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Schematics and Circuit Simulation In the Browser

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the making-things-easy dept.

Education 93

compumike writes "CircuitLab today released a browser-based schematic editor and circuit simulator for the online electronics community. SPICE-like device models and mixed-mode simulation support allows engineers and hobbyists to tackle a wide range of board-level design problems. While most EDA software is Windows-only, CircuitLab is 100% web-based, Windows/Mac/Linux cross-platform, and requires no installation or plug-ins. Instead of today's typical forum posts with static screenshots from different desktop tools, the online electronics community can now use CircuitLab to share useful URLs (as well as PNGs and PDFs) which link directly to interactive, editable, runnable schematics. In just a few clicks, another designer can open that circuit, make a change, simulate it, and post the new version back to the community."

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SPICE/Workbench (2)

lsolano (398432) | more than 2 years ago | (#39190015)

... good memories, back in '94 when I used that software... now everything seems (is?) easier.

I used the command-based spice. When Workbench arrived, with GUI, was something really impressive.

Re:SPICE/Workbench (3, Informative)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 2 years ago | (#39190449)

I remember multisim, it's a great educational tool for learning patience. And for learning why one shouldn't release software with showstopper bugs.

Re:SPICE/Workbench (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 2 years ago | (#39193077)

When did you use it? Just curious. The company that wrote it was bought out several years back, and I'm wondering if your bad experience was with the older or newer versions.

Re:SPICE/Workbench (1)

rev0lt (1950662) | more than 2 years ago | (#39193463)

Before it was called multisim, it was called EWB (Electronics Workbench). It was good as and educational tool, and for simulation of simple "almost-perfect" circuits, but for real-life prototyping it was quite limited. Not that today's choices are much better - a couple of days ago I designed an embedded system in ISIS with a microcontroller, connected the TTL-level serial port of the microcontroller to a full blown RS232 connector and it worked without frying the cpu...

Re:SPICE/Workbench (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 2 years ago | (#39193921)

It was roughly 4-6 years ago, and given the school's small size we could have had a really old version. Of course, really good software probably cost many multiples of my tuition. Complaints aside, the class (intro to digital circuits) was one of my all time favorites. I just used falstad's simulator when I wanted to really test something fun. :P

Re:SPICE/Workbench (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39190553)

http://www.falstad.com/circuit/ [falstad.com] is nicer; it simulates in real time and isn't as clunky because it runs as an applet instead of javascript hackery.

Re:SPICE/Workbench (2)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 2 years ago | (#39190813)

Beat me to it! This program (although it has a slightly chunky editor), has been the standard for web-based circuit simulation for years. I have used it in a professional environment, and my peers went from "Web-based-what?" to "Omg, this is so useful!" in a heartbeat. Strongly recommend it.

Re:SPICE/Workbench (1)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39195565)

Why use Falstad instead of LTSpice?

Re:SPICE/Workbench (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39190843)

I program in Java since it was called oak and I always discarded applets as useless because of the atrocious load time yet that one loaded instantly... do you know why ?

jqs.exe (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39192121)

What happened was that Sun* has been turning "Java Quick Starter" on by default in recent versions of Java. It's a process that runs in the background, rereading all the core JARs of the Java virtual machine every minute or two to keep them in the operating system's disk cache. That way, when you start something that uses Java, the hard disk doesn't have to churn to load the most common classes.

* JQS was introduced before Oracle's acquisition of Sun.

Re:jqs.exe (1)

hlavac (914630) | more than 2 years ago | (#39195349)

This was true only in some ancient versions (JDK 1.4??). Java has improved a lot over the years. Java 7 starts pretty nicely on contemporary hardware, even without such messy hacks. Now if only my iPhone was running Java :)

Re:SPICE/Workbench (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39191297)

http://www.falstad.com/circuit/ [falstad.com] is nicer; it simulates in real time and isn't as clunky because it runs as an applet instead of javascript hackery.

Well, the falstad java app doesn't run under PC-BSD 8.1/FF 8.0 with Java JRE 1.6.0.07.02_6, but the CircuitLab javascript app works perfectly.

Seeing as most of the people I would intend to share circuits with run non-MS operating systems, many using FreeBSD, I'll have to go with CircuitLab.

