Fritzing is somewhat hard to use


There is no “home” button. I am using an older version of firefox (the new version breaks all of my toolbars and insists on using tabs (which i hate).


OK, I just compiled 0.9.3 on the 'Pi. Took only about an hour. Bitches about (wants the presently not installed new one I compiled eariler – fixed with LD_LIBRARY_PATH), and then complains about not finding any parts, since I didn’t bother “installing” it yet (just ran it as ./Fritzing from the build directory). I did clone the parts repo, so I guess I need to “build” and “install” that. I guess I need to get things installed somehow (I don’t want to install in /usr and mess with apt-get/dpkg’s view of things). I need to do some sort of “fake” install for testing…


That shouldn’t matter. As long as the parts repo is in the same directory where fritzing-app is just running fritzing-app/fritzing works for me without running the release script (at least from QtCreater which may be doing something to make that happen). I’d expect the same to happen if you do the build from the command line.



OK, more random weirdness:

First I thought I had cloned the parts repo. Discovered that I hadn’t. So I cloned it. And things worked (very slowly) at the library with my Pi jacked into the library’s LAN (which in turn is connected to the Internet via a 20GBit Fiber Optic connection.

Now, as for the slowless starting up and in general. When I got home, I rsync’ed things from fruitloops (the machine I took to the library), which is basically a headless build box, although I do have a little monitor for it at my workbench, but that is only so I can run the Arduino IDE to upload programs to MCUs on my workbench (eg breadboarding), to madhatter, another Pi I have attached to my 24" TV. And after dealing will missing libraries (more fun with ssh & tar copying from /var/cache/apt/archives and /var/lib/apt/lists), I started Fritzing on madhatter, and things do NOT work. First I get this dialog box:

Sorry, we have aproblem with the swapping mechanism.
Fritzing still works, but you won’t be able to change parts properties.

The it complains that it cannot find 157 parts. Obvious it is seeing fritzing-parts, but is having some strange problem actually reading the svg files.

Question: does Fritzing 0.9.3 need a live/fast Internet connection to actually work?

Fritzing 0.9.0 only complains that it can’t get to the blog, but otherwise works fine (except it is slow when used through the ssh tunnel).


No, although if it has one it first connects to github to see if there if the parts repo is up to date. If it is interrupted while doing that it tends to corrupt the parts database and gives messages as you are seeing. The first thing to try is a rebuild of the parts data base by entering any view except the welcome screen (i.e. breadboard schematic or pcb) then click Part->Regenerate parts database . That will work for a while and then exit Fritzing, if you restart Fritzing that may have fixed the problem. If not you need to delete the two user directories (of if you have sketches which seems unlikely, move them aside). When it doesn’t find them Fritzing will rebuild them and if it have a network connection try and contact github to check the parts repo. Even though it seems unresponsive (we need to put up a progress screen, but it isn’t there now) wait on a slow machine / connection it may take a while. For me it is usually a couple of minutes on a fast machine and an adsl connection but I have heard reports of 5 minutes or more in the past. The two directories on linux are


I assume they will be the same on the PI.



Well on a 20 Mbit connection (what we have at the library, although I was “sharing” it a batch of patrons surfing the net, maybe a couple of teens watching videos) it is terribly slow. And with a dialup, it just trashed the database. There needs to be an option to disable the update check. I know you are going to say that people need to be up-to-date, but that is a luxury that some of us just cannot afford. Here on this side of the pond, Internet access (at anything like reliable broadband speeds) is actually rather hard to come by in places (it is pretty much non-existent in most of Rural America). Small towns have no cable providers and what passes for a telephone system barely works (there are times and places, that even 911 calls are not really available), and DSL is a dead technology – Verizon won’t entertain new DSL accounts and won’t build new DSL infrastructure). Oh, Verizon does the least it can get away with in terms of maintenance and many states lack the ability to make Verizon do anything Verizon does not want to do (the Commonwealth of Mass is a smaller entity than Verizon).

PS: the Arduino IDE does in fact have a preference setting to suppress the update check on startup.


Actually I completely agree, it is on my list of things to do. There are a variety of cases where it would be useful, teachers for one with a readonly parts database who don’t want the delay of the check at the start of a class with many students logging in at once. A flag to allow you to disable it if you choose seems a good bet.
The trouble so far has been getting development even started. Luckily the Anseler folks see it as good business and what I have seen so far is encouraging. There were some recent commits in the dev branch dealing with the parts swapping issue, so work is going on there. I believe if you have no network access it will try to contact github (for a while, which is what the teachers were objecting to) then quietly proceed without doing the update. On Windows 7 (which I’m running) it has been broken for almost a year as the current libgit2 version on Win7 doesn’t support tls1.2 and github no longer accepts tls1.1 so I have to clone the repository and manually do a database rebuild to get new parts updates.



OK, I have updated the code to include a preference to supress the update check at startup. It all compiles and seems to work (I can’t really tell). I have a git differences file – where should I upload it where it can be looked at by the development team?


I expect a pull request against the development branch on github is probably the place you want. You might want to open an issue and ask where fixes to head should be submitted, as i don’t think there have been any external yet.



For the record. I love Fritzing. I have designed integrated circuits with the most advanced tools in the world (both circuit and layout). I appreciate high-end CAD tools (and their cost $$$$$$$). But, I love Fritzing for what it is…warts and all. My wife feels the same way about me!

With the new team in place working very very hard (I read every post), it will get better.