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Retrieverfalcon

North American vs. International Stickers Naming and Use Proposal

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As the work is slowly progressing to add sticker sheets to inventories (an already massively complex task with many equally valid and conflicting opinions of how best to proceed), I've discovered another little wrinkle that seems to be addressed many different ways on the site. I want to raise it so that hopefully some standard can be agreed upon for future work and that, eventually, can be applied to older sets via CRs and active correction efforts by the admins. This is a relatively lower priority task in my mind but best to have a fix in mind and standardizing now will allow for less work later.

Some sets with stickers (for example, 75915) have two versions of their sticker sheets produced. One for the North American market (in this example, part 21365) and the other for all other markets (normally referred to as International and in this version part 21364). In all of the cases I've seen so far (and this may not be categorical), there doesn't appear to be visual difference between the sheets except for the printed design/element IDs. Perhaps the difference has to do with a legal issue in copyrighting the designs or it is a technical issue about the size of the sticker sheet itself (similar to NA standard Letter paper and European A4 paper which comes up in instructions). In every case, only one of the two versions is included in a set and the set's box-printed part count.

The issues I am seeing are:

  1. Standardizing the name of the sticker sheets as Rebrickable parts
  2. Standardizing whether the affected set should be presented as distinct sets (i.e., 75915-1 and 75915-2) versus multiple set inventories in a single set
  3. Creating appropriate cross-linking between affected parts and sets

My proposed solution is that the two parts should be added to the database as distinct parts with names of the format "Sticker Sheet from Set XXXX - North American" or "Sticker Sheet from Set XXXX - International". Notably, I think we should stop using the "-#" suffix from a set name in the part name since this may pose an issue in the future if the set is renumbered for some reason and the part isn't updated (bad enough we use the set number itself but I don't think that is as likely to change in the future as the suffix and should be found with a simple search if a set is being renumbered). Also, I think it best to standardize this naming to avoid current sorting issues with odd uses of dashes, parentheses, brackets, etc. Changing the name to "from" rather than "for" makes these parts more understandable if used in subsets or MOCs. Also, I'd advocate for removing the design ID/element ID information from the part name - this information is already stored elsewhere in the database and just complicates the part name and presents an opportunity for user typos. Comments about the other version should be removed from part notes unless that information is more than just the mere existence of the other version. Finally, the two parts should be cross-linked as "Related Parts" so that they appear on each other's info page/part pop-up page and so that they can be used interchangeably in the build system if the appropriate options are selected. 

When only one version of the sticker sheet is known to exist the name of that part would be "Sticker Sheet from Set XXXX". If a given sticker sheet is found to exist in multiple sets, then the naming would change to "Sticker Sheet - Descriptive Name" where the Descriptive Name could be anything relevant.

Once the two parts are in the database, I propose that affected set be stored as a single set entry (for example 75915-1) but with two set inventories. The two inventories would be identical except for the appropriate sticker sheet part. This seems to be the text-book case of the set inventory system. If there are additional NA vs. International differences in an inventory of the same set, those would also be reflected on the two inventories. If a set is redesigned during production, then additional variants of these two inventories can be added to reflect that change or, if the redesign is significant enough to warrant,  an alternative set number suffix can be created and that new suffixed set would include both inventories (this case also reinforces the dropping of the suffix from the part names themselves). Ideally, the North American and International inventories would be auto-selected as the default for a user based on their location settings in preferences but that may be extra coding. The set description notes should be modified to remove mention of the difference unless it is more explicit than the existence of two different sticker sheet versions. This approach removes any need to create cross-references and would only cause errors in user's collections if they don't select the appropriate inventory when adding a set to a set list (an option already provided).

Thoughts? 

 

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I say share the part entry and post picture alternates like we do on molds. not worth duplicating set for imo. unless the stickers actually differs.

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Does anyone know if the discussion forums posts from BrickLink which were purged in 2018 were archived somewhere? I found the link at https://www.bricklink.com/message.asp?ID=1103423 which appears to refer to a lengthy discussion on this difference and might be helpful to a decision on this topic but unfortunately the originally liked thread was purged (not being an active use of the BrickLink forums I know no backstory to this purge). 

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Everything get purged at bricklink after a certain time. it differ a bit on what it is, what the time is from 6 months and up. that include your personal orders etc if you don't back them up yourself.

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