Strat

Re:SPICE/Workbench (2)

spongman (182339) | more than 2 years ago | (#39191365)

mod parent up. the falstad applet is excellent. i have used it many times to simulate circuits i have been working on.

the editor interface is a little clunky and takes some getting used to, but the 'real-time' aspect is amazing.

Re:SPICE/Workbench (1)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39196851)

I was just modeling a project that I was working on THIS MORNING using it.

My only issue, and I think this may be because of how i ran it, was I couldn't export my circuit. I hit export, and it gave me a netlist, but I couldn't copy/paste it. Maybe if I download the whole package and run it outside of my browser?

I have played with ngspice and easy_spice a bit. The learning curve is steep. I wanted to model some current sources and mirrors. Nothing too fancy but, getting the right models, then looking at output graphs and interpreting them was a lot more work than I needed for this project.

As it is, just messing around quickly with it, I found some failure modes that I am going to have to think about (if one transistor fails open, the rest of the mirrors run out of control.... seems worth putting some backup limiting on the mirror)

Spice will be an invaluable tool, and I expect to use it as I move on, but, the this one is perfect for experimenting and building a model of what is happening.

Re:SPICE/Workbench (2)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 2 years ago | (#39191051)

I hacked SPICE in FORTRAN and added some Pascal code for macros and realtime graphics display on a Tektronix tube on a VAX circa '82.
Good times. Long nights in the CS lab with coffee, cookies and pizza.

Raspberry PI (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39190037)

I hope somebody does a model of the mainboard of the Raspberry PI. I really would like to be able to build / modify my own version.

Re:Raspberry PI (3, Informative)

mirix (1649853) | more than 2 years ago | (#39191385)

Good luck getting the chip out of broadcom without an order for a billion units. (assuming you are equipped to deal with BGA packages in the first place).

Re:Raspberry PI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39194681)

call them up. it's all about the free samples baby.

Re:Raspberry PI (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39191661)

Good Christ, WHY? What's to modify? It's impossible to assemble at home anyways. Why can't you just leave the thing as is?

Not Safari? (1)

GrahamCox (741991) | more than 2 years ago | (#39190055)

This sounds pretty useful. I went to the web page using Safari: "Incompatible web browser detected! CircuitLab may not work as expected in your web browser. Please see our System Requirements."

"While we strive to support all modern standards-compliant web browsers, CircuitLab officially supports Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox."

Isn't Chrome based on the same code as Safari? You know, that browser that is the most standards-compatible out there? That said, on a brief test of some of the example circuits, it seems to work.

Re:Not Safari? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39190113)

Apple are for fagets. Just use a real browser, faget.

Re:Not Safari? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39190193)

Should we pronounce that "fa-ZHAY"?

Re:Not Safari? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39190267)

Only if your a faget. Fagets like to pronounce words like there fake fucking French fuckers.

Re:Not Safari? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39190421)

It's spelled faggot. You idget!

Re:Not Safari? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39190489)

Your the idiet here if you think I give a fuck about it's spelling, you fucken faget.

Re:Not Safari? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39195071)

Turns out you're right. I switched to Firefox, and by the following evening I began to experience heterosexual longings for Ellen DeGeneres. It's a start. Thank you.

Re:Not Safari? (2)

Sharkus (677553) | more than 2 years ago | (#39190203)

What OS and Safari version? I tried OS X 10.6.8 and Safari Version 5.1.2 (6534.52.7) and it worked quite happily.

Re:Not Safari? (1)

RevGregory (585273) | more than 2 years ago | (#39190465)

Same combination here (10.6.8 and 5.1.2) and no problems at all.

Re:Not Safari? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39190245)

So? They warn you that they don't test with it, but let you continue with the warning that things might not work properly.

Sounds reasonable to me!

Re:Not Safari? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39190441)

Good morrow, sir. Might I recommend that you attempt loading the page in question with somewhat of a more heterosexual browser? I am not stating that Safari's orientation affects its abilities, but one never knows, does one?

Chrome and Safari have very different JS (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39192175)

Chromium Browser (basis for Google Chrome) and Safari use the same WebKit HTML renderer but very different JavaScript virtual machines (V8 and Nitro respectively). All they're telling you is that the simulator has been extensively tested with Gecko+JaegerMonkey and WebKit+V8, not WebKit+Nitro.

