Touch Screen advances

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Touch Screen advances

DeRobyJ (giakkaHotmail surrogate)
Since Windows 8 is out, some PC companies started crafting touch-screen laptops.
Microsoft now produces its own devices, first with a tablet, now with a laptop.
With Windows 10, every mayor company is working on surface-like devices, and some software industries started adapting their programs to touch and pen usage.

We still haven't seen elecronic music programs working on that. There are some general music programs (such as Staffpad) which use the power of the pen to make music writing a lot easier then before. Think about how some of us had to learn Finale Notepad or Sibelius (or Musescore), and there are people that work on writing music for others.


I write this because I just tried using LMMS in touch-only mode (using my touch enabled ultrabook), and I think we can make some little adjustements for touch usage that will make this program great for that kind of experience.

Right now, with touch:
- Making a beat in BBeditor is really easy
- Writing in pianoroll is ok
- Loading presets is ok
- Song Editor usage is quite messy
- Any knob or number is hard to move around
- Controlls linking is impossible, as well as automation linking


Now, I think we shuldn't make any change for non-touch usage, the GUI must be left as it is.
Of the other side, Windows is able to detect what's the PC state, whether "stand-mode" or not, whether attached to keyboard or not.
So th best possibility would be to ask the system for the current state and change parts of the GUI accordingly.
But this would require Windows-only code.

Another way is to add a little button to switch to "touch mode" (a feature we may use in future for live usage)

But what changes in this mode?
In general, anything clickable should be bigger and any knob or number should behave differently.

Examples:
- Instrument Plugin browser should have each plugin description open (right now you hover the mouse on them: with touch this is not possible)
- Any other element in the browser should be bigger (even if right now it's not too hard to long-touch, aka right-click, a preset and send it to bb editor, song editor or active instument): remember that the surface pro 4 is a 12.3'' 2763x1824 tablet... that's even more pixels than my 24'' monitor
- Knobs should be slower (try one with a touchscreen and you'll understand what I mean)
- Piano-roll should have a "move" tool
- Anything that sounds while touched, should sound when touched (because long-touch = right-click)
- The keyboard of the plugin windows should hav bigger notes


What do you think about supporting touch experience?

Priority of this matter should be less than Mac support, since there are more electronic musicians running Mac then running a touch enabled PC.
But remeber that if other programs start to support a good touch experience, we will end up dicussing this matter!

~DeRobyJ

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Re: Touch Screen advances

Tres Finocchiaro
> What do you think about supporting touch experience?

Anything that improves usability is a good idea, but we need to be careful to keep our priorities in check.  There isn't an overwhelming demand for touch features, and most desktop don't handle touch well anyway.  A more sensible approach is probably to work on interfacing with touch-enabled devices (e.g. send midi events from android, iphone, etc), since the desktop is going through a bit of an identity crisis.

For example, to log off of Windows 8, you need to do strange things, like use hot-corners and tap touch-designed components for something that should be done with mouse and keyboard (how often do you really have to log off of a tablet?)

Another example is something like the system tray, which has a 16x16 pixel icon on all platforms, but is still critical for items like updates, notifications, volume control, etc.

So to say "LMMS isn't touch friendly"... well, neither is your desktop, and Windows 10 has only made this more confusing by having a "toggle" between Desktop and tablet mode.

In regards to Mac, launchpad is the closest thing to a touch interface and it still doesn't fix the reliance on a mouse an keyboard.  Apple has't enhanced their desktop much at all from a touch-centric perspective.

In regards to Linux, I've yet to see one single touch implementation that is usable in a tablet environment.  I bought the touch-enabled Ubuntu-preloaded XPS 13 and the touch experience was unusable, even with Unity running.

So, to pick on LMMS is a bit premature when the desktops can't even get it right.

> Priority of this matter should be less than Mac support, since there are more electronic musicians running Mac then running a touch enabled PC. But remeber that if other programs start to support a good touch experience, we will end up dicussing this matter!

Although professional musicians predominantly run Mac, professional musicians generally don't use LMMS, so we should be careful not to base any hard decisions around that statement.

Prioritization isn't really something we can control with a bunch of volunteers pitching in when they can and nearly all of our current devs don't own a Mac, so this probably isn't a fair assessment to make.  Features will get implemented as developers have time to do so, and right now touch support is a very low priority.

Perhaps making the interface components more scalable to large fonts would be a good start (instead of hard-coding the size of fonts and components).  Work on this is already underway.


On Wed, Oct 21, 2015 at 6:57 AM, derobyjGmail <[hidden email]> wrote:
Since Windows 8 is out, some PC companies started crafting touch-screen laptops.
Microsoft now produces its own devices, first with a tablet, now with a laptop.
With Windows 10, every mayor company is working on surface-like devices, and some software industries started adapting their programs to touch and pen usage.

