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Discussion - Community Category Kit


RoverDude
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Figure I would get this particular topic rolling :)

With lots of modders using custom categories, we're starting to bump into each other.

Is there interest in establishing, similar to CTT and CRP, a Community Category Kit (CCK)?

If so...

What categories are you currently using?

How are you placing your parts in those categories?  

 

(Paging @Angel-125 and @Nils277 since those are two off the top of my head where we may have conflicts).

 

Discuss :)

 

[Heads up - will move this to a proper release thread, but here's the current Github link for interested parties :)]

 

https://github.com/BobPalmer/CommunityCategoryKit/releases

Edited by RoverDude
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We should also page @IgorZ with KIS and KAS, @JPLRepo with DeepFreeze and Tac-LS. They also add custom filter.

For KPBS: 

I am currently mainly adding a "Life Support" tab in the Function Filter for all parts that can be used in one of the Life Support mods. This already kinda collides with the "LifeSupport" category added by USI-LS (just discovered this yesterday).
Optionally KPBS also has an option to add the "Planetary Surface Structures" category which collects(removes) the parts from KPBS from all other categories and puts them all in one filter. I don't really like this option but it was requested several times. It is disabled by default.

Additionally KPBS adds it's own category outside of the Function Filter where it lists all it's parts by category:

2gmLR8h.png

Which was my attempt to keep the Function Filter as clean as possbile but still allow the users to have an overview over all the parts from the mod.

For the Function Filter, the parts are filtered by their internal name: All "Life Support" parts (if available) start with the internal name "KKAOSS_LS" (or in code "KKAOSS.LS").  The optional "Planetary Surface Structures" filter lists all parts starting with "KKAOSS" but exclude "KKAOSS_LS".
I doubt that this method would be feasible for CCK. It wouldn't be a good idea to rename all the internal names to include an agreed substring, as this would break every save that used a previous version of a mod.

Maybe a custom PartModule with a field for the category?

 

Suggested additional Filters:

  • Resources/Production (or a similar name) for production and industrial things
  • Life Support
  • Rovers
  • Bases
  • Inventory (for KIS and KAS)

What do you think would be a reasonable number of new categories?
I'd suggest not more than 5-7 new categories because i don't really like the idea to have to scroll the list of categories to get to a part. This is already the case in the "Filter by Module" filter and it is very cumbersome to use.

Edited by Nils277
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For my mods, I group the parts by mod:

gBBOlUJ.png

Not sure what the request is, it sounds like it's to have standard community categories. I don't add common items like Rovers and such. If there is a crowding issue, maybe the game just needs some kind of slide-out panel to show more categories. In compact mode the ribbon has the stock part categories. Hover the mouse over the ribbon and it expands to show more categories in multiple columns. Have a scroll bar in case you have a lot of categories. Click on one of the category buttons to show parts in that category. Move the mouse away from the category tray, and it collapses back to a single column ribbon. That sort of thing.

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+1 for an easy way to get a category/filter for a mod. I like an idea of having "Inventory" filter. Many parts will match it, not just KIS&KAS.

As for now if I want my own category I have to do some coding, and put the target parts into "none" category. One way to make "dynamic" categories could be a config file that we can modify via MM (similarly, some mods update KIS config to whitelist stackable parts). Plus, multiple categories per part would be highly appreciated.

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Not entirely sure what I'm bringing to the table other than I'm always open for more functionality requests

FE can currently create subcategories in two very distinct ways

  • By apparent function. Characterising parts by part modules included being the most common
  • By specific inclusion of parts into a category
    • FE has a part module which can list both the categories in which to include it and anything it needs to be excluded from
    • You can also check from the category definitions, similar to how the stock custom cateogries store parts (although slightly different syntax currently. I should match them up at some point...)

 

Edited by Crzyrndm
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@IgorZ@RoverDude : USI has now a "Konstruction" category that has cranes and forklifts and such. Maybe this fits well with KAS winches/magnets/hooks/ports?

@Angel-125: I think the basic idea is to share a common set of categories, so that the users don't get the same/similar category from 3 different mods. In your case:

  • DSEV parts can go in the same category with parts from RoverDudes FTT
  • Pathfinder parts can go in the same category with parts from @Nils277's KBPS, and RoverDudes 
  • Buffalo seems to be a rover, so it should go together with Nils277's Rovers and RoverDudes Malemute/Karibou
  • Snacks! parts are life support, so they should go in a "Life Support" category with all the other mods parts
  • I'm not sure the MOLE parts would fit in a specific category. Maybe it's better to sprinkle the parts across other categories, but group them by the "Manufacturer"?

