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So a friend and I were talking about schematics at work and how we can better communicate among us and our co-workers. I know Kortuk had asked a question previously that was similar, but that question was more about how to make the schematics.

Instead, I'm now asking if anyone knows a good way to collaborate on schematics that are already complete. Kind of like the "Google Docs for Schematics" I talked about in response to Kortuk's question. I have a bunch of schematics in pdf form that I want to be able to mark up and show to someone with a link as opposed to sending it to them. I also want the content to be secure and probably on an internal server.

I think what I really want is a wiki plugin that would allow me to do something like this. Has anyone heard of any program that could achieve something like this?

FYI, I've seen software such as a.nnotate, but don't know if I can swing the price they ask (to keep it behind my firewall). So I'd appreciate open source but am willing to pay something.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I've wanted to see something of this nature, particularly for this site. If you have an interest in heading up such a coding project, I would definitely contribute. I think it would be useful and I could use another sample for reference. \$\endgroup\$ – Lou Feb 23 '10 at 18:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've wanted something like this for a long time. \$\endgroup\$ – endolith Feb 24 '10 at 1:33
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There's a wiki plugin (WikiTeX) for including schematics inline, but it seems abandoned and not really what you're looking for. You'd paste the source code of a gschem circuit into the page, which is then rendered as an image by the backend, and then you could make modifications to it and they'd be saved in the wiki's version control. The gschem code is not at all user-friendly, though, and the only examples I can find are broken, even on their own example site:

There's also the image annotator for Mediawiki...

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I kind of like the image annotator, though I'm not so certain about keeping a separate image for every schematic page on a wiki. That could be a bit cumbersome, though it would fit with our current wiki usage. \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Gammell Feb 24 '10 at 15:40
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A revision control system (e.g. git) would let engineers checkout a branch, annotate and change the files and then merge the changes back. Not the same as marking up a PDF file or a piece of paper but it could be useful.

All of my schematic and PCB files are in ASCII. I know there are a number of people who use git for revision control of their EDA work. Open source, runs on a local or remote server. You would also get redundancy.

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There's tons of web-based services like a.nnotate, while most of them offer free or very cheap usage, they generally charge lots more for an "enterprise" solution where you host it yourself. IMO unless you're working at Intel or NVidia or something, probably industrial espionage is not really a threat to you, and you can probably trust 3rd parties with your data.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ We probably could trust them, but we probably won't. Even if the software costs 10k that's cheaper than someone from China stealing your stuff and cutting your legs out from under you (although they're often good enough at it to do something like that without the actual schematic). \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Gammell Feb 23 '10 at 19:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ If it's good, they're just going to buy one and reverse-engineer it anyway. :) \$\endgroup\$ – endolith Feb 25 '10 at 15:04
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We print to Adobe and use its review features of the full edition.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ We do this at work, too. I'll also take screenshots and draw on schematics in the GIMP and just attach the images to emails. I suppose emails are a sort of version control. :) \$\endgroup\$ – endolith Feb 25 '10 at 15:03

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