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Notion's toolbar needs to be movable

A Forum to Discuss NOTION

Notion's toolbar needs to be movable

Postby Mark » Sat Feb 26, 2011 2:45 pm

Notion should have a movable toolbar. The permanently placed toolbar at the bottom is not user-friendly, especially when it interferes with selecting notation that is adjacent to it because of where they happen fall on the screen at the time. This makes it necessary to have to scroll notation away from the toolbar before they can be selected for editing. This is not a situation where part of a note or symbol falls behind the toolbar. Rather, even if completely visible, notation cannot be selected.

If the toolbar could be moved to the left, right, top, or bottom of screen, or anywhere in between, this would remedy the issue of toolbar location and could be place closest (and therefore most convenient) to the area of concentration. I think a movable toolbar would enhance Notion's user-friendliness and would indicate that Notion Music is truly interested in making sure Notion is as easy to work with as reasonably possible. Just because the designers/developers think the toolbar is in the best location, doesn't mean users will feel the same way.
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Re: Notion's toolbar needs to be movable

Postby Robins1 » Sat Feb 26, 2011 4:55 pm

Hi Mark,
If you go into View>Show> and remove the check show palette, when you go back to the score right click and the palette will appear near to where you clicked. :)
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Re: Notion's toolbar needs to be movable

Postby Zblogny » Sat Feb 26, 2011 8:15 pm

My advice about toolbar :
Use keyboard shortcuts.
the more you get familiar with shortcuts, the less you'll need the toolbar.
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Re: Notion's toolbar needs to be movable

Postby pcartwright » Sat Feb 26, 2011 8:44 pm

Zblogny wrote:My advice about toolbar :
Use keyboard shortcuts.
the more you get familiar with shortcuts, the less you'll need the toolbar.


+1 Keyboard shortcuts are the way to go.
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Re: Notion's toolbar needs to be movable

Postby Mark » Sun Feb 27, 2011 6:57 pm

pcartwright wrote:
Zblogny wrote:My advice about toolbar :
Use keyboard shortcuts.
the more you get familiar with shortcuts, the less you'll need the toolbar.


+1 Keyboard shortcuts are the way to go.


I agree about using shortcuts. I printed them out yesterday. As a new user I'm first going to use what is most convenient. Shortcuts take a bit to learn and people tend not to be inclined to learn them. I'm a heavy user of Microsoft products and little by little over years I learned shortcuts. Most people that use any kind of software will rarely use shortcuts and would rather rely on menus. I almost never come across a person who knows Word shortcuts--maybe 2 or 3, but that's about it. To this day, I also know a limited number of Word shortcuts, though I've been using it since 1992. Since Notion is by design limited to what it can do and thus appeals to a limited customer base, perhaps using Word is not the best example. However, my point is that Notion should be programmed bearing in mind that some people will be inclined to want to use shortcuts and others will typically rely on the toolbar. To make sure Notion is as user friendly as possible, the toolbar should not be limited to one spot. Users should be able to at least move it to the left, right, top or bottom of the screen.
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Re: Notion's toolbar needs to be movable

Postby pcartwright » Sun Feb 27, 2011 7:45 pm

I think the reason most people don't use shortcuts (in general) is simply because it isn't intuitive with a GUI. The first computer my family had used all key commands (I was 3 or 4 years old at the time), so I've grown up with key commands, but I digress. I think Notion is a little bit of an exception to the key command rule. Most of the shortcuts in Notion make sense (if you know the American-English music vernacular that is) and don't really require arbitrary memorization: q for quarter note, qq for quarter rest, w for whole note, etc.

The beautiful part about Notion's shortcuts compared to Sibelius (the other shortcut heavy notation program) is that the primary note shortcuts can easily be typed with the left hand leaving the right hand free to use the mouse on the staff (to interact with the GUI). I never got comfortable with Sibelius because using the number pad with my left hand was unintuitive, and I would often have to type the shortcuts with my right hand and then move my hand to the mouse to click on the appropriate line or space. Sibelius did have other shortcuts for various pitches on the letter side of the keyboard, but that forces the user to ignore the GUI (which, again, isn't very intuitive).

