Let's be picky about the menu

While I was writing my excel-sheet about the menus (see: https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=246&t=151896&p=816497#p816497), I remarked some inconsistencies there. Perhaps this is rather a beta testing issue, but I name them anyhow here in the forum. You could say that this is simply pedantic, but Dorico is such a brilliant app, that it should go for perfection. So these are my observations:

  • Menu: Write > rhythmic grid > Dotted 16th(Semiquaver) should be named dotted semiquaver


  • Menu: Write > Add Intervals Popover (this is the only popover, which is also named “popover”. Is that done on purpose?)


  • Menu: Window > shortcuts (the first letter is lowercase); by the way, what is this menu item for? For me it shows no effect.


  • Throughout there are some incoherent lowercase and uppercase letters. For example “above” or “below” are written sometimes uppercase and sometimes lowercase (see for example: Edit > Clef > Concert Pitch > Alto clef 8 below compared to Edit > Cross Staff > Cross to Staff Below). Perhaps that’s a semantic curiosity of the english language which I’m missing completely, being not a native speaker. But it also happens with the words “to” or “into” and others. So perhaps it still needs a bit proof-reading?


  • There is an Inconsistency between the menu and the left panel between the british and the american way of writing note names. In the menu the american way is preferred and the british is in brackets (see: Write > Rhythmic Grid) and in the left panel it’s the other way around. A sidenote from Switzerland: for geman speaking countries the american way is really easier, because we have the same system. This british “semidemihemilemi” whatever confuses me still.


  • The Right Panel shows on mouseover some keyboard shortcuts and some not. The showing of the title and the shortcut is really useful for starting out with Dorico or learning those shortcuts by heart, as I am doing in the moment, so it would be a help, when it’s done consistently everywhere.


  • The same commands in the submenus are not alphabetized in the same way (see: File > Import and File > Export)

I hope you do not understand what I wrote as nagging around, because I really like Dorico. But it’s some sort of division of labor. You can concentrate on the programming and us users, we can do the proof-reading and reporting it back to you.

This is probably a topic for much debate but here’s my stance on this:

  1. The development team is British, so it’s kind of understandable that they use British spelling conventions.
  2. I personally like diversity in languages and have the feeling that americanisms in language are already dominating the world so much that other local/regional variants (like British English, roughly speaking) are becoming more and more rare. So, I like that the “semidemihemilemi” convention is used if that’s how it’s done in the UK, just because.
  3. If German is your native language you can just switch the program’s language to German – let the native English speakers deal with this themselves.
  4. Dorico could offer different variants of certain languages for selection, e. g. “English (Great Britain)”, “English (North America)”, “Deutsch (Deutschland)”, “Deutsch (Schweiz)”, etc.

If German is your native language you can just switch the program’s language to German — let the native English speakers deal with this themselves.

Sorry Stephan, if I hurt your feelings on this matter, but you — as being part of the language that dominates the world — shouldn’t be complaining. For me it’s a well known fact that english is the ‘lingua franca’ or bridge language of today (see this forum) and we are forced to use it, even if we don’t like it (or would it be possible for you to discuss this issue in german or french with me). And if I want to be part of the Dorico community I’m obliged to use it, and that’s not only, because a decent german manual is always months behind the english. Actually, I always install the english version of applications.
My suggestion was only, that the Dorico team makes a decision between british and american english and doesn’t mix them. And then I made a personal remark, that for german speaking countries the american english is way easier, because we use the same system. Furthermore it’s easier to write it abbreviated (e.g. 1/256) and – sorry to say so – to learn. Because I’m not shure wether even british people know the right expression for this note length. ‘Demisemihemidemisemiquaver’, this would be, that’s what I learned today. This said by a swiss guy where there are 4 official languages and most of the swiss population can speak at least two of those four languages and that’s beside english. So let’s preserve all the languages (even the ‘romansh’ the fourth official language in Switzerland, but please, don’t complicate our lives to much.

