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[Software] LDD Manager


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#51 ghyde

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 01:13 PM

View PostSuperkalle, on 19 August 2010 - 07:02 PM, said:

According to a press-release from TLG some months ago, LDD 4 is scheduled for release in September. Can't wait  :classic:

Exporting the brick list to any format is possible. Simply copy the entire list, and paste into any program of your choice (Excel, OpenOffice etc).

PS: A quick way to select the entire list is to click the small gray square at the top-left corner of the list. Then just hit Ctrl-C as usual to copy.

Superkalle:  I got a problem with LDD manager, I sent you mail on my gmail address.  I cannot wait for LDD 4.0 to come out because your program will not run on my PC!!!!  Eek!

I don't know what I'm doing wrong, if anything, but if you have a new version that might fix your program to run on my PC, please do let me have a copy before LDD 4.0 comes out!

Do I wish I could PM this to you, it'd be to prevent forum clutter of course!  :wink:

Cheers ...

ghyde
Cheers ...

ghyde

#52 Superkalle

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 11:51 PM

Ghyde, You can post your problem in this thread so that everyone can benefit. No problem.

Regarding the question you sent, I don't know why it won't install on your PC. I haven't heard any major complaints from other users. You have to be very specfic about exactly what steps you have taken, any error messages you get and what you computer configuration is.

Then you also had another question, which I think is valid. Your question was

Quote

Why do you need the runtime at all?  Can you not download the Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 or newer version (if one exists) and convert your old projects so they no longer need the MS Access 2003 runtime? If you can explain all this please do!
Well, you're right, the best thing would be to convert LDD Manager to proper development environment that could produce an exe-file. However, the advantage of Access is that it's super fast for making database driven programs. And because LDD Manager is a fan created software, that all I had time to do (plus I'm not too good with other development environments). So for the time being, I'm sorry but the Access version is all I can do. But your question was a good and fair one.
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#53 ghyde

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 12:06 PM

View PostSuperkalle, on 24 September 2010 - 11:51 PM, said:

Ghyde, You can post your problem in this thread so that everyone can benefit. No problem.

Regarding the question you sent, I don't know why it won't install on your PC. I haven't heard any major complaints from other users. You have to be very specfic about exactly what steps you have taken, any error messages you get and what you computer configuration is.

Then you also had another question, which I think is valid. Your question was


Well, you're right, the best thing would be to convert LDD Manager to proper development environment that could produce an exe-file. However, the advantage of Access is that it's super fast for making database driven programs. And because LDD Manager is a fan created software, that all I had time to do (plus I'm not too good with other development environments). So for the time being, I'm sorry but the Access version is all I can do. But your question was a good and fair one.

I think you need to reconsider if Access is what you need.  Nowadays, developers using the Microsoft type of IDE use Microsoft's SQL language if they're heavily using databases.  Or they roll a custom implementation in code that does what they need it to do.

Another question springs to mind:  Would you be willing to either consider handing it to someone else to develop or to make the project open source?

Also a lot of professional programmers program nowadays in C# or C++ languages, because these languages are well suited to database management and manipulation.

As to what I did, I unpacked the LDD Manager install package to a directory on my hard drive, and then unpacked and ran the MS Access package in the same directory.

As to the time requirements to manage all of this, well, I guess that's up to what you can fit into your schedule.  But there are serious benefits to upgrading to something that can be built right into your program distribution itself and which does not require extra program runtimes.

Edit:  I got it to run with some warnings about unsafe scripts.  I ran the .mdb file.  Previously, I was running the .vbs file which apparently does nothing to start the .mdb file?

Another thing to add, that I just found.  I don't care about the parts like that which are fairly common and are parts LDD no longer uses.  EG 3703 Technic beam 16L.  But what would I do if I would like LDD Manager to order these from BrickLink if they exist, regardless of whether they're supported parts in LDD or not?  Currently, LDD Manager excludes them from the BOM, can I get it to include unsupported parts that BrickLink has but LDD doesn't have orderable colors of in the DesignByMe palette?

This is a bit weird, I don't care if LDD's DesignByMe palette has something or not, I just care if I can order that part from BrickLink if that color exists in both LDD's LU mode and was manufactured for use in a set that TLG released, and was therefore parted out by a BrickLink seller so that I could buy it off them.

