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Bar Highlight And Cursor Centering


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#1 Rxn

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 02:32

Hi there,

I am probably not the first one to ask about this, but anyway. There is an option in song settings to highlight every beat (every 4th line in most cases) but it seems to me that double highlighting every 16th (ever bar) should make sense in many cases, since that is where important things tend to happen, like chord changes.

Another thing is not really that necessary but which I find it annoying when I have the whole pattern open fully on the screen, seeing all the parts of it (like on the pic) and all the beats and the notes locations. What happens is, when you place the cursor anywhere on it, the whole pattern centers the edit cursor vertically, moving parts of the pattern away from the screen. When you move the cursor with the mouse here and there, the pattern keeps jumping up and down which really gets me disorientated and ending up constantly figuring out where I have to place the cursor now.

If it was possible to switch cursor centering off when not needed, I think that would help the tracker stay within the editing flow.

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Edited by Rxn, 14 June 2012 - 02:33.

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#2 Rxn

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 02:37

 This picture shows the whole pattern in edit mode with the top row focused. Notice how the bottom part of the pattern is below the visible area while there is still plenty of space on the screen. 

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Edited by Rxn, 14 June 2012 - 02:37.

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#3 kazakore

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 12:18

Use the trusty Search feature of the forum and you'll be sure to find both of these suggested before ;)
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#4 Rxn

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 13:32

Use the trusty Search feature of the forum and you'll be sure to find both of these suggested before ;)


Yep, as I suspected, the centering feature was in spot light before with exactly the same issue:


What i really want is for playback "head" to be independent of edit position and for it to follow playback as usual, including centering on the screen vertically. That's fine. What i have a problem with is the edit position/cursor moving the pattern scroll up/down while NOT playing, always keeping the current editing position in the center of the screen vertically. This causes me great difficulty because my eyes/brain has a hard time constantly adjusting to the visual field.

It's actually something that a lot of people normally have trouble with. It's a visual/cognitive issue. Jumps or changes that are instantaneous are very difficult to follow (or impossible)


The bar highlight issue has also been here before:

For instance, A 64 line pattern / highlighted every 4 lines, but have lines 0, 16, 32, and 48 be a slightly different color than the other lines, in my opinion this would make it easier to figure out where you are in a long pattern, especially when you cant see the beginning of the pattern on screen...


The thing why people are asking about it is probably because these features have been used by other trackers for some time now and proved to be useful, not just a matter of habit.
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#5 Gwynevyr

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 04:47

The thing why people are asking about it is probably because these features have been used by other trackers for some time now and proved to be useful, not just a matter of habit.


This feature is exactly why I came to the forums--I was hoping I was just being an idiot not knowing how to change it. The odd thing is, in the thread you linked to, Kazakore replied saying:

But you can't have the pattern stay centred on the screen while moving the edit/play position/cursor up and down the page. That always remains central and the pattern moves around it. What you (sound like you) are requesting has been requested in the past but as could only work with small pattern lengths and quite high screen resolution most of the time has never gone that far.


He seems to be implying that moving the edit cursor freely (not force-centered) is impossible unless you have a short pattern or a big monitor. That's just silly--I've used other trackers for nearly 15 years, most especially ModPlug/OpenMPT, and this feature is pretty much standard on all of them. It's the same as navigating a spreadsheet in Excel--you click the cell you want to edit, wherever it is on the screen (it doesn't suddenly jump itself to the middle of the screen for you), and if you can't see all of the rows at one time, you just scroll down until you see the row you want to edit and then click on it. It's simple, and I'm not sure why this isn't a feature of Renoise.
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#6 Rxn

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 12:07

I think what Kazakore said, is that unless your screen is HUGE so that the whole pattern can remain on screen even when the very top, or the very bottom row is selected (or indeed the pattern is half size) you are out of luck. Even in the case that your screen is big enough to fit the pattern at any time, it still does not get rid us of the issue of it constantly jumping up and down, forcing the eyes to constantly recalibrate at the locations of the pattern elements.

I think your comparison with cell editing in Excel is quite valid, it would be damn annoying, when you had to see all the entered data and the spreadsheet was constantly moving chaotically.

I also spent several days looking for a way to turn this feature off at some stage, as it seemed to me fairly natural. Not having found it, I thought that I will probably get used to it, and I did, but it still did not get any less annoying really.



