Dorico has the Whack-A-Mole disease

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Dorico has the Whack-A-Mole disease

Post by cparmerlee » Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:46 pm

I bought a Sibelius license a decade ago and never could really use the program because it had this tendency for the screen to jump all ver the place. Extremely disorienting, really maddening. At the time, Sibelius supported only page view. It is understandable that page view would jump around as music is added. So I put it on the shelf and kept using Finale.
Once Sibelius added scroll view, I paid for an upgrade. But I still could never get settled with it.

I was hoping that Dorico would not have this "whack a Mole" problem, at least in Galley View. But now that I am working on a larger score, it seems like every minute or two, Dorico decides on its own to jump left or right, even up or down. This should NEVER happen while editing in Galley view. The whole point of Galley View, it seems to me, is to have a steady writing surface.

Is anybody else experiencing this? If this doesn't get fixed I don't think I will have the mental stamina to use this product.
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Re: Dorico has the Whack-A-Mole disease

Post by Daniel at Steinberg » Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:48 pm

Dorico won't be moving the view randomly, but it will certainly decide to move the view when it thinks it needs to in order to bring something selected into view. Can you be a bit more specific about the situations under which you find the view moves? Screenshots and/or screen capture videos are helpful in trying to figure this out.

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Re: Dorico has the Whack-A-Mole disease

Post by cparmerlee » Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:24 pm

Daniel at Steinberg wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:48 pm
Dorico won't be moving the view randomly, but it will certainly decide to move the view when it thinks it needs to in order to bring something selected into view. Can you be a bit more specific about the situations under which you find the view moves? Screenshots and/or screen capture videos are helpful in trying to figure this out.
I will try, but the point is I am concentrating on other things. I suppose the movement always happens in response to some mouse click, but it can move 40 measures away, not just a little bit. And I don't see why it should ever move in the vertical direction.
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Re: Dorico has the Whack-A-Mole disease

Post by randywombat » Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:33 pm

cparmerlee wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:24 pm
I will try, but the point is I am concentrating on other things. I suppose the movement always happens in response to some mouse click, but it can move 40 measures away, not just a little bit. And I don't see why it should ever move in the vertical direction.
Could it be anything to do with zooming in or out?

For me, when I zoom in or out in Galley view and nothing is selected, Dorico often jumps several _flows_ to the left or right, rather than zooming centred on the currently displayed material as you might expect.

The problem is more noticeable in large scores, because there is enough space in the score for the view to be displaced a long way. It happens also in small scores, but the effect is less noticeable because (I guess) there isn't enough material for Dorico to be able to displace you very far from your starting point.

The nervous tic I've developed in order to counteract this is always to select something before zooming. Then zooming centres on the selected object.

This may well be completely unrelated to your problem, but I thought I'd suggest it.

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Re: Dorico has the Whack-A-Mole disease

Post by cparmerlee » Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:56 pm

randywombat wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:33 pm
This may well be completely unrelated to your problem, but I thought I'd suggest it.
Actually it sounds like what I do. I do zoom frequently, and maybe that is when most of the random jumping occurs. I'll look out for that.
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Re: Dorico has the Whack-A-Mole disease

Post by Andre » Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:38 pm

Yes, happens to me as wel with zooming without having something selected first. The score moves seemingly randomly to another spot. Isn’t it possible to make it zoom to the center of the score you are looking at without selecting something first?
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Re: Dorico has the Whack-A-Mole disease

Post by cparmerlee » Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:00 pm

Here is one small example. I am in full score mode. I select a whole rest in the leftmost measure. The measure is only 2/3 in view, but that's enough to select the whole rest. Then I type "P" to play from that point. Dorico immediately shoots the selected measure to the right about 80% of the screen width, so the windows now begins about 4 measures to the left of the selected measure.

That isn't too disorienting because there is a play cursor to draw your eye to the playback point, but such a big jump is still disconcerting. It isn't too bad in playback but when these happen while editing, it is as if somebody is standing behind me, occasionally hitting me in the head with a 2x4 for no good reason. "Why did you do that?"