Cheers ...

ghyde

Edited by ghyde, 25 September 2010 - 12:57 PM.

Cheers ...

ghyde

#54 Superkalle

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 01:24 PM

Many good and valid points. I try to answer them below:

View Postghyde, on 25 September 2010 - 12:06 PM, said:

I think you need to reconsider if Access is what you need.  Nowadays, developers using the Microsoft type of IDE use Microsoft's SQL language if they're heavily using databases.  Or they roll a custom implementation in code that does what they need it to do.
Yupp, I'm aware of all this. I'll keep it in mind  :classic:

Quote

Edit:  I got it to run with some warnings about unsafe scripts.  I ran the .mdb file.  Previously, I was running the .vbs file which apparently does nothing to start the .mdb file?
Good you got it to work. The vbs script is unharmful. It just sets macro security to low for that instance of Access that runs the LDD Manager. It's just to avoid that annyoing "Are you sure you want to run...." message. You can run the mdb-file directy instead if  you want.

Quote

Another thing to add, that I just found.  I don't care about the parts like that which are fairly common and are parts LDD no longer uses.  EG 3703 Technic beam 16L.  But what would I do if I would like LDD Manager to order these from BrickLink if they exist, regardless of whether they're supported parts in LDD or not?  Currently, LDD Manager excludes them from the BOM, can I get it to include unsupported parts that BrickLink has but LDD doesn't have orderable colors of in the DesignByMe palette? This is a bit weird, I don't care if LDD's DesignByMe palette has something or not, I just care if I can order that part from BrickLink if that color exists in both LDD's LU mode and was manufactured for use in a set that TLG released, and was therefore parted out by a BrickLink seller so that I could buy it off them.
I'm not sure I follow. LDD Manager has support for all parts in LDD and converts them to the corresponding BrickLink part. So the BOM you get in LDD Manager should be an exact copy of the LDD Bom, but with BL numbers instead of LEGO numbers. You can then upload this to BrickLink. If you want to order other parts that are not in LDD, then you have to manually add them to your BrickLink wanted list. Or have I missunderstood you?
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#55 ghyde

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 10:38 PM

View PostSuperkalle, on 25 September 2010 - 01:24 PM, said:


I'm not sure I follow. LDD Manager has support for all parts in LDD and converts them to the corresponding BrickLink part. So the BOM you get in LDD Manager should be an exact copy of the LDD Bom, but with BL numbers instead of LEGO numbers. You can then upload this to BrickLink. If you want to order other parts that are not in LDD, then you have to manually add them to your BrickLink wanted list. Or have I missunderstood you?

LDD Manager says some of the parts don't match it's parts list v114.3 which it has in it's files and therefore aren't imported.  Maybe an updating of the version list would fix this?  16L Technic beams were added pretty recently.

While they were in LDD's Factory palette for a brief period, they were then rotated out at a later update but of course the element was retained by LDD and therefore appeared in LU mode too.

What I suspect is that your program was built before these 16L beams were included in the palette and therefore missed.

Cheers ...

ghyde
Cheers ...

ghyde

#56 Superkalle

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 09:03 AM

View Postghyde, on 25 September 2010 - 10:38 PM, said:

LDD Manager says some of the parts don't match it's parts list v114.3 which it has in it's files and therefore aren't imported.  Maybe an updating of the version list would fix this?  16L Technic beams were added pretty recently.
Thanks for pointing that out!
It's in now  :classic:
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#57 ghyde

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 11:51 AM

View PostSuperkalle, on 26 September 2010 - 09:03 AM, said:

Thanks for pointing that out!
It's in now  :classic:

OK, do I redownload, or what?   :grin:

Hmm, a quick redownload still had two 3703 parts excluded from model BOM.  WTH?

This might require more drastic action maybe I should toss the LDD Manager directory and try again?

Cheers ...

ghyde

Edited by ghyde, 26 September 2010 - 12:00 PM.

Cheers ...

ghyde

#58 Superkalle

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 02:03 PM

View Postghyde, on 26 September 2010 - 11:51 AM, said:

OK, do I redownload, or what?   :grin:

Hmm, a quick redownload still had two 3703 parts excluded from model BOM.  WTH?

This might require more drastic action maybe I should toss the LDD Manager directory and try again?

Cheers ...

ghyde
WTH? A bit strong words, but I guess you just wrote it in excitement?

Anyway, no need to re-download. I'm not doing any changes in LDD Manager until 4.0 is released.
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#59 ghyde

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 12:11 AM

View PostSuperkalle, on 26 September 2010 - 02:03 PM, said:

WTH? A bit strong words, but I guess you just wrote it in excitement?

Anyway, no need to re-download. I'm not doing any changes in LDD Manager until 4.0 is released.

Just so you know:

Having to wait for LDD 4.0 just to get a change in the database LDD Manager uses really annoys me.  While I really appreciate LDD Manager's functionality, I don't appreciate updates being contingent on a new version of LDD.  I hope you get what I am saying here. :thumbdown:  If you have a really good explanation though for doing it this way, please explain. :wink:

And in any case we are rapidly running out of the September release date for LDD 4.0! :hmpf:

Cheers ...

ghyde
Cheers ...

ghyde

#60 DLuders

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 01:08 AM

@ ghyde:  "Superkalle" developed LDD Manager as a volunteer effort.  It has been used by dozens of AFOLs to easily create Parts Lists.  Since LDD 4.0 is coming out SOON, it does not make sense for anybody to alter their software TWICE.  Be patient, and be considerate of your fellow AFOLs.

#61 LDDtechnician

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Posted 16 October 2010 - 02:43 PM

Hey Superkalle!
Just installed your program. Looks great!

Im trying to build The 8052 Technic container Truck model ind LDD and I would like to check my colors. I go to lego.com>PAB and double-click on a brick and it shows a picture of the brick and the brick-ID in the internet-adress of the picture.

(the first brick in the list for this particular model is a flat plate 1x4 and has the adress
http://us.service.le...56&lod=5&size=2
SO the brick ID is 4211356)

Can LDD-manager help me translate this LEGO brick-ID to a LDD color? Can I use brick-link?

Looking foreward to using your program a lot more!
LDDTechnician

ADDED a little later:
WOW! I found the inventory at Bricklink and found (using the color-matching sceme in LDD-manager) that (as an example) Dark Bluish Gray Technic, Axle 4 with Stop has the LDD color named "Medium Stone Grey"

This pretty much solves my problem!
LDDT

Edited by LDDtechnician, 16 October 2010 - 03:47 PM.


#62 Superkalle

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Posted 16 October 2010 - 03:56 PM

View PostLDDtechnician, on 16 October 2010 - 02:43 PM, said:

Hey Superkalle!
Just installed your program. Looks great!

Im trying to build The 8052 Technic container Truck model ind LDD and I would like to check my colors. I go to lego.com>PAB and double-click on a brick and it shows a picture of the brick and the brick-ID in the internet-adress of the picture.

(the first brick in the list for this particular model is a flat plate 1x4 and has the adress
http://us.service.le...56&lod=5&size=2
SO the brick ID is 4211356)

Can LDD-manager help me translate this LEGO brick-ID to a LDD color? Can I use brick-link?

Looking foreward to using your program a lot more!
LDDTechnician
To start with, some terms:

DesignID (e.g. 3001) - the mold/geometry of a part (called ITEMID at BL)
MaterialID(e.g. 5) - the color/material (called ColorID at BL)
ElementID (e.g. 4239601) - a certain DesignID in a certain MaterialID (BrickLink calls this Part Color Code)

LDD Manager does not use ElementID at all, simply because it's not needed, and for some parts, the ElementID may not be known. LDD Manager simply converts LEGO DesignID and MaterialID in a LXF-file to BrickLink ITEMID and ColorID and those two are the only pieces of information that are needed to unqiuely point out a certain Element. I convert to BL terms for two reasons: 1) the BL terms are more commonly known and accepted and 2) When uploading to BrickLink I need the BrickLink ID's anyway.