#7 hcv242

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 08:04

i've asked for this too some years ago. no luck :( the way it is, is just confusing and it wastes screen space. it makes me scroll the pattern up and down to see all the 64 lines when everyhing fits perfectly in just one screen. this is prolly my most wanted feature and it will most likely never be implemented.

Edited by hcv242, 08 July 2012 - 08:06.

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#8 KMaki

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 11:18

I'm pretty used to the cursor centering. I have a background in IT and MPT before Renoise. With IT I don't even remember anymore how this was. And I never quite got to the mobility level I had with IT when I was using MPT. The whole mouse thing kind of threw me off a bit there. But as I said, for now I'm fine with the behavior as it is.

I'm totally NOT opposed to adding this as a feature, though. If so, I'd hope it would come simply as a setting such as 'Number of visible rows above/below cursor'. This would ensure maximum flexibility IMO. Want a centered cursor? Set this to 999. Want a free cursor? Set it to 0.
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#9 engine

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 17:20

He seems to be implying that moving the edit cursor freely (not force-centered) is impossible unless you have a short pattern or a big monitor. That's just silly--I've used other trackers for nearly 15 years, most especially ModPlug/OpenMPT, and this feature is pretty much standard on all of them. It's the same as navigating a spreadsheet in Excel--you click the cell you want to edit, wherever it is on the screen (it doesn't suddenly jump itself to the middle of the screen for you), and if you can't see all of the rows at one time, you just scroll down until you see the row you want to edit and then click on it. It's simple, and I'm not sure why this isn't a feature of Renoise.


maybe because most of us dont "click" for navigating throu pattern.
otherwise, like said already, it was requested a few times in the past.
lets wait and see...

#10 Obsolete Existence

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 17:56

This has been requested by myself and others so many times. It's really the single biggest workflow killer for me in Renoise.

Edited by Obsolete Existence, 08 July 2012 - 18:00.

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#11 Gwynevyr

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 21:33

maybe because most of us dont "click" for navigating throu pattern.
otherwise, like said already, it was requested a few times in the past.
lets wait and see...


Ideally, well-made software should work for a number of different types of workflows, and the two most obvious and widely-used would be being keyboard-based and mouse-based. This is why virtually all modern software of any kind allows for both mouse-based commands (clicking on tools, clicking to perform actions with tools, right-clicking to access secondary menus with additional actions, etc.) as well as keyboard-based commands (keyboard shortcuts that can be customized to fit the user's needs).

This one feature is actually what's keeping me on the fence about whether to buy the full version of Renoise or not. I've been playing around with the trial version for a few weeks now, and the issue with the bar being centered and everything else jumping around it is killing me.

#12 Rxn

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 02:06

maybe because most of us dont "click" for navigating throu pattern.
otherwise, like said already, it was requested a few times in the past.
lets wait and see...


If you continuously enter or edit notes in a channel, that is indeed not a real problem. But when you need to edit certain values in different channels here and there after the pattern has been mostly entered, it is more convenient to use the mouse and then you start getting thrown around by the pattern view,

#13 Obsolete Existence

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 03:19

An option for modplug/jeskola buzz style cursor scrolling would make me the happiest renoise user ever..it's literally my only real complaint about this nearly perfect tracker. I've never really understood why they chose to make it scroll the way it currently does.
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#14 hcv242

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 23:28

the scrolling thing comes from the early 90s (fasttracker), when screen resolutions were too low to be able to show the 64 lines. it doesn't make any sense with nowadays available screen resolutions :(

Edited by hcv242, 10 July 2012 - 23:28.

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#15 engine

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 16:05

the scrolling thing comes from the early 90s (fasttracker), when screen resolutions were too low to be able to show the 64 lines. it doesn't make any sense with nowadays available screen resolutions :(


hehe, maybe, but many people have widescreens. so they would have to rotate the screen 90° to be able to see 64 lines and more.
btw: you mean 40 hex = 64 dec?!
even if you use the smallest font size, set lpb = 8 bpm = ~ 140 <-> 170 and the pattern is too short (for me).
so lets talk about 128 or 256 lines (dec).

#16 hcv242

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 00:13

hehe, maybe, but many people have widescreens. so they would have to rotate the screen 90° to be able to see 64 lines and more.
btw: you mean 40 hex = 64 dec?!
even if you use the smallest font size, set lpb = 8 bpm = ~ 140 <-> 170 and the pattern is too short (for me).
so lets talk about 128 or 256 lines (dec).



