Commenting combinators

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nosports
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Re: Commenting combinators

Post by nosports »

i would also would love to have comments (or names) to combinators / lamps......
At least they are set to mostly a specific task, so why not give them a chance to get named or such

Like : set amount of items needed for xxx

just the possibilty would be very good, when hovering above it with the mouse and a tooltip would emerge - you will have suddenly a memoryrefrescher...

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ssilk
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Re: Commenting combinators

Post by ssilk »

Pi-C wrote:
Sat Feb 01, 2020 10:17 am
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.
Well I didn’t say “no comments should be allowed”. But I mentioned, that it should be at least be possible to add one comment to a number of entities, not just one.


And I was nearly about to press submit, but then I thought this:
If an entity (here the combinator) would be allowed to have comments, then what to do with that comment, when you blueprint it? There is no correct solution possible, cause what I said above: it depends on what it is surrounded by.
But that’s also the case of what I had suggested: a number of entities could have a comment. What’s with that comment, if you copy only a part of that group. Same problem: you cannot handle the comment correctly.

So this is a much more complex problem, if you won’t have that the comments lie just from copying it.
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Re: Commenting combinators

Post by coppercoil »

ssilk wrote:
Sat Feb 01, 2020 11:37 am
If an entity (here the combinator) would be allowed to have comments, then what to do with that comment, when you blueprint it? There is no correct solution possible, cause what I said above: it depends on what it is surrounded by.
There is correct solution for it. Blueprint window already contains checkboxes for station names, tiles etc. Just add another checkbox here.

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Re: Commenting combinators

Post by Sad_Brother »

ssilk wrote:
Sat Feb 01, 2020 11:37 am
If an entity (here the combinator) would be allowed to have comments, then what to do with that comment, when you blueprint it? There is no correct solution possible, cause what I said above: it depends on what it is surrounded by.
But that’s also the case of what I had suggested: a number of entities could have a comment. What’s with that comment, if you copy only a part of that group. Same problem: you cannot handle the comment correctly.

So this is a much more complex problem, if you won’t have that the comments lie just from copying it.
Allow player to add a name to some entities. That name can be used for comments.
The same checkbox can select should be names of stations etc. be blueprinted.
Absence of comments would not protect you from copying wrong part of your logic group. :)

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combinator naming

Post by drdozer »

I just finished rigging up some combinator logic to dynamically resupply a space exploration outpost with a configurable request, calculating what needed to be delivered against what was in stock at the destination, vs what was in the cargo rocket ready to be launched. It also launches once a requested item is out of stock request-side and it is fully requested and loaded as cargo launch-side. Implementing this melted my brain.

I'm a software engineer. I've written compilers.

It was the lack of any way to track what any of the signals meant that made it so difficult. If combinators were a programming language, then the red and green input ports would have names, the output would have a name, and the combinator itself would have a name. However, this seems a bit too rich for factorio.

So instead, when you load up the configuration window for a decider combinator, could it have a user-configurable name and description for the combinator? That way I can at least label them with sort-of informative names like 'requested items mask', and a longer description of what's going on. Mouse-over would display the name. The description would only be visible in the config window.

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Re: combinator naming

Post by mmmPI »

I guess you played with the space exploration using AAI signal transmisssion :) Have you tried to automate the collection & recycling of old rocket parts ? Fuel ? Ice ? The mod itself creates a setup that justify the use of heave contraption :).

It makes particularly visible the desirability of annotation for combinators.

+1 for the suggestion.

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Re: combinator naming

Post by foamy »

This is both simple and super useful to anyone who uses combinators regularly. I want this. Very badly.

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Re: Commenting combinators

Post by Koub »

[Koub] Merged into older thread with similar suggestion.
Koub - Please consider English is not my native language.

