features.
  • This issue needs services provided in TOOLBOX 12.03 Dev D or later