Saturday, 2 July 2016

Version 2.26 Release Notes

This release is mostly about responding to some requirements from all the Drum Score Editors out there, including squishing some little bugs that were annoying me, and a few others!

Features:

  • Unison - this has had a complete overhaul, this is good because it makes it more functional, but of course lots of code change introduces possibility of more bugs but hey let me know if you spot anything and I’ll fix it.
    • We’ve introduced the ability to exclude the grace notes (i.e. flams, drags etc) from the unison - cycle through with shift-u.
    • Unison will now extend to end of line and start at the beginning of the next line if it indeed is meant to - it won’t do it across part breaks, if they’ve been properly marked with the right bar lines.
    • Also a rest is not considered part of unison now, as this was causing layout issues for a few.
    • All the annoying times that it didn’t properly close off a line bracket if you use that rather than highlighting for unison are all gone.
    • The unison highlighting is now painted over the top of the notes, exactly as a real highlighter would so removing that surreal look, but also we’ve added the ability to specify how heavy you’d lean on the pen, i.e. percentage transparency - in the score properties dialog, the text in the unison colour label fades to show the effect of the pen weight.
    • Also you can choose to use less coloured ink now by telling Drum Score just to highlight the note heads and embellishments.
    • Naturally, like all options if you’re a licensed studio user, these can be remembered for you in the Preferences dialog.
  • A new staccato symbol has been introduced. In some cases authors want to scribe dead strokes, aka single buzz strokes, with a formal staccato symbol, i.e. a dot above the note head, as well as the customary strike through the stem and no tie. Select the note and use shift-O, that’s an “oh” not a zero.
  • Tie to nowhere - say what? This is for when you’ve got that “roll to nowhere” at the end of a part or tune. A purist might say you’re never going nowhere in the midst of a tune but at the end you might be saying, hey this roll carries on beyond this tune, e.g. in a medley. Just select a single note and hit 't' and it assumes tie to end of bar. Now of course the next tune might need a tie in from nowhere .... the to-do list keeps growing.
  • Unison to nowhere - well with the tie going nowhere it may be unison, although the majority of the time it's the second time through a part you break to a new tune so the concept of unison there is a given but hey, someone wants it! Note that if you use this and bracketed unison it won't close the bracket - it's intended for the end of a tune and off into nowhere land. 
  • Crescendo and diminuendo does indeed sometimes cross staff lines in real life so it can in Drum Score now too.
  • The files Drum Score saves are in a text format known as XML which makes it easier for humans as well as computers to read the underlying content. It’s even easer for humans to read it now, as the text is laid out to be a little easier on the eye. Allows that one person out there using git to version control their scores and see the differences more easily …. you know who you are!
  • When toggling 1st and 2nd times, the font will be a touch smaller than prior versions, won’t affect existing saved scores unless you toggle the 1st and 2nd times of course!

Annoying squished bugs:

  • Zooming the view using the menu items now works properly, as does saying view at actual size, considering screen density versus actual size of the piece of paper you’ve specified it will be printed on.
  • New score generator wasn’t carrying forward some of the saved preferences for studio users, including highlight colours etc. All sorted.
  • Sometimes when you’d select a bunch of notes with grace notes on them and said hey put these on the other hand it would randomly drop many of the grace notes. This was so random it was a real head-scratcher but sorted now.
  • Select All now respects if you’ve specified only to select notes and not bars and vice versa. Useful for taking the layout between two scores among other things.
  • Many minor formatting things tidied up around note widths.
  • 12/8 time signature now rendered around the centre of the numbers not the left hand side - much prettier.
  • 4/4 tie signature and tune type now considered properly when generating a new score, in terms of repeats and number of bars in a part.
  • If you changed the time signature of a generated score in the properties dialog, the change wouldn’t appear to be reflected on the screen until you saved and re-opened the file. Such messing about no longer required.
  • Tooltips that give clues as to what a particular button does, and what it’s keyboard equivalent is when you hover over them wasn’t showing that the keys you needed for right hand notes need to have the shift key down.
  • Some confusion around the meaning of the Microsoft Windows Edit -> Options menu, this has now been renamed as Edit -> Preferences, to more accurately reflect this is about application level preferences, e.g. whether it’s licensed or not and then other preferences when unlocked. Note that options for the particular score file being edited are accessed through File -> Properties, as before.
  • If you changed the time signature of a piece using the Properties dialogue, it wouldn’t show up on the screen, until you saved and reloaded the file, ahem, sorry about that - fixed.
  • Undo and redo support now added to text fields on the score page, before this if you maybe changed the font size of the title, you couldn’t undo that, but worse still you could close the score and it wouldn’t know to prompt you and say hey you’ve got unsaved changes.
  • Purely cosmetic but the logo in the about dialogue box is now also updated to remove the 2015 reference ... what was I thinking back then.

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