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note/description section in the combinators

Post by LoneWolf_LWP »

TL;DR
note/description section in combinators

What ?
A little section like the blueprints have to put in a description
Why ?
With small circuits it's no problem to recall/figure out what each signal letter/icon does and interact with each other and how you came to the result
But when going more complex its easy to loose track of what you meant with each own defined signal/variable.
especialy when you come back after some time to that circuit.

So my suggestion is to add a little description section that you could use in complex situations (or even the simple ones) to refresh your memory
It would be more easy then just go by the letter/icon is used.

You could describe where that result came from like a comment in a source code, without having to go through every combinator figuring out where it all started and what you meant by it being that letter/icon you used

This would also make it more easy for shared constructions/blueprints to be easier understanded by the receiver.

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Re: Commenting combinators

Post by ssilk »

moved to matching thread — ssilk

I mean the differences are minimal and the general idea is to have something, where the player can add some comment.
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Khagan
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Re: Commenting combinators

Post by Khagan »

+1 for the general idea of this thread.

I don't really mind whether it is done with names, descriptions or signposts, but it would be extremely useful to have some way of noting for a combinator (or group of them) what it does, how it does it and/or what it is supposed to be connected to.

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Re: Commenting combinators

Post by Qon »

I'm using my mod Signal Signs to add vanilla signs to my combinator contraptions where needed.
  • Vanilla signs, will not get lost when shared to others or transferred to other saves
  • This way my signs are copyable in blueprints
  • There's no way comments accidentally doesn't follow when I want them because I forgot to check any boxes.
  • There's no way I will accidentally "infect" all my combinators with some comment that I didn't notice because I copy a part that I reuse in other contexts (I do that a lot).
  • The signs are way more compact (but still very readable) than other mod signs that have 2x2 size or similar for letters. I have 4 letters per tile or 0.5x0.5 which is 16 times more letters/tile.
  • Doesn't need any interaction to read the signs. You don't have to check every combinator to find the one that explains the thing.
There's some limitations like some characters not being supported. And it's very compact but could be even more compact if implemented by Wube as a purpose built item.
Screenshot from 2021-06-10 13-48-10.png
Screenshot from 2021-06-10 13-48-10.png (3.79 MiB) Viewed 48 times
And even though I'm starting to get the hang of how to build big and complex circuits now in some kind of structured way I'm also trying to build some even more standardized assembly language feeling blueprint book where I can write software and easily translate it into blueprints that represent that program. And I'm currently avoiding doing a CPU with signal data to store instructions and instead having all instructions compute all the time in parallel (and selecting which can change "registers" signals with an instruction pointer signal) so I can have fast (maybe even single tick) instructions and the ability to wire out from any code line into other structures if needed. Also much simpler. Inspired by Grey Goo Mk 1 which did something which is similar/same.

So I get the need and I have to spend a lot of effort keeping by combinators structured. I don't think they are usable without Picker Dollies, wish I could move more things at once instead of 1 at a time, and be able to move through other items temporarily. Cut and past breaks wire connections so can't be used or I get new bugs every time I try to improve the positioning of my combinators...

I don't feel comments on combinators make much sense. It either gets lost when just copying to move around the combinators or the comment will appear on every combinator. Most combinators, arithmetic and deciders, will have Each as input and output, if you are doing something that needs to do computations with a variety of signals. And copying them around is faster then configuring each one individually when you need hundreds of them. So comments need to be visible without explicitly trying to find them. And I don't think that having comments always visible on top of an already cluttered view that shows the signals used is going to be very helpful.

So if implemented in vanilla I would like the best of Signal Signs implemented as a single item that shows the text always (at least in alt mode) in a small but readable font. Maybe scaling a bit depending on zoom level. Something like flying text, except not temporary, not moving and tied to some small sign entity.

Kind of like the mod that Nifty used: Image
But it's not for 1.1, and losing all your comments due to loading+saving a savefile without a mod is not a risk I want to take even if I use mods otherwise. Which is why I made Signal Signs, it's only used to generate the signs, the signs themselves are vanilla so they never break.

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