Commenting combinators

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Pi-C
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Re: Commenting combinators

Post by Pi-C »

zOldBulldog wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:14 pm
Grrr, the dog (forum) ate my homework (response). Not typing it all over again, but you made his point, the arrangement is not clear and you didn't fully understand it.

:-)
zOldBulldog wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:14 pm
My interpretation, probably also wrong: Multiple fuel sources. Prioritize solid fuel use. When solid fuel runs low, other fuels (left) get used and excess non-solid is returned through the bottom.
May be so, may be not -- who would know without comments? But your idea makes sense: Why actually bother with merging coal and solid fuel if you separate them a few tiles further on?
zOldBulldog wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:14 pm
At some point both of the left i puts must have been coal and there must have been a stone/coal mixed deposit at the source, which is where the stone came from.
Well, I just noticed that only one lane on the yellow belt has coal on it. So perhaps the other lane usually has stone on it for some obscure reason?
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Re: Commenting combinators

Post by zOldBulldog »

Pi-C wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 1:23 pm
zOldBulldog wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:14 pm
At some point both of the left i puts must have been coal and there must have been a stone/coal mixed deposit at the source, which is where the stone came from.
Well, I just noticed that only one lane on the yellow belt has coal on it. So perhaps the other lane usually has stone on it for some obscure reason?
If it followed the typical use of fuel, I would not be surprised if he started using all coal and one of the deposit was a mixed coal/stone deposit (man, I really hate those, and seem to get them often). At that time he probably had the filters set for Coal, not Solid Fuel. That way the stone would have gone out the bottom exit. Later he probably exhausted the mixed coal/stone deposit and started using solid fuel, so he switched the filter to solid fuel. Eventually he must have done coal liquefaction or something else to produce more solid fuel and thus use the 2nd left input for that.

Regardless of what he did, that blueprint is certainly very flexible and easy to adapt to changing conditions.

At the same time, it clearly requires detailed labeling through some mechanism if it is to be reused by others successfully, which goes to the point of the thread. We need a way to make good descriptions, in vanilla. Personally I do it in the description area of Factorioprints.com, but it would be very nice if it was part of the vanilla blueprints/builds themselves. After all, many times we come back to an old map and we can't figure out what we did ourselves many months ago.

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Re: Commenting combinators

Post by Trebor »

Close enough, it’s prioritized sold/coal from bottom. Unburnt fuel loops in from left for refiltering. Coal is filtered out when solid fuel is available. Stone is just for OCD to fill the unusable spots.

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Re: Commenting combinators

Post by Jap2.0 »

Trebor wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 3:09 am
Of course, it wouldn't make sense to try to comment conveyor belts (well, unless they are connected to the circuit network, perhaps
Is it really that obvious what is going on?

Image
Yep, it looks pretty obvious to me.
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Re: Commenting combinators

Post by quyxkh »

If there was just a way to add an icon link to the entity gui, open another pane along the lines of the circuit and logistics panes, Attach Notes could be made into the ideal here, right?

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Re: Commenting combinators

Post by Trebor »

If there was just a way to add an icon link to the entity gui, open another pane along the lines of the circuit and logistics panes, Attach Notes could be made into the ideal here, right?
I second this.

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Combinator comments!

Post by Selvek »

TL;DR
Add an editable "comments" field inside each combinator GUI so that you can remind yourself what each combinator is supposed to be doing!

What ?
Directly under the name (e.g. "arithmetic combinator"), each combinator should have an editable text box for comments/notes. It has no impact on the game in any way, other than making it easier to remember (or explain to others) how your circuit works.
Why ?
Any decent CS101 teacher will fail a student who puts no comments in their code, and combinators are arguably less intuitive than a lot of text-based code. Comments would make it so much easier to get back in to updating a combinator circuit you built last year. It would be especially helpful for blueprints shared via the forums so you can figure out the author's intent.

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Re: Combinator comments!

Post by CJ5Boss »

That's a good idea, especially since making combinators and stuff is the closest you can get to "coding" without actually coding in the game. I think that would be nice, especially when the factory gets huge and you have a lot of combinators and circuit setups.

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Re: Combinator comments!

Post by Tekky »

This has already been suggested and discussed in the following threads:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=62279 Combinators information
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=56214 Comments on Deciders, possibly other entities
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=63023 Commenting combinators

Also related:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=58685 Signs

EDIT: Some of these links are no longer valid, as the threads have been merged.
Last edited by Tekky on Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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[QoL improvement] ability to document creations

Post by cyfrov »

boy, wouldn't it be nice to be able to have a comment text field ingame for placed items?
Think of it like the Factorio version of code comments or Doxygen.

