DigiKey's KiCad library is really broken

tl;dr: Don’t use DigiKey’s KiCad library.

Obviously, you shouldn’t trust random libraries on the Internet. Heck, you shouldn’t trust the actual KiCad libraries most of the time.

I’m still annoyed about this because I’ve got a pack of useless PCBs.

DigiKey, for whatever reasons, has been trying to promote KiCad and their library and footprints. As in, you look at the product page, there’s a link to the KiCad library, which gives you a part with a DigiKey part number all filled in, etc.

So I use a USB connector, an Amphenol 10103594-0001LF in a design. I checked the part against the printout and managed to miss that it’s really really close, but still off by a mm or so, so that the part won’t fit.

I notice that one of the latest commits to the repo mentions that exact part I was trying to use. Apparently, someone filed a bug in 2018 complaining that the part is wrong. A year or so later, there’s a PR merged that fixes the issue. So, first I spend a bunch of time trying to figure out what is broken in my system because I’m not seeing the change.

Well, it turns out that there’s two sections to their library. There’s a “src” section, which is where pull requests land. And then there’s the actual library. And, even though the bug was fixed 10 months ago, nobody’s bothered to run a deploy script so nobody gets the updated footprint.

If there was no footprint in their library, I’d either have to make my own footprint from the data sheet or potentially download it from several different sources. It’s not like there’s not several different companies around these days that have PCB footprints available for a variety of platforms.

So, pretty much, at any point between 2018 and now, someone could have deleted the bad footprint instead of leaving it up, because accidentally getting a known to be bad footprint really sucks. Or they could have run whatever their deploy script is. Or, they could decide that they aren’t prepared to maintain the library and deprecated it, because maybe it doesn’t make sense for them anymore to update it, which I’d totally respect.

But directing me to a known-to-be-broken footprint from the page on DigiKey’s website that I used to purchase the part is pretty much the worst of all possible options.