FR: Setup Mode dynamic preview area

in SETUP MODE, it would be helpful if selecting a layout in the Layouts Panel would automatically open this layout in the preview area.
(Also, clicking on a flow in the Flow Panel should scroll to that the beginning of that flow in a selected layout.)

Right now, selecting a layout, shows which instruments are used and which flows are included, but the preview area doesn’t match your layout selection, which is confusing.

How would this work if you select several layouts in the right hand panel? Or if you select say the first and last flow, but none of the flows in between? Or if you select a layout and Dorico displays it, and then you select a flow which is not in that layout?

Actually, Dorico runs faster in Setup mode when you are viewing something which does not have to be updated for every change you make, and for big projects it can make a huge speed difference.

A simple solution could be showing the last clicked/selected layout/flow. A more elaborate option would be showing a grid with thumbnails of all the selected layouts.
Switching setups with key shortcuts is already instantaneous, so hopefully it would not be a problem for a dynamically updates preview area. Anyway, when you click on a layout, isn’t it what you’d expect? – to see the layout and all of its assignments?

Or to put it another way, why would you want to see a preview of a layout which doesn’t match your layout panel selection?

I’m sure it’s of limited help for us to offer up our competing opinions regarding feature requests, but I have to agree with Rob here, for the reasons he mentions… and also because the current functionality is just fine, once you acclimate to it.

No, I don’t expect to see the layout when I click on it, because for the past 14 months that I’ve used Dorico, it doesn’t do that. That doesn’t mean I know what’s best, but it’s certainly something I’ve acclimated to easily.

If I want to see the primary view change, I switch layouts from the dropdown.

Dan, I’m pretty sure Dorico wouldn’t have to recalculate anything, we’re just talking about updating a screen. A very basic concept.
Would it actually bother you if the preview reflected a selection? Would it still bother you after another 14 months?

It’s like saying, we don’t need to improve because we’ve learned to work around something. Dorico is still in its forming years, I’d say it’s too early to say we have a perfect UI.

Updating the layout of a flow with 100 staves and 1000 bars of music, when you add some more instruments or whatever in Setup mode, is not instantaneous at all.

Dorico has to recalculate the formatting of the complete layout as soon as you change something in Setup Mode. If you change the list of players or flows in a layout, everything is laid out differently in the general case.

there’s a difference between updating a logical structure of a file (like when you change instrument assignments), which takes time, vs switching between already formatted layouts, which is instantaneous. So, we are talking about two very different types of “update”.

AFAIK Dorico doesn’t format any layout until you want to display it, so the difference between the types of “update” doesn’t really exist.

For example If you are editing a project, changing a single note might affect several different layouts, but there the only thing that needs to be reformatted immediately when you make a change is what you can actually see displayed on the screen, which is often only a small part of a layout, not all of it. If I add a bar of music to page 5 of a layout, I don’t really care what pages 6 to 100 are going to look like until I actually display them. It doesn’t make any sense to continually update those pages for each individual note that I insert into page 5.

Are you sure about it? At least on my system (an old Mac Pro 2010), I don’t see any difference in speed, switching between layouts with key commands. Before or after changing something in the full score, which would affect layout of all instruments, the lag is fairly constant, around 0.5s.

Yes, but how many flows, players, and bars? As any of these three numbers increases dramatically, you will certainly notice a lag in performance.

ok, I get your point, larger scores shouldn’t render Dorico unusable. Program efficiency is separate issue though, I would still like to see general UI improvements like a dynamic preview.

Me too. And the preview should be kept when switching to Write mode a engrave mode.

as Dankreider said those must fairly small projects. I’ve worked on score where following Daniel’s recommendations about minimizing the overhead from displaying layouts, a change takes 10 or 20 seconds, and ignoring the recommendations it takes 10 to 20 MIINUTES. (And that’s on a PC with an I7 processor and 32Gb of RAM).

One could equally argue that Setup mode doesn’t need to display any layouts! There are plenty of times when I don’t need or want to see the layout, if I’m making a quick succession of alterations to a bunch of layouts.

Perhaps a right-click menu item to display the selected layout?

Agreed, and in that case you could use the center panel of the screen for something useful, instead of having to scroll around in the side panels because they are too small. Why not just replace the whole thing with a multi-column dialog box, for example?

I suppose it gives beginners a nice friendly looking start up page when they click “new score”, but you only need to see that once in your lifetime.

would you mind posting a link to Daniel’s recommendations?

what is the bottleneck for bigger scores? Would a large amount of RAM help?


Memory usage depends on what you use for playback - a big sample library can use more RAM than Dorico itself.

More CPU cores help, up to a point. From other comments here, I would say 4 is definitely better than 2, but the improvements from more than 4 might be more marginal.

We have no plans to make it such that choosing a layout in the Layouts panel in Setup mode will change the display in the main music area.