Active Flow

Thank you for a piece of software that seems to be able to grow into something really great. I’ve been a happy Finale user for decades, but what makes Dorico special is the Flows idea, being able to work on 30 songs/movements within one file. There are some issues, though:

  1. Navigation: I spend most of my time in Write mode. I think it’s a pity that I can’t press Ctrl+1 (Setup) and navigate to another flow using the arrow keys, and then Enter will take me there in Write mode. Or a right-click context menu entry “GoToFlow” that also can hold a keyboard shortcut. In Setup we’ve got all the flows listed, and I’d think this is a natural place to go for eagle-view navigation.

  2. General cleanup: I work in parallell between Dorico, Cubase and other programs. I want to export a Dorico voice as MusicXML from my tenth flow for use in Cubase. In Write mode I select the first note in the flow so that the title bar shows the name of the right flow. I export, and I think everything is fine, but it turns out that I’ve exported the twentyfourth flow, the last one I’ve entered so far. There’s probably some way to do this right, but I did it the wrong way. So I wonder: How does Dorico define the term “Active Flow”? If I think I’m working in the tenth flow, I’d like to be working in the tenth flow throughout the program.

  3. Speed: I find myself entering lyrics too fast. This may not be a problem for most users, I don’t know, but I’m entering lyrics in a file that currently consists of 24 flows and 130 pages. I suspect that the lag is caused by a lot of unnecessary updating. Again, I’d like to mention the term “Active Flow”. When I’m in Write mode and Galley View, I want to be able to turn off updating of all flows except the one I’m working in.

  4. Setup: When I make a change in Setup Mode I’ll have to wait. For each mouse click I make. I’d really like to have a modal dialog alternative here, where I can click around and make changes, and then postbone the lag until I click OK. Then I wouldn’t have to worry about clicking twice and then having to click a third time.

Again, I think the term “Active Flow” maybe should be more important than it is in Dorico so far. Would there be a performance boost if we had an option to “Update Inactive Flows” only on command?

Or maybe I’m wrong. I run Dorico inside Windows 8.1 from an SSD on an Intel i5 with 8gigs of RAM. Is the bottleneck in the hardware?

Hey, Earplane!
I agree with all you have said here. 100%.
The fact of the lag while typing in lyrics also happens to me. It makes sense what you said, so an option to disable “Update Inactive Flows”—or just “Update Active Flow”—would make a great change to the performance.


Re. 2. FWIW, on my system the MusicXML export is always from the RightMost Flow in the flow pane. Rather than reorder flows, you can also create a NEW LAYOUT and include only the flow you wish to export…

The active flow is simply the flow in which you most recently made a selection or an edit. Unfortunately this doesn’t affect which flow is exported when you export a MusicXML file: at the moment there is no control over which flow is exported, but the flow that will be exported is the last (i.e. rightmost) flow in the layout you’re currently looking at. So to specify which flow is actually exported, for the time being you might consider creating a new layout and assigning only the flow you want to export (along with the players whose instruments you want to export), and then making sure that layout is in view before you export your MusicXML file. We will in due course add a dialog to allow you to choose what to export more easily.

The lag during lyric input is a known problem that isn’t related to the number of flows that are in your project. In general, until you have a very large number of flows in the same project all shown in the same layout, you won’t experience bad performance problems simply from having multiple flows. One thing that a few users working on larger projects have found useful is again to create a temporary layout containing only the flow you’re currently working on.