This actually looks pretty amazing (5, Interesting)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39190059)

I had to check the page source to see how they had managed to launch a Flash application without being caught by my FlashBlock plugin. Applications like this are another nail in Adobe's coffin.

Re:This actually looks pretty amazing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39190171)

I'm pretty sure these guys are fagets. Some of the component symbols and example circuits have vaguely phallic shapes, suggestive of a subliminal messaging / brainwashing campaign to create more fagets. I suggest steering clear of this site unless you are extremely secure in your sensual orientation (ie. definitely not a faget.)

Re:This actually looks pretty amazing (-1, Offtopic)

mr1911 (1942298) | more than 2 years ago | (#39190299)

What exactly is a faget?

Is faget an antonym of faggot, in which case you are frightened about becoming heterosexual?

Re:This actually looks pretty amazing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39190343)

LOL! Fucken faget don't even know what a fucken faget is, haha.

Re:This actually looks pretty amazing (1, Informative)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39190359)

It's a troll within a troll, and you appear to have fallen into the trap (and dragged me along with you) :(

Re:This actually looks pretty amazing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39190627)

sounds like faget talk to me

Re:This actually looks pretty amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39195065)

even though you might be online, you might be a redneck.

Re:This actually looks pretty amazing (1)

Gibgezr (2025238) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204885)

Nah, he isn't a redneck. He is pronouncing it "fah-jay", obviously. I guess that would be the gay way to say faggot ;)

Re:This actually looks pretty amazing (1)

rdnetto (955205) | more than 2 years ago | (#39218871)

Welcome to EE, where we have male-to-male adaptors and the like.

Re:This actually looks pretty amazing (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39190283)

Yea +1 very impressive. Just sent it over to my old man the retired electrical engineer, maybe he'll have some fun with it. As a web developer, I'm very impressed with it. Also very impressed its free and ad-free.

Re:This actually looks pretty amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39190989)

It's a shame in terms of drawing performance, it's pretty crappy. Not that big of a nail in Adobe's coffin.. Yet.

Re:This actually looks pretty amazing (1)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 2 years ago | (#39191599)

It doesn't get past noscript. Did it have a paid whitelist in AdBlock+?

I have amazing tools that are GNU and free without the clowdy clown of sad clowdness.

Has anyone started an fork of AdBlock? I have a name AllAdBlock.

Has lots of uses in education too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39190127)

There are tons of kludgy circuit diagram programs out there for aspiring students to play with, but this looks like it ought to make life easier for everyone involved as well as enabling classroom-level collaboration.

No thanks (5, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#39190135)

Great idea, but if i cant have it local, then no thanks. I don't want to rely on something that is being hosted by another party.

They lose interest, poof there goes my work.

Re:No thanks (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39190347)

Great idea, but if i cant have it local, then no thanks. I don't want to rely on something that is being hosted by another party.

They lose interest, poof there goes my work.

I checked the FAQ. Ouch.

Can I export my CircuitLab schematics out to another tool?

Not at this time.

Especially big bummer as I'd like to import ckts into a PCB autorouter. So its just a toy, at least right now, as opposed to a "real" EDA tool, which is too bad.

Re:No thanks (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39190443)

Not a true export, [slashdot.org] but you can get your data saved in some form. Better than nothing.

Re:No thanks (3, Informative)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39190399)

I just created a test schematic, and if I then go in my workbench and select it, I can export it to PDF. Sure, it's not perfect (eg it's not something parsable like an XML), but it also means that your work doesn't go "poof" either.

Re:No thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39190647)

Save as... ass.

No thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39190713)

That's a great idea, but I'd rather be able to store my schematics locally. I'd prefer not to rely on a third party to store my important documents.

I mean, if they chose to discontinue this service, my work would simply disappear.

