I like bar numbers at the top of an orchestral score, and above the string section, a convention found in the majority of commercial purchased orchestral scores in my library.
If one uses the Bar Number Layout Option in Dorico 3 “Show above specific players”, and sets it to show above Violin I, this gets implemented – unless the Violins I are tacet for more than a page and the score is set to hide empty staves. Then, instead of simply showing the bar numbers above the next lower visible staff (e.g., Violin II), they simply disappear on that page.
I’d suggest a new parameter for the “Show [bar numbers] above specific players”, as follows “Show even when player [staff] is hidden”. Or make that the default (the rule of “least surprise”), and offer the opposite: “Don’t show if staff is hidden”.
Another option would be to reclassify Bar Numbers as “System Objects”, and take advantage of the “Show system objects above the first bracket for the given instrument families”.
A workaround for me is to set hide empty staves to exclude Violin I, but that clutters up the score.