# Discrete items versus stackable quantities, a question

So lately I’ve been consolidating my inventory after figuring out that even a cargo dimension can only hold 4096 individual items regardless of volume, and it has me thinking about the way the game handles items. Take seeds for example, and consider these two examples as viewed through the advanced inventory.

lettuce seeds (10)
10 hemp seeds

The former is one object with the quantity 10 attached, while the latter is 10 distinct objects which will occupy 10 lines if that square is (e)xamined directly. I guess my question is: Why aren’t more items handled the way lettuce seeds are in this example? Obviously items that have spoilage times or other individual values attached need to be discrete objects, but what about scrap metal and rags and such?

All items can accumulate state, and more importantly, they might need to start accumulating state in the future. For example the rags can be partially burnt or take damage.
Setting an item to be tracked by charges instead of individually means the item can not have individual state, and it is something to be avoided if at all possible. The only reason anything is tracked by charges right now is if it has less than 1 volume, which lets us track its volume in aggregate, or if it has no volume at all, like battery charges.

[quote=“Kevin Granade, post:2, topic:11000”]All items can accumulate state, and more importantly, they might need to start accumulating state in the future. For example the rags can be partially burnt or take damage.
Setting an item to be tracked by charges instead of individually means the item can not have individual state, and it is something to be avoided if at all possible. The only reason anything is tracked by charges right now is if it has less than 1 volume, which lets us track its volume in aggregate, or if it has no volume at all, like battery charges.[/quote]
I have a little (perhaps unrelated) UI question: why is a stack of non-charged items such as rags show up as “5 rags” in the advanced inventory menu but as “rag + rag + rag + rag + rag” when using the (e)xamine or the pickup (g) menu and pretty much everywhere else? Shouldn’t we abandon the per-key pickup way (a - rag / b - rag / c - rag) in favor of using the a(m)ount option more often? I don’t think most of the players even know how to drop/take a fixed amount of stuff (that is, pressing a number and then choosing the corresponding item), and I never knew how to do this either until I saw someone mention this on the forums.

[quote=“Kevin Granade, post:2, topic:11000”]All items can accumulate state, and more importantly, they might need to start accumulating state in the future. For example the rags can be partially burnt or take damage.
Setting an item to be tracked by charges instead of individually means the item can not have individual state, and it is something to be avoided if at all possible. The only reason anything is tracked by charges right now is if it has less than 1 volume, which lets us track its volume in aggregate, or if it has no volume at all, like battery charges.[/quote]

Ah, I gotcha.