Re:No thanks (2)

fermion (181285) | more than 2 years ago | (#39191201)

I have been utilizing web based utilities like this for a number of years. My favorite in this category has been logic.ly, but I will be looking at this now. These are clearly not professional tools. I have the professional tools and they are expensive and require yearly reinstalls. If you spend your life doing these things, then professional tools are necessary. if not, web based solutions are becoming increasingly adequate. They can run from any computer, they can be used to teach at little or no cost, they can be used to test a hobby circuit. They are not going to be used to test transient behavior of high frequency circuits, but if one need to do that one already has the software.

The only thing i saw missing was a BCD display.

Re:No thanks (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39191751)

Linear Technology gives away its professional grade circuit sim tools as a way of promoting its hardware sales (full part library comes with it). google LTSPICE. free for noncommercial use. runs on windows. for non-windows there are a number of other good options, but this is the best win32 simulator I've found for teaching students, using on grad school projects, etc.

Re:No thanks (1)

Trogre (513942) | more than 2 years ago | (#39191879)

No worries, just view the page source and download the .swf file it links to and... oh

Re:No thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39201015)

Actually since it is javascript it is easier than that; just do File->Save Page As with your browser and you now have all the source code.

Falstad's Java Circuit Simulator (5, Informative)

senor_meow (990740) | more than 2 years ago | (#39190229)

I think it is important to mention Paul Falstad's Java circuit simulator that has been around for years and has probably influenced this project. http://www.falstad.com/circuit/ [falstad.com]

Re:Falstad's Java Circuit Simulator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39190747)

Seconded. I learned more from that applet in 24 hours than I did in the years before from books.

Fantastic! (1)

erick99 (743982) | more than 2 years ago | (#39190253)

I have been waiting for this for some time. I want to be able to use any machine I am at to teach basic electronics and this makes the circuit simulator portable.

not bad.. (1)

fliptout (9217) | more than 2 years ago | (#39190271)

I do not see a way to make the voltage source AC. This looks pretty good for quickie proof of concept stuff. Still a way to go before it is ready for a serious project.

For now, I use LTSpice. Fabulous, free spice package from Linear.

Re:not bad.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39190325)

Use a "Voltage Signal Source", not just a "Voltage Source".

Re:not bad.. (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39190329)

I do not see a way to make the voltage source AC.

Try the demo differential amp circuit, that shows you how. Seems to work.

Pretty cool, although limited (4, Informative)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39190275)

Its pretty cool, although limited.

I checked it out and there's a pretty limited selection of BJTs, etc. Well I poked around and it turns out you can do something pretty cool with just a couple parts, with any luck here's a differential amp, assuming this link works:

https://www.circuitlab.com/circuit/fby849/bjt-cascoded-active-load-differential-amplifier-with-cmfb/ [circuitlab.com]

My guess is they'll soon be releasing a "paid" version where I can use thousands of (official?) transistor models not just 10 or so. That would be pretty awesome.

Also if they know what they're doing they'll partner with a short run PCB house. Some PCB houses give away PCB CAD software, these guys have a jump ahead of them... Maybe they already have, I have not explored the entire site. Imagine doing the schematic, the spice run, the pcb layout, and order some boards (and parts?) from the same browser window... that would be cool. Heck partner with those "virtual front panel" guys too.

If you double click on a component you can change the parameters, I think I could design a nifty little MMIC active constant current biasing circuit by hacking a rectifier model into a psuedo-mmic model (basically crank the forward V drop to 3 volts or so, depending on device, and a couple other things especially device capacitance). I wonder if I can push it into oscillation? (Note, you try to design ckts that don't do that... at least if they're theoretically amplifiers) Or get it to ring into a negative voltage at the amp input by doing stupid inductor tricks (this is why you don't use MMICs at HF freqs, aside from oscillation and usually intentional device gain rolloff)

I'd like to see the ability to handle temperature swings. My parts are milspec individually, but does my overall design work over a whole milspec temp range?

I suppose if I'm asking for the moon, could I have something like Ansoft for waveguide foolishness in my browser window?

Re:Pretty cool, although limited (2)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 2 years ago | (#39191861)

Your post reminded me the difference between an hobbyist and a professional electronic designer : you play with HF*1; an hobbyist usually don't.