Doesn't this just make it so much easier to revisit and modify old blueprints?
comments mockup.jpg
comments mockup.jpg (346.41 KiB) Viewed 1118 times

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Short editable text field inside each combinator

Post by gGeorg »

Text field inside a combinator
Add editable text field as part of a combinator to be able write notes or a guide. Its helps when come back to old creations, or modify creations of someone else.
What ?
When I come back to my own circuitry creations after a while, it takes time to find out how it works. I dont mention difficulty when trying to fix/modify creations of others.
Having a short text box of 128 pure ASCII characters as part of each combinator will ease the process of understanding what it does.

Constant combinator special
make a switch (radio option) which turns internal text field of a constant combinator into
a] standard 128chars like any other combinator
b] contain a larger text box like 1024 characters, so a short quide how to use the circuitry can be written there. Look at some train stations, train stackers, nuclear plants, those are pretty complex circuitry. Which requires conditions to use properly.
c] turns internal text field of a constant combinator into a context tooltip. (activates on mouse over event) This way, constant combinators becomes a quick access labels to help understanding situation.

Other circuitry
- Add the basic (short 128 text) box to all circuitry components include Power Switch, Programable speaker.
Why ?
Make circuitry easyier to use, by making notes. Prevent continuosly re-invent wheel instead just read a combinator note. People used to use Constant combintor virtual signals to write a note like : " TURN ON CALL TRAIN". So demand is certainly there.
A short text field size of a Twitter (old) inside of each combinator would make circuitry more popular and easyer to use.
Last edited by gGeorg on Sat Jul 27, 2019 1:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Commenting combinators

Post by Koub »

[Koub] Merged a few suggestions about adding comment fields to combinators.
Koub - Please consider English is not my native language.

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Re: Short editable text field inside each combinator

Post by Pi-C »

gGeorg wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 10:06 am
Text field inside a combinator
Add editable text field as part of a combinator to be able write notes or a guide. Its helps when come back to old creations, or modify creations of someone else.
As combinators are still not equipped with a comment field, I've taken to use Attach Notes. This works kind of: In train stations with lots of combinators, or in settings like my mall (where I use combinators to toggle the inserters for assembling machines that only make a limited amount of certain entities -- and yes, I've read about that increasing load on UPS, but it's a puzzle I like nevertheless) it is sometimes tricky to find additional space to fit in a signpost. Also, as explained here the signposts have one particular drawback: One can blueprint the signposts, but the copies don't retain whatever text the original contained. So every time I need to move things around a bit I'm forced to manually add the text again. Unfortunately, according to Rseding91, that behavior (a major PITA, please excuse me for using such a harsh expression!) will probably not be fixed. In the light of this, I think it's even more important to add comment fields to the combinators themselves. :-)
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Re: Short editable text field inside each combinator

Post by slippycheeze »

Pi-C wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 3:16 pm
gGeorg wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 10:06 am
Text field inside a combinator
Add editable text field as part of a combinator to be able write notes or a guide. Its helps when come back to old creations, or modify creations of someone else.
As combinators are still not equipped with a comment field, I've taken to use Attach Notes.
Word of warning, before you also get very frustrated: the author carried their text around in programmable speakers in blueprints. In 0.17 they got a limit to text length, and the author filed a feature request (rejected) to have it lifted. To date they don't seem to be looking at any other approach to storing extra data in blueprints, so.... the text won't live through it.

Also, picker dollies move the entity but not the attached note. :)

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Re: Commenting combinators

Post by Impatient »

+10 for allowing a comment on ANY and EVRY entity.

This would additionally help in multiplayer games.

Commenting on a ground tile would then also serve as a sign. Comments can be shown when opening the entity (if possible) as shown in a mockup above. Or all comments can be shown or hidden via a key/combo.

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Re: Short editable text field inside each combinator

Post by gGeorg »

slippycheeze wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:24 pm
Pi-C wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 3:16 pm
gGeorg wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 10:06 am
Text field inside a combinator
Add editable text field as part of a combinator to be able write notes or a guide. Its helps when come back to old creations, or modify creations of someone else.
As combinators are still not equipped with a comment field, I've taken to use Attach Notes.
Word of warning, before you also get very frustrated: the author carried their text around in programmable speakers in blueprints. In 0.17 they got a limit to text length, and the author filed a feature request (rejected) to have it lifted. To date they don't seem to be looking at any other approach to storing extra data in blueprints, so.... the text won't live through it.

Also, picker dollies move the entity but not the attached note. :)
Mode is trying. I am looking for a solution to help me, not add an extra issues. So I guess we have to wait for a core developer response.

