Combinator Logic Rework

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McDuff
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Combinator Logic Rework

Post by McDuff »

TL;DR
Enable multiple combinator steps to take place in a single unit, for ease of programming/readability/portability/space-saving.

What
A replacement UI for combinators (potentially merging Arithmetic/Decider combinators into a single entity) similar to the Train Stop UI.

The below is an example not a fully tire-kicked design.
Untitled Diagram.png
Untitled Diagram.png (31.48 KiB) Viewed 316 times
Why ?
The combinator system is one of the most powerful things about Factorio, but it is not without its foibles.
There are many suggestion threads on various things that people would like to see changed, with one of the big ones being readability and scalability. One function takes two squares. Rearranging a "code block" can mean moving a whole array of combinators around and remembering which input goes where. It can often be easier to design things from scratch than to try to modify existing blueprints unless you were extremely well organised at the start.

There are some mods that try to add some programming to the combinators, such as fCPU, but while they're powerful you do have to learn something new and outside the normal factorio system.

This kind of thing would use existing Factorio UI elements seen in the train stop UI, such as the AND/OR buttons, and enable multiple combinator steps to happen in one device, simplifying layouts and enabling a more configurable "building block" approach to contraptions.

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ssilk
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Re: Combinator Logic Rework

Post by ssilk »

Thanks for making a suggestion from viewtopic.php?p=514224#p514224
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McDuff
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Re: Combinator Logic Rework

Post by McDuff »

Some more ideas, trying to think through how to do real world examples of what's currently possible and what might be additionally possible.
Untitled Diagram(2).png
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Tire-kicking welcome!

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AmericanPatriot
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Re: Combinator Logic Rework

Post by AmericanPatriot »

I think this would make combinatorics too easy. All you would need was one combinator for every contraption imaginable.
:D

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ssilk
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Re: Combinator Logic Rework

Post by ssilk »

I think this as a new combinator.

A) it costs more (of course that is nothing which hinders a player to use it :) as always),

B) it is not limitless. I see that combinator as an alternative for suggestions that wish to add on defaults for outputting “-1” or to invert values or ...
It is for “typical combinations” of up to 3 combinators ... you know, I think there are nearly an dozens of suggestions (please correct me) which all can be implemented with this one. Sorry, It’s hard to find them, and I don’t want to search now.
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McDuff
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Re: Combinator Logic Rework

Post by McDuff »

"Too easy" is a moveable feast though isn't it? Why is *the particular level of difficulty* we have now the best way?

Clearly you can do an awful lot of things with the existing system. There are a lot of things that are prohibitively expensive in terms of time and combinator space. There is also the issue of readability, debugging, and taking parts of one circuit out to use again.

A question: if we didn't have the existing combinator system and this was a new proposal, would it seem "too easy"?

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Re: Combinator Logic Rework

Post by Yoyobuae »

McDuff wrote:
Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:40 pm
Clearly you can do an awful lot of things with the existing system.
Since the existing system is turing complete, it can literally do everything a computer could potentially do.

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Re: Combinator Logic Rework

Post by varundevan »

+10

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ssilk
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Re: Combinator Logic Rework

Post by ssilk »

I think this suggestion reflects the fact, that the current combinator system is Turing-complete, but the overview it gives is more than the usual chaos. I can easily set up combinators, and wire them so, that i can come back the next day and need to figure out half an hour what it does. Having blueprints that can rotate a circuit maximizes this effect. :D

Circuits cries for “shortcuts”, modularization, separation, clarity, ... to make building it easier.
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Re: Combinator Logic Rework

Post by McDuff »

ssilk wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 4:53 am
I think this suggestion reflects the fact, that the current combinator system is Turing-complete, but the overview it gives is more than the usual chaos. I can easily set up combinators, and wire them so, that i can come back the next day and need to figure out half an hour what it does. Having blueprints that can rotate a circuit maximizes this effect. :D

Circuits cries for “shortcuts”, modularization, separation, clarity, ... to make building it easier.
Yep, this.

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