Current terminology for the Asset Browser isn't complete and not very well thought out. It's important to clearly define the terminology and apply it consistently. This is needed for a helpful UI language, but also non-ambiguous developer documentation (e.g. API docs for asset manager systems).
It would further be nice to have a language scheme to take names from, rather than a bunch of loose, often rather technical terms (proposal at the end).
These are our own definitions for the context of Blender asset management.
|Asset Manager||A system responsible for creating, monitoring, organizing and protecting an asset data-base. If no such system exists, the user is the asset manager.|
|Asset Management System||The combination of an asset/production tracker (e.g. Kitsu, server side software of BlenderKit) and a Blender add-on that acts as a bridge to it. Note that it's undefined where the asset manager operates here: The asset tracker could also do this part, the bridge add-on, the user or some combination of these.|
|Asset Manager Bridge||A Blender add-on for an asset management system.|
|Asset Browser||An editor within Blender that provides an (interactive) view into an asset data-base, possibly established through the asset manager bridge add-on.|
|Category||A defined union of asset types. E.g.: "Objects and Collections", "Media" (images, videos and sound), "Materials".|
|Repository||A .blend file, a directory with .blend files (possibly in sub-directories) or a "virtual" repository where an asset manager bridge add-on provides an index of asset meta-data which the Asset Browser can display.|
|Asset Data-base||A data-base of any format (e.g. mySQL based, SVN repository, a .blend, or a directory of .blends), possibly unknown to Blender, managed solely by the Asset Manager.|
|Smart Filter||A preset of filter settings (asset type, tags, name filter-string, etc).|
- The two asset types have temporary and already used names:
- "Preset" (assets that are applied, like brushes, matcaps or poses)
- "Primitive" (assets that are appended or linked, like objects, images or node groups)
UI Language Scheme Proposal
A simple metaphor for asset browsing is a library visit. Let's brainstorm how we could use that as a naming scheme:
|Current Term||Natural Language|
|Repository||Asset Library [i]|
|Generated list of assets with meta-data [ii]||Asset Index|
Some items may go too far, this is really just an idea.
i) The term Library is already used in Blender (the source file of linked data-blocks). Could this be confusing? In a sense, asset repositories are also the source "files" of assets, so maybe just Asset Library is reasonable. If in doubt we can differentiate between Data-block Library and Asset Library
ii) No existing term. This list is generated by the asset manager system and is what the Asset Browser needs to display a list of items that represent the assets.