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Author Topic: Station list optimized for the line management dialog  (Read 884 times)

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Offline Ranran

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Station list optimized for the line management dialog
« on: June 26, 2020, 04:10:36 PM »
I brought an experimental sample today. (´・ω・`)
I've come up with this idea before, but playing on the server has raised its priority.
So it has been artificially prompted to transform in Jarapagos. Because that is the characteristic of it. Feel Jarapagos!  ;)


This is a very mess example.

In most cases, unnecessary information will be removed and simply arranged as shown below.



Minor change:
- Station names are now in player colors.

Reconstruction of display data:
Corresponding cargo data display (passenger/mail/freight) of station removed. It will be replaced by data that accepts cargo categories, and it will be contrasted with the corresponding categories of the line, hiding unnecessary ones.
In other words, for the mail line, we don't need the number of passengers who waiting at the station, so I hide it.
In my opinion, it is little difficult to get the necessary information because of the unnecessary information in the existing display method.
Also due to the repetition of the same word and the long text, I found it a bit hard to read.
Mail and freight have always been persecuted by passengers display. Now, passenger information is removed if not needed.
The goods name has been replaced with a color box and a tooltip. This has both advantages and disadvantages.
But the text of the name makes it obvious that it's waiting, but it makes it a bit harder to find, and occupies a lot of the display area, making other information harder to find.
On the other hand, in the freight category with multiple types of color boxes, it is necessary to check what goods it is with a tooltip. But given that they have been persecuted so far, I think this is an improvement. They are now easily visible to us.
And the goods category symbol also gives a hint of what that color is. What is the black bulk goods? Yes, It's coal. In that way it leads to the changes in goods color that I proposed in another thread.


Passengers persecuted the freight and moved it into the shadows, but they also didn't need the freight information. And they (or we) needed class information.
So I torn apart passengers and mail into individual class. This is another reason to deprecate displaying the goods name text.


I used "/" for class display, but in my opinion this can be a bit weird some times. The two mail segments look like maximum capacity and current wait count. (´・ω・`)
Is it better to use "-" as the separator?



The station status bar is useless because it shared three categories(passengers/mail/freights).
Therefore, I changed the color of the letters like this to show overcrowding by category.



This is an improvisation, so it may still be polished.  :lightbulb:
I haven't taken a closer look at those possibilities yet, but what I have in my mind is:
- Compare the via stations of cargo with the schedule of the line and display only the number of cargo that may be boarded.
- Turn off the display of the number of waits below the lowest class that can be transported. It cannot be carried on that line.



I would be grateful if you could share your thoughts on this.
I hope this will lead to improved playability. (´・ω・`)らんらん♪
« Last Edit: June 26, 2020, 05:17:19 PM by Ranran »

Offline Vladki

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Re: Station list optimized for the line management dialog
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2020, 04:59:24 PM »
At first glance I thought that the color box is not needed (icon is enough), but then I realized that it is there to distinguish steel from wood, or coal from stones, etc...

Otherwise very good. I don't even know what is there right now as I do not look there at all. Mostly only to check if all stops accept mail...

Filtering only what is loadable by this line is good. Showing overcrowded station would be nice.

Delimiter between classes, maybe + sign?


Offline Freahk

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Re: Station list optimized for the line management dialog
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2020, 05:09:30 PM »
I really don't like the colors.
Might be a little graphics work but what about painting a little icon for each exact type of good?
I suspect I won't ever remember the colors...
Those icons might be used in minimaps "industry" layer either, showing consumed and produced goods.

Offline Ranran

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Re: Station list optimized for the line management dialog
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2020, 05:57:59 PM »
Thank you for your thought.  :)

Showing overcrowded station would be nice.
Sorry, there was something wrong with the translation. Overcrowded needs to be viewed according to the freight type, so I removed the existing display and change the text color. It doesn't matter if the passenger station is crowded to carry the mail. So far, it has been shown to players the ambiguous information by looking at all the categories comprehensively.


I really don't like the colors. I suspect I won't ever remember the colors...
It's been used for a long time in station waiting bars. The display here is just the length of the goods waiting bar converted to numbers and arranged by the goods category.
The game as a whole is coherent and I'm trying to propagate it to other dialogs (already in convoy detail, in future factory and station info), but after all we can't get out of that way without somehow managing the station waiting bar (above the station name plate).


