New "New Score" wizard

• Jan 9, 2019 - 16:24

Using OS: Windows 10 (10.0), Arch.: x86_64, MuseScore version (64-bit): 3.0.1.4922, revision: 598057d

I just encountered the new "New Score Wizard" and was initially shocked and disappointed.

template list 301.PNG

When you get to the page with templates, it now only shows a selection tree. You do finally get a preview of the template when you click on it.

It will take a little getting used to. But I guess it makes sense.

One things that's been in the templates since one of the betas is multiple templates for some projects, like every template in the Solo section and the Orchestral section. Why?


Comments

The dupliates are probably the result of the change from mscz to mscx, so now you have both. Remove the install folder and run the install step again.
Of if you're using development builds and unpackinto ses came directiry, go into the templets folder and delete the mscx ones, but probably just remove the entire directory and unpack latest build afresh

In that dialog, when only showing one template at a time anyway, I'd prefer it bigger

The new design is mainly for accessibility purposes. If you try navigating the old and new designs with the keyboard you will quickly see the improvements, such as the ability to return to the searchbox by pressing Shift+Tab once rather than hundreds of times. In fact, you can even use the Up and Down arrow keys to select a score while your cursor is still in the search box, so you don't even have to leave the search box at all. This is especially important for people who rely on a screen reader to tell them what is happening on the screen, such as users who are blind or partially sighted.

I agree that the old design looked nicer in some ways, but if you think about it there is really very little benefit to showing a preview of an empty score, especially if the preview is too small to read the instrument names. The preview that is show now is still too small, but at least it has the potential to be made larger. I kept it small for the time being because it is simply showing thumbnails that were already being generated elsewhere in MuseScore's code. The thumbnails are a fixed size, but this size should probably be made larger due to the increasing popularity of HDPI and Retina displays.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

The previews are not broken. There is a minor imperfection in their appearance that has absolutely no bearing whatsoever on the functionality of the dialog.

The point of this PR was to fix the wizard for non-sighted users, who were barely able to use it at all prior to this, because all too often the aesthetics for sighted users is given higher priority than basic functionality for non-sighted users. (It is not that people deliberately try to snub non-sighted users; most developers simply don't know how to implement accessible UIs.)

I know that other people will be able to fix the previews (and there are some who actually enjoy working on aesthetics). I also know that there are hundreds of fundamental issues with accessibility elsewhere that other people cannot fix, so my time is better spent tackling those issues.

In reply to by shoogle

Sorry, I have a different view (pun intended), the dialog may have improved for visually impaired users, but the vast majority are not, and those now get presented this new dialog, with a cropped preview and will find that ugly.
There's more problems to it though, as the template names are not translated, it was helpful to see more than just one at a time to tell them apart, simply by their look. Now you have to walk the tree to see them all, one by one only and with no direct comparison. Just one example: "closed score" doesn't mean a thing to any non-English speaker (and probably not even to all or most English speakers), not without seeing a normal SATB next to a closed score one.
It is of course good and a noble cause to improve MuseScore for accessibility, but please not at the cost of the vast majority that don't need that ar all and have entirely different needs

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

I wouldn't deliberately leave the previews in that state. If you check look at the screenshots in the PR you will see that the previews never were truncated for me, and presumably not for Anatoly either when he reviewed. I suspect the issue is only visible for users in the US who use Letter size paper rather than A4.

The new design is new, so it will have issues that need to be sorted out. It is not fair to expect it to be flawless right away when it had to be rebuilt from scratch to fix fundamental problems with the previous design.

> the template names are not translated

And nor were they before this PR so that is a completely unfair observation to make. It is it in fact not possible to make them translateable because each template is a separate MSCX file and the template name comes from the file name. Ideally the templates would be dynamically generated within MuseScore, but that is clearly beyond the scope of this PR.

> it was helpful to see more than just one at a time to tell them apart, simply by their look. Now you have to walk the tree to see them all, one by one only and with no direct comparison. Just one example: "closed score" doesn't mean a thing to any non-English speaker (and probably not even to all or most English speakers), not without seeing a normal SATB next to a closed score one.

There shouldn't be any information that is available only in the preview; other information (e.g. the number of staves) should be made available in the tree view where both sighted and non-sighted users can benefit. Unfortunately this also cannot easily be done without generating the scores within MuseScore, which is not something I had time to do for this PR. However, the new design places sighted and non-sighted users on a more level playing field (non-sighted users will always have to walk the tree), so maybe now somebody else will take the time to do this.

> It is of course good and a noble cause to improve MuseScore for accessibility, but please not at the cost of the vast majority that don't need that ar all and have entirely different needs

Firstly, the needs of sighted and non-sighted users are not entirely different: both need to be able to browse the list of templates, and both need to be able to tell the difference between an SATB score that is open vs one that is closed. The fact that the only way to do this is by looking at the preview shows that the design is still broken for non-sighted users more than it is broken for sighted users, since non-sighted users are clearly not able to look at the preview.

This is not about MuseScore prioritising one set of users over another. It is about me prioritising my time on bugs that only I can fix rather than on issues that any developer can fix.

