Question about the development process

• Dec 11, 2014 - 16:43

I'm a new user of Musescore and use only a very limited subset of its capability - scoring simple SATB hymns and exporting MP3 files for accompaniment to congregational singing in a church. I find that 2.0 beta is pretty stable and does everything I need. I'm at the point where I'm tempted to commit to Musescore for all future work and abandon Sibelius which I use at the moment.

One concern I have is that during the ongoing development of v2.0 there may be changes which remove some of the functionality I enjoy in 2.0 beta at the moment, and which is vital for my being able to use it.

Am I worrying unnecessarily? Would there be any problems with simply archiving the current 2.0 beta download for use if the final v2.0 doesn't meet my needs?

Steve


Comments

Currently, changes are applied to the Nightly.
Try reading here:
http://musescore.org/en/node/41141
as regards the possibility of having both versions.
Also consider that 2.0 is practically portable
http://musescore.org/en/node/33651#comment-142681
I think you can feel comfortable.
___________
Previous versions are here:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/mscore/files/mscore/
Soon should get 2.0 b2:
https://www.facebook.com/musescore/photos/a.194667852677.165042.3372143…

Speaking entirely unofficially, I would say there is very little chance of any significant functionality currently in the 2.0 builds being removed. Slight changes here and there, maybe. Anything in particular you are concerned about? No one can make any promises of course, but my sense is, you are indeed worrying unnecessarily, Or more particularly, worrying abotu the wrong thing. While it's not likely that functionality you depend on would be removed, it *is* within the realm of possibility that some change to the file format between now and release might make a score you create with a current build unopenable in the released version. Or it might open but incorrectly in some way. So I'd be nervous about completely diving headfirst into 2.0 builds at this point, even though you are "probably" OK.

If the music is relatively simnple, your ace in the hole should be MusicXML. As you complete piece, export your work to MusicXML, maybe test to be sure the export was good by importing into Sibelius. Then if something *does* change in the file format between now and release of the 2.0, you can import the MusicXML file.

While archiving the build you are using is certainly not a bad idea to give you some insurance regarding ther scores you create over the next few weeks / months until the release of 2.0, you definitely should not be expecting to continue using that build post-release. If there *are* any incompatible changes between now and release, you'll be locked into your build forever. You won't benefit from future bug fixes, you won't be able to share your scores with anyone else, won't be able to laod scores from others, etc.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I guess the things most critical for me are:

1) Being able to use FluidSynth for playback, and being able to import .sf2 soundfonts to it.

2) Being able to place tempo marks throughout the score - a different tempo mark on every note if necessary - and have that reflected during playback

3) Retaining all that tempo information in the saved files. MusicXML doesn't do that so I'm reliant on .mscz files doing so.

4) Being able to copy and paste measures with their associated tempo marks. 2.o beta won't do that at the moment but I can work around it by saving a section of score and then creating an album using that section multiple times.

5) Being able to change the instrument played by FluidSynth mid-score.

Steve

In reply to by Steveeh

These are all very basic pieces of functionality, and there is virtually no chance of any of it going away. Only thing that I'd think has any likehood at all of changing is for the better - the possibiltiy of copy and paste including tempo text. Right now it doesn't for a "sort of" good reason, as we discussed in http://musescore.org/en/node/38556.

Not sure what you mean about tempo markings not being retained in MusicXML files. Is that a known issue with a tracking number? I just tried it with a sample score using the current build and it worked just fine. Maybe some special corner case you are hitting, or a bug that was fixed since hte Beta?

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks - that's re-assuring!

I expressed the MusicXML tempo issue badly: If I export MusicXML files from MuseScore 2.0 beta, I *do* still get the tempo information when I import them again, and it does still affect playback; that's OK! However, MusicXML files I exported from Sibelius (about 500 of them!), when loaded into MuseScore display the tempo changes OK but crucially they do *not* affect playback.

So my remaining concern would be that using MusicXML files as a safe "application independent" archive might not work if MuseScore and Sibelius interpret XML tempo data differently.

Steve

In reply to by Steveeh

The xml from Sibelius is missing the "sound" tag with "tempo" indication (see http://www.finalemusic.com/UserManuals/MusicXML/Content/EL-MusicXML-sou…) and only contains the "metronome" text indication (see http://www.finalemusic.com/UserManuals/MusicXML/Content/EL-MusicXML-met…). Therefore the metronome tags are imported as simple system texts.
We could think of trying to automatically recognize a tempo change from the metronome text, if the "sound" tag is missing.

@Steveeh : You can try to export the files by using the Dolet plugin instead of directly exporting from Sibelius. Maybe the export is handled better in that case.