1-Microwaves circuits design seems like a special kind of black magic to me ;)

Upverter (2)

Leif_Bloomquist (311286) | more than 2 years ago | (#39190301)

This capability has been around for a while with Upverter. Good to see some competition, though.

http://upverter.com/ [upverter.com]

Re:Upverter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39190559)

I have been using Upverter for a while, I like the feel of the editor better the CircuitLab

Re:Upverter (1)

anubi (640541) | more than 2 years ago | (#39194105)

I like their pricing strategy...

Free to learn and work on public projects.

Pay a little if you want to keep your work private.

Pay a bit more if you want to have private collaboration

Please let it netlist (2)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 2 years ago | (#39190365)

From FAQ:
"Can I export my CircuitLab schematics out to another tool?
Not at this time."
This could be an awesome tool if it were easy to create (and share!) new parts, and get a netlist out, so we could import it into layout in Eagle, Kicad, gEDA PCB, Altium, whatever floats your boat. But since all the circuits I create go into layout and get turned into boards, this doesn't provide me much that existing tools don't already provide.

Re:Please let it netlist (2)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 2 years ago | (#39190729)

To expand: National Semiconductor [national.com] has Webench (which I've worked on to some extent) and it allows you to set up a schematic, runs simulations, produces a bill of materials for you, produces a layout, produces gerbers, shows you which parts are in stock and how much they cost, and will even fab the boards and send you a bag of parts to put on your boards. That's really amazingly useful... as long as you want to use a National Semiconductor part. Not so great if you want to do something new or build a complex circuit outside of their limited repertoire.
If these guys could do even a subset of that -- note I don't expect automated layout, because that's not within AI's reach, yet -- but produce a BOM with links to Digikey and Newark so I could check parts in stock/datasheets/verify footprints, and most critically produce a netlist so *I* can do the layout, well, then, that'd be very convenient indeed. But if I'm pretty much stuck with their partslist and admiring my schematic as it sits trapped in their garden, that's still cool (and it's a neat tool to use) but I'm going to end up re-entering the schematic in something that has a layout backend and most likely a simulator and library editing functionality, and at that point I don't get much from this aside from the convenience of being able to enter schematics when I'm hanging out at an internet cafe or something.

This is great (2)

BetterSense (1398915) | more than 2 years ago | (#39190377)

This doesn't have to be a serious design tool. The real benefit is going to be to the DIY and hobby community, because tools like this are going to reduce the amount of shitty hand-drawn schematics uploaded to web forums, typically done in Paint or scrawled on notebook paper and then imaged with a cell phone. I've been looking for a quick way to bang out a schematic for a while now.

My thoughts:

The drawing is great and the interface does a good job of being easy enough to start without having to read directions.

They only have a selection of 8 NPN transistors, and you HAVE to choose one...there is no way to place a generic transistor and label it yourself. Even if you modify the parameters, you still have to have it labeled with one of the parts choices they provide. WTF? There is also no darlington transistor symbol.

Also, if you choose coil, you have to have it labeled with the inductance value in H, and you can't have it show a resistance value. This is stupid for motor coils, where you care about resistance at least as much as inductance.

So, force less shit down my throat, assume less about what I want to tell my audience, and it will be perfect.

Re:This is great (3, Informative)

GrahamCox (741991) | more than 2 years ago | (#39190485)

This is stupid for motor coils, where you care about resistance at least as much as inductance

So just put the resistance in series. That's fine for simulation, where layout, parasitics, etc, are ignored unless you add them as elements specifically.

Re:This is great (2)

BetterSense (1398915) | more than 2 years ago | (#39190737)

But you didn't get my earlier point, that the tool assumes that the end user wants to simulate, but hobbyists and robotics people are not going to be making diagrams for simulating; they just want to communicate a schematic visually. Classic blunder...not knowing your audience. Yes, a resistance in series with a coil would be equivalent, but you know what would be easier for both me and the web designer? Just let me plop down the coil symbol and then decide for my own goddam self how I want to label it, instead of "letting" me pick from a limited list of 5 parts, and forcing my label to have the unit you are just sure that I want.

Re:This is great (1)

GrahamCox (741991) | more than 2 years ago | (#39190885)

Well, maybe they do know their audience, and you are trying to use the tool for something it wasn't designed for. Yes, it could be used to share "standardised" schematics, but perhaps that's not what they intended it to be used for.

