This is one of several suggestions on this forum about places where Dorico might want to warn or inhibit users for doing something.
I’m wondering if it might be worth the developers dedicating a tab in the preferences menu for a collection of where these “shoot yourself in the foot” conditions could be globally controlled.
OK, Let’s add a default option not to delete barlines. “Why won’t Dorico let me delete barlines? Why is it getting in the way!”
OK, let’s make the default OFF. “Oh, I didn’t know about that option! I’ve been accidentally deleting barlines for years and cursing Dorico!”
OK, let’s just give a warning before deleting a barline instead. “Yes, I really want to delete the barline. Why is Dorico so annoying?”
I’m being deliberately flippant here, but I think this does represent the problems with these kinds of options. Adding a whole bunch of “safety lock” options that were all off to start with (and therefore probably ignored by most people until they came up against a problem) would be a lot of work for little gain (to the dev team).
If they were on by default, or constantly issuing warnings, then that would annoy more people than it would help. Or people would just get used to clicking through any warning dialog, causing just as many accidental deletions.
I was doing my best to not put it quite like that, Ben. I’m sure I’ve read something from Daniel in the past along the lines of “Warnings are irritating. Dorico assumes you know what you’re doing”, but we do now have the warning about printing part layouts in concert pitch, so who knows?
You can “sort of” defend the warning of printing part layouts in concert pitch on the grounds that almost all of the time it is just plain wrong. (But personally I think it was a bad decision, because it was the first step down this slippery slope)
On the other hand a deleting bar line is no more “wrong” than entering a note at a different pitch from the one you intended.
Hey, maybe we should have an option to stop people putting a C# in one part and leaving a C natural in another one …
The default mode would have to be to allow deletion - there would have to be a compelling reason to change existing behavior (which is not the case here.)
Until my recent retirement I was a software developer. We called this the “Gain vs. Pain” ratio. Your customer requests a new feature. Now you have to prioritize. How easy is this to implement? How many customers would use this feature? What other critical bug fixes and new features are you working on? Etc, etc.
There’s no right answer. Certainly if this were to take 2 days of coding then it’s not worth it. But if it were an hour of coding - plus an hour for documentation and adding it to the QA cycle? It might be worth doing.
I’ve just spent 10 minutes searching the forum for “delete barline” (without the quotes). I think I can state, categorically, that until today no-one has ever complained about accidentally deleting barlines. I’m certainly hoping that “opportunity cost” pushes this feature request quite a long way down the list.
All I’m saying is that such an option would be consistent with Dorico’s behavior, which is often, “No, don’t do it that way. I’ll show you how it’s supposed to be notated” (which I like, by the way). It’s akin to note groupings in Notation Options. Carry on with Dorico’s defaults if you wish, but the choice to alter them is available.
It could easily be set to “allow” by default, so no one need lose any sleep over that. As to how difficult it is to code, I have no blessed idea. But I maintain it would indeed be a valid option.
By the way, I’m not suggesting a warning dialog, which I agree is not a good path to tread.
Well… Then why do professional craftsman tools have things like deadman’s handles or other safety mechanisms that try to jump in when something is about to go horribly wrong or to prevent it from happening in the first place?
I’m sorry Rob, but I could not disagree more with your statement. The solution is to change the tools, so people can’t do any harm to themselves or their surroundings. That doesn’t mean that there should be a “Do you really want to…?” alert on each and every key stroke, but to have a sensible (and configurable) safety net would not sound like a bad idea to me.
Printing parts in concert pitch won’t cause physical injury, but there’s no point in a composer/arranger/editor having two ears, 10 digits on their hands and a brain, if they’ve been blacklisted for putting out untransposed parts.
On the other hand, it’s already pretty difficult to delete a barline (you really do have to select the actual barline) and this sort of stuff really should be proofread before it goes out.
Let’s not go around in circles on this. I can live without such an option, but nine times out of ten I’m preparing parts and scores on semi-frantic deadline, and Dorico protects me from all sorts of dumb errors. That’s all I meant.
IMVHO, warnings are justified in cases where the “damage” is not easily reversible and/or not readily apparent. The classic example every software uses is closing a document that hasn’t been saved. In Dorico, the one that comes to mind is deleting a player from a flow, which will delete the music assigned to that player. Since you’re operating on music that might not be right in front of you, it’s easy to miss the fact that music will be deleted. If I recall, that warning was not originally included, and was added after user requests. Similarly, printing parts in the wrong transposition can potentially waste many pages and much ink - “damage” that is not reversible. Other than these somewhat extreme cases, count me on the side that doesn’t want Dorico to constantly bombard me with requests for verification.
Since my quote was used to start the thread, I’ll reference it one more time, and then tap out:
But there are many ways in which Dorico helpfully prevents the user from doing things that are incorrect, and this could be one of them. > Not a warning> , but a setting in Notation Options, perhaps. A checkbox for “Allow deletion of barlines.”