Nasty overlapping systems bug with condensing and "Hide Empty Staves"

I’ll let the picture do the talking here: :joy:

Notice that two systems overlap!

This is a ~90-piece orchestral score, and the condensing and stave-hiding is all fine until the second-to-last page of the flow, which is what you can see in the screenshot above. There are no manually-inserted frame or system breaks anywhere—as far as I recall, anyway: I am mostly working in non-condensing mode because this is all in the writing-and-orchestrating phase, a long time away from being ready to actually tackle any serious engraving; this was just a “check and see what it looks like” moment. (And yes, to anyone who happens to look closely, there are some straight-up errors in here! :see_no_evil:)

I’d rather not share the whole score publicly, but I have a Dorico project with just this particular flow extracted that I can send over for debugging purposes!

I don’t think that this would be a bug. Please attach the flow you mentioned that shows this behaviour.

So I suppose you are working in galley view… Well, keep on working there and don’t start Engraving and condensing until you’re done! You’ll tackle this later!

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Oh, it’s definitely a bug, @DanielMuzMurray . Two systems are overlapping! The layout system should never allow that. As noted, I am not going to share the whole flow publicly; but I will happily share it directly with the Dorico team.

@MarcLarcher that is in fact the working mode and plan. I check out the print layout for a “okay but what does this music look like?” every so often, though: it’s both fun and satisfying!

It’s not a bug when systems are overlapping. It’s certainly not convenient, but it’s a limitation of Dorico’s automatic casting-off system that sometimes needs a hand. Daniel has already taken the time to explain how this works in detail (you should find the explanations with a good search on this forum*). Dorico decides whether those systems can fit a page before it considers other stuff, like text markings, rehearsal marks… that take some vertical spacing, so either you force it to use only one system per page there (using a frame break) or you decide you can use a smaller space size on this page to make those two systems fit comfortably, and you use the break’s property in Engrave mode to change that size for this page (which means you create a frame break at the top of this page, another at the top of next page, first break gets a new value for space size, second break reverts to the value chosen in Layout options>Page setup). That’s some stuff Dorico cannot do for you, and since it’s like this by design, it’s not a bug, but a limitation.


Thanks for the link; I searched but had not found those discussions (who knows why). I’ll work around it as described there. With my software developer hat on I would file it as “intractable bug” rather than “not a bug” but at that point the distinction is one for the pedants (hi! :wave:t3: :laughing:).

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It’s not a bug inasmuch as it’s the expected behaviour (of us who built the software, rather than you who use it – one of the few privileges afforded us poor software developers is that we do at least get to decide what’s a bug and what’s not, as only we’re the ones who truly know what the designed behaviour of the software is).

But it’s obviously not helpful behaviour, and it is something that we would like to improve in future. Very few things are utterly intractable, of course, but it will certainly take a different approach to the related problems of horizontal spacing, vertical spacing and casting off to come up with a solution, and such work has risks. If Dorico were to suddenly start spacing and casting off the music completely differently, hundreds of thousands of existing projects could potentially show unexpected differences in a later version, and on the whole we’d like to avoid that kind of thing.


Having been on the other side of such very difficult “expected behaviors” that users don’t love myself, I sympathize – and likewise with the challenges for any kind of migration to a new system!