However, I agree with your point - it would be nice (and more versatile) if they allowed you to specify a component yourself instead of only giving you potted solutions.

Re:This is great (2)

WrecklessSandwich (1000139) | more than 2 years ago | (#39193003)

This doesn't have to be a serious design tool. The real benefit is going to be to the DIY and hobby community, because tools like this are going to reduce the amount of shitty hand-drawn schematics uploaded to web forums, typically done in Paint or scrawled on notebook paper and then imaged with a cell phone. I've been looking for a quick way to bang out a schematic for a while now.

Where are you seeing this? In my experience, most hobbyists just use the free version of Eagle.

Libraries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39190415)

It's nearly useless except for simple simulations since you cannot create custom library components. I use these sorts of tools for a living, and basic components will not get you far. Can it do XSPICE? That's mixed-mode digital and analog. Can you do monte carlo simulations, or adjust simulation parameters. Those are all very important features.

The browser is the new GUI (2)

Okian Warrior (537106) | more than 2 years ago | (#39190419)

The browser is the new GUI. This is a good thing.

Instead of the dozen-or-so windows/widgets/mechanism systems we have now, we have one canvas with one interface managed by a standards community and improved over time.

To take a simple example, pick any of the windows systems (Tk, Gnome, Microsoft API) and consider how difficult it is to display text on the screen, including placement, size, font, color, and so on.

Now consider that same operation using the DOM model in Javascript: it's a simple English-like interface where you describe in a couple of words what you want to happen. Easy.

Add to this the fact that browsers work the same across all systems, the markup works largely the same across all browsers, and the interface documentation is available to anyone for free, and you've got a winning combination.

Wikipedia lists 14 free/OSS schematic capture programs. Almost universally, they are good in some aspects and fall short in others. For example: "Good graphics but lousy component library interface, but the library support will have to wait 'cause there's a ton of things we need which are more important". (Makes it 'kind of hard to use.)

With a universal canvas, people can get on board with ONE system so that everyone can pull the rope in the same direction. The fractured landscape of programs can be replaced by a single interface where people use their expertise to improve the system in the area in which they have expertise.

This should happen more often. There's a ton of competing GUI applications out there which could be consolidated into a single browser-implemented version, taking the best parts of each.

I hope to see many more of these in the future.

Re:The browser is the new GUI (1)

GrahamCox (741991) | more than 2 years ago | (#39190557)

The fractured landscape of programs can be replaced by the fractured landscape of sites where every single page has a different, unrelated, non-standard interface.

This is progress?

Re:The browser is the new GUI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39193115)

In a sense I would argue yes, because by moving the fractured landscape to a higher level of abstraction, it's easier for people to deal with.

People work by forming low-level models like legos, then plucking them together to build larger models, then putting those macromodels together into more complex ideas about how things work, etc. Very very few people are adept at, or will willingly tolerate, constantly rebuilding their low-level models. How many people flipped their shit at Office's new ribbon interface? This is part of why Linux perpetually fails at the desktop, because there is no one saying "do it THIS way" so everyone just goes their own way and everything has a different interface from the bottom up. Those who can look at some new config file or UI and quickly synthesize a model of how to use it are called "nerds." And as a nerd, I wish I had to do it less... Would it fucking kill us to have just one comment delimiter, instead of ~ and # and $ and % and ; and : and // and (* *) and... for example?

By moving that point of divergence into the browser, now at least it's occurring in a place where people are already familiar with different interfaces (by visiting different websites) and it is less of an issue because there are really only a few ways a website is laid out in general anyway once it grows past a certain size (as a whole EDA certainly will).

Re:The browser is the new GUI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39191183)

There's a ton of competing GUI applications out there which could be consolidated into a single browser-implemented version, taking the best parts of each.

Why would using the browser as an interface magically make people not want to compete anymore?

Re:The browser is the new GUI (1)

WrecklessSandwich (1000139) | more than 2 years ago | (#39193051)

Wikipedia lists 14 free/OSS schematic capture programs. Almost universally, they are good in some aspects and fall short in others. For example: "Good graphics but lousy component library interface, but the library support will have to wait 'cause there's a ton of things we need which are more important". (Makes it 'kind of hard to use.)

