With this article we would like to start a series of tutorials covering the migration of EDA applications from Windows to Mac OS X and GNU/Linux. For that purpose we will review the technologies for building user-interface, data layer and business logic of typical EDA tools. For each of these technologies we will discuss porting concerns, issues, and solutions.
Nowadays, designers and developers have a variety of options when it comes to getting their development work done. There are choices in the areas, for example, of what application framework, programming language, and SW libraries to use, or what HW and OS platform to run on. Historically, EDA developers were using GNU/Linux and Windows operating systems. Current market trends, however, offer the opportunity for EDA developers to consider choosing a different OS for new developments. E. g. adding support of OS X and/or GNU/Linux to existing products, or permanently migrating to one of these operating systems, and vice versa. Today GNU/Linux and Apple OSX are more appealing for EDA and other applications, yet many EDA applications originated on Windows, and there are several technical difficulties in migrating from Windows to GNU/Linux or OSX. Let’s take a high-level look at one of these issues – the GUI. Also it is important to note that this applies not only to the existing, but also to new code-base. Even new products may initially start on GNU/Linux, and later, with growing adoption and revenue, company may consider porting to relatively less significant platforms.