Very disruptive to concentration.
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Re: Dorico has the Whack-A-Mole disease

Post by robjohn9999 » Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:31 pm

cparmerlee wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:00 pm
Here is one small example. I am in full score mode. I select a whole rest in the leftmost measure. The measure is only 2/3 in view, but that's enough to select the whole rest. Then I type "P" to play from that point. Dorico immediately shoots the selected measure to the right about 80% of the screen width, so the windows now begins about 4 measures to the left of the selected measure.

That isn't too disorienting because there is a play cursor to draw your eye to the playback point, but such a big jump is still disconcertiwng. It isn't too bad in playback but when these happen while editing, it is as if somebody is standing behind me, occasionally hitting me in the head with a 2x4 for no good reason. "Why did you do that?"

Very disruptive to concentration.
I have nothing useful to suggest, but just wanted to say that I found your above analogy hilarious :-).
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Re: Dorico has the Whack-A-Mole disease

Post by Daniel at Steinberg » Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:47 pm

Certainly I agree that Dorico should do a better job of zooming around what is currently in view when nothing is selected, and we are certainly going to do some more work in that area.

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Re: Dorico has the Whack-A-Mole disease

Post by Derrek » Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:08 am

I notice that when I CLICK/SHIFT-CLICK a large (multi-screen) selection for cutting and pasting, Dorico sometimes skips back to the starting measure and other times does not.
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Re: Dorico has the Whack-A-Mole disease

Post by Estigy » Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:02 am

Derrek wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:08 am
I notice that when I CLICK/SHIFT-CLICK a large (multi-screen) selection for cutting and pasting, Dorico sometimes skips back to the starting measure and other times does not.
I've seen this, too.
When your selection starts with some empty measures, I find that Dorico jumps to some quite random point after cutting.
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Re: Dorico has the Whack-A-Mole disease

Post by mdgrandy » Tue Jul 24, 2018 1:00 am

Daniel at Steinberg wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:47 pm
Certainly I agree that Dorico should do a better job of zooming around what is currently in view when nothing is selected, and we are certainly going to do some more work in that area.
+1 for this!
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Re: Dorico has the Whack-A-Mole disease

Post by cparmerlee » Thu Aug 23, 2018 3:39 am

Just for the record, it does not seem to me that 2.1 has relieved any of the Whack-a-mole problems. It might actually be worse. This is extraordinarily frustrating. I give Dorico very high marks in many areas, but in this respect, it is a F-minus and at times makes me have to take a break because it is so disruptive to concentration.

It is absolutely not cases where the screen contents are shifted to bring something into focus that makes logical sense. In most cases, the movements are random and totally disorienting. On a large score, sometimes it can take a full minute for me to find my way back to where I was.

Please give this priority. It is not right.
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Re: Dorico has the Whack-A-Mole disease

Post by dankreider » Thu Aug 23, 2018 3:41 am

I've had a similar experience. The score will regularly jump to random locations. And moving the cursor to the right to select notes will sometimes jump to an entirely different staff (usually at the other end of the ensemble), even though there are notes continuing in the staff I had been working on. It's thoroughly disorienting.
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Re: Dorico has the Whack-A-Mole disease

Post by cparmerlee » Thu Aug 23, 2018 6:41 am

And I should add, this afternoon I received a call from a band leader who was panicked because I gad given him a non-transposed tenor sax part. Somehow all other wind instruments had their layout set to be transposing, but not the tenor sax. I'll have to dig into how that could have happened because when I originally did that arrangement, I don't even think I knew where to control the transposing setting.

Anyway, the band leader asked if while I was fixing that, could I also add a flute part? I had 2 hours before rehearsal, so I agreed to do that.

I thought that was plenty of time, but then this whack-a-mole business started and I found myself making changes in the wrong sections of the score. It was maddening. I had to throw away 30 minutes work because I could not be certain I hadn't fouled up the whole thing. I did get it done. But I only survived that because every time the whack-a-mole happened, I stopped, took a deep breath, went back to the beginning of the score and scrolled to the right place.