This list of accessibility regressions grows longer every day as people make changes to the UI without really knowing what they are doing. Fixing those issues often requires a complete rewrite of what was there before, so it is inevitable that there will be some regressions for sighted users, but they will either be simple things that anybody can fix, or will be exposing some underlying issue that already existed and should be fixed for everybody, not just sighted users.

In reply to by shoogle

> the template names are not translated
And nor were they before this PR so that is a completely unfair observation to make

No, it is not, or at least not meant to, and I appologize if it came accoss as that. But before your change you could see the differences at one glance, so translations were not needed as much, that's all I wanted to say.

OTH your
I know that other people will be able to fix the previews (and there are some who actually enjoy working on aesthetics). I also know that there are hundreds of fundamental issues with accessibility elsewhere that other people cannot fix, so my time is better spent tackling those issues.
got (badly) recieved by me an as
let me deal with the super important and intersing high level design stuff and let others deal with the nitty gritty details and breadcrumbs I left over for them, my time is too valuable for that
I'm not saying you meant it that way, but just how I received it...

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

> I'm not saying you meant it that way, but just how I received it...

I was afraid the comment might come across a bit like that. All I meant was that accessibility improvements often need to be made a lower level of the code, so there is an inevitable impact on things that are implemented at a higher level, like aesthetics. If there are flaws in the low level implementation that require it to be fundamentally altered then I can't single-handedly fix every place where numerous other programmers have written code that depends on the flawed behaviour. I have to restrict the changes to what is realistically achievable otherwise it would never be included.

In reply to by shoogle

Letter vs A4 was going to be my guess as well. I guess the widget for displaying the preview is a fixed dimension and no scaling is done. Should be a simple enough fix for anyone who considers this a big enough problem...

Regarding the larger issue, I have mixed feelings. I shared the initial disappointment over not seeing the collection of thumbnails anymore. But I also agree that objectively speaking, they really weren't all that useful anyhow, and they took so much space that they made scrolling the template list kind of painful. And of course I'm, a huge accessibility champion, so it's going to be hard for me to argue with anything that helps with that. To me, it's not even just about blind users - sighted users like to be able to navigate by keyboard too, and as mentioned, scrolling was more of a pain with all the thumbs. In most respects, the new design is an improvement in general usability, not just accessibility for blind users.

Back to the other hand, as a sighted user, being able to easily compare SATB vs SATB Closed Score at a glance was nice, and now it requires seeing them one at a time. Same of the different orchestra templates - the names alone don't tell me how big they are, so I need to check them out one at a time. Personally, I can live with that as a small price to pay for the improvements. But FWIW, one possible enhancement would be a scrollable "filmstrip" below the thumb that showed even smaller thumbs for all of the templates (or maybe just those in the current section). It's a common / familiar design paradigm in the photo processing world.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

The filmstrip sounds a bit complicated for our purposes. Another option would be simply to display icons in the tree view, which is possible, but only as a single column so it would result in even more scrolling than before. I suppose the icons could be made quite small, but that would limit their usefulness.

However, if my palette accessibility GSoC idea is chosen then this would create a new type of item view that would look exactly the same as the old template browser (i.e. multiple columns of icons all grouped into categories) but retain all the accessibility features of the tree view. (The issue with the old template browser was not the shape/arrangement of items, just the fact that it was pieced together from a whole bunch of other widgets rather than being a single widget in its own right. Unfortunately Qt doesn't offer a single widget that looks like the old template browser, hence the need to create one.)

Anyway, for the time being, people can simply type "SATB" in the searchbox to narrow the selection, then using the Up and Down arrow keys to quickly switch between showing one preview or the other.

In reply to by Isaac Weiss

I've managed to fix the issue with the previews being cropped (PR and screenshots here). I remember now that I actually came across this back in June when I started working on the New Score Wizard. I spent a few days tearing my hair out over an (uncommented) section of code for creating icons from thumbnails that made no sense to me at all, hence my reluctance to dive into it again this time. However, I've gained quite a bit of experience with item views, Pixmaps and UI files since then and managed to work out what is going on.

What used to happen is that the preview shape was set to A4 aspect ratio regardless of the shape of the score, and then the score thumbnail image was scaled to fit inside this area. You can see that this still happens in the Start Center, where landscape scores are rendered on top of portrait icons:

startcenter.png

The same thing happens for the Letter size score, but it is close enough to A4 that you might not notice.

I didn't understand the icon code, so I removed it to see what would happen. Nothing happened (because my templates were all A4) so I assumed it was unnecessary. The result was that non-A4 templates would be cropped rather than scaled to fit in an A4 icon.

Anyway, I have now properly fixed it in the template browser so that the preview actually changes shape to match the shape of the score (i.e. the score thumbnail itself is not scaled at all).

a3-template.png

I haven't changed the behaviour of the Start Center because that would affect the way that scores are displayed in the grid, but if anybody wants to look at that they can use my code as a starting point.

In reply to by shoogle

I started this thread because I didn't know the template window had changed until I used it to create a new score and really wanted some feedback on what others thought. I never imagined it would turn into such a good conversation.

Thanks @shoogle for the work you did on this to improve accessibility. I think this is an important step forward in making MuseScore easier for the blind users to use. I'm sure you know there is still a lot of work to do and once it is done blind users will be happy to have such a powerful program to use. I look forward to working with you on this.

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