64 lines are 64 lines. when humans talk about numbers you should always assume decimal ;)
i have a 1920 for 1080 wide screen. i can see 64 lines at once with no problem at all. even with my 10 year old CRT i can see 64 lines at once with no problems at all.

#17 Gwynevyr

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 02:27

The question about how many lines one can see at once is moot, really.

I was using ModPlug in around 1999, when my monitor resolution was 800x600. ModPlug lets you choose which type of scrolling you prefer--keeping the active row centered and moving everything else around it (like Renoise), or keeping the pattern stationary and moving the active row within it, either by clicking a row or using the arrow keys. I never used the option of keeping the active row centered (I found it just as distracting and disorienting then as I do now). I've always used the option of keeping the pattern stationary and allowing the active row to move anywhere on the screen; if the pattern was too long to fit all at once on my monitor resolution, I simply utilized the scroll bar to the side of the pattern and scrolled the pattern down so I could see the row I wanted (I could also have used the arrow keys to arrow down the the row I wanted; the pattern would automatically scroll itself once I reached the bottom of the screen, so the active row never got "lost" off-screen or anything).

This is the same way an Excel spreadsheet works--Excel doesn't bump the row you're in to the center of the screen, and if the cell you want to edit is off-screen, you just scroll down until you see it, and then click on it (or, if you're using your keyboard, you just hold the down arrow until you see it). It's simple, it works just fine, and I've been using the exact same method since my monitor was a fraction of the size it is today. This just shouldn't be a problem.
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#18 phuture

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 04:17

you can use the mousewheel, arrows, page up/down., also you can hide the bottom section (in case you missed that)

#19 Gwynevyr

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 05:07

you can use the mousewheel, arrows, page up/down., also you can hide the bottom section (in case you missed that)



I do use the mousewheel. The problem is that if my active row is row 8, for example, and I want to edit a note in row 32, my natural inclination (and probably the natural inclination of most computer users in the last 15 years) is to move my mouse pointer to the note I want to edit and click it. But in doing this, the entire pattern suddenly jumps so that row 32 is in the center (where row 8 was just a second ago), and I have to re-orient myself in my pattern all over again (and the same with the next click, and the next, which is distracting and slows my working speed to a crawl).

I could use the mousewheel to scroll the cursor down to row 32, but not only is that less efficient for my personal workflow than a single click on the note I want to edit in row 32, but it also still moves the pattern around and is completely counter-intuitive to simply clicking directly on the note I'm editing.

In other words, I don't think it should be necessary to move the whole pattern around while the "cursor" stays in one place--imagine if editing a Word document was like that, so that the blinking I-beam cursor stayed right in the middle of the screen and anytime you clicked into a different line or paragraph to make a change, the whole document moved itself around but left the cursor stationary in the middle. That might get a bit distracting, I'd think.
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#20 pleasuretrail

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 12:35

big + 1

would love to be able to click around more freely.

btw RXN, do you have that skin as a file? looks really good.
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#21 Rxn

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 13:40

big + 1

would love to be able to click around more freely.

btw RXN, do you have that skin as a file? looks really good.



There is some grey font in the scheme that does not want to change the color and that is not seen very well in all circumstances, but it hasn't been a big issue so far really.

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#22 pleasuretrail

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 13:49

cool, thanks!!
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#23 settled

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 16:28

Sorry to revive an old thread, but it seemed more sensible than creating a new one for something has been discussed before. Are there any rules about this?

I've just bought Renoise and am loving it, but I'm another person who finds the always-centred edit cursor very disorienting. I guess I create a mental map of the area that I'm editing at any given time, and if if this moves I have to recalibrate - even if it's just by one line. For me this really is the only important problem with what is otherwise a fantastic program.

Reading back through previous discussions about this, I can see that it's an issue which affects a minority of people. This is sort of surprising because trackers are the only programs that I've used which behave like this (or have an option for it). It would seem just as strange to me if text editors, spreadsheets, audio editors or image editors moved what you are editing based on click or move of the cursor.

In an ideal world I would have two settings. The first would unlock the edit cursor from the centre of the screen. It would then be necessary to move the cursor to the top or bottom of the editable area to scroll - the same way as your average text editor works. The second would define a 'margin' of a certain number of lines, so that you can always see x lines before or after the area you are editing. Hitting the start of the margin, as opposed to the first or last visible line, would cause it to scroll.