We still haven't seen elecronic music programs working on that. There are some general music programs (such as Staffpad) which use the power of the pen to make music writing a lot easier then before. Think about how some of us had to learn Finale Notepad or Sibelius (or Musescore), and there are people that work on writing music for others.


I write this because I just tried using LMMS in touch-only mode (using my touch enabled ultrabook), and I think we can make some little adjustements for touch usage that will make this program great for that kind of experience.

Right now, with touch:
- Making a beat in BBeditor is really easy
- Writing in pianoroll is ok
- Loading presets is ok
- Song Editor usage is quite messy
- Any knob or number is hard to move around
- Controlls linking is impossible, as well as automation linking


Now, I think we shuldn't make any change for non-touch usage, the GUI must be left as it is.
Of the other side, Windows is able to detect what's the PC state, whether "stand-mode" or not, whether attached to keyboard or not.
So th best possibility would be to ask the system for the current state and change parts of the GUI accordingly.
But this would require Windows-only code.

Another way is to add a little button to switch to "touch mode" (a feature we may use in future for live usage)

But what changes in this mode?
In general, anything clickable should be bigger and any knob or number should behave differently.

Examples:
- Instrument Plugin browser should have each plugin description open (right now you hover the mouse on them: with touch this is not possible)
- Any other element in the browser should be bigger (even if right now it's not too hard to long-touch, aka right-click, a preset and send it to bb editor, song editor or active instument): remember that the surface pro 4 is a 12.3'' 2763x1824 tablet... that's even more pixels than my 24'' monitor
- Knobs should be slower (try one with a touchscreen and you'll understand what I mean)
- Piano-roll should have a "move" tool
- Anything that sounds while touched, should sound when touched (because long-touch = right-click)
- The keyboard of the plugin windows should hav bigger notes


What do you think about supporting touch experience?

Priority of this matter should be less than Mac support, since there are more electronic musicians running Mac then running a touch enabled PC.
But remeber that if other programs start to support a good touch experience, we will end up dicussing this matter!

~DeRobyJ

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Re: Touch Screen advances

Shane Ambler-5
On 21/10/2015 23:42, Tres Finocchiaro wrote:

>>
>>> What do you think about supporting touch experience?
>
>
> Anything that improves usability is a good idea, but we need to be careful
> to keep our priorities in check.  There isn't an overwhelming demand for
> touch features, and most desktop don't handle touch well anyway.  A more
> sensible approach is probably to work on interfacing with touch-enabled
> devices (e.g. send midi events from android, iphone, etc), since the
> desktop is going through a bit of an identity crisis.

Not touch related but a UI improvement I've been thinking of suggesting
is midi control of more interface buttons.

I have an Alesis QX49, while the keyboard and drum pads work right as
midi input and the sliders and knobs can be linked to dials within lmms
it also has 6 "media keys" - that are marked as play, stop, record,
fast forward, rewind and loop.

It would be nice to be able to attach these to the play controls in the
song editor, piano roll and bassline windows. Of note is that these
send normal midi events, meaning you get button down and button up
which together should only trigger one toggle of the button.


--
FreeBSD - the place to B...Software Developing

Shane Ambler


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Re: Touch Screen advances

Tres Finocchiaro
Shane,

Thanks for the feedback.  FYI  - Most MIDI requests are covered in this enhancement request.



On Wed, Oct 21, 2015 at 11:17 PM, Shane Ambler <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 21/10/2015 23:42, Tres Finocchiaro wrote:
>>
>>> What do you think about supporting touch experience?
>
>
> Anything that improves usability is a good idea, but we need to be careful
> to keep our priorities in check.  There isn't an overwhelming demand for
> touch features, and most desktop don't handle touch well anyway.  A more
> sensible approach is probably to work on interfacing with touch-enabled
> devices (e.g. send midi events from android, iphone, etc), since the
> desktop is going through a bit of an identity crisis.

Not touch related but a UI improvement I've been thinking of suggesting
is midi control of more interface buttons.

I have an Alesis QX49, while the keyboard and drum pads work right as
midi input and the sliders and knobs can be linked to dials within lmms
it also has 6 "media keys" - that are marked as play, stop, record,
fast forward, rewind and loop.

It would be nice to be able to attach these to the play controls in the
song editor, piano roll and bassline windows. Of note is that these
send normal midi events, meaning you get button down and button up
which together should only trigger one toggle of the button.


--
FreeBSD - the place to B...Software Developing

Shane Ambler


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Re: Touch Screen advances

musikbear
Tres Finocchiaro wrote
There isn't an overwhelming demand for touch features, and most desktop don't handle touch well anyway.
imo that is reason enough to prospone considerations of this kind. There are more important issues.