I owned a Sibelius license from 2005 onward and never could use the %$%#$ thing because of that same whack-a-mole behavior. Finale never does that. Please fix this. it is important.
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Re: Dorico has the Whack-A-Mole disease

Post by David Tee » Thu Aug 23, 2018 7:22 am

It is a mouse issue?

I had problems with both Sibelius and Dorico - the screen would occasionally move around. Very difficult when you were editing things precisely. In the end I stopped using the Apple Magic Mouse and bought a Logitech Master MX25. It hasn't happened in Dorico since (I haven't checked Sibelius).
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Re: Dorico has the Whack-A-Mole disease

Post by pianoleo » Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:02 am

It’s not a mouse thing; it’s definitely a Dorico thing.
edit: it’s highly unlikely to be an Apple Magic Mouse thing given Craig’s running Windows 10...

Craig, there’s a very recent thread on transposing layouts here: viewtopic.php?f=246&t=143052
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Re: Dorico has the Whack-A-Mole disease

Post by Daniel at Steinberg » Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:45 am

I need some more concrete information in order to be able to do anything about this, Craig. Can you perhaps take a screen capture that shows the kind of disorientating movement you're experiencing? Although it is certainly true that exactly what gets selected as you navigate with the arrow keys in Write mode is hard to predict, and it is also true that if you zoom in and out without any item selected Dorico does not keep the right bar in view, I have never experienced a problem where e.g. simply inputting notes ends up taking me to an unexpected part of the score, and that is not something that is often reported (and with thousands of users I would certainly expect it to be). So I think there must be something specific going on that, if we can find it, we can fix it, but we'll need some more information to do that.

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Re: Dorico has the Whack-A-Mole disease

Post by cparmerlee » Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:46 pm

Daniel, I bet it is a case that most Dorico users are former Sibelius users, and SIbelius did the same sorts of things. People may be thinking this is just the way the universe has to be. Many of those users also may be comfortable working in Page mode. I always work in Galley mode -- precisely to avoid the jumping that is inherent in Page mode.

I don't know the exact conditions where things go wrong. It seems very random, which is what makes it so disorienting. The most error-inducing / maddening problems result from random horizontal movement. But there are also completely pointless vertical movements that are irritating at the least. I have noticed n the vertical jumps that there is absolutely nothing that should have triggered a vertical shift -- i.e. no elements that were automatically re-positioned to a place that would require a vertical shift in order to see. It often shifts the view such that the top half of the screen is completely empty.

I will try to make more precise observations.
Last edited by cparmerlee on Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dorico has the Whack-A-Mole disease

Post by Daniel at Steinberg » Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:49 pm

Thanks, precise observations would really help to understand the problems you're having.

I don't have any data to support your assertion that most Dorico users are former Sibelius users, but you may be right. I assume that in Finale, it does move the score automatically to keep the selection and/or input cursor in view. It would be interesting to know more about how Finale works if you presumably find that more amenable.

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Re: Dorico has the Whack-A-Mole disease

Post by cparmerlee » Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:56 pm

I don't think FInale makes any attempt top keep things in view. If you want to scroll, you scroll. The music doen't move around on you.
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Re: Dorico has the Whack-A-Mole disease

Post by dankreider » Thu Aug 23, 2018 3:09 pm

Yeah, Finale has almost no comparable function with the arrow keys.

One thing in particular I'm seeing in Dorico: When I have a lead line (melody and lyrics) that's part of an orchestration, and I'm using the arrow key to advance through the melody, sometimes the arrow will go to the next *lyric* instead of the next note. That's annoying. And sometimes when I get to a new measure, it will advance to the measure as expected, but in an entirely different player.

I'll have to pay more careful attention to quantifying this behavior, but it seems that the problem is primarily vertical - i.e., the horizontal movement is predictable, but the choice of "row" is not. At least for me, using the arrow advance function. (I know that's not exactly a matter of zooming)
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Re: Dorico has the Whack-A-Mole disease

Post by Daniel at Steinberg » Thu Aug 23, 2018 4:00 pm

I'm not an expert with Finale by any means, but I've just run it up and find that if I switch to the Simple Entry tool, hitting left/right arrow key when zoomed in does move the score to bring things into view, which is what I'd expect (I would find it maddening if I had to scroll the score manually all the time – imagine if Microsoft Word didn't automatically bring the line you're typing on into view!).

