Aligning Categories to user expectations

Aligning Categories to user expectations
Someone just posted the following to a local LUG mailing list I'm subscribed to (emphasis added):

Quote:Thinking about it, I can remember what derailed my learning LDraw/Mcad/ et al... it was the parts management system… [T]he hundreds of variations with a surface graphic made the whole stack completely unmanageable.

While I don't know the author, I really have to agree with the sentiment. Regular bread-and-butter categories one uses all the time for building are clogged with enormous numbers of decorated parts which are almost never used. Over the years, the single most-requested feature for Bricksmith was to add a "Favorite" category, and I can't help bust suspect this was part of the reason.

A couple years ago when I was adding !CATEGORY support to Bricksmith, I came to the conclusion the situation was actually getting worse. Notably, Duplo elements were being piled into the regular categories like "Brick". The !CATEGORY keyword was also inconsistently applied, so some bricks fell into defined categories, and some fell into implicit categories based on the first word of their description. Some logical first-word categories were being exterminated for inexplicable reasons, but only in a piecemeal fashion. Since it was all inconsistent, it was insanely difficult to find anything. I actually gave up and intentionally ignored !CATEGORY for any single-word category name.

I would like to take a cue from Bricklink here. Separate decorated elements out of the most commonly-used categories of Brick, Tile, and Slope. I think this would be a huge win for regular users.

I would also like to see !CATEGORY be dependable. When I last checked in on the situation (at least a year ago), every Categorization was potentially subject to a review squabble (and endless limbo) on the part tracker. That was the point at which I gave up on implementing the feature and went back to using the description for almost everything.
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Aligning Categories to user expectations - by Allen Smith - 2013-08-28, 21:34

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