J_Woodtil, I applaud your observation of inconsistencies in the language used in the various menus etc., and I am sure that the Dorico team does as well and will make corrections. Please keep it up!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not denying that (American?) English is the current lingua franca and I’m not saying that we shouldn’t use it. As noted, one of my suggestions was that Dorico could offer a language choice for different dialects of a language, too, as is common in various text editors like MS Word or LibreOffice (think of spell checkers). That would meet almost everyone’s desires (at least for those speaking the languages offered).

…the Dorico team are after all dealing with professional pedants…! (I include myself!)

I was afraid of being called slightly pedantic and I guess I have to live with that … :wink:
But Dorico is such a nicely crafted piece of software, it would be a pitty if we users don’t try to help in the progress to perfection …

Wow, let me think about a swiss german version, because we are about in the same relationship to Germany, as Great Britain is to the U.S.A. I never ever had a software speaking my idiom! :smiley:
But to be serious, i supose it’s way better, to not keep the Dorico Team busy with different dialects, so they can concentrate on other more important issues …

Ah, that’s not a huge task that would occupy the development team. They could outsource the string translation to some specialists for the few strings that are different in different dialects.

One notable difference between German German and Swiss German is that the latter doesn’t have the ß ligature. All words that contain ß are written with double s in Switzerland, e. g. Straße/Strasse. Also, quotation marks are „“ in Germany (and Austria) while they are «» in Switzerland.

Thanks for your feedback on the menus, Jürg.

We decided not to do this because it is clear from the context that it will be dotted. Duplicating the word “dotted” doesn’t really add any more information, in our opinion.

It was done on purpose, of course (things don’t get their names by a random process), but I do agree that perhaps we don’t need the word “popover” here.

This isn’t a standard menu item. Perhaps you had a project called “shortcuts.dorico” open at the time. The bottom entries in the Window menu list the project windows that are open.

Really all of the clef names should use title case, but they don’t at the moment. Words like “to” and “into” are usually not capitalised in title case.

We put the British English name first because we’re, you know, British, but I agree that these should be swapped around.

It’s difficult to change this. The buttons show shortcuts if they correspond exactly to the command with that shortcut. The button to show the Clefs panel, for example, does not correspond to the command to open the clefs popover, so the button can’t show the Shift+C shortcut. The buttons in the note input panel on the left, on the other hand, do correspond exactly, and so they show their key commands.

Yes, this is true: Flows should be at the top of both menus, but the other items should be listed alphabetically.

Regarding the suggestion made later in the thread that we could easily outsource the localisation of Dorico into further languages or even particular flavours of the languages we already support: this is both time-consuming and expensive, and it’s not something we are likely to undertake any time soon.

Thanks Daniel to this long and serious answer. That’s really an impressing thing in your company — as many of the users stated before. But as the title reads, I will stay picky in this blog.

Duplicating the word “dotted” doesn’t really add any more information, in our opinion.

In fact you duplicated it always (dotted minim, dotted crotchet, dotted quarter), but not with the semiquaver, for me it’s still illogical and inconsistent, but I can live with it.

Menu: Window > shortcuts (the first letter is lowercase); by the way, what is this menu item for? For me it shows no effect.

Sorry, my mistake!

It’s difficult to change this. The buttons show shortcuts if they correspond exactly to the command with that shortcut. The button to show the Clefs panel, for example, does not correspond to the command to open the clefs popover, so the button can’t show the Shift+C shortcut. The buttons in the note input panel on the left, on the other hand, do correspond exactly, and so they show their key commands.

Perhaps this is a language problem, because I don’t understand what you’re explaining here.
From a learners point of few it would be really appreciated, if on mousover the popover shortcut is displayed, but I already learned it, so no problem for me here, even though I don’t understand the reasons behind that.

At last many thanks from my part and keep on with it even though some of us users are sometimes picky and pedantic …

We are watching you :wink: