Features vs. structure

A thought:

This forum seems very concerned with features, whether there will be an easy way to do a,b,c… Features aren’t the point. We’ve been told Dorico will be light on features in the first release. For instance, I’ll be able to explore it but not use it productively until chord symbols are implemented. But that’s just a feature. What matters is whether it has a basic structure that scales well (Sibelus appears to be hitting limits), that enables flexibility of layout (I don’t fully understand this “Streams” idea, but it looks hopeful), how well it integrates with Cubase or other DAWs (not looking quite so hopeful)… If Dorico is going to be the “big boy” of score publishing for the next generation, these are what matter.

Of course, the wisdom of a commercial release before Dorico’s feature set is comparable with the competition is another question.

We have put an enormous amount of thought, design and effort into the architecture and infrastructure upon which Dorico is built, with the intention that this foundation will serve as the basis for incremental feature improvement for years to come. When we started adding features to Dorico three years ago, the amount of infrastructure required to add each feature was enormous; now that we are a few years into the development of the application, it’s becoming more possible to add new features somewhat more quickly, provided we already have relevant infrastructure built.

To speak specifically to chord symbols, it wouldn’t be possible for us to put chord symbols in yet, because we don’t have the foundational infrastructure of rich text support that is needed to make them work adequately. That infrastructure is being built right now, so that Dorico has reasonable text features in its first version. Chord symbols and other features that require complex text can then be built on top of that infrastructure, once it exists.

Deciding when to release the first version of Dorico is obviously very difficult. On the one hand, I want us to have more time to make sure that all of the things that anybody might reasonably want, particularly somebody who is already using one of the other mature scoring applications, is already implemented when the application is released. On the other, Steinberg has already shown incredible patience and support in funding the development of Dorico to date, and we need to start delivering some revenue. It is also going to be much easier to direct the future development of the application in the directions in which our paying customers want it to go once we have some paying customers.

I hope musicians will view their purchase of the first version of Dorico as an investment in our team and in their own future productivity. It will be capable of beautiful results for the kinds of music which its initial feature set makes possible – which covers a lot of ground across solo, vocal, chamber, band, and orchestral idioms – and it will hopefully show intent for how the application will further develop in the future. Support our work by buying Dorico, and by upgrading from time to time, and we will repay you with a better way to produce your scores for years to come.

I expect that in spite of all the forethought by the Dorico team, using the program for complex scores will require something of a learning curve because notating music is a complex process. I see one reason to buy the initial release is to get a leg up learning to use the program so that one can grow with the program more quickly and easily.

The fact is that (with no disrespect to anybody intended) most people don’t think in abstract concepts but in specifics. That might be one reason software development methodology has stopped trying to get users to sign off long abstruse documents containing “requirements specifications,” and started dealing with “user stories” instead.

Everybody can “tell a story” about what they want, at some level. Putting together all their “plot ideas” into a logically consistent framework is the hard part, but it isn’t what most users are good at doing for themselves.

I hope that you will make it very clear in your marketing materials that the initial release of Dorico does not include chord symbols. Otherwise, you are likely to have a lot of dissatisfied customers. It would have never crossed my mind to check for that feature until I saw something about it in one of the early writeups about Dorico. Since I need to be able to chart lead sheets and small band arrangements with rhythm charts, both of which require chord symbols, Dorico won’t serve my purposes in its initial release form. If I knew it’d be added quickly as a free update, I’d grab the program anyway, as I am quite interested in supporting your work, and it seems that it will be a huge improvement over current options.

If one purchases V1, even it initially lacks certain desired things, then even if you are not fortunate enough to be in the beta tester’s team you will still get a chance to provide real input into what hopefully will be, like Sibelius was, THE industry heavyweight standard.

Sibelius grew from such user input.

To some extent the future of Dorico is in our hands.

Let us all help Daniel to realise what has so longed for and hoped for in Sibelius
but never given a chance.

