Why we will not upgrade to Eagle 6

I guess for the same reason we didn’t upgraded to Eagle 5.

We are happy with the 4.16 version which we use and do not miss any of the new features which Eagle 5 and 6 introduce.
Each time new major version is released you have to pay new licensee fee to Cadsoft.
Eagle 4.16 installation is 5 MB and fast, Eagle 5 rise to something like 15 MB if I remember correct and we never saw something more than early bug fixes so we decided to not upgrade and pay again for something we already paid.

Now Eagle 6 is over 40 MB,  let’s see what’s new:

– XML database – we never used such nor need one
– merge schematic / boards we can do it with 4.16 too with a little bit of care
– routing enhancements – we never count on autorouter
– library editor optimisations – so small that not worth mention them
– layout editor add-ons – again insignificant to adjust new payment

what I notice though is that customers who made PCB designs and submit them for production to our PCB prototype service is that Eagle 6 do not generate correct gerbers when there are polygone fills.
I attach example of PCB made with Eagle 6 which do not generate correct polygone fill which leads to shorts on copper plane.

here is example of such board
The general impression is that Eagle 6 is done in a hurry new release to shave the customers with some $$$ which the new Eagle owner obviously need after the purchase.
The bad thing is that one used to be good product before become more buggy and less useful with it’s x10 file size increase and adding useless “features” just to do new release and ask for more money.

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Vasi
    Jan 11, 2012 @ 20:26:21

    Interesting that you still use 4.16 version. Why users should use/revert to it?
    Diptrace have also a version for users with 300 pads limit but with a better autorouter and a pad editor on board (you change the size of pads hole, form, etc.)

    And what about KiCAD? Specially, regarding to production files. Do you recommend it in the Hobby/Small business area?



  2. olimex
    Jan 11, 2012 @ 20:35:04

    Do not get me wrong, Eagle is great product and easy to use once you learn it. We use Eagle on daily basis, the problem I see is that each new version require more and more resources but give almost nothing in return. It’s same with Protel/Altium, it used to be simple and nice product, they later turn it into slow monster. Eagle is headed in same direction.
    KiCAD have significant progress during the years, but still can’t compare to Eagle or maybe we are biased as we use Eagle 😉
    KiCAD produce nice and clean Gerbers no problems for manufacturing, just our designers are addicted to Eagle and when I try to move them to other CAD their productivity decrease 🙂


  3. Jorge Garcia
    Jan 13, 2012 @ 00:10:26

    Gerber issues have been resolved in the latest 6.1 release, and most of the reported bugs are fixed in this release. We expect full stability within the next couple of releases. To expand on the new features a little more.

    Library editor improvements:
    – More than one pad can be connected to a single pin. This use to create a lot of frustration for users since if your BGA had 30 GND pins you had to make pins for EACH of those grounds and put them as part of request symbol which isn’t shown by default to make it work cleanly.
    – Arbitrary PAD shapes can now be created by starting with a basic shape and add a polygon to it. Said polygon will be considered part of the pad.

    XML will allow editing of EAGLE files outside of EAGLE. Our hope is that it will foster the creation of third party tools such as Visual Difference tools. It also allows EAGLE to play very nice with version control software which can very nice when you’re doing multiple variations on a board.

    The autorouter has not changed at all, the routing improvements refer to addition of differential pair routing. In high speed signals it’s critical that the trace lengths be the same otherwise your circuit will not work properly due to delays in your signals.

    Hopefully, this will help clarify the new features.

    Best Regards,

    Jorge Garcia
    Cadsoft Support


    • Tomas Drajsajtl
      Nov 13, 2012 @ 17:47:12

      “XML will allow editing of EAGLE files outside of EAGLE.”

      Oh, that’s nice but until you provide reliable converter to be able to revert Eagle 6 SCH/BRD/LBR files in XML format back to Eagle 5 format and allow Eagle 5 users to edit them, I find your declaration as very stupid. it’s unfair to your own customers!


  4. OLIMEX Ltd
    Jan 13, 2012 @ 09:52:07

    Jorge, thanks for the prompt follow up!
    First as I wrote we love Eagle and I wrote this comment as I’m concerned in what direction Eagle is headed.
    I doubt the really nice library edit feature for the multiply pins rised the code x3 times.

    What I suspect is the new XML rised the code size 3 times, but does this justify the added value? I doubt. Even Eagle 4.16 which we use now could be embedded in SVN as we did.
    And my overview is that 90% of Eagle customers are amateurs, hobby etc users which do not care of svn at all.
    Product which once was 5 MB installation (with the mighty ULP control which actually unleash the Eagle users creativity to add additional useful features which Eagle originally missing) went to 40MB installation due to features which few would ever use.


  5. Miles Wilson
    Jan 29, 2013 @ 07:04:17

    I’ve had issues with ver 6 myself. Does anyone know of a way to download the earlier versions?


  6. Stefan
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 12:31:50

    you can download any version from here:
    while you find all the additional libraries and ulps here:
    Regards, Stefan


  7. blak3r
    Aug 19, 2013 @ 12:30:05

    Seriously? 5-> 40 megs? it’s 2013… ! It’s far from being bloated. Everyone builds off of libraries these days.

    But, I’m pretty pissed I downloaded eagle on my new laptop… made the PCB. Then, couldn’t bring it in to my licensed version 4. I’m used to the paradigm of being able to save to an older version. Additionally, I figured… eagle is used for so many open source projects… surely you have to be able to convert it otherwise open source community would abandon… I stand corrected.

    It’s been about 4 years since i’ve used eagle and I can’t believe it still has some of the same problems though… I can’t open more then one schematic or library? Part search is really bad… How is it that searching “*TERMINAL*” finds no results in the library.


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