This is all opinion of course; there are probably Sibelius users that would say the exact opposite.
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Re: Notion's toolbar needs to be movable

Postby pcartwright » Sun Feb 27, 2011 7:45 pm

I think the reason most people don't use shortcuts (in general) is simply because it isn't intuitive with a GUI. The first computer my family had used all key commands (I was 3 or 4 years old at the time), so I've grown up with key commands, but I digress. I think Notion is a little bit of an exception to the key command rule. Most of the shortcuts in Notion make sense (if you know the American-English music vernacular that is) and don't really require arbitrary memorization: q for quarter note, qq for quarter rest, w for whole note, etc.

The beautiful part about Notion's shortcuts compared to Sibelius (the other shortcut heavy notation program) is that the primary note shortcuts can easily be typed with the left hand leaving the right hand free to use the mouse on the staff (to interact with the GUI). I never got comfortable with Sibelius because using the number pad with my left hand was unintuitive, and I would often have to type the shortcuts with my right hand and then move my hand to the mouse to click on the appropriate line or space. Sibelius did have other shortcuts for various pitches on the letter side of the keyboard, but that forces the user to ignore the GUI (which, again, isn't very intuitive).

This is all opinion of course; there are probably Sibelius users that would say the exact opposite.
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Re: Notion's toolbar needs to be movable

Postby Surfwhammy » Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:51 pm

The "floating" toolbar is very nice, and while it has a few eccentric behaviors on the Mac with respect to not disappearing so nicely (which is corrected by clicking two times on the lower word "Text" at the far-left of the toolbar and then hitting the Escape ["Esc'] key), so what . . .

So what!

It gets it out of the way when there is no need for it, and it puts it generally where you want it when you need it . . .

I understand and support the need for shortcuts, hot keys, and so forth, and they are important, so I am not suggesting that everyone should be a mouser, but for mousers the general idea is to do as much as possible with the mouse, since it tends to be easier and faster, although folks who are skilled in doing stuff with keyboards can do some amazing things very quickly . . .

Overall, my perspective is influenced by decades of working in software development, and from this perspective it is important to understand that there is a real and tangible cost for everything that happens in an application . . .

Software development resources are not infinite, so it is very important to use software developers wisely, which from my perspective as a composer and musician maps to my vote being cast for focusing the Notion software engineers on adding new stuff that expands what I can do with music notation, composing, and generating music . . .

The Notion software architects, designers, and engineers could devote several weeks to making it possible for customers to park the toolbar in a variety of locations, but at the end of the effort Notion will not do anything more than it already does in a practical way, which from my perspective makes it a frivolous "bell and whistle" more than anything else . . .

In contrast, the same folks could devote several weeks to devising a way to provide some type of database for commonly used musical phrases (arpeggios, scales, ornaments, and so forth and so on) . . .

Or they could devise a way to convert selected notes from one of the seven musical modes to another, where for example one could select some number of measures of notes and then have it transformed automatically from Dorian to Mixolydian or from Phrygian to Locrian . . .

Melodyne Editor (Celomony) does this, as well as a lot of other types of scales and whatever, so it is not such an off-the-wall thing to do . . .

You might have the foundation for a nice melody but perhaps it does not convey the precise mood that you desire in Ionian mode, but it might if you changed it to Aeolian mode . . .

Currently, as best as I can determine, you can change the key and mode for one or more clefs, but it keeps the notes the same by changing the way the note is represented (flat, sharp, or whatever) rather than actually changing the mode, itself . . .

After you change the key or mode, newly entered notes are in the new key or mode, but existing notes are the way they were (albeit adjusted to be consistent with the new key and mode with respect to preserving the pitch by adjusting sharps, flats, naturals, and whatever) . . .

