Redesigning features page

• May 24, 2012 - 07:56
S4 - Minor

After a successful redesign of the [[nodetitle:Download]] page (#16587: Redesign the download page), let's go after next page in the menu, meaning the [[nodetitle:Features]] . I put this page in place with the very start of this site in August 2008 and honestly, it has never done any justice to the MuseScore software.

First of all, we get a lot of questions via the forum, facebook and the contact form, can MuseScore do this or that so a general list of all the functionality of what MuseScore can do and what not is very welcome. One day, we made a comparison with Sibelius which was kind of helpful, but it never got out of the Google Spreadsheet we used for it.

So in order to collaborate easily with each other on this feature list, here is a new open Google Spreadsheet which anyone can edit: MuseScore Feature List.

When this list is complete, we can copy it over to the [[nodetitle:features]] page.


Yes! I have been itching to do something about this as well, and had already written up some ideas I'd love to contribute. Instead of a flat list, though, it is heirarchical, with the idea that would be be several pages of info, each focused in a particular area. Doesn't have to actually be separate pages - could be different content loaded into a dynamic content area. But the idea is to have some sort of organization to the list that I think would make it easier to find particular information. I could take the individual line items from my list and add them to your spreadsheet as is, but I'd like to also try to re-organize the list - or perhaps add a new sheet within the document to do that, leaving the current sheet alone?

You can add a new sheet to that spreadsheet Marc and submit it the way you see it.

Keep in mind, I'd like to end up with an exhaustive list of features so when one searches through it, one can see whether the feature is supported or not.

Ok. I do like the idea of one flat list as well, but one thing we commonly see is that people don't know what to call feature, and thus woildn't be able to find it in a simple list (eg, voices).. And a single long list isn't as good for "discovery" - finding features you didn"t even think to ask about, for basically the same reasons. Taking a single feature list and turning it into an understanding of what they really mean is not so straightforward unless you are already experienced with other similar programs.

Anyhow, I should have time later today or over the next couple of days to get what I have up there, and then we'll have something more concrete to talk about.

Having a long feature list is just handy for many things, so we can start here.

Next step can be to make the use case pages and drop the screenshots page for it.

OK, I definitely agree there is a need for a flat feature list as well as this thing I'm talking about, but I'm not sure what the relationship should be or how this should be presented on And it would also take a bit of work to get my writeup into spreadsheet format, especially given as the explanation of what I am going for and how I would imagine it being presented is probably as important as the bullet items themselves. So before going to that trouble, I think I will just share my writeup as it stands and invite comments. Most of this was written a few months back and it applies to 1.2, with little if any mention of new 2.0 features yet.…

Overall, as explained at the of that document, I see this functioning as "marketing" material as well as, ultimately, a form of documentation. That is, the intent would be to allow the user to quickly answer both questions of the form "what is this program good for in overall terms" as well as "does it do X", and the presentation of the material might even give pointers as to *how* to do X (links to tutorial or other documentation, etc).

Again, not that a flat list of features isn't useful too, but I'm very interested in developing what I have put together here. So one of the things I'd want to be thinking about is, how to keep these two things from getting too out of sync.

Good start Marc. You are filling up a gap currently on I see this as a separate task from the features page. How do you want to proceed and how can I help?

Edit permission now enabled.

Thomas, I think what makes most sense is for you and I to work out some sort of framework - a place for these pages to go, perhaps some sort of template for them. Ideally there would be some sort of "image map" facility to allow mouse over an image to pop up a little caption with a link to the documentation, but that could be added later.

Once we have a framework in place, I could start working on the content in earnest. If others wish to help, I think the best way would be to help fine tune the lists as I have them in my document - add things I've forgotten, suggest ways of restructuring, etc. I might also at some point ask for sample scores demonstrating particular aspects of MuseScore to use as graphics.

Also, once I get the content up for 1.2, we'll need to start planning how to extend it for 2.0. But I don't see any reason to wait for 2.0 to get something up. My school semester ends this coming week, and while I've got stuff going on here and there through the summer, we're just now entering the best time for me to be productive, and I think this is would be a great project for me over the next few weeks.