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posted by Fnord666 on Saturday January 21 2017, @11:52AM   Printer-friendly
from the slow-death-of-proprietary-software dept.

EAGLE, The Easily Applicable Graphical Layout Editor is an ECAD (electronic computer-aided design), proprietary software for creating printed circuit boards. Cadsoft, the company that created it, sold EAGLE to Autodesk in June.

Hackaday reports

Autodesk has announced that EAGLE is now only available for purchase as a subscription. [Previously], users purchased EAGLE once and [could use] the software indefinitely (often for years) before deciding to move to a new version with another one-time purchase. Now, they'll be paying Autodesk on a monthly or yearly basis.

Before Autodesk purchased EAGLE from Cadsoft, a Standard license would run you $69, paid once. [...] Standard will [now] cost $15/month or $100/year and gives similar functionality to the old Premium level, but with only 2 signal layers.

[...] The next level up was Premium, at $820, paid once. [...] If you [now] need more [than 2] layers or more than 160 [] of board space, you'll need the new Premium level, at $65/month or $500/year.
New Subscription Pricing Table for Eagle

[...] The [freeware] version still exists, but, for anyone using Eagle for commercial purposes (from Tindie sellers to engineering firms), this is a big change. Even if you agree with the new pricing, a subscription model means you never actually own the software. This model will require licensing software that needs to phone home periodically and can be killed remotely. If you need to look back at a design a few years from now, you better hope that your subscription is valid, that Autodesk is still running the license server, and that you have an active internet connection.

The page has well over 100 comments, with many saying the equivalent of "Goodbye, EAGLE; Hello, KiCAD".
KiCAD is gratis and libre, cross-platform, has been adopted as a software development project by nerds at CERN, and has seen marked improvement in recent years.

CERN is Getting Serious About Development of the KiCAD App for Designing Printed Circuits
Scripts Make the (Proprietary) Cadsoft EAGLE-to-(FOSS) KiCAD Transition Easier

Some time back, anubi and I conversed about how EAGLE has been DRM'd for quite a long while.

Original Submission

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  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 21 2017, @03:30PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 21 2017, @03:30PM (#456985)

    I hadn't realised that Autodesk had gotten their ugly mitts on Eagle, I've not done any circuit design for a while so have been out of that particular loop for a bit (besides, I've a licensed copy of v5 somewhere on one of the systems which I assume wont mysteriously 'expire', and I've still got an unholy attachment to the DOS version of Orcad...), I do, however use another product [] on a daily basis that they acquired which has similarly gone to a subscription model...this has royally pissed me off as the manglement refused to purchase another couple of copies before this change happened (I'd gotten advanced warning from someone who worked with the original writers of the code)

    Haven't touched Autocad for years, almost all my 2D stuff is done on DraftSight, and the stuff which isn't, is done in Corel..

    Just as well all my linux boxes have Kicad etc on them as part of my default install.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 21 2017, @04:21PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 21 2017, @04:21PM (#457001)

    I'm curious how this is even legal. Autodesk is the largest player in this market space, the numbnuts that approved this acquisition should be sacked and forced to give the public back what they allowed to be stolen from the public.

    CAD products are extremely expensive, removing competition to keep the prices down is really not good for the public. The people using this software will mostly continue to use it as they're in most cases businesses, but this is going to put a lot of undo strain on smaller firms. The worst thing, is that this isn't Trump making America great again with rightwing economic policy, this is that sell out Obama's people approving it.

    • (Score: 2) by butthurt on Sunday January 22 2017, @01:52AM

      by butthurt (6141) on Sunday January 22 2017, @01:52AM (#457214) Journal

      They have a product called AutoCAD Electrical, but it doesn't appear to be intended for PCB design. []

      AutoCAD itself has been used for that purpose. I'm guessing that it would be tedious to use for a large project due to, I'm assuming, no auto-routing or auto-placement capability. []

      What I'm trying to say is that PCB layout software is a specialised type of CAD software which AFAIK Autodesk did not offer before.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 22 2017, @08:27AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 22 2017, @08:27AM (#457285)

        tedious to use [...] no auto-routing or auto-placement

        A lack of PCB-specific Design Rules Check / Electrical Rules Check would seem to disqualify it from the start.

        -- OriginalOwner_ []

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 21 2017, @09:50PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 21 2017, @09:50PM (#457105)

    my 2D stuff is done on DraftSight and [...] Corel

    It's a shame that the complications of the dual-license of Qt (before Nokia bought Trolltech and made that Free Software) hampered the wide popularity of QCAD.

    It also took a while for the other various FOSS CAD packages (colored baby blue)[1] [] to gain features and their popularity suffered.

    [1] DraftSight is missing from that page.
    As a user, you may want to add that with all the particulars.

    vrkalak was once a regular contributor to the Linux Mint forum.
    He's a (now retired) architect who made a point of mentioning that he made his living using only FOSS.
    An Architect Identifies The Best Linux-Compatible Mechanical CADs [] (orig) []
    The original title of that page mentions (closed-source freeware) DraftSight.


    It makes me wince when guys running a FOSS OS use closed-source payware.

    -- OriginalOwner_ []

  • (Score: 1) by anubi on Sunday January 22 2017, @06:23AM

    by anubi (2828) on Sunday January 22 2017, @06:23AM (#457276) Journal

    I know all too well your unholy devotion to old friends. With me, its Futurenet Dash-2 and Pads PCB for DOS.

    Its all about knowing I can still read/modify/write files I created a quarter-century ago. And this access will exist for as long as I live.

    Programs once running on the 8086 will still run in DOS emulators on modern machines, albeit I have quite a few 386SX I have kept around expressly to run these natively. I particularly liked the 386SX because of its low power consumption and had no fan required, and the motherboards I saved were made with components designed to last at least a century if protected from the weather.

    Its been a common observation of mine that those higher up in the administrative levels of corporations have not the foggiest idea of just how valuable the wiring diagrams to their infrastructure are.

    "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]