Outlining the Future

I will never forget so many weekends of my youth spent holding my eyelids open with my thumbs while my good friend Dieter Bergman lectured about the need for a new data transfer format. It made me the man I am today … tired, grumpy and frazzled …

An email yesterday from one of my old cohorts on those committees reminded of those happy times. Dino Ditta, whom many readers will remember as the founder of Router Solutions, has spent the past year working on a website designed to be an open community-based portal for creating, managing and sharing accurate 2D and 3D component package models.

“The goal,” he tells me, “is to have thousands of users generating the models using the templates we provide, and then let the global user community share the work product.”

The project is called WikiComponents.com. I checked it out and say it holds promise. Some of the more interesting features include a user rating system (users can give a thumbs up or down to a particular part outline, and — and this is key — all thumbs down must include a comment as to why the rating was given), and a built-in peer review will spur changes to poorly conceived ones.

Dino says he will work with IPC, Jedec and others on component outline and land pattern standards. Given the up-and-down history of the tool providers and standards organizations in keeping up with parts libraries, this is definitely worth a look.