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Code 55 Peco Track Library

Started by MBParcell, April 26, 2014, 03:50:50 PM

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MBParcell

AnyRail is a great product and I think it will continue to improve so I would like to suggest that the Code 55 Peco track library be arranged in a more user friendly way and that some of the names be fixed.  First, group all of the turnouts thumbnail images in some sort of order.  For example .... L/H #4, R/H #4, L/H #6, R/H #6, L/H #8, R/H #8, Curved L/H, Curved R/H, and so on.  Also, some of the track labels need to be fixed.  For example, it would be better if "N Peco Finescale Code 55 SL-E395. Right turnout 5 3/8". (conductive frog)" said .... N Peco Code 55 SL-E395. #6 R/H turnout. Medium radius (5 3/8"). Electrofrog.  Also, I would add the NB-56F Inspection Pit since you already have the turntable.

BritsTukker

Welcome to the forum, young man.
I think this post ought really go in the 'wish list' rather than problems, although it can be considered a problem of useability.

I wish you luck with it, as I requested some updates to the Peco libraries back in Feb 2012 (including your NB56F) and they still haven't happened.

David

The items are currently ordered by part number. Every possible ordering has its pros and cons I'm afraid.

I agree that the naming can be improved, but we use somewhat generic terms for translation reasons. If you change the language, you'll see that the descriptions are translated as well.

About the turnout numbers, I'm not sure Peco uses them:
http://www.peco-uk.com/product.asp?CAT_ID=0&P_ID=17115

The inspection pit will be added in the next update.

David.
David Hoogvorst. Founder and Owner of DRail Software. Creator of AnyRail.

Mike from CT

Quote from: David on April 26, 2014, 09:19:48 PM

<snip>

About the turnout numbers, I'm not sure Peco uses them:
http://www.peco-uk.com/product.asp?CAT_ID=0&P_ID=17115


(This is to MBParcell)
Actually, Peco uses non-standard design (at least, non-standard  in the US, according to the NMRA) and all of it's Code 55 turnouts (labelled "Small Radius", "Medium Radius" and "Large Radius')  have #6 frogs.

Nick the Cabin Boy

I, for one, would like to see the descriptions shortened, so that they are more readable in the status bar and in materials lists.

For example, using MBParcell's offering:

Assuming that you know what you are using, you don't need to be told that it's N, or that it's Peco, or that it's Code 55, as you've made that decision outside of AR.

You don't really need the length (the 5 3/8" is not the radius, as your brackets imply), as that will show in the status bar.

You also don't really need to show "Electrofrog" or "Finescale", as they are identified in the part number (which should be SL-E395F).  This, of course, only applies to Peco - I confess that I have not used anything else since 1969, so I don't know what the others offer.

So my description would read: SL-E395F - Medium Right Turnout.  In fact, when I convert a materials list into a spreadsheet, that's how it finishes up.

I understand that this might not be enough detail for novices (both to AR and model railways in general); perhaps David might consider a setting that allows for abbreviated descriptions!

Nick, in Geelong (mourning the Cats' first loss of the season, the "one we had to have")

Geelong, Victoria, Australia
Building Pottersbridge, a fictional town a little North of London, served by a fictional Heritage Railway, in N

BritsTukker

I agree with Nick. The descriptions are excessively long and don't fit the status bar very well unless you have a big screen. I mostly use Peco streamline code 100 stuff in HO, but also have some other manufacturers parts (like Hornby, Shinohara and Piko). As examples, this is what appears (or tries to) on the status bar:

H0 Peco Streamline Code 100 LK-55. Turntable diameter 305mm.
H0 Peco Streamline Code 100 SL-100. Flex 356.05mm. (wood)(r=510mm, a=40ยบ)
H0 Peco Streamline Code 100 SL-E97 Wye turnout 148mm. (conductive frog)

Mostly. it gets truncated and frustratingly what you don't get is the part number. I think that in these examples the 'streamline code 100' , 'flex' , 'wood' , 'conductive frog' and the length are all redundant (the length appears in another field of the status bar and is frequently just a bit different: eg the Wye turnout is listed as 148mm, but appears on the status bar as 145.91mm - I don't know how/why this arises). This stuff is also redundant in the materials list.
Unlike Nick, I find the manufacturer name quite useful as it tells me which library to look in for the part (this is because I use a mix).

Any improvement in the readability on the status line would be good - eg putting the part number first would already be an improvement.


Nick the Cabin Boy

BT,

Wouldn't the part number tell you the manufacturer?  I suspect that, in most cases, it would.

Another thing that I would like to be treated in a similar manner is the description of User Objects - apart from anything else, I think we need to set up some sort of standard format.

