Network Trace

Network Traces are a important system of FicsIt-Networks which allows us to validate the availability of different kinds of objects in a computer network.

The Problem

Imagine you have connected the computer to a Power Generator where you then access the power connector so you get the power circuit so you can finally get the power production of the power network in the last factory tick.

Computer → Computer Network Circuit → Power Generator → Power Connector → Power Circuit

That means you have now stored a direct reference of this power circuit in the runtime session so you can access the power circuit later more easily and faster.

Computer → Power Circuit

But, what happens now is, if you remove the connection of the computer network cricuit to the power generator, then you should not be able to access the power circuit anymore. But with a direct reference you are able to do so.


What we now do is, we dont store just the reference to the object, but all references we used to get to the reference we actually want. What we now can do is, we can check every access step (arrows) when we want to access the power circuit. Checking if the reference is valid is way faster than searching the whole path everytime you access the object, but slow as a direct reference.

Where is it used

We use it nearly everywere were we need to store a reference to another component like: - Factory Hook - Signal Listeners - Component Instances (representations)