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Author Topic: Are you a Simutrans detective? Connection, way-finding & Updater questions  (Read 1112 times)

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Offline Matthew gb

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I've recently returned to Simutrans after a year or so, and have finally made the leap from Experimental (11.35) to Expanded (13.4). I love the many new features, such as passenger classes, half-heights, and more authentic signalling on railways. Thank you to all the contributors, especially James Petts, Vladki, Ves, and Dr SuperGood, who I believe have done the bulk of this work.

There are a couple of situations where vehicles are not behaving as I would expect them to. I have time to play the game because I'm recovering from a brain injury, so I suspect that the reason is my stupidity, not the fact that the game is still in a beta/early access state. Would anyone be kind enough to play detective and explain what is going on?

I have two specific questions relating to a savegame (using the nightly from 2018-04-21, Simutrans 120.2.1, Extended 13.4 #68acfe7), which can be downloaded from: https://app.box.com/s/dim2mcyph8abln9kca0hrd9ia3ewaqhi

1. If you open the Default Player ship canal depot at (507, 302, -1), then you will find that passenger skiff wherry 82 is unable to move anywhere, even to the end of the canal branch that the depot is on. It has "MAY USE: Ship canal/medium river" and is nowhere near the weight limit; the scheduled journey is 0.3km, which is well within range. Can anyone explain why it cannot leave the depot, please? It is intended to eventually serve the Hovworth-Wendburgh-Elmenton Canal Ferry line.

2. The Wendburgh Printworks (453, 324, 0) should be connected to the Bumblestock Bookshop (353, 407, 0), by the following piece goods lines:
Wendburgh-Elmenton Book Barges (boat horse 20)
Elmenton-Bumblestock Book Line (schooner 26)
Bumblestock Books Run (shire horses 21)
All the convoys have an 'average run' time, so they should be up and running now. But nothing is moving and the industries do not show as connected. Can anyone suggest why this is, please? I note that the Bookshop has a staff shortage, but this should not prevent the piece goods icon showing in the Industry Window if they are connected.

More generally, I can't get the Nightly Updater v2 to work: I get an error message saying 'Error: A JNI error has occurred, please check your installation and try again'. Does the file need to be in a particular directory? I've tried running it inside and outside the main 'simutrans' directory without success.

Offline Vladki cz

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Most of the thanks go to James Petts. I was just reporting bugs, and asking for more features ;)

1. If you open the Default Player ship canal depot at (507, 302, -1), then you will find that passenger skiff wherry 82 is unable to move anywhere, even to the end of the canal branch that the depot is on. It has "MAY USE: Ship canal/medium river" and is nowhere near the weight limit; the scheduled journey is 0.3km, which is well within range. Can anyone explain why it cannot leave the depot, please? It is intended to eventually serve the Hovworth-Wendburgh-Elmenton Canal Ferry line.

Found it. The problem is with the mail-space for the wherry. It lacks constraints that allow it to use any waterways. Also I think that these wherries should be able to use even the narrow-boat and tub-boat canals, and be forced to use waterways. I have pushed a fix into my smoke-improvements branch
https://github.com/jamespetts/simutrans-pak128.britain/pull/47

Offline jamespetts gb

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Thank you for spotting that: that is most helpful.

I have now added the constraints to the skiff wherry's mail space to match the basic skiff wherry's cosntraints. I have not, however, constrained the skiff wherry to waterways, as this omission was intentional: skiff wherries were often used in coastal areas and estuaries that would not be represented as waterways in Simutrans. They have a range limitation of 6km which should keep them from crossing oceans.

Offline Vladki cz

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2. The Wendburgh Printworks (453, 324, 0) should be connected to the Bumblestock Bookshop (353, 407, 0), by the following piece goods lines:
Wendburgh-Elmenton Book Barges (boat horse 20)
Elmenton-Bumblestock Book Line (schooner 26)
Bumblestock Books Run (shire horses 21)
All the convoys have an 'average run' time, so they should be up and running now. But nothing is moving and the industries do not show as connected. Can anyone suggest why this is, please? I note that the Bookshop has a staff shortage, but this should not prevent the piece goods icon showing in the Industry Window if they are connected.

Look at the details window of the factories. Printworks cannot print, as it is out of paper. If you look at the graphs, it did produce something 6-10 months ago, but nothing since then. It ran out of paper. There is a half-loaded boat at Hovworth Paper mill, waiting for cargo. Paper mill is well supplied and producing, yet it is not loading the boat. Even before I have noticed that setting cargo lines to wait for 100% load has bad effects on timing calculations, which in turn make negative feedback loop and stop loading, or send cargo over insane detours if available. This is definitely a bug. To make the cargo flow again, try removing the 100% load from all lines in the supply chain.

But what is also interesting is the graphs of bookshop. It had 29 books in transit until 3 months ago, but they disappeared without being delivered. Perhaps you messed somehow with the boats on the delivery link and the cargo was lost at a transfer stop, when the connection was temporarily broken.

Offline Matthew gb

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Thank you, Vladki, for so kindly taking the time to explain my mistakes. I am glad that you uncovered the skiff wherry bug in (1), and I am now downloading last night's pakset. James, thank you; I hope that you feel you have achieved a 'speedbonus' by fixing a bug so quickly!

