I am looking into Block updates, particularly PP ones, after I discovered this weird, but useful glitch:
The idea is that when retracting a sticky piston with slime blocks that cannot be pulled the piston retracts without causing a PP update. This means that floating sand is, once again, possible. This method works 100% time, in any direction. also, because of the positioning, you can remove all the blocks, and they will not update the sand, and make it fall.
The old method for doing this was the rosebush, which would hold up the sand, then when breaking the bottom block of the rosebush, would break the top, but the top part would not trigger a PP update, as it was never broken. Mojang fixed this by making it so two-tall flowers could not support sand anymore.
But back to the question: is there any other way of preventing PP updates? This method does work, however, as the top of a piston is not a full block, you cannot place floating torches, flowers, snow layers, and other items that require full blocks to be placed upon. I am particularly interested in any methods that would allow for a patch of floating sand to be constructed. I was able to make strips, which allowed for an alternating pattern, but I was unable to get a completely flat patch, which was my objective:
So, to summarize, what are the different methods of preventing a PP update while changing block states, and, could any of these methods be used to make a falling-block floor? And furthermore (although not necessary), could there be a method which removes a full block face, instead of a piston-head side (this would allow for floating snow layers, and floating grass)?
Using a debug stick, I was able to get rotate the piston head to get a full block, so I could get floating snow layers, torches (redstone torches power the piston indefinitely, meaning they do not work), etc.
This is a step closer to my goals, however getting a debug stick in vanilla survival without cheats is virtually impossible. Would someone be able to recreate that with headless piston magic?