If you used LibPeriodicTable-3.1 to identify where items come from like Mendeleev does, you wouldn't have to maintain your own item database. This would save you time and it would be more efficient if the addon users already have other addons that use LibPeriodicTable-3.1 like I do.
This was also suggested in the comments on WoWInterface a while ago and I wrote a rather detailled reply there on why I don't use LibPT right now: see here
Now, I haven't looked at LibPT for some time, and maybe things have changed, but in general the main problem I have with those libraries is that I can't be 100% sure they are always updated in time. I want to have a working InspectEquip release ready on patchday for every major patch (including as much data as possible!), and so far I've been able to accomplish that. At least in the past, this would not have been possible using libraries such as LibPT, because they usually only updated them *after* patch day. Now, remember, I didn't look at them for some time, so this may no longer be accurate.
As for the future, I'll be changing the database for Cataclysm anyway. I will reevaluate using 3rd party libraries such as LibPT - but if they don't have a release with at least some cataclysm items before Cataclysm release, please understand that I can't use them.
We'll have to see, it's still a long time until Cataclysm :)
That being said - now that the Armory has a reliable item database that is usually also updated on patch days, maintaining the database has become a lot easier.
P.S.: I'm sorry, but somehow the ticket notification system on WowAce doesn't work as I did not receive any notification of new tickets and therefore did not see this until now. Sorry!
The repository is set to open... You can submit changes to LibPeriodicTable yourself, so that your addon always has up-to-date information.
Yeah, ok. But if I have to maintain the database myself, I would rather use my own format.
What I wrote in the WoWInterface comment is apparently still true - LibPT is not at all optimized for itemid -> sources lookup, but only the reverse.
From their own documentation:
ItemSearch(item): This sucker is slow and heavy. It takes about 0.12 seconds for me at the moment. And it needs to uncompress -all- the set's data.
Assuming that this is still correct, this makes LibPT completely unusable when inspecting a character with 17 items. Nobody wants to wait 2 seconds for the data to show up...
But like I said I'll have a closer look at it again when I prepare InspectEquip for Cataclysm (sometime next month probably).
Even if what you say is true, it is still in the best interest of the addon community that addons such as this receive data from a central source that regularly receives updates. It's tedious for every addon author to keep their own item database up-to-date. Not only that, the data is redundant and overlapping if the user is running addons that each have their own item database.
If you have ideas about how to optimize LibPeriodicTable, I'm sure the authors are willing to listen or even invite you on-board. Everyone benefits in the end.
It's just that they serve slightly different purposes.
InspectEquip needs a database that allows very quick lookup of itemid -> where does that item drop, how much does it cost etc.
LibPT is perfect for addons that need information about what items drop from X, or what items can be crafted by Alchemists etc.
You can't have fast lookups for both types without using a lot more memory.
For example, AtlasLoot also has a fantastic database - but it works in the same way as LibPT. IIRC there is an addon that shows item sources in tooltips which used the AtlasLoot database. But that addon transforms the AtlasLoot db at every login so that it can use it for fast lookups. Of course I could do something similar in InspectEquip with LibPT - but that would slow down login times and use the same amount of memory (or much more if LibPT is not used by another addon).
But the thing is - I really need to have a closer look at LibPT & co first, before I can decide what to do in the future. If I can use LibPT, if it is fast enough and updated or I can update it, I'll use it. I just don't have time to do this right now. I'll evaluate all options for the Cataclysm update.
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