Adequate HTML5 version because of the mandatory merge
Since July 1st marks the end of the Flash version of NF, I've compiled the 10 most important complaints Flash users have made about the HTML5 version on the forums. There are good and bad things in both versions, and the really good things about Flash should be incorporated in HTML5 so that the editor is better, and so that the transition is as less traumatic as possible, for a large part of the community still uses the old version.
These are my findings:
1 - memory requirements improvement (urgent and topmost): many users, especially those that work on lap tops, are having difficulties with the editor being too slow to respond to very basic commands, like selecting notes, or simply lagging during playback. I'm sure most people would agree that we're collectively OK with longer website loading times, as long as performance is fluid in both large scores and long composing sessions.
2 - to be able to type in the number % for zoom (sliding control is laggy even on Chrome and in good computers). Having a good zoom control is fundamental for working in large scores, and the current system is subpar.
3 - drop-down menu bar should close after you make new selection in the score -OR- it should not hover above the score, but be a sidebar, just like it is nowadays with the Noteflight or the Profile buttons.
4 - selected items on the menu should be more highlighted (example: knowing if "concert pitch" is on or off is quite difficult).
5 - mouse hovering highlight. Makes it much more easy to be sure of what you're doing.
6 - playback does not deselect whatever's selected (especially for "play from selection" / Ctrl+P). This heavily influences making repeated plays from the same starting point to get a good hear of a particular section.
7 - optional "flash-like" editing pallete. Many users seem to find it easier to access the tools on a hovering pallette.
8 - optional "darker" theme for sobriety and contrast. Flash version was easier on the eyes, especially for long composing sessions.
9 - click at the time signature / clef / key signature should open the corresponding menu. Easier, quicker and more instinctive (all the adjectives that first made Noteflight great).
10 - fixed and separate menu for "score", "edit" and "view".
Some of these (#s 1 to 4) are critics to the current state of the HTML5 version, some of which drive flash users away from it; others (#s 4 to 10) are great things about the Flash version which impact negatively once you change to the new editor. I strongly believe attending to some, if not all, of these demands in short/mid-term will be an important asset for NF in not losing many customers who, used to a certain service experience, suddenly see themselves with no option but to either adapt to the vastly different HTML5 version, or search for another service supplyer.
We have made further improvements in our HTML5 editor in terms of features and behavior. Please keep an eye on our newsletter, and try it again if you haven’t for a while, and keep the great suggestions coming!
Here’s what we wrote a while back:
“Thank you again for this. I want to report back on the discussions we have had in the past few days based on your suggestions here, and based on the extensive discussions on our forums, as well as the messages we have received on our support line. We have talked through each item in your list, as well as those from other users, and also a list of issues that we already had in mind – many of which overlap with yours.
From this collected list of ideas and improvements for the HTML5 editor, a few stood out as must-fixes which our developers are already working on. Others involve complex design decisions, including how to balance and work with future major feature releases, which we will need to discuss further in depth. It will take longer before you hear from us about all of these.
We assure you we will not retire Flash entirely until we feel confident that our users can create in HTML5 with full functionality and ease. There will always be small, and some bigger, adjustments we will need to make now and in the future, but we will not force our users into an unworkable editor. Already we feel it is a highly functional, modern looking/feeling, and enjoyable user experience. We have received as much praise as criticism for it. But we know it is not quite 100% “fully baked” and we are working hard every day to bring it the rest of the way before we make Flash unavailable.
As always we are here to help and respond, and we feel confident that our users who are having doubts about the new editor will come to love and enjoy it.
Please continue sharing your thoughts, and Thank you!!!
~ The Noteflight Team"
Albert, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org with the specific browser and operating system, and a link to a typical score where this is happening, so we can test it for you. With extremely large scores it can be a little slower, but should be working for you!
Albert Ahlf commented
For big scores of over ten parts, the lagging is very frustrating. Is there a way to improve this?
Parsa Mirzaagha commented
Fix the lagging issues. When I'm writing, editing, playing a score and I move throughout it with my arrow keys, choose an articulation, click on a note, etc. it freezes for a couple seconds and then resumes and then the process happens over again. Fix the performance of the website please we're paying $50 for this software.
We have continued to make improvements in the design and performance our HTML5 editor. Always make sure you are using the most recent version of your browser, and keep us posted if you continue to see problems!