So how does the "Check color"-notification work in LDD. Well, I don't use the ElementID's (even though you can download a file with those from BrickLink). Instread I use a more accurate and detailed method. At development time, I download the html-pages and parse all available colors for all parts that are in LDD. (My friend Bojan helped me with the code for that). From this I make a lookup table with "known" colors and "Lots for sale". I do this because sometimes a brick may exist in large quanties in color that that was never released in an official set (and thus the ElementID may not be known). If I'm uncertain if a colors has been produced, then you get "Check color" message in LDD Manager. You can then double click the DesignID in LDD Manager and get info directly from BrickLink.
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#63 LDDtechnician

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 10:29 AM

View PostSuperkalle, on 16 October 2010 - 03:56 PM, said:

To start with, some terms:

DesignID (e.g. 3001) - the mold/geometry of a part (called ITEMID at BL)
MaterialID(e.g. 5) - the color/material (called ColorID at BL)
ElementID (e.g. 4239601) - a certain DesignID in a certain MaterialID (BrickLink calls this Part Color Code)

LDD Manager does not use ElementID at all, simply because it's not needed, and for some parts, the ElementID may not be known. LDD Manager simply converts LEGO DesignID and MaterialID in a LXF-file to BrickLink ITEMID and ColorID and those two are the only pieces of information that are needed to unqiuely point out a certain Element. I convert to BL terms for two reasons: 1) the BL terms are more commonly known and accepted and 2) When uploading to BrickLink I need the BrickLink ID's anyway.

So how does the "Check color"-notification work in LDD. Well, I don't use the ElementID's (even though you can download a file with those from BrickLink). Instread I use a more accurate and detailed method. At development time, I download the html-pages and parse all available colors for all parts that are in LDD. (My friend Bojan helped me with the code for that). From this I make a lookup table with "known" colors and "Lots for sale". I do this because sometimes a brick may exist in large quanties in color that that was never released in an official set (and thus the ElementID may not be known). If I'm uncertain if a colors has been produced, then you get "Check color" message in LDD Manager. You can then double click the DesignID in LDD Manager and get info directly from BrickLink.

Thanks for bringing me up to date on brick-numbering!
I used the "generate lxf-file" to build a technic bumper. Very usefull!


http://www.eurobrick...p=LDDTechnician

Thanks again - LDDTechnician

#64 Superkalle

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 04:53 PM

View PostLDDtechnician, on 21 October 2010 - 10:29 AM, said:

Thanks again - LDDTechnician
You're welcome!

And please don't hesitate to come back with requests for the next version.
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#65 Calabar

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 05:32 PM

Superkalle, can LDD Manager import a piece list from Bricklink and then create a lxf file containing that pieces?

Edited by Calabar, 21 October 2010 - 05:32 PM.

"Official LEGO Sets made in LDD" topic: Read guidelines before posting!

#66 Superkalle

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 06:05 PM

View PostCalabar, on 21 October 2010 - 05:32 PM, said:

Superkalle, can LDD Manager import a piece list from Bricklink and then create a lxf file containing that pieces?
Yes it can. Well not import (yet), but you can cut and paste. This is how you do it.

1) Find the model in BrickLink (example) and copy & paste the inventory list into excel
2) take the column with ITEMId's and "clean it" (for example, there is often a pre-fix space before the ITEMId's).
3) Select a total of four columns in Excel, so that the BrickLinkID is the third column and the other three are empty (look at picture below)
3) Paste into LXF-generator, like below.

If the part in BrickLink does not exist in LDD, it will warn you about it.

The only problem is color, but I can look into that (bascially a lookup-function). Also the number of parts is not included, but I don't know if that is wanted? Can be an awful lot of parts.

As you can see I've added a bit nicer grouping function in next version of LDD Manager.

Attached Files


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#67 Calabar

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 06:27 PM

Very good, do you think to add a simple import function that manages number and colours in the next version of LDD Manager?
It would be very useful to generate official lego sets!

Besides, LDD already supports pre-generated files whose palette contains only the pieces necessary to built a set.
It would be great if LDD Manager would be able to create these files.
Obviously, that would be useful only if these files would be accepted by LDD! :tongue:

PS: I noted that in Bricklink inventory, colour column is missing!
That could be a problem to generate pieces lists...
"Official LEGO Sets made in LDD" topic: Read guidelines before posting!

