By now, it has become obvious that McNeel will never improve block management in Rhino, but blocks are just completely indispensable when you tackle construction or fabrication processes.
So for some time now, the only resort was to use Grasshopper, but with extra plugins that allow to reference block instances in Grasshopper.
I tried Human, Elefront and Instance Manager from Heteroptera.
First of all, these plugins each have their specific baking components that cater for the way they reference blocks, and manage properties (and user attributes which some put apart from other properties).
Then, although they more or less do the same thing, they all do it in their special way.
For example, one will only reference visible blocks while the other will allow to chose this as an option (but that option is not exposed *$!%#).
One plugin will allow the creation of nested blocks, and not the other.
Some will be generally stable ; the third will crash like a stock-car.
One will count blocks and make a mess of it when the blocks are nested.
Some will get block data from the current file, some from a file based on it’s path.
In general , the baking of multiple blocks will generate short-circuits in the definition and the boolean toggle that triggered the bake will remain “stuck”, generating tons of instance duplicates.
In short : this is a mess !
For the life of me, I haven’t been able to create a proper tool to retrieve, and display information about blocks and even less to change properties, most importantly Keys and Values despite the plethora of tools that claim to make this possible.
Please @DavidRutten, implement block management tools in GH2 !
We really need something legit and rock-solid for this !