Dan, the issue with what gets selected when you hit the left/right arrow keys is, to my mind, unrelated, or at least I think it should be. The issue of what gets selected has been discussed at great length here and I'd prefer not to rehearse it again in this thread, because that's well understood and we have already said that, in due course, we will replace the graphical navigation in Write mode with something else.

I am interested in hearing from Craig about when the program apparently moves on its own to a completely unrelated area of the score, to the point where you can't even work out what part of the music you're looking at. That's an experience that I don't think users are having in general, so I want to understand more about Craig's issue. I don't need to know any more about how people feel about what happens when they press the left and right arrow keys in Write mode. Thanks!

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Re: Dorico has the Whack-A-Mole disease

Post by Robby Poole » Thu Aug 23, 2018 5:27 pm

Daniel,

If it helps, at all, a few times in page view if I am selecting a range of measures (some of which are out of view) the screen jumps around to a place that confuses me at first. It isn't consistent, and I don't know what causes it.

But I click in the middle of the bar to select all of the contents, then scroll to the last bar and while holding shift I click on the middle of the bar. Sometimes, Dorico jumps back to the start of the selection, sometimes it doesn't, and sometimes it seems to jump to the middle of the selection. If Dorico did jump somewhere in the selection, the selection which might have been in the middle of the screen, might now also have jumped a little further up.

While this doesn't slow me down to the point of not being able to work. I do find myself disoriented at first, and often have to scroll over to see instrument names to guarantee what I had selected had actually been selected. For sure, this is where a ghosted bar number and ghosted instrument name would be awesome to have in page view and galley view that propagates on all of the staves would come in handy.

Sorry if this isn't descriptive enough.

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Re: Dorico has the Whack-A-Mole disease

Post by PjotrB » Thu Aug 23, 2018 5:32 pm

I've done some testing regarding jumping to unexpected staves when using arrow keys.
Setup: a new Dorico 2.1 file created from the string quartet template. Filled all four parts with a regular pattern of notes, and tried navigating with the arrow keys under various circumstances.

In page view, if I type arrow-right repeatedly, the selection will jump to the first element in the topmost part that has any note in the first bar of the next system. If you are in the viola or cello part, then you jump to V1 only if that first bar isn't empty, otherwise you end up in V2 (if it's not empty). The topmost part in the next system may be the closest object around if you leave a low part in the previous system.
This may be intended behaviour, but I don't like it very much. I expect to move to the next event in the same part if its staff is present in the next system.

But the jump also occurs in galley view, which is weird and unnecessary. I discovered a regularity. In my string quartet setup, arrowing rightward in any of the lower parts always jumps to the topmost non-empty part (often V1) at the beginning of any bar with a bar number that is a multiple of 5.
After changing the meter, the jump is still on bar 5, 10, 15 etc., so it's not the rhythmic position in the piece, it's at certain bar boundaries.
Also checked with a different project (brass quintet), the issue is the same. So I guess it has nothing to do with a certain instrument or ensemble.

It only happens arrowing from left to right, not if you are using arrow-left. Then you always stay on the same staff.

When using no meter at all (X, or just unspecified), the jump still also occurs in galley view, but then only where the bar number 1 is repeatedly shown in blue above the top staff, which appears to be after every 16 crotchets/quarter notes, regardless of the rhythm underneath. Clicking in the staff also selects that amount of music, BTW.

Playing around with this some further (after testing without meter, I inserted common time again), the behaviour is suddenly the other way round: now you jump to the bottommost part with music in that bar. But, in galley view, still at bar numbers that are a multiple of 5. In page view, you now jump from any of the violin parts to the (non-empty) cello staff at the system break. Now, it's not even the closest staff seen vertically, so probably not intended behaviour.

HTH! Maybe this is of any use to the developer team?
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