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Might be a little graphics work but what about painting a little icon for each exact type of good?
Those icons might be used in minimaps "industry" layer either, showing consumed and produced goods.
Even if the goods symbol is added, displaying the goods symbol in the station waiting bar is not suitable, so I think that the goods color will remain.
And registering a symbol for each goods requires extra effort for all pakset authors, and may not be able to properly handle what is missing. It also makes it hard to add goods and industries.
Of course backward compatibility must be considered. Display brown pile if symbols are missing? May also be used in categories. If some goods are missing a symbol, mixing text and symbols can be confusing.
And the goods symbol cannot replace the occupancy of the bar.
Thus I think it doesn't seem feasible to implement it.

Offline Freahk

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Re: Station list optimized for the line management dialog
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2020, 06:15:26 PM »
It's been used for a long time in station waiting bars.
And I never understood the relation of colors to goods there either, so all it told me is "please open the station window", which is not more informative than a general "you might want to check that station" information.
I am quite sure I am not the only one not understanding the raltion in between the bars and related goods.


It also makes it hard to add goods and industries.
Painting a few icons is not quite much work compared to painting a whole industry chain, so it won't be that much more complicated to add new industries.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2020, 06:44:55 PM by Freahk »

Offline Ranran

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Re: Station list optimized for the line management dialog
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2020, 06:37:55 PM »
Painting a few icons is not quite much work compared to painting a whole industry chain, so it won't be that much more complicated to add new industries.
It doesn't seem to solve any problems, just creating new problems as I have already explained.
I don't think there is a space to add many goods symbols to the station waiting bar on the main screen.
In addition, many GUIs need to display it, but adding good symbols to those GUI needs GUI overhaul, since places where it is appropriate to display goods are text based in many places. Requires a lot of effort. For example, it is difficult to add symbols because the station waiting list and convoy shipments consist of text only.

Offline Freahk

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Re: Station list optimized for the line management dialog
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2020, 06:46:16 PM »
It doesn't seem to solve any problems, just creating new problems as I have already explained.
People would understand what is actually displayed.
The bars are like "here you got a stat, but I won't tell you what the stat is about", which is a problem.
Icons would clearly point out what that stat is about, so the problem is solved.

Offline Ranran

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Re: Station list optimized for the line management dialog
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2020, 06:55:34 PM »
People would understand what is actually displayed.
The bars are like "here you got a stat, but I won't tell you what the stat is about", which is a problem.
Icons would clearly point out what that stat is about, so the problem is solved.
I'm talking about the whole thing. How do you change the bar above the station?
Are you asking to improve only the colorbox on the station list, ignoring any negative effects on other dialogs and effort (coding and painting)?

Offline Freahk

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Re: Station list optimized for the line management dialog
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2020, 07:13:41 PM »
Well either it needs to be coded or the colors can be ommitted as these are not of any use anyway.
That's my point.
I don't have any idea what these colors mean.

If it's too much work to add icons to the bar, at least using icons in the dialogues, so these can be understood by players is still better than nothig can be understood by players.
The graphics work is negligible.

Offline Ves

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Re: Station list optimized for the line management dialog
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2020, 08:05:06 PM »
Wow, this is (again) a nice enhancement. I realy like that the station names will be in player color, this is something I have missed for a long time. The ability to filter the information displayed, when pressing the cargo filters is also a good idea, however, I feel like the information would decieve me into thinking that that stop has no passenger capacity at all, for instance. Therefore, I would suggest to always display at least SOME info about what this stop may hold. It could look like this:

When pressing the passenger button:
[passenger icon] : X, X, X, X, X (max: Xmax) [mail icon] : Xactual/Xmax [general cargo icon] : Xactual/Xmax

When pressing the mail button:
[passenger icon] : Xactual/Xmax [mail icon] :X, X (max: Xmax)  [general cargo icon] : Xactual/Xmax

.... and similar when pressing the cargo icon.

However, if there for instance are no passenger vehicles serving the station, or it has no passenger capacity, the entry should be omitted, just as you suggested.

I think you should use commas in between the numbers. Commas represent a horisontal list in written text. Semicolon could perhaps also be used, otherwise in between each category. I dont think "+", "-" or "/" should be used, as they might insinuate something else. Only the "/" could be used as in the above example as distinguishing actual amount versus maximum amount.

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"please open the station window"
This is how I use those bars as well :::)

On a more serious note, I did also voice my own reservations on relying on good colors in another thread. First of all because there tend to be so many of them so they get hard to remember, even when combining with the good category, and secondly, it can make the GUI much more visually busy than it perhaps needs to be, taking focus away from status colors and other more important information.

