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[GUI] Renewal of factory-related dialogues

Started by Ranran(Hibernating), February 05, 2022, 10:15:09 AM

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Ranran(Hibernating)

As mentioned in this thread, the factory-related dialogues in extended are non-scalable old GUI and need to be metamorphosed.
https://forum.simutrans.com/index.php/topic,21384.msg198863

Pull request #487 linked to the city info update and also made some small updates to the factory list.
This change is made only to the factory list. I plan to distribute the patch separately, as the amount of changes is already large when added to the changes related to the city.
Large updates should be done in conjunction with the factory info, which is still in the old dialog.
In this post, I introduce the ones related to pull request #487.


(1) Enhancement of filter function
Especially on a large map, a large number of industries with the same name are spawned and the list becomes huge, so it was considered an urgent task to enhance the filter function.
The following four filters will be added
- name filter (from standard)
- region filter
- city filter (open via city info window)
- factory type filter



(2) The number of factory search hits is displayed.
On the right is the number for the entire map, and this display will make it clear if any filter options are turned on.


(3) Update display modes
- The **** mode cycle button has been converted to a combo box.
- Inventory display is now based on goods color.
- Previous month statistics display has been added
- The demand mode has been split into input and output. This is intended to add a previously unprecedented goods category display and be used as a colored storage legend.

The biggest and most challenging changes in this patch are the three new indicators.
Because I would like to propose the abolition of the existing status color bar, I added this as an alternative.
At this stage, the status color bar has not been abolished yet. If this is done, it must be simultaneous with factory info.
The reason I suggested changing the status bar to the current spec is because until now there were few alternatives and no good ideas that could be accomplished without major changes, so I decided to take advantage of them. Veteran players may have just gotten used to it, but I still don't think it's the best way to go.
The problem is that the mixture of multiple status makes it difficult to understand intuitively. That is, station connection, whether the factory is producing, input inventory quantity, output inventory quantity. Especially for newbies, it's hard to understand.
So I suggest making it independent of each other.
The information contained in the status color bar is
- Is it connected to the freight station?
- What is the stock of input storage?
- What is the output storage inventory?
- Is the industrial chain broken?
- Is there a shortage of staff?
Not all of these are exclusive and can occur at the same time.

Improved storage view mode:
The storage view provides a design that is more in the image of the flow of logistics.
A two-dimensional diagram is ideal, but it is difficult to represent it on a list, so it is represented one-dimensionally.

Some action actually takes place between the storages.
In the producer example, for example, coal mine storage is stored in storage by the action of digging coal from the mine. If the factory is not running, that action will not occur.
Display it as the status mentioned above.

Imagine the flow of things in the manufacturing industry.
(1) If there is no connection with the freight stop, the product will not come. This will show the status of being connected to the freight station.
This is planned to be represented by a brown pile instead of a color indicator in the next patch.
(2) If it has a connection, the order will bring the material from the producer. If there are goods in transit, the in transit symbol will be displayed.
(3) A new indicator that indicates whether the ordered material has arrived correctly at the factory. If there is no arrival record, a square will be displayed. If there is no connection, nothing is displayed. The color will change depending on the transportation status for 2 months. If you have a record of the arrival of all the items, you will see them in green, judging that they are in ideal distribution. An unstable freight transportation network that causes clogging is not ideal. Stable supply is the mission of the shipping company, where player negligence can be revealed.
(4) Material storage status. Needless to say, this is related to the order (previous shipment) and the next indicator (manufacturing).
(5) Consume/Producing indicator. The end consumer shows how much the consumer bought the item and reduced the inventory. The color changes depending on this ratio. That is the operation rate.
In the production and manufacturing industries, it shows the operating status of the production line. If the operation is stopped because the output stock is full, the pause icon will be displayed.
(6) Product storage status. Like the Material storage status, this will affect the flow back and forth.
(7) Shipping indicator. Indicates that the product has been shipped from storage. In other words, it indicates that transportation to the next factory is being carried out. This shows how active it is for the number of products. For example, a factory manufactures four products, but if only one product is shipped, it is judged as BAD. That is why the inventory of some colors from the output storage is not reduced.