 

I really love the effort guys! Anything to declutter "Utility" is very much appreciated between players.

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Just now, Kobymaru said:

@IgorZ@RoverDude : USI has now a "Konstruction" category that has cranes and forklifts and such. Maybe this fits well with KAS winches/magnets/hooks/ports?

And what to do if player doesn't have USI? Part only allows one category as for now. If there were multiple allowed I don't see problems in specifying all the good candidates.

It would be nice to have a category that exists regardless of the mods installed. As a UI enhancement it makes sense to show it only if there is art least one part in it.

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Maybe a discussion about "part categorization best practises" is also warranted, while we're here. A set of common categories for everyone to use is much more useful if everyone also agrees on how they are to be used.

I'm talking about things like, when adding a custom category exclusively for your mod, make sure your parts can be found both there and in the stock categories. When deciding whether or not to make a new category, determine if it is really necessary. Will more than one or two parts reside in it, or is it mostly for one gimmick? Where are end users most likely to look for your parts? Will other modders perhaps be interested in using the category? How should I spell it, so that it is easily usable for other people? Do other modders perhaps already add and/or use a category that is similar enough for you to instead jump on that standard (especially with regards to the proposed CCK)?

And so on and so forth. Basically, ways to make parts easily findable for the end user that everyone can agree on. Because this should ultimately be the end goal of the whole exercise. We're not doing this because of an obsessive-compulsive need to sort everything into a drawer with the most perfect label possible for it; we're doing it in order to make the part appear under the user's mouse cursor in the minimum number of clicks and scrollwheel turns. :wink:

Edited by Streetwind
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3 minutes ago, IgorZ said:

And what to do if player doesn't have USI?

Then the fictional "Konstruction" category is filled only with parts from KIS/KAS, which is better than having them all in utility, IMHO.

 

Quote

As a UI enhancement it makes sense to show it only if there is art least one part in it.

If that's possible, that would be perfect.

Edited by Kobymaru
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2 minutes ago, Kobymaru said:

Then the fictional "Konstruction" category is filled only with parts from KIS/KAS, which is better than having them all in utility, IMHO.

As of now categories must be created thru the code: no USI mod, no category.

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I will note that all the functions requested since my last post (unlimited categories per part, culling of empty categories, MM compatibility) are already features of Filter Extensions

Edited by Crzyrndm
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Just now, IgorZ said:

As of now categories must be created thru the code: no USI mod, no category.

Ah, I see, I thought it was a config file somewhere.

Well, if that is the case, in the future the category would be created in this Community Category Kit I guess.

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2 minutes ago, Crzyrndm said:

I will note that all the functions requested since my last post (unlimited categories per part, culling of empty categories, MM compatibility) are already features of FE

What is FE? Front End? :)

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16 minutes ago, Streetwind said:

make sure your parts can be found both there and in the stock categories

This was the original intention i believe of BD when he introduced his own category. The problem comes with users who don't like to see copies of  their mods throughout the editor, and many of them reported and still report that BD parts do still appear to some extent in both the BD category and the Utility category as a bug.. I personally prefer that all part X's are in category X. By allowing or desiring that parts appear more than once seems to be defeating the whole reason for the categories in the first place

Edited by SpannerMonkey(smce)
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36 minutes ago, Streetwind said:

I'm talking about things like, when adding a custom category exclusively for your mod, make sure your parts can be found both there and in the stock categories.

In general, I'm totally agree. Though, there can be exceptions. E.g. EVA items in KIS, they won't look good in any of the existing stock categories.

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32 minutes ago, SpannerMonkey(smce) said:

This was the original intention i believe of BD when he introduced his own category. The problem comes with users who don't like to see copies of  their mods throughout the editor, and many of them reported and still report that BD parts do still appear to some extent in both the BD category and the Utility category as a bug.. I personally prefer that all part X's are in category X. By allowing or desiring that parts appear more than once seems to be defeating the whole reason for the categories in the first place

Well, on the opposing side, I've seen and answered posts of people complaining about extra categories just for single mods, and asking how to get rid of them. Regardless of what you do, you cannot please everyone.

Which is why I underlined the ideal reason for part categorization at the end of my post: to make a part findable in with the least amount of effort for the largest amount of people. The part should therefore be in a category where the user intuitively expects it. In my personal opinion, if it's an engine, it should be in the engine category, period. If a modder decides to add their own category as a parts basket for their own mod, this has its advantages; for example, a user can easily find which parts this mod in particular adds. But if it adds an engine, it should still appear in the engine category. Even if that means it appears in two locations at once.