And what makes this immune from the problems you described? Convince me this is not just pulling the rope in a 15th direction.

HTML5 Offline App? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39190435)

Does CircuitLab run simulations on my computer, or on CircuitLab's servers?

All circuit simulations run in your web browser, on your computer. Your simulations will run faster if you have a faster computer, or if you use a web browser with a faster JavaScript engine.

Does CircuitLab require an internet connection to function?

Yes. At this time, an internet connection is required to use the CircuitLab editor.

Perhaps in the light of the first answer, the second answer should - in the age of HTML5 - be "No" rather than "Yes".

Quotas and license validation (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39192325)

Perhaps in the light of the first answer, the second answer should - in the age of HTML5 - be "No" rather than "Yes".

For one thing, some well-known implementations of HTML5 limit web applications to a maximum of 5 MB application cache and 5 MB local storage. For another, some well-known completely native single-user applications still require an Internet connection to verify the user's license. Perhaps the publisher plans to use this business model.

How good is this for modeling audio circuits? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39190437)

The guys who create audio sims (preamps, effects, etc) are always looking for more tools.

Re:How good is this for modeling audio circuits? (2)

Bassman59 (519820) | more than 2 years ago | (#39193901)

The guys who create audio sims (preamps, effects, etc) are always looking for more tools.

They use LTSpice.

Re:How good is this for modeling audio circuits? (1)

DeathToBill (601486) | more than 2 years ago | (#39195237)

It ain't quick. Running on chrome-latest on a SSD-ed quad core-i5, 1 second of simulating a 3-element RC network fed by a 1kHz triangular wave takes about 45 seconds.

But I guess that's what you get when you try doing numerical simulation in javascript.

This is awesome (2)

eternaldoctorwho (2563923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39190635)

I used to have an electronics kit as a kid. Simple stuff, but fascinating. Though I didn't go into an electrical engineering field (comp sci instead), I am still interested in tinkering around.

On a side note, does anyone know how a switch placed into a circuit can be tested and used in CircuitLab?

Error Message (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39190799)

I've tried it for some simple circuits; even the built-in examples. It does not even run DC Simulation - it says: "ERROR CREATING OPERATING POINT SOLVER - ABORTING NON-FINITE VALUE"

This is why I gave up on Spice and bought a 'scope and some parts from DigiKey. These things never work.

try Falstad also! (1)

yanom (2512780) | more than 2 years ago | (#39191007)

there's also falstad.com/circuit, which provides the downloadable Java source to their web app.

Yeah, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39191153)

does it run Linux?

As a sidenote, the captcha was "puberty". I find your AI's attempt at sarcasm despicable.

Wake up and smell the coffeescript (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39191403)

all done in 20k lines of coffeescript to boot. Coffeescript will soon dominate the web!

Re:Wake up and smell the coffeescript (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39195549)

Well... I prefer javascript and never found the object model to be a problem. What I do find to be a problem is the way circuitlab launch their app. Opening the link in a new tab sends you to the /nojs/ page -- this is the same shitty engineering as that ASP __doPostBack nonsense from Microsoft.

Incompetent engineering has dominated the web!

Grrrrr... "k" not "K" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39191819)

Why is it so hard to get the SI prefixes correct?

Is it GPL 3 ? (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 2 years ago | (#39195779)

No ? then GTFO

Is CircuitLab free to use?
At this time, CircuitLab is entirely free-of-charge.

In the future, as the tool continues to grow and evolve, we may decide to charge for certain premium features so we may fund further development. However, it has always been our intention to keep the core functionality free, for the benefit of the greater online electronics community.

Windows only? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39199633)

Most EDA software is windows only? This will come as a surprise to major EDA companies like Cadence and Synopsys. Take a look around major silicon valley chip design companies. They were heavy users of Solaris and have now transitioned to Linux.Most of the serious chips that power your iphones, android devices, servers and desktops were designed on Linux.

Watch Out! They get EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS to your Work! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39209003)

They are crowd sourcing for good circuits. See their terms when you try to make an account. It has all kinds of stuff related to not putting your company's patented circuits in there, because if you do, you just gave the patent to them.

To me, this makes their site somewhat evil. It is a trap for folk who don't read the user agreement.

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