## How do you clearly describe circuit networks in forum posts?

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JasonC
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### How do you clearly describe circuit networks in forum posts?

I'm new here. I have a question I want to ask, and it's about this:

But there's a lot going on there. There's a red network and two separate green networks, and the conditions on the comparators and inserters. I don't really know how I could start a discussion about that while clearly describing the network to people who aren't me, since the screen shot it self doesn't really have the info.

So my question is, what's a good, concise way that you guys have found to share details of a circuit network that other forum readers generally find clear and easy to read? How do people here normally describe their circuit networks when making posts about them?

I know it's a little meta, but I tried typing up a post about the above and was at a loss when describing the network.
Took a break from 0.12.29 to 0.17.79, and then to ... oh god now it's 1.something. I never know what's happening.

SirFloIII
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### Re: How do you clearly describe circuit networks in forum posts?

I guess the best way to describe it is by just stating what it does and then stating how you encode the things. The rest is pretty straight forward to figure out.

piriform
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### Re: How do you clearly describe circuit networks in forum posts?

A very good (if long overdue) question!

1. Notation to describe individual combinators is possible but would require standardization and buy in. (e.g. [Ea <0; Ea = ct] , [A > 4; B = 1] , [A*-1; A], etc.)
2.Describing connections between the combinators (i.e. the network) is a difficult topic. I haven't seen any attempts along those lines and am not sure if a simple network description language is possible. If you have any ideas, by all means.

In the meantime, authors have resorted to:
a) references to pseudo standard configurations (which would work fairly well if there was a standard library)
b) Detailed explanations of what wire goes where.
c) Spread out pictures with settings shown in graphics (OK for simple cases but laborious)
d) Circuit diagrams (guilty as charged)
e) Advice to study the blueprint

MalcolmCooks
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### Re: How do you clearly describe circuit networks in forum posts?

There should be some standard to describe circuit networks definately
I think the most clear would be a screenshot next to a psuedo circuit diagram showing the wire connections more clearly, annotated with the network conditions for each entity. That's a lot of work in paint though. Describing them concisely and comprehensively in words can work for smaller networks but I think it becomes difficult to follow with larger networks.
Also I see a lot of people saying they never use circuit networks, but when I started using them I saw how useful they could be. I think a big part of the reason why people don't use it is because it is not explained in game, and people don't share their designs as much because it's difficult.

piriform
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### Re: How do you clearly describe circuit networks in forum posts?

Until that happy day where we have a viable CDL (i.e. Combinator Description Language)
You could try this:

Label the image. Like this.
circuit_ann.jpg (30.9 KiB) Viewed 5287 times
specify the nodes
e.g.
(1) [signal_x>signal_y :signal=count]
(2) [signal_x>signal_y :signal=count]
(3) [signal_x=signal_y :signal=count]

..
and connections
e.g. (1)+(2)+(3)+(4)+(12) -> (6),(9),(13)
Then stuff the above into a program like DOT which will generate a nice directed graph

Or you could label the picture like this.
circuit2.jpg (31.68 KiB) Viewed 5287 times

And then have a discussion of operation and effects.

PS and post a blue print

Ratzap
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### Re: How do you clearly describe circuit networks in forum posts?

Does a blueprint contain wires and conditions? I've never tried that but it'd be fairly nifty if it did.

tehroach
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### Re: How do you clearly describe circuit networks in forum posts?

I would have to agree that some sort of standard is needed for this task and where else better to obtain this standard, but to create it here

To date this is my best effort at trying to explain a circuit network (CN) viewtopic.php?f=38&t=21311&start=240#p137569, unfortunately the network explained there is very basic, but I am still not sure of how easy it is to follow.
IMO people that play Factorio and aren't using CN's are missing out on a major tool in the game.

SiC
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### Re: How do you clearly describe circuit networks in forum posts?

Honestly, only a step-by-step dummy tutorial would be capable of describing that stuff to me.

Targa
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### Re: How do you clearly describe circuit networks in forum posts?

SiC wrote:Honestly, only a step-by-step dummy tutorial would be capable of describing that stuff to me.
+1 to this. It would have to be like trying to explain physics to a 5-year old

piriform
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### Re: How do you clearly describe circuit networks in forum posts?

I would have to agree that some sort of standard is needed for this task and where else better to obtain this standard, but to create it here
The thing about the standards is that everybody has one!

Seriously though, creating a standard is a lot of work and requires participation from the interested parties. I have no idea what the current interest level is nor whether it's worth to create a "standard" that may see little or no buy in.
One way to start the process is:
Create a dedicated thread (i.e. Circuits/Combinators Thread) with sub threads
-Standards (Descriptions, Layout, etc)
-Reference Library (i.e. collection of useful or interesting, well designed circuits)
-Applications (i.e. Show your Creations type of thread)
- Tools (I was only half kidding about dot)
-"Help! my circuit does not work" thread
-Discussion thread

This of course, would require moderator support (in order to create and curate the threads) but would also result in greatly increased visibility and support.

DaveMcW
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### Re: How do you clearly describe circuit networks in forum posts?

At a certain level of complexity, you stop trying to explain how things work. The best you can do is give out a copy and explain how to plug it in.

Berjiz
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### Re: How do you clearly describe circuit networks in forum posts?

It's easy to come up with a way to store it, something similair to whats usually used to store molecular information could work. List all the components and their properites(position, filters, etc), then list all connections and their properties(connections, color). The main problem is how to get a reader to understand it easily. I have no idea how to do that but it would probably need a graphical app or such, preferbly with a standard library of "modules" as mentioned previously here.