Currently, the list looks quite busy, with colors everywhere. It gets difficult to get an overview, and it would only be worse if your line served stops from multiple other players, as their stops would be marked in all different colors as well (I have a suggestion to that as well further down). I would like to ask wether it really is important to know in this stop list exactly what goods are waiting, or wether it would be enough to only display the amount of good categories are waiting. After all, the vehicles doesnt care what goods they have loaded, only that it is a certain category. And you can anyway not tell where the good wants to go without opening the stop info window, which in turns also reveals what exact cargo is waiting there. Therefore I would argue that the important bit of information is how much of a specific category are waiting around the network, not the individual goods. That we have the stop info window for, which is easily accessible with a single click.

Listing only the waiting good categories would also help towards solving another issue that this list might suffer (and suffers in the current live build), which is its width. If multiple goods are waiting at a stop, the line of text gets too big, and the info is lost. With fewer horisontal entries, more information can be condensed into the view.

I am not sure if I agree with Freahk that having individual cargo symbols would be advicable in this list, as I still believe that the amounts of individual goods is not the interresting piece of information. Also, it would not solve the color busyness, nor the width of the window, however, I dont say that individual cargo symbols could not be usefull other places in the GUI instead.

Suggestion regarding player color stop names
To help reduce the color business of the window further, you could instead of coloring the entire stop name (which might fill an entire text line with color), you could add a small square of color just to the left of the stop name. I believe this would greatly help reducing the color business when the list contains stops from multiple players. I am not sure if this would actually look better, as it is difficult to anticipate without having seen an example with different player stops, but it might be worth a try if the list is still too colorfull.




Offline Vladki

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Re: Station list optimized for the line management dialog
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2020, 08:35:13 PM »
Ves has good suggestions.

Showing only goods categories solves the dilemma of color boxes and icons. Also it reduces the length of information line.

I thought that the goods shown will be filtered according to the goods carried by selected line, not the filter buttons. Moreover if only goods that have destination served by that line are shown, it will reduce the redundant information even more.

Max storage is not necessary, just showing the number of overstock cargo in red should be fine. Maybe just repeating the color bar (green/yellow/orange/red) somewhere would be nice.

Player color as small square sounds good too.

In case of multiple goods it would be nice to have them aligned in columns. It will allow easier check of one cargo type.

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Station list optimized for the line management dialog
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2020, 09:59:12 AM »
This is very interesting - thank you for working on this.

As for names versus colours; maybe that should simply be a selectable option so that players can choose between them? I am afraid that it will not be practical from a pakset creation perspective to have one icon per type of goods.

Offline Ranran

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Re: Station list optimized for the line management dialog
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2020, 09:10:12 PM »
Please allow me to post as a draft. This was written a long time ago. And it is incomplete. Therefore, the whole intention may not be conveyed.
Thank you for your thought.
It seems very difficult to explain in short in non-native language. (´・ω・`)
Please be aware that there are many examples in consideration of the possibility of misleading.


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If it's too much work to add icons to the bar,
Please imagine. How large is the width of the top panel above the station by adding a bar to the icon? Each one will occupy a width of 10-14px.
There will be a large number of symbols above the stations that accept piece goods. Is a passenger icon really needed at a station that only accepts passengers? I think a colored bar is enough. Especially if we consider the effort involved.


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at least using icons in the dialogues, so these can be understood by players is still better than nothig can be understood by players.
I don't agree at all. Please imagine. How confusing the dialog is that both category and goods have a symbol in them so they both appear.
How are cars(category) represented by cars(goods)? Do you have two identical symbols side by side?
It is difficult to tell which symbol it is by lining up two similar goods category symbols and goods symbols. I think the text is still easier to read. (Especially in Chinese and Japanese, the characters are like pictures. It will bring us great benefits. But it's not good from a universal design perspective :p)
There is an idea to put a frame on either side, but the original size is too small and the size is not fixed. Also its design depends on pakset.
One issue is that there is no alignment and it's in a single horizontal row, but with lots of symbols and numbers lined up it's just hard to see.
It's still easier to understand if you know that square blocks mean goods. Fortunately, the division into colors and symbols made that distinction easy.
For example, transport fever has symbols in goods, but categories do not.
Is it wise to abolish category symbols instead of adding goods symbols? I don't think so. Because the goods category is tied to the type of freight wagon, having a unique symbol makes it easy to identify which freight car you need and what it can carry.
On the other hand, I don't get a glimpse of the need for goods symbols and their benefits yet.