Nick
Geelong, Victoria, Australia
Building Pottersbridge, a fictional town a little North of London, served by a fictional Heritage Railway, in N

BritsTukker

Quote from: abbonc on April 28, 2014, 01:24:33 PM
Wouldn't the part number tell you the manufacturer?  I suspect that, in most cases, it would.

Probably, but my memory's not what it was and in any case this is a very subjective point - ask a dozen people and you'll probably get at least six different preferences.

I fully agree about trying to standardise the user object descriptions but this again is a subjective call.

glakedylan

I am unclear on what the "F" in the item # is to mean:
finescale?
and what the difference is between "finescale" or the "F" track
and others, other than the tiny, slight difference in length?
any info will be appreciated!
thanks

Gary

BritsTukker

Hi, Gary.
Yes indeed, the F stands for Finescale and indicate Code 75 track (in HO) or Code 55 track (in N).

Mike from CT

Summing up, given the number of different preferences,  it seems to me that what track definitions need is the  ability for the users to give the various pieces of track their own, supplemental descriptions, rather than changing the standard one.

I'd make it optional - a field that appears on the status bar and inventory lists if not left blank, but where the predefined (David determined) description appears otherwise.  Since this data would be stored on the user's machine, translation would not be an issue.  (Although, were I download someone else's design, I'd see either my description of the part or the standard one - and not the other user's description.)

Me?  I use a very limited set of track (all Peco code 55, electric frog), so the only information I really care about is the radii on curves and customizing how that's reported for each user requires tokens - and that's more effort than it's worth.

Tom Springer

About 6 months ago in the Wish List context, I mentioned maybe having someday a "user defined track library" capability.  This discussion might be one for that as well - if one had the ability to create such a (private) user track library, then one could put into it any piece of track they wanted - their own 'parts' (derived from flex track editing) or even parts from other libraries.  Presume such a library would allow similar 'attributes' to be set as for user-defined objects - name, manufacturer, part number, scale, description, etc.  If existing manufacturer-defined parts could then be 'put' (copied?) into such a library, then the user could (hopefully) change the description of the part any way they wanted.  One could also (hopefully) mix track elements of different codes in the same library - presuming that a 'code' attribute existed and couldn't be changed, being derived from the original track element used to 'create' the part.

IMHO.
Tom Springer

(Unintentional Pyromaniac)

MBParcell

I had to re-design my very large layout (with 88 turnouts) because I gave up on Atlas Code 55 track availability and switched to Peco Code 55.  The Atlas Code 55 track icons make sense so it was a problem for me because I had to keep reading the descriptions to pick the right turnout.  I realize that the items are currently sorted by part number, but they are without continuity.  Also, most US retailers do use #4,#6,#8 on the Peco turnouts.  Yes, Peco doesn't use the number system but I don't buy from directly them and remember, they are the ones who poorly numbered their products to begin with.  ;)   I do like Tom Springer's idea.  The more the user can personalize their design environment the easier it will be to use the product.  Less redundancy, as abbonc pointed out is, IMHO, better.  Also, thanks for the welcome BritsTukker, its been a long, long time since some one has called me a "young man". ;D

David

Hi all!

Indeed, seeing all the different wishes, probably the best solution is to be able to 'overwrite' the default description with your own.

As said before, this will not easily transfer from installation to installation.

However, there have been some thoughts earlier about user defined libraries, a list of owned materials, etc. Perhaps that can be combined somehow.

David.
David Hoogvorst. Founder and Owner of DRail Software. Creator of AnyRail.

Mike from CT

#14
Quote from: David on April 29, 2014, 08:02:42 PM

<snip>

As said before, this will not easily transfer from installation to installation.

<snip>

"Easy" depends on whether *you* have to program it or *I* get to use it....  ;D

I realize that carrying things forward from installation to installation may require special steps since you can't just overwrite the old files, but if the user description were a supplemental field, rather than over-writing the library provided one, it might make the installation upgrades easier (more rote, less logic required). The trade-off, of course, is deciding which description to use every time the description has to be displayed....

The one problem I can see is what happens when we share track plans.  This is less acute when we're dealing with custom descriptions (I'd think showing the recipient's choice of descriptions for the same item would be be preferable the user's, but I could be wrong).  But I'd definitely expect a real problem with items in user-defined, non-shared libraries of non-standard parts. The items(or libraries) would have to be shared along with the .any files and I'm not sure I want to clutter my libraries with someone else's custom items (or descriptions), so it'd require an .any file format that incorporated the items or a supplemental file/files tagged to a specific plan.  (Possibly a separate directory for each plan?)