That's what I mean with categorizing for usability, and not for a personal desire to have one's parts sorted a certain way. (Which, by the way, was not targeted at anyone in particular. It was a general statement.)

 

I think the main reason that people report it as a bug is because in stock KSP, no part appears in two locations at once. Therefore some people come to the false conclusion that it is impossible for a part to be in two locations at once, even though in reality, the game has long allowed this to happen with absolutely zero effort. And when they see it happen anyway, clearly the game must be broken, and "insert mod name here" is the one that broke it! It's quite unfortunate that this happens, but at the same time, not listing parts where they are expected to be found is IMHO worse.

 

Which of course doesn't mean that one should shotgun blast parts all over the place. If there is a Life Support category, and a mod adds something like a life support resource reprocessor, the part should be listed in either Life Support or Utility... but not in both. That's clearly a case where appearing in multiple locations is not conducive to usability, and therefore, best practices should advise against it.

 

10 minutes ago, IgorZ said:

In general, I'm totally agree. Though, there can be exceptions. E.g. EVA items in KIS, they won't look good in any of the existing stock categories.

That's true, but also not a problem. In such a case, the user would not expect to find them in a stock category anyway. I mean, perhaps they'd look in Utility the first time, because it's regularly getting abused as a catch-all for parts that don't fit anywhere else. But the logical location for such parts is a dedicated category, added either by KIS, or by CCK (if that becomes a thing). And once the user discovers this category, it will make sense to them.

The point I was trying to make is that special case when parts are sequestered away in "non-traditional" categories, such as mod part baskets. Those have their uses, but if you know that you're looking for an engine, it might not be your first stop. Especially if the mod adds one engine, but twenty-five wing sections, seventeen science parts, nine antennas and four command pods.

Edited by Streetwind
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Thanks everyone for joining the discussion :)

And yep, the general idea is to avoid collisions for custom categories (the high level icons on the left).  @Angel-125 - if we have a bunch of them, they will scroll.  It will not preclude us from having our own, but there would be a common DLL (I'd start a repo for this, GPL of course) that would handle the code bit, which is likely some variant on the one we all do individually anyway.

Life Support is probably the best examnple.  USI-LS has stuff like that, as does TAC-LS, KPBS, etc.  

@Nils277 - I agree with not breaking saves (and names would do this).  I like your idea of a part module, because it will allow us to put things in multiple categories, etc. The individual modder could still control whether it was also in a stock category vs. use the word 'none' (i.e. @IgorZ's concern RE EVA items).

And it's trivial (USI does this already) to have the category suppress if nothing uses it, nor would it interfere with other mods that add their own categories.  

Any participant would have collaborator access to the GitHub repo.  This will allow all of us to improve on the framework as necessary based on our expertise (and alleviate any concerns about someone getting hit by a bus).  

Thanks all for participating :)

Category wise, I'd go with guidelines and rules similar to what we have for CRP.  We include it once two or more modders agree to collaborate on that (i.e. between me and @Nils277 we agree we need a Life Support category.  I expect @JPLRepo would be on board with this as well).  So we can jointly curate that one.  We'd all deprecate our own categories in favor of the shared one, and agree to include and collaborate on the shared component.  This would also be the gate for collaborator access to the GitHub repo.  I'd handle releases (similar to CRP, FireSpitter) unless I got slammed by a bus, in which case anyone can pick up that torch.  Figure that makes sense as I am one of the folks on the dev team (which means source access and being able to react to API changes better).

Thoughts?

Tentative goal would be to knock something together for launch as soon as this Sunday, at least to stop the conflict me and @Nils277 are having, but would love to have more options on board :)  

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3 minutes ago, RoverDude said:

We include it once two or more modders agree to collaborate on that (i.e. between me and @Nils277 we agree we need a Life Support category.  I expect @JPLRepo would be on board with this as well)

If your initial build will have "Inventory" (or similar) category then I'm in. KKAOSS has some KIS containers which gives the quorum :)  From my side I promise to move KIS containers there.

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Sounds like a plan.
My additional requirement: enable Custom Categories using the new Stock Difficulty settings integration (simple to implement) and allow the user to turn Categories on or off and also filter from stock categories or not (IE: Parts can display in both stock and custom category or just the custom category - if that makes sense?).

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