programmable signal are (to my understanding) absolute block signals, which PBS are not.
Yes that's right.
JGR, after playing with Slots for a while I still want to request collapsible groups for slots.
I understand and agree that something along those lines would be useful, however there are UI and other implications.
The standard drop-down box currently used in the routing restriction window would have to be replaced with something else, which is potentially non-trivial.
I also don't want to implement or imply that hierarchical arrangements of slots implies slot operations on hierarchies themselves, as I think that that could end up unmanageable.
Or better than collapsible groups of slots, I'd much prefer if slots are tied to a station. Of course this only change slot creation process, because signal does not belong to station, and you would need to select station first then select from slots controlled by that stations during restriction programming.
That is an interesting idea, though quite different to the current implementation. It is potentially unintuitive if you're doing something not immediately adjacent to a station, or if you delete/re-create a station and slots used physically somewhere else are deleted.
I seems to use slot a lot for implementing priority in overtaking stations. While traditional Ro-Ro station on two-track main line wth 2 platforms per direction (4 total) can be somewhat prioritised using pre-signal (to limited extent -- when the line is dense and signal distance is short, the priority aren't effective unless I add dummy track for signal propagation), when the station is more complex: same 4 platform stations, but also allow train to terminates and reverse within station, the pre-signal setup cannot be used because PBS is now required. Before this I don't know how to solve this, but now I use slot for this type of station overtaking.
I tend to use the long reserve feature for implementing station passing loops. This generally allows a through train to overtake a stopping train, without blocking the through train if overtaking is not immediately possible.
I most commonly use 2 platforms and a bi-directional through-line, or 3 platforms of which the central one is bi-directional, or occasionally 2 platforms and 2 through lines (traditional looped platforms), which are not far from the 4 platform arrangement that you are using.
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I have always been playing in Japanese style, which is that I crammed as much train as possible into as least track as possible (lol). On the core main line, I can have as many as 5-7 different stopping patterns, maybe also freight train that does not stop at any stations at all, sharing the same double-track main line. You can imagine the number of slots that it can reached if I play on large map (right now have been experimenting with setups on smaller map). I understand that this seems not be what you have in mind when you implement this, and I don't know if it is really the case for other build style.
I tend to mainly use slots for deadlock prevention, queuing sidings, and tricky junctions, so I have not accumulated all that many in my current game.
I will look into seeing what can be done about it.
EDIT: Have you mentioned anywhere how to create Slots (specifically where to access slot panels)? I don't think I have seen any; I know because I looked at the source code.
I haven't written any documentation or the like yet.