Is there any chance of adding a preference to change this behaviour? I know there aren't swathes of people requesting it, but I would have thought it's a comparatively easy feature to add. I understand that there are probably many more important things to focus on, but it would make a few of us (apparently crazy) people very happy indeed!

#24 vV

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 22:10

Sorry to revive an old thread, but it seemed more sensible than creating a new one for something has been discussed before. Are there any rules about this?

I've just bought Renoise and am loving it, but I'm another person who finds the always-centred edit cursor very disorienting. I guess I create a mental map of the area that I'm editing at any given time, and if if this moves I have to recalibrate - even if it's just by one line. For me this really is the only important problem with what is otherwise a fantastic program.

Reading back through previous discussions about this, I can see that it's an issue which affects a minority of people. This is sort of surprising because trackers are the only programs that I've used which behave like this (or have an option for it). It would seem just as strange to me if text editors, spreadsheets, audio editors or image editors moved what you are editing based on click or move of the cursor.


Text editors and spreadsheet editors only involve the content that you can see, they are not depending on what the exact context is while a tracker is depending on that, hence you see this behavior in every tracker:
The problem is that you are editing a line here and not a cell, or at least, Renoise is oriented in keeping track of on which line the cursor is and then which track and interprets the content real-time when you move/edit/insert data. If you insert a note, an instrument has to be triggered, a DSP effect has to be applied, not only in that track, but perhaps also on group level or in a send track, which means that at least two more columns on the very same line have to be processed. This cannot be done if the focus is just cell-based.

Perhaps some kind of cell based focus can be done when follow mode is turned off and play and edit positions are separated. (both options are configurable) but i'm not sure this will work if you insert a note, or it will mean that when you insert a note, it will be done silently without any audio feedback, because then such option sounds possible.
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#25 Gwynevyr

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 22:33

Text editors and spreadsheet editors only involve the content that you can see, they are not depending on what the exact context is while a tracker is depending on that, hence you see this behavior in every tracker:
The problem is that you are editing a line here and not a cell, or at least, Renoise is oriented in keeping track of on which line the cursor is and then which track and interprets the content real-time when you move/edit/insert data. If you insert a note, an instrument has to be triggered, a DSP effect has to be applied, not only in that track, but perhaps also on group level or in a send track, which means that at least two more columns on the very same line have to be processed. This cannot be done if the focus is just cell-based.

Perhaps some kind of cell based focus can be done when follow mode is turned off and play and edit positions are separated. (both options are configurable) but i'm not sure this will work if you insert a note, or it will mean that when you insert a note, it will be done silently without any audio feedback, because then such option sounds possible.


I didn't actually follow everything you tried to explain here, but I get the feeling you possibly don't understand what I, settled, and others are saying. The issue is actually extremely simple, and other mod trackers function exactly the way we're asking Renoise to function, so it's not as if it just can't work that way.

Here's an example: say my cursor is currently highlighting line 8 (the whole line, not a "cell"). I want to enter a new note on line 16 (in any channel--the channel columns are irrelevant to this discussion). The way Renoise currently works, when I click directly on line 16, the entire pattern jumps so that line 16 is in the center of my screen, exactly where line 8 was just a second ago. I find that extremely disorienting. What Rxn, settled, I, and others would like to happen instead is, when we click on line 16, only the highlight moves to that line, while the rest of the pattern remains stationary. The only reason we've brought up comparisons to spreadsheets is because this is similar to how spreadsheets work (when you click anywhere in row 16 of a spreadsheet, the whole spreadsheet doesn't scroll to put row 16 in the middle of your screen. You simply click into that row where it sits, and nothing moves).

There is nothing impossible at all about what we're asking--this is exactly the way ModPlug/Open MPT works, and I've been working that way for nearly 15 years.

Edit: In re-reading your post, it occurs to me that it sounds like you're talking about editing notes live while the pattern is playing. I'm sure many people work that way, but I know I don't, and most likely neither do Rxn or settled. I don't record anything when the pattern is playing, I only add notes when the pattern is stopped, and then I play the pattern to see if I like what I entered or if I want to change something. In fact, this is why I love tracking so much--you don't have to perform anything live in real time, you can craft a song note by note, going back and changing things, moving things, deleting notes, etc. at your leisure. If the way you work is by recording notes live into a playing pattern, I can see why you might think what we're asking is not possible.

Edited by Gwynevyr, 12 May 2013 - 22:43.

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