Formal syntax checker in new Reference Gerber Viewer
- New version includes formal syntax checker
- Freeware allows entire PCB industry to move forward toward easier and safer data exchange
- Free integration into your web app
Ucamco has finished a new version of Reference Gerber Viewer. The freeware now includes a formal syntax checker. We are convinced that this game-changer will benefit the PCB industry as a whole and will allow the industry to move forward toward easier and safer data exchange.
A more detailed introduction:
Ucamco is pleased to announce a new version of the online Reference Gerber Viewer. A brand new formal syntax checker was added.
The formal syntax checker is a wholly new capability. Let us explain. There are two types of users of a Gerber viewer.
- Receivers of Gerber files, who want to use the files they have received. Receivers need to view the intended image, even for files with syntax errors. For receivers, the viewer must be liberal and try to reverse engineer the intended image on invalid Gerber files.
- Senders of Gerber files, who want to check the files before they send them. Senders know the intended image but want to be sure the file is correct. For senders, the viewer must be conservative and notice any deviation from the specification.
This is neatly expressed in Postel's law: “Be conservative in what you send, be liberal in what you accept"
The Reference Gerber Viewer now offers the best of both worlds. The checker is very conservative and reports any imperfection. The visualizer is very liberal and accepts almost anything vaguely following the specification. The formal syntax checker is very conservative and will report any syntax error.
Before the advent of the formal syntax checker, the only means for senders to check files was multiple viewers. Liberal viewers, because these where the only ones available. This is risky, because on syntax errors viewers try to recover the intended image through reverse engineering. Reverse engineering is outside any specification, it is but a grand word for guessing. There is no guarantee that other software will reverse engineer in the same way. Files with syntax errors are always risky. The formal syntax checker is the only public software doing a thorough syntax check. It is a game changer.
We call on responsible developers of Gerber output software to check their output and only output perfectly valid files. The development effort is probably modest. Generating files with syntax errors puts your users at an easily avoidable risk. This will benefit the PCB industry as a whole and allow the industry to move forward toward easier and safer data exchange.
Users of software generating Gerber files have less control. If flawed Gerbers are generated, they can see if there are Gerber output setting which, properly set, creates proper files. Otherwise, they can only notify the supplier of the erroneous software.
And what does it bring the receivers of Gerber files? When there is discussion over the interpretation of the file, there is now an official arbiter of the syntax. More importantly, over time they will receive better quality Gerber files.
Integrate Reference Gerber Viewer into your web app
If you wish to integrate this technology in your web application, this is possible, free of charge. Click here to download the html code to set up the integration.
Pulsonix, RS Group and Gemaddis are among the companies to have already done so:
“The Pulsonix user base has been using the Reference Gerber Viewer for some time now and are very pleased with its instant availability and accuracy. With Ucamco’s constant evolution of the tools it means our users always have the latest technology to hand. Now with the latest addition of a formal syntax checker, the product stays ahead. On top of that, the Reference Gerber Viewer was very easy to integrate into our own website and has proved to be a reliable, valuable resource for our users.”
“The Ucamco Reference Gerber Viewer is easily accessible from any modern web browser and it saves time from installing a new program. It is perfect for our DesignSpark users who require a reliable suite of software for rapid prototyping, and having a viewer from the developer of the Gerber format also builds user trust.”
Software Experience Manager
DesignSpark (part of RS Group PLC)
“As a stencil manufacturer, before launching the production of any stencil we ask our customers to validate the CAD study. Integrating the Reference Gerber Viewer on our website allows our customers to check their Gerber files directly on our website. This means they don’t have to download a specific software or search for an online viewer, allowing us to offer them an improved user experience.”
Chief Marketing Officer
If you wish to run tests on Reference Gerber Viewer, sample CAD jobs are available for download here, under 'test files'.