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So, I'd like to get a little more comfortable with parts authoring—or more accurately, perhaps, parts editing. I don't see myself soon contributing major new parts to the official library or anything, but I do often find I want to make minor tweaks to existing parts (such as to allow odd connections in Technic assemblies that depend on the physical tolerance of real plastic parts, or to create custom sticker parts, etc.). I think that with the right tools, I wouldn't have much trouble figuring out the process, but it's just a little too abstract to manipulate the raw code of a DAT file without getting visual feedback on what I'm doing. Are there good software programs out there where I could tinker around with the basics?

I should add one major catch—right now, LD Part Editor isn't an option for me. I've encountered a series of technical problems that have so far prevented me from even opening the program, so I have no way to use it. I've reached out for support already, but I realize that this may take some time because LDraw tools are created by volunteers on their free time, so I'm just looking for other options I might use in the meantime. I do also have Studio's Part Designer, but that really doesn't allow you to directly manipulate the various subparts, primitives and so on—unless I'm greatly missing where those capabilities are hidden. I don't think LDCad allows interactive part editing beyond snap info. Should I look into MLCad? Something else? I look forward to everyone's suggestions!
I have written an article on part editing in MLCad:

http://www.holly-wood.it/ldraw/authoring-en.html

but you should really get LDPE working. As for patterns LDPC:

https://sourceforge.net/projects/patterncreator
/

Is your choise.

w.
I will look into your troubles with LDPE and MacOS X on the next weekend.
From what I saw on GitHub it is most likely a somehow broken setup. I am sure that there is a solution for it.
(2019-10-29, 8:38)Willy Tschager Wrote: [ -> ]I have written an article on part editing in MLCad:

http://www.holly-wood.it/ldraw/authoring-en.html

but you should really get LDPE working. As for patterns LDPC:

https://sourceforge.net/projects/patterncreator
/

Is your choise.

w.

I'm working through all of your tutorials, so this one will be on my list for sure. I just wondered whether it's worth trying to get MLCad working at all, since I'd have to make it work under Wine, and since it seems that LDCad is really the program of choice these days for general modeling. But the tutorials are helpful anyway because the concepts can be applied to any program.

(2019-10-29, 11:37)Nils Schmidt Wrote: [ -> ]I will look into your troubles with LDPE and MacOS X on the next weekend.
From what I saw on GitHub it is most likely a somehow broken setup. I am sure that there is a solution for it.

I'll appreciate your help, but I know you've got other real-life things to do, too!  Smile I think there is likely something amiss in my system, but I'm not sure whether I'm having multiple issues with LDPE, or one issue with multiple symptoms. I think I solved the JAR access problem by running the update script before the run script, and the crash-on-startup is happening with the older version I installed because I couldn't get past the OK button on the current one. So I don't know whether that crash would also occur in the current version…

I can say that being a Mac user, it's taken me a lot longer to realize the possibilities of what can be done with LDraw. Until I figured out Wine, the only programs I could really use were Bricksmith (not quite a full-featured editor) and Studio/Part Designer. While I'm very impressed by the easy-to-learn interactive GUI of Studio, I'm now finding myself limited by its lack of under-the-hood access: I can't directly manipulate code and see the results. For Part Designer, this really prevents any meaningful editing, because I can't work with the basic building blocks of a part (unless I'm missing where this functionality can be found).
Before we had LDPE I did all my parts in LDDP and had LDView to see what I made.
In fact, I still use those two as my main tools when reviewing parts.

You can set up LDDP to open LDView, one single button
and also to pull to a selected line of code, the one you are editing, by using F11.

[attachment=4143]
(2019-10-29, 23:06)Magnus Forsberg Wrote: [ -> ]Before we had LDPE I did all my parts in LDDP and had LDView to see what I made.
In fact, I still use those two as my main tools when reviewing parts.

You can set up LDDP to open LDView, one single button
and also to pull to a selected line of code, the one you are editing, by using F11.

To follow on from my saga…

I'm thinking the above method might be a good workaround for now, since LDPE unfortunately continues to be just short of functional for me. I've got LDDP downloaded (the download link from the main page seems to be broken, but I found it another way) and I'll try it in conjunction with LDView and/or LDCad.

I wonder, is there still any value in trying to get MLCad working for the sake of having a WYSIWYG editor, or is it really just obsolete by now? (And if it is worthwhile, can I get the latest version other than by using the AIOI, which doesn't appear to run under Wine?)
(2020-04-20, 20:25)N. W. Perry Wrote: [ -> ]I've got LDDP downloaded (the download link from the main page seems to be broken, but I found it another way) and I'll try it in conjunction with LDView and/or LDCad.

There's the small caveat to this. If you use the 64 bit version of LDView, you have to rename it from LDView64.exe to simply LDView.exe in order for LDDP to recognize a valid path.

Since I can't update this behavior (I don't have the money to buy a valid version of Delphi nor do I intend to do so if I did), this workaround will have to do until I, finally, update the code to work with Lazarus/FreePascal (don't hold your breath for this to happen anytime soon).
(2020-04-20, 21:14)Orion Pobursky Wrote: [ -> ]There's the small caveat to this. If you use the 64 bit version of LDView, you have to rename it from LDView64.exe to simply LDView.exe in order for LDDP to recognize a valid path.

Is the file extension relevant? It's the Mac version, so it's LDView.app.
(2020-04-20, 22:01)N. W. Perry Wrote: [ -> ]Is the file extension relevant? It's the Mac version, so it's LDView.app.

LDDP isn't compiled for MacOS so if you're running on WINE, I have no idea. It does, however, look specifically for whatever is listed in the parentheses on the Paths setting. If that specific file name isn't in the path, it won't work.
(2020-04-20, 22:11)Orion Pobursky Wrote: [ -> ]LDDP isn't compiled for MacOS so if you're running on WINE, I have no idea. It does, however, look specifically for whatever is listed in the parentheses on the Paths setting. If that specific file name isn't in the path, it won't work.

Hmm…it definitely needs that extension. I can't change the name of the .app; I can add the extension to the executable itself, but LDDP can't see it. I also tried making an alias (shortcut) of the program named .exe; it can't seem to see that either (just doesn't appear in the search dialog).

One option, of course, would be to just install the Windows version of LDView to make everyone happy. This is almost better anyway, since programs that are compiled for Mac, unless they're truly built for the Mac, don't seem to play nice.
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