You can check this numerically in the newly added last month stats display. However, since the cargo types are mixed, the unit of measure for this is "tons". This will be linked to the stop's records.


I am very grateful for your feedback on these changes.

When testing this factorylist with demo.sve, please note the following.
Since this is old data, it does not have region data, so the region filter will not show up.
Similarly, some statistics do not have the correct data for the previous month, so the numbers and indicator displays that use them may be incorrect.

In my opinion, in extended, many players see cargo transport as difficult and tend to avoid it.
On the other hand, in standard, it is introduced as a way to earn a solid profit in the early stages of the game, and I think many people think that way.
Therefore, a player who comes from standard to extended may first stumble upon freighting and be devastated.
There will still be balancing issues there as well. For example, there are too few consumers and the big factories are running very slowly, for example, profit margins are too low.
But I hope that by making the situation easier to understand, we can make progress in improving and addressing these issues.
Also, it may be helpful to point out the parts that are difficult for you to understand about freight transportation and the points of stumbling.


By the way, the first thing that will definitely be improved in the next patch is access to the minimap from the factory info. You will be able to instantly see how a factory is related to another factory. But that change would have to start with updating the old factory GUI...

See you next patch (´・ω・`)


EDIT:
Quote- factory type filter
This was also considered to be subdivided a bit more, but doing it this way at the beginning will bring similar changes to standard. Those who are interested in it may find this helpful.
In extended, the sector is a bit more subdivided, so it is possible to extend it.
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jamespetts

Thank you for this. I am just testing this now. However, I notice one issue: the goods names in the factory list do not appear to to be translated.  I should be grateful if you could look into this. Thank you.
Edit: I also notice that, with the modern theme, the words "Production," etc. do not fit completely onto the buttons.
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Ranran(Hibernating)

Quote from: jamespetts on February 17, 2022, 11:04:43 PMthe goods names in the factory list do not appear to to be translated.  I should be grateful if you could look into this. Thank you.
Edit: I also notice that, with the modern theme, the words "Production," etc. do not fit completely onto the buttons.
Thank you for the confirmation. I think I have fixed them.
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Matthew

#3
Thank you for this patch, Ranran! You are doing great work moving dialogues to the new GUI system. :thumbsup:

I tested this patch for about one hour while checking factory openings/closures on B-B. There were some parts of this patch that I liked and some that I really did not like.

Status Icon / Operation Indicator
This is a major change. I think the old Status Bar was a bad design. It was not clear to new players that it was important, because it just looked like a pretty border for the Viewport.

I think the new Status Icon could be an improvement. The new location is a very efficient use of space and it is easy for experienced players to find, because it is in the first place that people will look if they use a left-to-right language. This is definitely a better location than before.

However, I am worried that this icon is still too obscure for new players. New players may think it is a pretty bullet point for the factory name. But the new Status Icon will be the easiest way to quickly see the factory status. They need to be told that it is important. Here is one idea:



It is not as beautiful as your design, because it uses an extra line for just one character. But it will draw new players' attention to this important icon.

Also, it seems that we have lost some information. In theory, the old Status Bar could perform basic fault analysis (not enough staff, too much inventory, etc.). In practice, this was not useful because it was difficult to remember so many arbitrary colours. You have intentionally moved some of the fault analysis away from the Status Icon. You have to look at each area of the dialog to find the problem. Today I found this more confusing, but maybe I need more practice with the improved Dialog.

Finally, the help text needs to be updated with the new information. But I hope the new Status Icon will make this help page less important! The Status Bar colours are not intuitive, so I have to check the help text too often.  :-[

Minimap links
Show_chain_on_minimap and Networks are excellent new features; thank you! I like them.

Convoy Window changes
Ranran's Factory-info-overhaul-2022 branch also changes the Convoy Window:



Maybe this change is not in PR#522, but James, could you please check this before integrating? EDIT: I think this change is partly in commit #a6ac606a, which is part of PR #522 even though it's nothing to do with factories. I am opposed to this change but we can discuss that in a more appropriate thread.