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The graphics work is negligible.
I don't think it's so easy to represent all the goods with this little symbol. On the contrary, I think that it may be difficult for the player to understand.
For example, I don't know what some of the symbols for transport fever represent. What is the red block? Is it a lego block? Is a spanner a spanner?
The pax/mail/ware symbol is 8x8 px. It is difficult to express the picture of the product in such size. So I drew the goods category symbol a little bigger at 10x10 px. However, considering the line height, it cannot be increased further. It should be noted that translucent pixels have a lot of color loss. Images that are simply reduced may not look good.
Under that condition, it is required that the design makes it easy to understand the difference between the category symbol and the goods symbol. For example, changing the background color for each category. For example, now "foods" has a meat-like design. It has to be changed because it has meat in it and it should be a design that represents "a category" like "foods". The same applies to long goods and oil. You have to clearly distinguish between "the oil category" and the difference between crude oil and gasoline and fuel. It will be harder if pakset have set it in the liquid category, like pak.128.
That's why I say it's difficult to add new industries and goods. Consequently, it will only be worse than currently without such a sophisticated design. At least I can't think of a good design and I don't want to do it if I am a pakset developer.
You should listen to the opinion of the pakset author.


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Well either it needs to be coded
If it's too much work to add icons to the bar,
Unfortunately it's so difficult that I can't do it. It's not as easy as adding a category symbol. My attempt at it has already failed a year ago. That is why special goods do not currently have a unique symbol. (I proposed a method to have a symbol by considering special goods as one category, but that method cannot be used for ordinary goods.)
I don't have the skills to do it so it must be done by someone who can do it. Then, prepare for him all the goods symbols for testing. In addition to that, the GUI will need a lot of work to handle it. And it must be sophisticated as explained. Of course, any issues that might arise will need to be resolved first. That way I am afraid but I find your idea very unlikely. That is my point.
I encourage you to look for another solution. Some may have been presented by Ves and Vladki.





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I feel like the information would decieve me into thinking that that stop has no passenger capacity at all, for instance.
I'm afraid but I think it's a direct conflict with this patch. I think that's because I and you have different perspectives. But think about what is important for "line management".
I think that in the line management dialog, the player wants to know information about the cargo waiting for the line.
Passengers waiting for another route on a different platform, for example, is unnecessary information in the "management" of the "line".
Freight wagons and coaches do not usually use the same platform, do not unload coal on the passenger platform.
Simutrans sometimes does that, which is strange in a realistic sense, it's like a cheating, we just need to put the freight attribute in an unrelated tile, but acceptable because the player is not penalized at all.
However I don't think so when I want to see the data. I think it's annoying that the passenger platform data is displayed even though I want to know the information of the freight platform.
There are many examples of simutrans being treated as one station, unlike reality. Are the dock and the bus stop the same station? What is the ticket gate? Is it realistic to put it together? What separates it? Rather, I think it's deceptive to me that the bus stop or railway station and the airport are currently together.
The only difference is whether the player did it or not. (When I play offline, I use multiple companies to keep the stations separate so they are easy to manage. But sadly, I found that it doesn't work well with the large online map.)
So it's strange information that changes depending on how you have separated the stations!
And, Line management is not station management. It interferes with management by making information hard to grasp.
Thus I don't think it's good to stick to the whole station in the line management dialog.
And that's why I also think that the station list and the station list in the line management dialog should have different views.

However, I think that the number of connections is as important as the waytype display at stations. Providing rapid services to skip underutilized stations is important for reducing travel time, and is often done in reality.
I already proposed another patch for that.
Also the number of users at the station may be one of the important information for that purpose, but at the moment, I think that the amount of information displayed is too large and the implementation becomes complicated. They are like station statistics. I think at least it's best to compromise and rely on another dialog.

There are other dialogs like the list of stations, such as schedule list and location information I proposed.

In any case, this patch's goal is to only show cargo (destination match) waiting for that line.
I think that Station list should be used for the information that Ves says.
Another idea is to add a line filter to the current station list to display station-specific information. It would be nice if there was a link to open it from the line list.