Regarding situation (2), it appears then that the wait-for-load feature is bugged, but that is obviously the type of subtle problem that is going to take some time to figure out, and, James, you have made clear that you are interested in other things for the next few years. Happily, I think that the wait-for-time feature (with its neat new GUI) is a workable alternative. I suppose it's come full circle: from abusing wait-for-load to simulate scheduling to abusing wait-for-time to simulate departing on demand.  :D

Offline jamespetts gb

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Paper mill is well supplied and producing, yet it is not loading the boat. Even before I have noticed that setting cargo lines to wait for 100% load has bad effects on timing calculations, which in turn make negative feedback loop and stop loading, or send cargo over insane detours if available. This is definitely a bug.

Vladki - can you elaborate on what the bad effect on timing calculations are? I am not entirely clear on precisely the nature of the incorrect behaviour being reported here. Perhaps there should be a specific bug report thread dedicated to this particular issue?

Matthew - for features, I do have a specific set of priorities, but, generally, bug fixes are a higher priority than new features (except where the amount of work that finding/fixing the bug would take would be out of all proportion to the benefit from fixing it).

Offline Vladki cz

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Vladki - can you elaborate on what the bad effect on timing calculations are? I am not entirely clear on precisely the nature of the incorrect behaviour being reported here. Perhaps there should be a specific bug report thread dedicated to this particular issue?

It was reported here: https://forum.simutrans.com/index.php/topic,15599.0.html and here: https://forum.simutrans.com/index.php/topic,17548.msg167328.html#msg167328
Quote
It can be seen on the "sandbox server". There are two supermarkets supplied by the same orchard, farm, grain mill, etc... Usually there is one truck for each connection - i.e. one truck taking flour from the mill to one shop and another truck to deliver to the other shop. Same for fruits and vegetables. Trucks are set to wait for 100% load. Sometimes (probably if the trucks get stuck somewhere, or the shop stops ordering goods for a while), the direct connection will have longer journey time then taking detour via the other shop and some other supplier (e.g. mill -> shop1 -> orchard -> shop2). Thus one of the trucks will wait forever, as the cargo for its destination will be loaded on the other truck. The journey time will never fix itself. One has to remove the requirement to load 100% and let the truck run empty for a while to fix the journey time.

In the Matthew's game you could find a half-loaded boat waiting for 100% load at paper mill. The paper mill has full stock (both input and output), and connected printworks is out of stock. Yet there is no paper being loaded on the boat. If you remove the wait for 100% load, the boat will depart, and after a while paper mill will start sending paper. There is no alternative route as in my games, but the behavior is similar. As if the RTT has gone too high to be considered as useable route. Interesting is that the RTT on the half-loaded boat is 6:28 - almost the same as simutrans day length.
When you release the boats, RTT will jump to 21:03 and 15:46 (there are two boats on the line).

Offline jamespetts gb

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The things to which you refer in those threads do not appear to be the same as here - importantly, there is currently no maximum travelling/waiting time for goods (unlike passengers): goods will simply take the quickest route, so the waiting times will make no difference at all if there is no alternative route. The original report from 2016 was one where it was not initially possible to get a stable reproduction case, and the problem (which is different to this issue) appeared to have been solved by increasing the frequency with which waiting times update.

Also, may I ask what you mean by "RTT" here?
« Last Edit: April 25, 2018, 10:20:51 PM by jamespetts »

Offline Vladki cz

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Also, may I ask what you mean by "RTT" here?
Round trip time

But do you have any explanation, why the flow of goods has stopped? I see some similarities with the previous bug reports - it is hard to reproduce, but usually involves a half-loaded convoy waiting forever for no apparent reason. And removing the wait for 100% fixes the problem (but makes the line less profitable).

Offline jamespetts gb

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Looking into this, it seems that the reason that the barge is not loading is because the only consumer's maximum in transit amount of 13 has been exceeded by the already loaded 18 units. In other words, the printworks is not content to have a whole bargeful of paper at once - it is requesting a load of only 13 units. Always check the in transit amount at the receiving industry if there appear to be problems of this sort.

Offline Vladki cz

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Sorry if I asked before, is there somewhere a description what various numbers in industry info mean?
It is not entirely straightforward what is actual storage, max storage, in transit, max transit.
Perhaps splitting input numbers in two lines: storage (actual/max) and in transit (actual/max)


Offline jamespetts gb

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It should be in the help text if I recall correctly.

Offline Vladki cz

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Nope, there is no mention about in-transit amounts at all (in industry help).

What about instead of:

Consumption
- paper 7/15(17)/6 crates, 100%

showing:

Consumption
- paper 7/6 (storage), 15/17 (in-transit), crates, 100%

Offline Matthew gb

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There is an explanation in the help text, but it's obfuscated by the fact that it's on a page with two paragraphs subtitled 'Production' (see the screenshot provided).

TBH, I have to look at the help page every single time I read the production data. I don't find the current GUI text at all obvious, so I would welcome a re-writing of the text along the lines Vladki has suggested. I realize however that this will need to go through the Simutranslate process, and that the relevant code (in simfab.cc?) is very complicated, and this 'simple' text change is therefore less straightforward it might seem.