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Re: Commenting combinators

Post by coppercoil »

Once again, PLEASE, allow to comment combinators. I've developed some complex circuits and after several weeks I’m starting to forget why I’ve made such strange things and how the hell it still works.
Please.

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Re: Commenting combinators

Post by GG67 »

+1000 :D

I do heavily support this suggestion but extending it to either every possible entity in the game (as suggested before in this thread) or to at least every entity that can be connected to a circuit network. And the comment texts must be stored into blueprints.

While I do not currently play multi-player games I agree with the fact that notes on any and every entity would be a very useful MP feature. And of course there may be other uses of notes I could not think of right now. And anyway, the step from circuit-network entities only to all is rather a small step and in a OO programming world even an equal development workload.

Of course some "funny" player could come to the idea and put notes to every single belt entity thus blowing up save games (a lesser problem) or blueprints and books strings. But blueprint strings can also be potentially blown-up today either by external editing or by its pure "limits" of 10kx10k tiles being 100 million tiles maximum. This limit, being virtually "no limit" is avoiding to force any arbitrary limit to users and is assuming reasonable use, just as text comments would do.

Another extension of this suggestion would be to allow to set "comment icons" to entities which otherwise do not have icons in alt mode (like belts, non-filter inserters, etc...). These icons would then be displayed just like other icons (in ALT-mode) but with a different appearance (for example with some square background and or border). Instead of the current 2 display modes ("no icons" and "with icons" (ALT-mode)) the "with icons" mode could be split into 3 combinations (with all icons, with comment icons only, with "attached" icons only (current ALT display mode)). This would allow for example to mark inputs in blue prints thus in my opinion blueprints and blue-print placement ghosts should display comment icons by default (even if not enabled in "normal" game) as this may allow easier placement. ALT modes could be either cycled via the ALT key or set via ALT Ctrl/Shift key combinations (better alternative IMHO).

Another extension would be to have sign posts with icon (always visible) and comment (just like "Attach notes" mod) also "surviving" blueprints.

These all together are features I am missing since very long in the game and which should not be left to mods as there may be different mods over time incompatible between them (in terms of blueprint strings for example) and notes will vanish once a mod becomes unsupported (which happened to me in the past).

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Re: Commenting combinators

Post by ssilk »

I have changed my opinion about this.

You need to know, that comments in a program tend to lie. In my current software project we abandoned comments, only code, which the team commits, that a comment is needed is commented.

I think the same is it here: placing combinators is like programming and if you put comments on a combinator they tend to lie, because it depends on the other combinators what this one will do. Well, there are of course different opinions, but that’s mine.

What I suggest instead is this:
1. we need a way to see a number of combinators in a simplified view. Like an electric plan. When I think about it I suggested that already some years ago: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=41176

In that thread there are comments mentioned, but difference to this suggestion is: they belong to a number of combinators and should point to them.

I also mention Circuitissimo mod https://mods.factorio.com/mod/circuitchip
And Combinator Graph mod https://mods.factorio.com/mod/combinatorgraph
Two steps into that direction...

2. Notes, comments and signs still could be useful, but they should have a hidden functionality: you can point to a number of entities or an area, so that the comment is assigned to an area or a number of machines instead of just standing there as a single sign.
Cool suggestion: Eatable MOUSE-pointers.
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Re: Commenting combinators

Post by Pi-C »

ssilk wrote:
Sat Feb 01, 2020 9:51 am
I think the same is it here: placing combinators is like programming and if you put comments on a combinator they tend to lie, because it depends on the other combinators what this one will do. Well, there are of course different opinions, but that’s mine.
Depends on how you use the comments: "This will have input x, so output will always be y" -- that may indeed be a lie if you connect a combinator wrongly, introduce feedback loops etc. If you read the comment as what you expect it to do instead of what it does, you still have a solid base for debugging the circuitry if you come back to it some weeks later.
What I suggest instead is this:
1. we need a way to see a number of combinators in a simplified view. Like an electric plan. When I think about it I suggested that already some years ago: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=41176
[…]
2. Notes, comments and signs still could be useful, but they should have a hidden functionality: you can point to a number of entities or an area, so that the comment is assigned to an area or a number of machines instead of just standing there as a single sign.
I agree, having a combinator plan where you clearly can see all connections would be extremely helpful. I didn't think of it at the time I made the original posting, and it would have seemed like too much to ask for (adding a comments field to existing entities seemed much easier than making a new system like this).
A good mod deserves a good changelog. Here's a tutorial (WIP) about Factorio's way too strict changelog syntax!

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