In contrast, with the Melodyne Editor, changing the key, mode, or scale causes the original notes to be altered to fit the new key, mode, or scale, which is quite fascinating, because you can sing or play something in C Major; get it into the Melodyne Editor; and then experiment with hearing how it sounds if was in C Natural Minor or whatever, since for example it actually changes E to E minor by altering the pitch of the note, which can be controlled very precisely with respect to snapping to reference pitch, formants, and a lot of other stuff . . .

As best as I have been able to determine so far, it appears that Notion 3 does not do this . . .

Yet, I think that there are rules for doing it logically, since someone who understands music theory intimately should be able to use a set of clearly defined rules to transform a song in C Major to C Minor or whatever, which if I understand everything correctly is not a big deal . . .

The notes are there, and they are correct for the mode or scale, so transforming from one mode or scale to another should be a simple one-to-one mapping, where for a C Major to C Minor transformation, E becomes E♭; A become A♭; and B becomes B♭ . . .

If a specific note has been altered by making it flat, sharp, or natural, then for those notes it becomes a bit more complex, but there probably is a sensible algorithm for doing it, where one option might be to transform everything arbitrarily, with an example being transforming a scale in C Major that was arbitrarily made Lydian by altering the sign of the notes to C Lydian simply by removing all the signs, since the pitches of the scale already were Lydian, so transforming them to Lydian just maps to removing all the signs . . .

And there probably are other options that make sense, but for the most part if one avoids adding flats, sharps, and naturals, then transforming from one mode to another does not require adding flats, sharps, and naturals, since all that stuff is part of the key signature . . .

In other words, a C Major or C Ionian scale looks the same as a C Dorian or C Phrygian scale, but the three scales sound different, because the notes actually change . . .

For example, if you were curious to hear how "Blue Jay Way" (Beatles) would sound if it were Phrygian rather than Lydian, then you could enter the notes as they were originally but do a transformation after the fact without actually needing to know how Phrygian differs from Lydian . . .

[NOTE: This is the YouTube music video for "Blue Jay Way" (Beatles) . . . ]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNLcXj5yR68

I would rather have the Notion software developers focus on stuff like this than on adding more "bells and whistles" to the user interface, for sure . . .

For sure! :)
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Re: Notion's toolbar needs to be movable

Postby Mark » Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:58 am

pcartwright wrote:I think Notion is a little bit of an exception to the key command rule. Most of the shortcuts in Notion make sense (if you know the American-English music vernacular that is) and don't really require arbitrary memorization: q for quarter note, qq for quarter rest, w for whole note, etc.


I agree! Notion is very logical and simple when it comes to shortcuts. When I typed the letter "q" for a quarter note, "w" for a whole note, and "h" for half note, I thought to myself that shortcuts can't be any less complicated than this. And it's easy to follow the logic behind the other shortcuts.
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Re: Notion's toolbar needs to be movable

Postby Zblogny » Mon Feb 28, 2011 4:20 am

Mark wrote:
pcartwright wrote:I think Notion is a little bit of an exception to the key command rule. Most of the shortcuts in Notion make sense (if you know the American-English music vernacular that is) and don't really require arbitrary memorization: q for quarter note, qq for quarter rest, w for whole note, etc.


I agree! Notion is very logical and simple when it comes to shortcuts. When I typed the letter "q" for a quarter note, "w" for a whole note, and "h" for half note, I thought to myself that shortcuts can't be any less complicated than this. And it's easy to follow the logic behind the other shortcuts.

I double agree!
I'd be perfectly happy if there were a way to frenchify those shortcuts :
Whole = Ronde = R
Half = Blanche = B
Quarter = Noire = N
8th = Croche = C
16th = Double croche = D
32nd = Triple croche = T
64th = Quadruple croche = Q
it would be more intuitive for a french speaking musician.
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