Looking for what gets dropped, converted, and mutated going from 2.49 to 2.50+

My company has an exporter addon and a lot of art assets in Blender 2.49. We want to be able to open a 2.49 file in 2.78, run a conversion addon, and take the old settings and put them into our current addon’s format.

One trouble is though, (aside from all of this being so old), it is hard to understand what settings get dropped, converted, and mutated as Blender makes it’s conversion from old .blend format to current. I’ve tried reading through versioning_legacy.c to understand what changes and what gets placed where during the update, but its hard to understand.

Was there ever a map written out or an archived IRC discussion saying what gets put where? Is there a known list of data that gets lost during the conversion?

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first i have to say it^^ oh boy you still have 2.49 files:D so do i^^
in my experience i had almost no issues opening 2.49 files in 2.5+ i think even complex driver/modifier setups have been loading fine.
im not sure if there is a list out there for all the changes so maybe it would be good if you list what the complexity of your files are, what you are doing in those files so people can point out the things that changed with specific features you use.

from what i understand at this point is that you want to load the models with the settings you had in 2.49 (custom settings?) and be able to export them again from 2.79?
if so i would say since you anyways need to write a script for importing the settings and probably rewrite your exporter for 2.79 you will see what changed when writing those 2 files.

as for the changes, there is a changelog for the api, so maybe that helps to see at least what changed from 2.5 forward. maybe this helps in some way.