In reply to by Steveeh

FWIW, though, I'm not suggesting MusicXML as an "application independent" archive (although to some extent it is) - I'm suggesitng specifically as a hedge agaisnt a file format change in MuseScore during the next couple of months before the release of 2.0. That's a much smaller task. But I had forgotten until re-reading your posts how dependent you are on the playback features, and indeed, MusicXML might not be ideally suited for recording all of that detail.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Folks,

Thanks for all the help and advice - I've decided I will commit to MuseScore for the future. For now I'll make sure to save every score I create as both mscz and MusicXML, so if there is a change in the MuseScore file format I'll have the MusicXML version to fall back on. I've no idea how far we are from a final MuseScore 2.0, but I don't think I'll have generated too much new material before we get there. I'll live with the fact that my 500 MusicXML files exported from Sibelius will lose tempo information if played in MuseScore.

In retrospect it doesn't surprise me that Sibelius does things differently. Tempo marks, instrument changes mid-score, and other playback information is simply entered as free text rather than via some specific function menu. It then seems to rely on a dictionary look-up against declared words to interpret the function needed.

Thanks again,
Steve

In reply to by Steveeh

RE: the Sound tempo XML tag

FWIW, while you are waiting for MuseScore 2 it wouldn't be very difficult to write some sort of program code outside of Sibelius or MusesScore that can read your Sibelius XML files and insert the missing "sound tempo" tags.

The program would read your XML files, one at a time, and look for the ... text, and where it finds that, extract the metronome setting and then insert the tag after the subsequent tag, and write the results to a new file.

What language to use might vary depending on what operating system you use. If you are on Linux or Windows I could write a small program that would do this.

In reply to by jim.weisgram

Funny you should say that ........

Last evening I opened one of my Sibelius MusicXML files in Notepad++, searched for the tags, and inserted matching tags in the appropriate places a few lines further on. I did it manually (!!!) for one file just to prove the approach, but thought perhaps it could be automated using Notepad++'s Search & Replace function employing Regular Expressions.

At that point I gave up because my expertise with Regular Expressions is minimal; I was going to wait until I next saw my son (software engineering graduate) for help.

It would be great if I had a small program to do it automatically, and that's a very kind offer; but I'd be embarrassed if you went to a lot of effort when I could simply be patient and wait for MuseScore2.

If you feel it could be done relatively easily, I'm running WindowsXP.

Edit: I can't believe the coincidences! My son 'phoned about something else just after I posted this, and has offered to convert all the files for me. I've invested a lot of money in his education so it's time I got something back ;)

Edit again: Perhaps the investment was worthwhile - 50 minutes later and he's just returned all 500 Sibelius XML files with the additions!!

But thanks again for the kind offer - I can't believe how helpful folk are on this forum!

Steve

Issue has been fixed (commit b0ad6ef, yesterday). This means the fix is not yet in beta 2, but will be in the nightly builds, in (possible) next betas and in the final 2.0.

In reply to by Leon Vinken

Thanks a lot.

I can't yet test it out because Beta 2 and the nightly builds crash on both my WindowsXP and Windows7 conputers whenever I try to playback after the View>Synthesiser window has been opened. But hopefully that will get fixed at some stage.

Steve

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

I raised the problem firstly here:
http://musescore.org/en/node/42051

and was asked to generate a new thread, which I did here:
http://musescore.org/en/node/42241

I didn't realise that I could - or should - have raised a formal issue in the "Issue Tracker" area.

Details are as follows:
Run Beta 2 with "-F" factory settings on Windows 7 computer
Create a simple new score with a few measures of a single voice
Playback works OK
Now open the synthesiser window with View>Synthesiser, then close the window
MuseScore now always crashes after playing back the first measure

Steve

In reply to by Steveeh

These are the steps you gave

  • Run Beta 2 with "-F" factory settings on Windows 7 computer
  • Create a simple new score with a few measures of a single voice
  • Playback works OK
  • Now open the synthesizer window with View>Synthesizer, then close the window
  • MuseScore now always crashes after playing back the first measure

What if you save your score, close MuseScore, open MuseScore again by double clicking the file and play it? Does it play? Does it crash?
Is there anything special about your two computers? What's the sound card? Do you have any of the hardware listed here installed http://musescore.org/en/handbook/known-incompatibilities ?

As far as I know you are the only one with this problem, there is virtually no chance the bug get fixed in 2.0 stable if we don't manage to find the root cause.

In reply to by lasconic

If I save the score, close MuseScore, open MuseScore again by double clicking the file and play it, it plays OK. But once the View>Synthesiser window has been opened then closed, it crashes immediately playback starts.

Nothing special about the two computers as far as I know. One is an old Dell desktop running WindowsXP. It is fitted with a Creative Soundblaster card. On that computer the View>Synthesiser window is empty (black) - the computer never crashes.

