A couple of trivial UI improvement suggestions

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MadOverlord
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A couple of trivial UI improvement suggestions

Post by MadOverlord » Wed Dec 28, 2016 5:04 am

I am but a newb, so please be gentle with me, and enlighten me if I have missed a previous discussion of these (or a simple solution that already provides the functionality described).

After playing with Factorio for a week or two, here are a few (hopefully) trivial UI improvements that (hopefully) would be easy to implement but save players many hours in aggregate:

* In combinators and other UI widgets that have a numeric input box / slider, have keyboard shortcuts using the arrow keys: UP = +1, DOWN = -1, LEFT = move slider left a notch, RIGHT = move slider right a notch.

* Have shift-awsd (or capslock+awsd) jog the player position a minimal amount. This would help when moving around in areas with lots of belts.

* When hovering over an object that can change signal inputs and outputs, currently signals that are 0 are not displayed. It would be very helpful if, in addition to what is currently displayed, all signals that the object has changed are also displayed on both inputs and outputs. That way it would be easier to see when a 0 becomes non-zero, or a non-zero becomes 0. If the changed values could be hilighted in the output display, that would also be very helpful.

* The best way this poor newb has found to run signals long distances in a neat manner is by using empty Constant Combinators. Currently, they only display the data they are outputting into circuits (thus, nothing if they are empty). It would be very useful if, when empty, they displayed the values for both red and green networks that they are connected to. However, a better long-term solution might be a new object that just lets you wire up long-distance networks. Neat-freaks would also want "buried conduit", but this may be more trouble than it is worth.

Best,
Robert
Last edited by MadOverlord on Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Rseding91
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Re: A couple of trivial UI improvement suggestions

Post by Rseding91 » Wed Dec 28, 2016 5:26 am

You can run wires on electric poles to run them over distances.
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Re: A couple of trivial UI improvement suggestions

Post by MadOverlord » Wed Dec 28, 2016 6:01 am

Rseding91 wrote:You can run wires on electric poles to run them over distances.
Yes, but it doesn't lay out as neatly, and mixing electricity and signals can get confusing (plus, keeping them separate means you can reconfigure them independently). So what I came up with (for short wiring runs in my circuits) was this:

Image

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Re: A couple of trivial UI improvement suggestions

Post by Ragnaman » Wed Dec 28, 2016 2:19 pm

You can remove electric (copper, brown) wires from electric poles and have only red and/or green wires on poles. However I do not know what happens when such blueprints are thrown in environment where there are other electric poles.
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Re: A couple of trivial UI improvement suggestions

Post by MadOverlord » Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:06 pm

Ragnaman wrote:You can remove electric (copper, brown) wires from electric poles and have only red and/or green wires on poles. However I do not know what happens when such blueprints are thrown in environment where there are other electric poles.
There is no question that you can use the electric power poles; substations in particular are excellent tie-points for wiring "spider web" networks and they also simplify the power grid management.

My "issue", such as it is, with using power poles for routing wiring is that it looks less pretty, it's harder to trace the wiring, and if you have to reconfigure either power or wiring you have to do both. So it's nicer to keep them separate.

On the downside, one gotcha of using constant combinators that bit me in the ass today was that if you happen to accidentally set a value in a combinator that you thought you were using just for routing, it's hard to find your mistake. Thus ideally, an object that is basically a "zero combinator" would be helpful.

I am sure that at some point in the near future I'll play with writing a mod, so that might be a good thing to do as a starter project.

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Re: A couple of trivial UI improvement suggestions

Post by Ragnaman » Wed Dec 28, 2016 9:32 pm

A separate entity that acts like power pole but does not "auto-connect" anything, does seem useful for circuit networks. It would allow to drop down the blueprints in power pole populated area without worries of those copper wires criss crossing everything.

I think the suggestion is valuable to evaluate.
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Re: A couple of trivial UI improvement suggestions

Post by Yoyobuae » Wed Dec 28, 2016 10:01 pm

Ragnaman wrote:A separate entity that acts like power pole but does not "auto-connect" anything, does seem useful for circuit networks. It would allow to drop down the blueprints in power pole populated area without worries of those copper wires criss crossing everything.

I think the suggestion is valuable to evaluate.
My solution to mass circuit network routing:
Image

Belts are everywhere anyway, and with the settings above the circuit wires have no effect on the belts. The image routes 5 green and 5 red circuit networks along the length of the belt. It's tileable so it can be easily extended via blueprinting, and individual networks are accessible each 5 tiles.

Though I must say that after hours of manually fighting the wire mess and carefully setting 30+ inserters with different conditions each I concluded it was better to write a console command to do it instead.

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