Hey everyone! Our work on improving the new editor continues. Please take a look at this list of recent updates. This process is not over by any means - we are still working on things and will continue to do so. This is just the latest progress. https://notes.noteflight.com/noteflight-score-editor-improves/
When "P" is hit or the play button is pressed the UI changes and makes the score jump around. I think it'd be more efficient if the UI didn't change.
AdminJoe Berkovitz (Admin, Noteflight) commented
Just a note here since there are quite a few followers of this suggestion: we are working hard to improve HTML5 performance and expect to release a fix in tomorrow's upgrade that makes editing of larger scores much, much faster. There are many issues left to fix, but we are working hard to make HTML5 work as well as possible for everyone since there is simply no way to keep Flash alive.
AdminJoe Berkovitz (Admin, Noteflight) commented
Yes, very good point on the Title editability in Strip mode. I have just filed a bug for this.
@Robin: Yes it is a lot better, thanks!
Also, can we make the title of the piece editable by clicking on it like we can the description. People like me who use the strip layout can only change the title by switching into page layout and then back to strip layout. (Which takes a while because it lags quite a bit between doing so)
It would also be nice if we could change other things in the connect tab that we were able to do in the "edit score popup menu" in flash. (i.e. Composer, Copyright, and Tags)
Has anyone else experienced that while the HTML5 player does have dynamics, the volume levels from those dynamics are different from the Flash editor? (Around a year ago I pointed out that dynamics didn't work at all in HTML5, but I believe that was fixed.)
I have noticed that to me, the pianissimo and pianississimo are a lot louder in HTML5 than they are in Flash, and this greatly changes how my scores sound and which parts come through/are muddled by everything else.
Sorry if this isn't quite in the right section for my observations.
Thanks for the comments! Keep 'em coming. We are working on this every day.
Those of you who said the background was too bright - are you enjoying the new darker look?
I do continue to use the HTML5 editor almost daily and I do like much of the changes that have been made. Though I have no screenshots or anything to support this, I have found that sometimes if I use the HTML5 editor for extended periods of time, it will start getting slower which can lead to crashes, which I've had many of. Thankfully I save often enough that this isn't a huge deal, but it can get annoying.
I will second what Hayden said earlier - I do occasionally have trouble copying/pasting measures because of the "clipboard contains [whatever], but the selection contains null" issue. The original poster of this suggestion brings up some great points too.
Lucifer sam commented
HTML5 itself doesn't bother me. The interface noteflight made bothers me. Just make the interface like the flash one. Have a palette following me around and a dark background cause the brightness is annoying
Sorry for adding so many comments, but I just found another issue. I'm having a serious problem with copy/pasting sections of piano music. I'll select both staves and copy, then try and past with both staves selected somewhere else and I get this error:
"The clipboard contains 1 staff, 2 staves, but the selection contains null.
I'm very confused, as using this method to copy/paste music with grand staves never had this issue before...
Also, when I'm making selections and I move my mouse over to the edge, the screen doesnt scroll over like it does in the flash editor. This also happens with variable length stylistic markings, such as 8va, Pedal, and ritardando.
With the way that the new menu works, If I was to keep all of the tabs open in the editor it makes more sense to go fullscreen to remove all of the browser stuff, but I would like if you could add an option to pin the menus in full screen so that they don't disappear when your mouse isnt on them.
There are a lot of problems I've noticed with the HTML5 some of the worse ones were when I tried to play music it only loads a few measures at a time. Not to mention the lag is awful and whenever I use it my computer stops and closes out of the site.
#1 is the greatest issue. The lag is horrendous. I love noteflight, but I'll have to switch to something else if it has to take several seconds to think every time I enter a note. I've tried multiple browsers, desktops/laptops, and even my phone. It lags the same on all.
The Famous American Philosopher commented
I see... thanks!
Also, I've been noticing that when I attempt to play a big piece using the new editor, it won't load in time for it to get there. In other words, the new editor loads the piece as it's being played; however, at times, it won't have a part loaded in time, and the player will stop for a few seconds and then skip a couple measures. Now, I don't really have any suggestions to fix that, but I thought I might just mention that. Thanks!
Thanks for all the great comments so far! A quick reply for now, to "The Famous": we do have the octave-down treble clef with the "8" which is standard for tenor voices. But we don't offer the others because they are not standard notation. They are useful in some cases, but most players are not used to seeing them and may miss them. That doesn't mean we shouldn't offer them in the long run, because they are used sometimes and we want our users to have lots of options. But it means this isn't a high-priority item.
You can use 8va/8vb lines in the meantime - or for certain instruments the transposition is just understood - for example piccolo, double bass, glockenspiel, etc.