The other computer is a Dell laptop running Windows7. No soundcard, and I have removed all applications that use soundfonts. That's the computer that crashes.

Beta 1 ran fine on both computers.

On the laptop, running the latest nightly build with factory settings, closing the Start Centre, then opening the View Synth window, it will crash immediately I click the "Tuning" or "Master Effects" tabs.

I realise how difficult this must be if it only affects me. If I can get my son to spend some time on it I'll see what he can come up with running it under debug.

Not sure if it is at all related, but I noticed that a blank synthesiser window issue occurred much earlier in the development process.

It'll be a shame if finally I can't run it; I was real excited when I discovered MuseScore and overall its features suit me better than Sibelius. But at least I just discovered that my old Sibelius 1.4 will run OK on the Windows7 laptop.

Edit: Forgot to mention that the "blank" View>Synthesiser window I see on my WindowsXP computer is not unique to me - it was also reported by AngsCopy running Windows 8.1: 27th December posting, here:
http://musescore.org/en/node/42241

In reply to by Steveeh

@Steveeh:
To help in finding the cause of the crash, you could try to reproduce the crash with this build and post the debug log:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxjayMZiuupOV3I3NUVFeFFnMW8/view?usp=s…
it is a debug build based on commit c6d6c4ba87
To use it, you have to unzip the 7z archive (106 MB compressed; roughly 592 MB when uncompressed) and then double-click on the script "reset_and_debug.bat" inside the folder.
This script makes a factory reset of MuseScore (2.0) and launches it with the "-d" (debug log) flag. It records the debug output in the file "log_file.txt".
Could you please reproduce the crash and attach this "log_file.txt" to a comment in this thread?
Thank you for your collaboration; hopefully we will be a step closer to the identification of the bug.

Ciao,
ABL

In reply to by ABL

Really appreciate you guys trying to sort this!

1) Ran "reset_and_debug.bat"
2) Saw splash screen, then start centre window
3) Close start centre window
4) Click View>Synthesiser
5) Click Tuning tab in Synthesiser window
6) Crash !!!!

Log file attached - hope it means something to you folks!

Attachment Size
log_file.txt 10.22 KB

In reply to by Steveeh

Previous log file was from the Windows 7 lap top computer where clicking the Tuning tab crashed the programme.

In case it is adds anything, here's the log file from my Windows XP desktop which displays a blank Synth window.

1) Ran "reset_and_debug.bat"
2) Saw splash screen, then start centre window
3) Close start centre window
4) Click View>Synthesiser
5) Synthesiser window displays empty (black)
6) Close Synthesiser window
7) Close MuseScore

Attachment Size
log_file_blank_window.txt 10.7 KB

In reply to by Steveeh

Thank you very much for the logs.
Unfortunately, they are not telling where the crash arises :-(
I think that the bug may be a Qt bug, or that the change to Qt 5.4 highlighted a bug already present.
I managed to somehow reproduce the crash by running MuseScore under Application Verifier in Windows 8.1. By simply opening the Synthesizer window it crashed with the following output:

Critical: createContext: wglCreateContextAttribsARB() failed (GL error code: 0x502) for format: QSurfaceFormat(version 2.0, options QFlags(), depthBuf
ferSize -1, redBufferSize -1, greenBufferSize -1, blueBufferSize -1, alphaBufferSize -1, stencilBufferSize -1, samples -1, swapBehavior 0, swapInterva
l 1, profile 0) , shared context: 0x0 () (:0, )
Critical: createContext: wglCreateContext failed. () (:0, )
Warning: Unable to create a GL Context. (:0, )
Warning: QOpenGLFunctions created with non-current context (:0, )

As already pointed out, it is probably related to http://musescore.org/en/node/43381#comment-195896

On a very positive note, Werner has just re-implemented the Synthesizer window without the use of qml in f22515c0ef so this should solve the problem and related problems :-)
You can try the Nightly build when it will be available.

In reply to by Steveeh

Excellent: 2015-01-07-1411-f22515c has fixed it on the Windows 7 computer - haven't yet tried it on XP.

Edit: Also fixed on the XP computer !!!!!!
Thanks soooooo much!

Edit: And the latest nightly build interprets the tempo marks perfectly from Sibelius-exported MusicXML files :)

:) :) :)

This really sounds like a problem with the drivers on your laptop - for sound or graphics or both. Certain applications that access sound (usually it's games) have been reported to crash computers and the solution is often to install the latest drivers. It may be worthwhile going to the Dell site and downloading the latest drivers for your hardware. Apologies if you have already done this.

In reply to by underquark

Thanks for the suggestion - I'll check for later drivers. However, with my limited computer knowledge I can't see how that would explain Beta 1 working and Beta 2 not, or Beta 2 playing sound OK until a particular window has been opened then closed?

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