#68 Superkalle

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 06:50 PM

View PostCalabar, on 21 October 2010 - 06:27 PM, said:

Besides, LDD already supports pre-generated files whose palette contains only the pieces necessary to built a set.
It would be great if LDD Manager would be able to create these files.
Good idea. I'll look into it.

Quote

PS: I noted that in Bricklink inventory, colour column is missing!
That could be a problem to generate pieces lists...
Yeah, but it should be managable
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#69 LDDtechnician

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 02:39 PM

Hi Superkalle
Found a minor error in a brick number: I have to write BLItemID=4449a to get 4459 (short connectorpeg with friction ridges lenthwise) in LDD.

BTW: No need to bother (I think) about getting the correct number of copies of each brick in a generated lxf-file: Often the bricks have to be orientated properly, and so I use the clone-tool to copy bricks that already has the proper orientation.

Keep up the good work!
LDDTechnician.

#70 Superkalle

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 03:36 PM

View PostLDDtechnician, on 25 October 2010 - 02:39 PM, said:

Hi Superkalle
Found a minor error in a brick number: I have to write BLItemID=4449a to get 4459 (short connectorpeg with friction ridges lenthwise) in LDD.

BTW: No need to bother (I think) about getting the correct number of copies of each brick in a generated lxf-file: Often the bricks have to be orientated properly, and so I use the clone-tool to copy bricks that already has the proper orientation.

Keep up the good work!
LDDTechnician.
Thanks for noticing. And if you have any other ideas or questions about LDD Manager, let me know :classic:
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#71 LDDtechnician

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 03:39 PM

View PostSuperkalle, on 25 October 2010 - 03:36 PM, said:

Thanks for noticing. And if you have any other ideas or questions about LDD Manager, let me know :classic:
Hi Superkalle
Im trying to paste BLItemIDs from excel into LDD-manager like you described earlier, but I can not make it work. I paste the numbers one at a time - but your description of the four columns in excel seem to indicate there is an easier way?
LDDTecnician

#72 Superkalle

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 03:50 PM

View PostLDDtechnician, on 28 October 2010 - 03:39 PM, said:

Hi Superkalle
Im trying to paste BLItemIDs from excel into LDD-manager like you described earlier, but I can not make it work. I paste the numbers one at a time - but your description of the four columns in excel seem to indicate there is an easier way?
LDDTecnician
Yes. If you have four columns in excel, with the third containing the BL data, you then select all four columns and paste into LDD Manager (select  The BL data will then be the third column and will paste correctly. Here's some pics.
Pic 1 - select the columns in Excel
Pic 2 - click on the arrow button in LDD Manager to the the row becomes black - then Ctrl-V
Pic 3 - The final result

PS: Now that LDD 4 is out, there will soon be a new version of LDD Manager.

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#73 LDDtechnician

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 09:40 PM

View PostSuperkalle, on 28 October 2010 - 03:50 PM, said:

Yes. If you have four columns in excel, with the third containing the BL data, you then select all four columns and paste into LDD Manager (select  The BL data will then be the third column and will paste correctly. Here's some pics.
It works! Thanks!
Those illustrative pictures go into the help-file in the next version?
I've been using the "delete blanks" excel text-funtion to remove the first blank in the inventory, and found out that it should be "replace" instead.
LDDTechnician

View PostSuperkalle, on 28 October 2010 - 03:50 PM, said:

PS: Now that LDD 4 is out, there will soon be a new version of LDD Manager.
Can I make myself useful in updating the database? How?
LDDTechnician

#74 Danfox Davies

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 05:07 PM

Can there please be a port to Open Database Format (odb)? I don't have Microsoft Office, as OpenOffice/LibreOffice gives me everything I need normally. And I use Linux...

#75 Superkalle

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 06:37 PM

View PostDanfox Davies, on 03 November 2010 - 05:07 PM, said:

Can there please be a port to Open Database Format (odb)? I don't have Microsoft Office, as OpenOffice/LibreOffice gives me everything I need normally. And I use Linux...
Sorry no other version available. And not easy to port - there's a lot of VBA code etc.
But you can download the free Access runtime if you can run a Windows virtual machine. It's in the same place where you download LDD Manager.
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