Tab stops in "New Score" window

• Jul 14, 2023 - 19:45

"New Score" window
"Additional score information" page

Currently tab stops are present on "Key signature," "Title" and "Cancel" button, in that order.
Would be helpful if tab stops were set on all entry items in displayed order with a final stop at the "Done" button.


MuseScore uses a new navigation scheme that is becoming common, designed to be more efficient for complex interfaces with lots of controls. Instead of needing to tab one, by, one, through, every, single, control, tab instead now moves between groups, then cursor keys within groups. Also on the main window, F6 for direct navigation from panel to panel.

In reply to by vbevans

It’s more efficient because if there are 100 controls on the UI, it doesn’t take 100 keypresses to move through them all - F6 a few times to get the right panel, Tab to get to the right group within the panel, cursor keys to find the control.

As for who first came up with this, that’s hard to say, since it’s hard to know even which application introduced it first. But presumably it was an expert in accessibility and very likely someone who was blind themselves, looking for a way to solve a common problem that many blind users have navigating complex user interfaces. Then as users of that application saw how well this worked and started requesting ot, more and more applications started adopting this model also. So, eventually, based on quite a few requests from our users, the accessibility/design team at MuseScore collectively decided to implement this as well.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Marc, very kind of you to try and answer my query, but in all honesty my comment was meant as sarcasm. Since you opened the subject, though, let me refute your premise, if I may. You begin by saying, "It’s more efficient because if there are 100 controls on the UI, it doesn’t take 100 keypresses to move through them all..."

While the premise may be true, there are only 12 possible stops on the page in question, and for someone who has been using Windoze for years, and consequently developed muscle memory to use the "tab" key, it's a pain in the behind. Just my two cents.

In reply to by vbevans

There’s certainly room for continued refinement. But consider, it’s not just about this one dialog - if that were all there was to MuseScore this would never have come up. It’s more significant when it comes to the main window, where there can indeed be close to 100 controls depending on the details of your panel configurations and what is selected in your score.

So the shift to the new style of accessibility is unquestionably more efficient in general. Then it’s just down to tweaking the details as mentioned. It’s certainly possible this dialog may be “flattened” or otherwise simplified in the future - there is an open GitHub issue regarding the dialog in general to make it less confusing still for blind users.

But anyhow, if you want to engage in rational discussion of these subtle technical details based on a deep understanding of the design issues and tradeoffs involved and an informed sensitivity to the needs of blind users, you are welcome to do so. Sarcasm and ranting have no place in such discussions however.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

So, in your world it is not "rational discussion" to point out that shifting from a paradigm of one specific keystroke to traverse a simple data entry form to one in which several different keys are necessary to accomplish the same task. OK, you have the moral high ground, I guess. Certainly not many who know me would accuse me of having a deep understanding. Then too, blind users do have a right to be thoroughly confused by a plethora of keys to accomplish a single task just a sighted folks do. Thank you for pointing that out to me.

As for "sarcasm and ranting have[ing] no place in such discussions," perhaps I could refer you to your fearless leader's "Tantacrul" Youtube channel. The guy is a master of sarcasm and ranting, and makes some very good points along the way. You might want to look up his diatribe on the Sibelius UI. He didn't pull any punches on what he considered to be crummy design (and I do not mean to infer that the Musescore 4 UI is a crummy design), but then again, maybe he's just an inconsiderate, shallow rube such as myself.

In reply to by vbevans

Rational discourse is acknowledging facts when pointed out and refraining from personal attacks. Thery simply have no place.

If you should ever wish to research the subjects of usability and accessibility and then participate in such a rational discourse, your input would be most welcome. But this thread has run its course, so I'm bowing out. Feel free to start a new thread if you end up coming up with some constructive suggestions based on technical considerations and not insults.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Well, Marc says he has "bowed out" of this thread, so I'll address my final comments to any and all who may have been following. The Cambridge Dictionary quotes from a Wikipedia article in defining "rational discourse," quote: "In a rational discourse, such an open-minded stance is important, especially because it may not be known in advance which facts and arguments are truly relevant to resolving an issue."

Now, perhaps, my position is not totally open-minded, but few people engaged in a debate would be. However, I challenge anyone to find in the above exchanges where I personally attacked Marc. I submit that, because he was unable to supply a "rational" refutation of my position on Musescore 4's new data entry paradigm, that he himself resorted to personal attack and then fled. So much for his embrace of "rational discourse."

So long, Marc. It's been nice chatting with you.

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