Site #108

= Models      = Reference      = Interactive

November 22-28, 1998


Paul Gyugyi
LDLITE is a magnificent new piece of software which displays LDraw-style models on your screen without your having to launch LDraw. Its input is any .DAT file — which can come from a disk, a web page, or even an e-mail message or a newsgroup — and its output is a colorful and beautifully shaded graphic image in a window on your screen. You can even watch the elements be drawn step by step.

Once you have LDLITE, you wonder how you ever lived without it. When it is set up work with your web browser, it is possible for you to click on a .DAT-content link and see a model before your eyes seconds later. Clicking a link and seeing a model is, by itself, nothing revolutionary, but what is so wonderful about all of this is that the .DAT content is 50 times more compact than GIF imagery, and you are not limited to preselected views or time-steps. Moreover, since .DAT content is text-based, it is perfect for inclusion in e-mail and newsgroup messages.

LDLITE uses LDraw parts files directly, so you do need to install LDraw before LDLITE will function. Please refer to Bram Lambrecht's excellent LDraw & LEdit Tutorial for more information about LDraw. Once LDraw is installed, there are additional configuration steps for LDLITE which are explained on Paul's page. You may need to consult a DOS or Windows expert for some of the steps (budget in a couple hours and a large pizza).

LDLITE is currently available only for Microsoft's Windows, but Linux support is in the planning stages.

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