It's possible that another line running in the same spot could snatch the cargo, but I don't think it's a concern. It should be displayed because in effect that line is in competition. (I also think it difficult to implement, given that the station dialog doesn't currently show it.)
Currently, if you want to check it, you have to open the dialog for each station, sort, scroll and check. The purpose of this patch is to save that effort.
For example, as described above, simutrans often has strange station combinations, so it is very difficult to understand whether the bus stop is crowded or the platform is crowded at the station where the bus stop and the railway station are combined. I think it's better if the bar that extends to sky is easy to understand whether that passenger is going to the city area or going far.
Currently you need to click on the station to see the destination to know it. One of the reasons why I find the station dialogs inconvenient is that there is a "via" sort but not the direction or the line. Also there is a big difference whether it's your line or another players line that is causing crowding at the station where other players are using.
I think the line management dialog should allow it to be managed.

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First of all because there tend to be so many of them so they get hard to remember,
There is no need to "remember". As I've already explained, unlike station bars, square boxes have tooltips so you can quickly see if you don't know what goods their color is.


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Currently, the list looks quite busy, with colors everywhere. It gets difficult to get an overview, and it would only be worse if your line served stops from multiple other players,
Since the goal is to display only the cargo of that line, the cargo of "other players" will not be displayed in that case.


Quote
I would like to ask wether it really is important to know in this stop list exactly what goods are waiting, or wether it would be enough to only display the amount of good categories are waiting. After all, the vehicles doesnt care what goods they have loaded, only that it is a certain category. And you can anyway not tell where the good wants to go without opening the stop info window, which in turns also reveals what exact cargo is waiting there. Therefore I would argue that the important bit of information is how much of a specific category are waiting around the network, not the individual goods. That we have the stop info window for, which is easily accessible with a single click.
Please note that the destination information is not displayed here. So the colors of goods can be a hint of your destination. I don't think that hiding it has any merit because it makes the flow of things difficult to understand. If it's correct, simutrans doesn't have to separate goods from the beginning. Goods category is enough. When you want to know if the meat is being carried correctly, you only have a category view. I think this is just annoying. It's obviously worse than "before".


Quote
After all, the vehicles doesnt care what goods they have loaded, only that it is a certain category. And you can anyway not tell where the good wants to go without opening the stop info window, which in turns also reveals what exact cargo is waiting there. Therefore I would argue that the important bit of information is how much of a specific category are waiting around the network, not the individual goods. That we have the stop info window for, which is easily accessible with a single click.
I'm sorry I don't understand what you are saying. You seem to want to depend on station dialogs, increasing the need to open other dialogs pointlessly is not an improvement. As already mentioned, the information required for station management and line management is not the same. It may be easier to use the one specialized for each. And in my opinion, at least the station dialog is very difficult to use. Because, as mentioned above, the waiting list is not displayed for each direction and line. That's why I made this patch.
It is ridiculous to check which route the cargo is going to use at each station by looking at the via among many passengers and mail list.


Quote
Listing only the waiting good categories would also help towards solving another issue that this list might suffer , which is its width. If multiple goods are waiting at a stop, the line of text gets too big, and the info is lost. With fewer horisontal entries, more information can be condensed into the view.
The width issue is certainly one issue.
1) However, the width should have been greatly reduced compared to the case of text
2) Displaying only goods related to line does it still cause a problem or not

I think the category and goods displays may need to take into account the addition of toggle switches like the tabs on the right.


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you could add a small square of color just to the left of the stop name. I believe this would greatly help reducing the color business when the list contains stops from multiple players. I am not sure if this would actually look better, as it is difficult to anticipate without having seen an example with different player stops, but it might be worth a try if the list is still too colorfull.
In my testing, this change looks very nice.

Quote
I would suggest to always display at least SOME info about what this stop may hold. It could look like this:

When pressing the passenger button:
[passenger icon] : X, X, X, X, X (max: Xmax) [mail icon] : Xactual/Xmax [general cargo icon] : Xactual/Xmax

When pressing the mail button:
[passenger icon] : Xactual/Xmax [mail icon] :X, X (max: Xmax)  [general cargo icon] : Xactual/Xmax
I'm sorry, but I don't know what this is intended for. What will change?

1) max is not really max.
2) There are strange conditions on how much max can be exceeded. Cargo cannot exceed a certain capacity when boarding directly, but it can endlessly exceed when coming from outside.
3) I don't want to display letters as much as possible to organize the information. I don't think it's important information.
4) Cargo capacity is common to all categories. In other words, what you want to display is not what is waiting, but the capacity of the station? This seems to be station management, not line management, as I said above.