Connected industries (of Halts)
These are now shown in a separate window. I understand this has been done for a good reason: you now have access to the improved Factory List sorting and data functions for the connected industries. But four clicks (open Halt Dialog, open Details, open Freight, close Halt Dialog) was already bad. Now we now have six clicks (open Halt Dialog, open Details, open Freight, open Connected Industries Dialog, close Halt Dialog, close Connected Industries Dialog). Frankly, I would prefer to see connected industries in a tab of the main Halt Dialog, not in the Details Window.

And the Connected Industries Dialog is large; it needs more than half the width of the screen. The large size is because the new Factory List is so powerful, but most of the time I don't need all the Factory List features. The screen already has many Dialogs open when you are studying a complex chain or line; this is even worse.

And because there is only one instance of the Factory List, you cannot see the Connected Industries of two halts at the same time.

I am strongly opposed to this change. Maybe it is a better design for Ranran's playstyle, but this is definitely worse for my playstyle.

More space between categories and factories
I sometimes clicked on the category (which opens the Goods List), when I wanted to open the Factory Dialog for a supplier/consumer. Could you add a blank space, please?:



But I can see that there is a disadvantage in adding more blank space, because.....

Window size
When I first opened a Factory Window, it was too small for the English text:


Could the default width be increased, please?

Scrolling broken
Sometimes I can't scroll down to the bottom of the Suppliers/Consumers list. It is like the scrolling bug that affects the Convoy Dialog when you change the information type. This bug might only happen when there is a new month and suppliers are added/removed; I can't always reproduce it.

Factory construction date bug
This is a very old bug, not a new one. But the factory construction date in the Building info tab always shows the current month. Is it easier to fix this now?

P.S. Supplier/Consumer tabs
Before, I could often see suppliers and consumers as soon as I opened the window. Now there is an extra click. I can see that there is an advantage because sometimes you had to to scroll down a long way to find consumers. But we have gone from scrolling sometimes to clicking almost always. I think the tabs are not an improvement.
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Ranran(Hibernating)

#4
Thank you for your feedback.

QuoteAlso, it seems that we have lost some information. In theory, the old Status Bar could perform basic fault analysis (not enough staff, too much inventory, etc.)
No, they have been ported to relevant locations as already explained.


And the old warning text was over-warning, becoming a wolf boy. It is not a problem for the factory to have excess inventory as there is no demand.
The most important information is that the factory is operating or the operation rate is low, and then it is desirable to investigate the cause.
The cause of low operation rate cannot be easily narrowed down to one.Thus the old status bar trying to pinpoint the cause was very stupid. (´・ω・`)
And low operation is not necessarily a bad thing. For example, if a very large factory has only one consumer, it has a low operation rate even if it works as expected. Therefore it tends to be a wolf boy.
If it is up and running that month, even if it is out of stock, the logistics are working as expected, but it could be another cause of low production or a large number of customers. That is, if the transportation company has no fault, it may not be carrying out useless transportation. Therefore, the operation rate is important information to some extent, and unfortunately, it may take some experience to derive the real problem.


QuoteIt is not as beautiful as your design, because it uses an extra line for just one character. But it will draw new players' attention to this important icon.
The new indicator is an operation indicator as described at the beginning. Therefore, the original idea was to place it to the left of the operation rate label.
However, I thought the current layout was better in terms of display space (especially in English) and its visibility. Probably no optimal text should be placed in "Status". It basically indicates that operation rate> 0.
Secondly, I don't think it's better to be in an unstable place near the center compared to placing it on the left edge.
Thirdly, it is basically not preferable to increase the number of lines. This is because the balance between "view" size and font size is not stable due to pakset and user settings.
The 128 size pakset and the minimum size font just happen to be in this layout. From this point, I think that there are already too many lines.


QuoteConvoy Window changes
Ranran's Factory-info-overhaul-2022 branch also changes the Convoy Window:
Quote
Maybe this change is not in PR#522, but James, could you please check this before integrating? I am opposed to this change but we can discuss that in a more appropriate thread.
As already explained, this patch is intended to be incorporated after PR#514 and #515. Functions related to minimap and some components are commonly used.
I would appreciate it if you could post your feedback on them in the relevant thread. Also this pull request was closed as it was also related to these.


