Talk:Proposal Locking and/or Hiding Pan and Gain sliders

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Revision as of 23:54, 31 March 2021 by Stevethefiddle (talk | contribs) (Steve also wrote)
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Steve wrote in the Forum thread

Ideally I'd like to be able to set a global default customization of the track control panel (in "Preferences"), but also be able to change the layout for the current project. Then, if I had, for example, disabled the track gain sliders, but half way through a project I realised that I needed to use the track gain sliders, then I'd like to be able to enable the sliders "for that project" (without changing the default preferences).

One way to achieve "per project" control as well as "global defaults" could be:

  1. Add additional controls to "Preferences > Tracks". This sets the global default behaviour (it applies by default to all new projects).
  2. Add an "Options" menu to the "Tracks" menu. This sets the options for the current project only. It could include an item to open the (global) "Preferences" at the "Tracks" page.

Some things that would need to be considered:

  • What happens if one or more tracks have sliders set at non-zero and the user then attempts to disable the sliders?
  • If we have "per project" options, are these options saved in the project?
  • What happens if a saved project has sliders set to non-zero positions, and the project is opened in Audacity where the global preferences disable the sliders?

Steve also wrote

Also, when working on projects that have a lot of tracks, I'd often like to move the mute/solo buttons and/or the gain / pan sliders to the top of the track information panel.

  • Peter 13Feb17: this could be achievable by making the TCP info text at the top also be hideable - and I would support that.
  • Steve 01Apr21: The mute/solo buttons are now at the top of the track information panel.

John had some comments to share

A lot of the suggestions here sound very valuable considerations for a time when the whole design of the Track Control Panel is being reworked.

I am thinking is there any way to make things simpler and easier for the user without making things more complicated? Specifically, is there a simple, easy way to change user behavior ?

Well first, what behavior is it that we are trying to change? The answer is to keep the user from accidentally clicking on the pan/gain sliders when actually trying to select a track. So the behavior we are trying to change is the way a user tries to select a track.

We have gone half-way there, adding a select button on the Track Control Panel. Without changing the design or content of the Track Control Panel, here are other potential steps designed to change the user behavior:

1) Eliminate the ability of clicking on TCP "white space" to select a track. Instead, require that the new "Select" button be depressed.

2) Draw a box around the pan/gain sliders to clearly delineate them from available "white space".

3) Decrease the size of the click/drag region around the sliders.

4) Eliminate the white space around the sliders, instead replacing it with blue/gray space.

5) Highlighting the the sliders when they move off of zero.

Personally, as I mull over these options, I am thinking the following:

1) This option would likely be the most effective, however, it would require major support from the Release Manager and from the Forum Staff and Crew. If the forum staff is on board, I think they should lobby James for this change. Notice how I left myself out of this discussion. :)

2) I think the boxes of (2) and (4) combined could be the ticket. Just draw a box similar to that for Mute and Solo. [As an aside, just now, I'm thinking why not make them appear to be 3-d buttons with a depressed state when they are off zero.]

3) Originally I thought decreasing the click/drag rectangle was a good idea, but now I am considering the downside for handicapped individuals. I certainly don't want to make anything harder for them.

5) Highlighting the off-zero sliders, may be a good idea for these sliders and for the Mixer Board and for the Play-at-Speed sliders as well. I am thinking however, it is unlikely to change the user behavior as this is done after-the-fact.