For those reasons, I think it's better not to display it, and that's why standard didn't. Like a station dialog, it doesn't need much space if it's itself a symbol. But it's too incompatible to show along with information about what and how much is waiting.

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I think you should use commas in between the numbers. Commas represent a horisontal list in written text. Semicolon could perhaps also be used, otherwise in between each category. I dont think "+", "-" or "/" should be used, as they might insinuate something else. Only the "/" could be used as in the above example as distinguishing actual amount versus maximum amount.
Perhaps that is true of many dialogs in simutrans. And is there a good alternative for class display?

Offline Ves

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Re: Station list optimized for the line management dialog
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2020, 10:13:48 PM »
Hello Ranran,
You are right, it is sometimes a bit difficult for all us non-native english speakers to express ourself clearly. But I am sure that we all do our best to communicate as clear as possible, as well as the native english people reading our scribblings with a pinch of salt when we dont really make sense  ;D

Correct me if I am wrong, but I think I have missed one of the key features or your patch, namely that you intend to only list the cargo which has a destination (or via -destination) covered by the selected line. I understand your arguments much better now with this in mind, also what you mean with the Line Management/Station Management.
Sorry about the misunderstanding. :-[

I dont know how much work you have done on the patch in the mean time, but I have some new comments and suggestion with this key feature in mind:

Ability to toggle between "line freight" view and "all freight" view
As has become clear in this thread, this is a subject with alot of opinions, and I believe this could be a good idea to cater for all the different play styles that there are around. The risici of only displaying the cargo that wants to travel to a destination covered by this schedule, is that we, the players, are now used to be able to see the status of the stop in the line management (which might be caused by other lines than the selected line), and if this now dont display that, it might lead to alot of confusion. Having it toggle between one and the other, grants this ability to have a "universal status" of each stop in the line manager, as well as the "line status" of each stop.

Reconsideration wether each goods really needs to be displayed, or if it is enough with the good categories in the stop list
I guess this didnt come as a surprise  :P
Even though the freight in the stop list only show up if it can be hauled by convoys in the selected line, it does clutter the view. Alot. I suppose that the screen shoot in the OP is reflecting only good that wants to travel to a destination covered by the line, and that view is frankly very disturbing to watch. You have to really read your way through the list to make any meaning of it. I understand that you want this, the Line Management window, to be about the lines, and not a "station manager", but displaying each individual freight in the window like it is now, is more in the "station manager" style than line manager style. I have to say that I am princippally not against displaying each individual good in this list. I am only against it in this case because of the limited space, clutternes and color richness.
The argument about not having to open the stop window, I dont buy. Because, (even though the list would only show goods being able to travel via convoys in the selected line) what does the individual goods display actually tell us? It tells that there are, say 10 vegetables and 20 flour (if we read the tooltip), but it doesnt tell us to where it wants to go or in what direction it wants to travel. Or its final destination for that matter. Instead, we have to calculate 10+20=30, so we need to be able to transport 30 piece goods. That last bit is what we really wants from this list, as that is what we use to calculate the needed capacity. The nitty gritty details we can get in the station info window anyway.

Suggestion to only display the icons for goods actually waiting at the stop
When there are no freight waiting in a given category, it is currently displayed with a " - " sign after the freight type icon. In the screen shoot in the OP there are quite alot of these instances, adding to the overall clutterness of the window. I would suggest to remove the entries all together when there are no freight waiting, instead of the "[icon]: -,".

Suggestion to display competing lines
There are some pittfalls in Simutrans, one of them being that we dont know what line a particular good want to use. I tried to implement that into the "sort by" section ages ago, but I was told that not even the goods know what line or convoy it wants to board. Perhaps this has changed since then?
Anyway, there are currently no way of knowing if there are competing lines, either your own lines, or from other players.
This suggestion requires its own stop list tab, as it takes some space:
There is a stop list, as in the normal view, only this has no freight information. Each entry should preferably contain the ownership as well as the waytypes.
On each entry which has a competing line, the name of that line is displayed in player color, possibly as weel with waytypes and also all freight types.
It would not make sense to give any timing info in between stops here, since the other lines might make huge detours and not directly compete on that particular stretch of the line.
However, the frequency time of that line could be very interresting to show!

I think a view like this could greatly help identifying sneaky competitors in an online game  :o

Tabbing the station list grants us lots of new possibilities as well. For instance incorporating the times window, and a visualized schedule list with wait for load/wait for time etcetc.