22 August 2020

What's in a name? The result

Posted by Admin
This week we ran a poll on Twitter to ask opinions on how we should name colours in our posts; the TLG names, BrickLink names or continue using both? As navel-gazing as the question was, I'm glad I asked because results were astonishingly divided; close to one-third each way!

So we ran another poll here on the site. After receiving more than 400 (!) entries the poll is now closed. It is clear from the division of opinion that many will not be happy!
I am relieved there was a clear winner; 59.7% would prefer us to display the BrickLink names on the page but they are links you can hover over/tap to see the TLG name along with a swatch. So you can continue to reference and learn the TLG names - plus we will also display TLG Color IDs in the tooltip, which is what LEGO employees actually use.

14.4% voted for TLG names as default and 26% voted for things to stay as they are. Over on Patreon another poll had 22 answers; BL won there too with 73%.

Much as I personally dislike some of the BrickLink names, I am happy with this result because they are shorter which makes reading articles easier, which was my primary goal with this change. And these polls confirm my presumption that although people do use the TLG system, the BL system is more widespread and that is what really matters.

Please note this will not happen immediately, we will keep both on the page for now and only move to the new approach when we launch the Wordpress version of the site. We won't bother altering old articles, although they will automatically get appended with the tooltips.

Thanks to the several hundred of you who voted! And especially to those of you who commented, that was really helpful. Some great ideas there including the idea of registered users being able to choose which naming system to display! I love that and intend to implement it in a future version of New Elementary but have recently come to the realisation that for now, we need to just get the site moved simply and quickly over to Wordpress.

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  1. To be fair, both naming conventions have their problems. The fan community likes to group things in matched sets, so we have the six primary and secondary colors, and "dark-" versions of all but yellow, where TLG's names for these same colors are all over the map. On the other hand, TLG knows the truth about any color they produce, and do not have to be convinced that it's a new color, or how it's different from previous colors. The result is a more stable set of color names, as there's never any call to correct them. Not internally, at least. There are a lot of fans who would _love_ to see some of the sillier names scrapped.

    But given that this seems to be one of the most appropriate repositories for such a thing, I'd still encourage you to develop your own comprehensive color chart like Peeron did. I just pulled it up, and while it's still available, it appears to have been most recently updated in 2011. That leaves out a lot of colors like coral, any opalescent colors, and every color that was developed for Friends (which debuted in 2012). Ryan Howerter's list may be something that's worth pointing to when asked, but it's not something that people can easily track down on their own, and the article about it is buried deep in the archives of this site. Something like this would be most useful with a fixed link on the front page of a site that people would come to in search of this information. Besides NE, Bricklink and Brickowl are the only other two sites that I'd expect to publish this info, and I know that Bricklink has historically preferred to stick to their own naming conventions and not muddy the waters with alternate lists.

  2. Only just read this article, but surely I can't be the only person who now needs to know which BL names Tim doesn't like?! :)

    1. Ha! Well, it is pretty much their predilection towards coming up with new names, given these days we now know the TLG names. e.g. Satin, Coral. I appreciate they do it so that names are short, which admittedly makes a lot of sense, but it is further confusion we could all do without!

    2. In the interests of balance, I also hate a couple of TLG names :D On this site we drop the 'New' of New Dark Red and we add the 'e' onto the end of Azur

  3. Thanks for that Tim. Makes sense, and I agree with you two TLG changes. :)

  4. One of the big problems is that "New" parts for TLG are just slightly altered molds of old parts on BL and are not significantly different therefore BL lumps them in with the old part design as they should. The "New" colors that are really just the same add to this confusion. But I really like to know that a new part is not new so I don't buy it.

    1. Well, you're in luck Lars! Excluding these parts is something we work hard at and the new monthly lists we've just started publishing do exactly that - take the TLG inventories, find the 'new' ones and exclude the ones that are not really new!