[former beta tester Sibelius 3,4,5,6,& 7]


Um. This is much the same argument Avid are currently using with Sibelius. You start with enormously more goodwill of course. We really WANT Dorico to knock Finale/Sibelius out of the water. But I’m not sure the market’s up for a crowd-funding project. Dorico has to be the better product NOW. I’m surprised Steinberg can’t see this, even if it does mean putting the release date back a bit.

You seem to be arguing against your original post somewhat here, Laurence. First you say that people should not be fixated on features, and instead on structure, but now you say that “Dorico has to be the better product NOW”, which must surely mean that it must have all of the features of both Sibelius and Finale right out of the gate, and do them better to boot — which is simply impossible.

Oh, I can contradict myself three or four times in a good discussion, especially after too many large Cobras with my curry in the Saathi earlier this evening!

You seem to be arguing against your original post somewhat here, Laurence. First you say that people should not be fixated on features, and instead on structure, but now you say that “Dorico has to be the better product NOW”, which must surely mean that it must have all of the features of both Sibelius and Finale right out of the gate, and do them better to boot — which is simply impossible.

Daniel…you couldnt have said this any better:)

In addition Id like to add that to expect the first version of a completely new program, Dorico, (which is roughly 3 years old) to have “a comparable feature set” to either Sib (first released in April 1993, so is 23 yrs old) or Fin (released 1988, which is 28 yrs old) old is pure foolishness, and not even worthy of further comment.

(Id also add I’m very surprised that Dorico also wasnt called “vaporware” by the same poster which is an oft repeated phrase of his along with his “not having the same feature set” , which is again repeated here.

Im sure I speak for MANY here, if not all, who are appreciative of the care and expertise you and the team are putting into Dorico, and especially the interest in listening to what users want, and then not rushing things out “half baked”, and ending up with what that OTHER program has become.

Those who realize the true worth of both the program, Dorico, and the team behind it are behind you 100%, and willing to support all your efforts, and if need be, wait a short time for features important to them,to appear.


Thanks Bob

I’d even venture to say that Dorico is not even at year zero, since it hasn’t yet hit the market; it’s still in the embryonic stage. Which only furthers your point, about which I agree wholeheartedly.

I said it in another post long ago. All of the people who are complaining at this point are going to look back 5, 10, 15+ years and wonder why they ever had any doubts.

Bless you all for supporting your team so wholeheartedly.

Maybe whatever is ready this autumn should be marketd as ‘Dorico First’ at a lower price? Or maybe I’m overreacting to the number of enquiries on this forum that are being answered by "sorry, not in the first release’.
But there will be expectations of a full-price product, and the market is notoriously unsentimental. It wants to produce its scores NOW.

This has already been discussed over and over, so I really do wonder the intent of this post, as the solution is quite simple…

For those who are really genuinely on board with using and supporting Dorico, and Daniel and team, you already know the fine product it will be, and if you’re like me you can’t wait to get your hands on it. :slight_smile: And again to expect a newly released product to have ALL the features of competing products who have been around 20+ years and more is simply unfortunate.

Now for those who like Laurence are not happy with the features offered at its initial release, then the very clear solution is to simply wait until the program has exactly whatever youre looking for, and then jump on board.

The problem with this is that you’ll miss the reduced price being offered at its initial release, and the ability to start as soon as possible learning and supporting this fine program.

The choice is yours, simple and clear.

Thanks Bob

Are you two planning to continue your ongoing mutual hostility on this forum as well?

No. No point in continuing the topic now.

Chris–Sorry to have to say this, but your remark could easily be misinterpreted and actually START something, which im sure isnt your intention. My replies and Laurence’s, while representing different viewpoints have been nothing of which youre implying.

i gently remind that is a DORICO forum not a Sibelius forum, where you ALSO were quite outspoken…as many are and were.

So lets leave it at that and lets stick to discussing this wonderful product, Dorico, which we all await–

and Im sure youre anxious as we all are for that! :slight_smile:

Thanks Bob

“…that is a DORICO forum not a Sibelius forum, where you ALSO were quite outspoken…”

Not so much about personalities, Bob, I wasn’t.