Interacting with libraries is an essential part of the design process.
Then, I will elaborate a little more on the subject.
My point of view is influenced by my professional experience.
Other may have a different approach, indeed.
As I said previously, Kicad libs seems well thought and flexible, and are obviously the result of an incredibly huge (an successful) effort of design and standardization.
IMO, what may benefit from a few little improvements is the way we can search and select the elements in the libraries. Namely : the library browser.
The impact on the current official libraries is nil, but improvements would become easy.
=> In the Library Browser / Editor, it would be nice if we could decouple the component name, displayed in the “display tree” (left column), from the “Value” field.
As this displayed name is what is used for components filtering, this is really important, not just cosmetics.
Moreover, as the “Value” field is often automatically used by SPICE, its actual content is not free-form, but bound by what format SPICE expects.
This can be individually overridden, but leads to extra work and more risks of error.
Decoupling the displayed name from the Value field would require an extra “Name” field in the libraries.
But if this “Name” filed is not present, or left blank, we would revert to the (mandatory) “Value” field .
This is totally backward compatible with all the official and current libs.
But enhanced libs could be created or derived from these official libs, even automatically, and still be compatible.
Example : I’m used to libs where I have “atomic” components with “Name” of the form = “Res 17.4k 1% 0603”, or even “E96 Res 17.4k 1% 0603”, and “Value” = 17.4K.
Here is what it looks, transposed in Kicad :
Note that the current Kicad’s Library Browser’s display tree will always display “17.4k”, and nothing else.
Add 0402, 0805, MELF0204, etc… libraries, and you get an hard to browse mess.
Honestly, all the libraries and libraries management tools I’ve used so far professionally made a clear difference between “Component Name” (sometimes both in “short form” and “long form”), “Component Value” and “Component Description”.
There’s are certainly good reasons for that…
My 2 (euro-)cents.