Starting into Parts Authoring

Starting into Parts Authoring
Hello all,

I have made custom parts using direct conversions of STL and OBJ files, as well as made assemblies of currently existing parts. I would like to dive in further to help out with getting new parts both recently released as well as missing parts from the past. 

Is there a beginner's guide for this kind of thing? 

The first thing I notice is that many of the box primitives are sized 2LDU in one or more directions thus making any real measurements being taken having to then be divided by 2. Is there some reason behind this? I come from a manufacturing background so I like my models to not have to have additional steps to read and understand their measurements. Does the underlying reason for this propagate through out the LDraw system?

Off to read more. Thanks for taking time to help a newbie.
RE: Starting into Parts Authoring
I came back here after 2 year without authoring, so, I may not be the best one to answer.
But I guess it's to make the use off the transformation matrix easier.
I think the point is to use the number 1 for each vertex coordinate  to multiply easily.
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