QuoteFrankly, I would prefer to see connected industries in a tab of the main Halt Dialog, not in the Details Window.
I remembered that in a lot of work I had left the work related to this behind oblivion. Thank you for pointing out.
My future plan was to have network, factory, and map symbols and to create minimap access buttons.
Then the detail button in the halt info dialog is dismantled and replaced by three buttons there. (I thought about putting the button on the view but that seems somewhat difficult.)
The minimap access button in the factory info also changes to a smaller size symbol button. I want to replace detail with a symbol, but I couldn't think of a good design. That's why this plan got stuck.




QuoteI am strongly opposed to this change. Maybe it is a better design for Ranran's playstyle, but this is definitely worse for my playstyle.
Unfortunately that old list had a status bar. So I had to update it. However, it turned out to be an old GUI and required a lot of work to update. So the only way to meet your needs is to restore the old list and just remove the color status bar.
Also, I can't think of the advantage of having to display them at the same time.
QuoteBut four clicks (open Halt Dialog, open Details, open Freight, close Halt Dialog) was already bad. Now we now have six clicks (open Halt Dialog, open Details, open Freight, open Connected Industries Dialog, close Halt Dialog, close Connected Industries Dialog).
The current issue is that halt detail is a hard-to-access dialog, so if you have quick access to a factory, it may be more convenient to open the factory list from the halt dialog as presented earlier. This legend is for the waiting bar. So a color legend is enough in the same place as the waiting bar.
It was also clear that the factories were within just 3 tiles, and the coordinates had little meaning other than distinguishing the factories of the same name. Your point also seems to be due to the fact that halt information is bisected and exists in halt detail. Therefore, I think it would be ideal to transfer this role to the link from halt info dialog.


QuoteI sometimes clicked on the category (which opens the Goods List), when I wanted to open the Factory Dialog for a supplier/consumer. Could you add a blank space, please?
Significant blanks are confusing and should be small compared to the blanks below. Maybe 1px or 2px. For reference, you don't have to press the pos button. Right-click anywhere on the line other than the pos button to open the dialog.


QuoteBut we have gone from scrolling sometimes to clicking almost always. I think the tabs are not an improvement.
"always" is misleading and I disagree. Only the manufacturing industry has two tabs, and as you say, the manufacturing industry often has a large number of producers, so consumers list was often oppressed. I think the essence of the problem is different.
I very much dislike UIs that require scrolling and consider them far from ideal. The fact that it is necessary, i.e. the size of the dialog, means that it is large.
Because if it is small and compact, you can browse many factory dialogs at the same time.
In this respect, in my opinion, simutrans dialogs are often too large in minimum size overall. As I have pointed out several times before, part of the cause is "view".
I play openTTD very little, but each dialog seems to be compact (but very old-fashioned, and looks like an era when Japan was rich). It looks like more symbol buttons and dialog open/close actions are being used.
(I was curious and touched it a bit yesterday and got the impression that it was intended to minimize the base size of the dialog. However, many GUI operations are not intuitive. For example, at first glance I can't tell if it's a button or a label... but there are plenty of tooltips.)
For example, factory info and halt info may have too much information at the top of the tab. I wonder if these are information that should not always be displayed at the expense of being able to open many dialogs.
For example, electricity demand, visitor demand and mail demand.
The factory name appears twice in the title bar and input, which seems wasteful.
I didn't make such a change as there were many other changes this time around. But the idea I already had was to move them to the prodctivity tab and the colorbars to the goods chart tab.
Another idea is to put an integrated storage bar at the top, similar to the factory list, and a separate bar in suppliers/consumers.

QuoteCould the default width be increased, please?
Could the problem you pointed out also be caused by too much useless information on the upper side? Extended is more informative than standard, but they may not always be worth displaying.


QuoteThis is a very old bug, not a new one. But the factory construction date in the Building info tab always shows the current month. Is it easier to fix this now
This should be discussed in the appropriate thread. And, this bug and work is irrelevant to the dialog because the dialog just displays what received the value. (´・ω・`)
https://forum.simutrans.com/index.php/topic,19883.msg187006.html#msg187006
(´・ω・`)シミュトランスのアップデート履歴(日本語) (※更新停止中)
bit.ly/3AuKHHP