Should "Part Alias" files be listed in parts.lst

Re: Should "Part Alias" files be listed in parts.lst
This is actually something that's been on my mind recently: The case of part aliases and physically colored parts. It's my understanding that these parts exist primarily to ease conversion from LDD to LDraw. However, this comes at the cost of having additional files which, as you say, tend to clutter up the parts list and cause confusion for those who don't understand why two versions of the same part exist.

I have thought of a couple possible solutions for this, although I don't know how well they'll be recieved.

1. Right now, there currently exists one main "library" with all the certified parts in it, called the "Core". One could seperate out the alias and physical color parts into a seperate library called "Conversion" which could be downloaded seperately. Both library's could be included in the AIOI, if desirable.

- Only those who want the parts will get them.
- Parts will no longer exist in Parts.lst for those who don't have the files.

- May cause confusion for those who don't know the second library exists.
- Potentially causes segmentation in the PT.

2. A more radical approach would be to eliminate these files and include the information in the original part files as META data. There would likely be a need for new keywords to such as "0 ALIAS [Alias_Number]" and "0 PHYSICAL_COLOR [PColor_Number]"

- Would eliminate the files altogether which would save space.
- The Data exists for those who need it and those who don't won't know of it.

- Would break current conversion software. A solution to this would be to introduce the new files (with the meta data) while keeping the old ones for a period until the software authors have had sufficient time to update their software (say 1-3 years).
- Several files would need to be updated, which would cause additional work. Additionally, as time goes by and more aliases/physical color parts are released, the files would need to be constantly updated.

Of course, there's always the option to simply "underscore" them as Chris suggested, although in my opinion this only serves to clutter the "Other Parts" section in MLCad even further.

Personally, I'm more a fan of my 1st suggestion than the 2nd, but I thought I'd put them both out here as food for thought.
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Re: Should "Part Alias" files be listed in parts.lst - by Jude Parrill - 2012-02-19, 0:45

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