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Posted By : Snorlax - 6/1/2002 1:56 PM
So, does Fin 2003 solve the problem with spacing accidentals when notes are in more than one layer?
Jim Williams
TubaShop Quartet

Posted By : GT - 6/1/2002 2:16 PM

Having read Jari's review and tips, I don't think this has been fixed. (See the comment I just posted on that thread.)

But, and this is a big but, he mostly addressed the new issues; he didn't talk about what was fixed.



Posted By : TTBashore - 6/2/2002 6:32 AM
Sorry Jim, accidental spacing has not been changed from 2002.

Posted By : Snorlax - 6/2/2002 6:37 AM
OK--no buy.
Who cares?
Jim Williams
TubaShop Quartet

Posted By : GT - 6/2/2002 3:40 PM
On 6/2/2002 10:32:00 AM, Anonymous wrote:
>Sorry Jim, accidental spacing
>has not been changed from

OK, this is really inexcusable. I admit that I'm tired and cranky after a long drive home from New York City in traffic, but as far as I'm concerned, Coda has completely dropped the ball here.

So...bleep the new TAB. If they ain't gonna fix important stuff, I might as well continue to muddle through with 2002.


Posted By : Snorlax - 6/2/2002 7:03 PM
My sentiments exactly!
Jim Williams
TubaShop Quartet
PS: I remember the drives to/from the city when I moved to Joizy. I usually took the bus. Tomorrow I will ride my bike to the college to start summer school. There's much to be said for the Hoosier Heartland! JCW

Posted By : somusque - 6/3/2002 1:26 AM

well, I guess ten years ago nobody would have been so bold as to expect Finale to handle complex multi-layer accidental situations on its own. Back then, this was not considered a bug, but merely a desirable capability that was lacking.

Over the years, customers have grown to expect more of a software program. Today, I would agree that the accidental collision problem is a bug. Coda's reasoning might be, well, we haven't done it in over 10 years, and since it is very difficult to do, and we don't want to use too much of our development resources on a smallish issue like that, we will postpone it once more.

Personally I rarely run into this, and since I tweak everything manually anyway, it doesn't bother me so much ...


Tobias Giesen, Composer
* now all major works as free MP3's *

Check out TGTools, my plug-in collection for Finale:

Posted By : Snorlax - 6/3/2002 2:37 AM
On 6/3/2002 5:26:00 AM, Tobias Giesen wrote:
>Over the years, customers have
>grown to expect more of a
>software program. Today, I
>would agree that the
>accidental collision problem
>is a bug. Coda's reasoning
>might be, well, we haven't
>done it in over 10 years, and
>since it is very difficult to
>do, and we don't want to use
>too much of our development
>resources on a smallish issue
>like that, we will postpone it
>once more.
Yes, that's it. It simply isn't worth their time for the few of us who want it.

>Personally I rarely run into
>this, and since I tweak
>everything manually anyway, it
>doesn't bother me so much ...

Just look at the fifth movement of that Lechthaler score if you still have it. That problem forced me to alter the way the composer wrote the score.
I have no idea how much time I would have spent moving accis.
I forget now if the score you saw was BEFORE or AFTER I made the changes!

As a programmer, perhaps you could explain why this is such a problem?



Posted By : GT - 6/3/2002 7:01 AM
I have no idea how complicated it is to program things like this, but can it be done with a plug-in? Tobias, your TGTools has some useful spacing operations. What would be involved in adding this feature?



Posted By : fcopaja - 6/3/2002 11:57 AM
Time & Money...

Posted By : annacrusis - 6/3/2002 4:03 PM
>> If they ain't gonna fix important stuff, I might as well continue to muddle through with 2002.
Hey, guys, is there room for one more on this bus? I'm joining the 'I'll sit this one out' club.

I've been patient, but my patience has a limit, and it has been reached  8-(


Posted By : Peter Morris - 6/3/2002 11:17 PM
I too will sit this one out. If you're listening, Coda, do not think my apparent lack of action is apathy. I feel far more strongly than most have expressed that you are not listening.

For years, you professed collision free scores. Yup but we have to do it ourselves. Nor should we be expecting third party providers to fix what it one of several awful oversights.

As a long term programmer, I can confirm that recursive pattern placement is a well understood problem (try figuring out the best result when cutting a variety of patterns from steel plates). This is NOT a difficult algorithm.

Hey, Coda, this is your customer base speaking. We are not potentials; we are not the enemy; we are not going to be glitzed by the benefitless features in the new release.

This was clearly a release to attract the new and first time punters. Congrats on that cos you make it easier for us too but I am reminded of a somewhat deprecating phrase about the new release:

Never mind the quality, feel the width...

Hacked off and not buying.

Pete Morris

Posted By : GT - 6/4/2002 5:04 AM
Just for the record, here's the text of an e-mail I sent to two of the execs at Coda. I got the addresses from a posting by one of our Anons in the May 24 thread, "Please don't release buggy software".


I've been a loyal (and professional) Finale user since version 2000. My PC serial number is XXXX-000000, and my Mac number is YYYY-000000.

I am a regular reader of and contributor to the Finale Forum, and I think I've developed sufficient expertise in Finale to be considered an advanced user, if not an expert.

I am writing to tell you that although I have no intention of ever switching to Sibelius, I also have no intention of purchasing the upgrade to Finale 2003.

Why? Well, I've sent several feature requests to winsupport, most having to do with the PostScript issues found between Finale, Adobe and Windows XP (to be fair, this is probably not Finale's fault), and, more importantly, the issue of Finale's not properly spacing accidentals when more than one layer is used. All of my requests were acknowledged, but I have yet to see any improvement in these areas. Therefore, since I would have to do the same hand-tweaking with 2003 that I do now in 2002, there is no incentive for me to pay for an upgrade.

Listen to your customers. Many of our complaints are not frivolous, but instead point out some serious shortcomings of Finale. I understand that you're trying to run a business, and I understand that you must get a multitude of feature requests. But the spacing of accidentals has been a problem for as long as I've been using Finale, and many users on the Forum have complained about this over the years. As far as I'm concerned, ignoring these complaints is unacceptable. I don't know what your musical expertise is, but trust me, accidentals are an integral part of music spacing. It makes no sense to me to add questionable features like Micnotator and Autoharmonizer while ignoring the very real problems that Finale has, and I'm tired of complaining about it.

So, I'll give 2003 a pass. If you fix the accidental spacing—and the grace note spacing, and the buggy Lyric Tool—in version 2004, I'll gladly purchase that version. For now, however, I'll muddle through with 2002, using the workarounds I've learned.

Best regards,

Gary Tomassetti

Thus far, no reply...

Posted By : Ric - 6/4/2002 11:30 AM
>Just for the record, here's
>the text of an e-mail I sent
>to two of the execs at Coda. I
>got the addresses from a
>posting by one of our Anons in
>the May 24 thread, "Please
>don't release buggy software".

I sent a very similar mail about three months ago. I had different complaints (except for one about a fatal PostScript issue, which is also there with Windows 98), but in truth the very fact that each version gets bloated up by basically useless (to me, at least) stuff is now a sufficient reason for me to save a few bucks. I mean, I bought most of my upgrades because I felt it was RIGHT to support Coda, but that feeling began to fade away when I had to give up using Finale 2002 because it just couldn't print like 2001 could.

I understand Coda is not supposed to be a charity, but there must be some balance! What's been added lately to improve or ease up notation?

Multi-line, multi-font text expressions (but you can do it with shape expressions! Yes, but they show up in the list as tiny blobs and can't be "indexed" by content in e.g., TGTools expression explorer)

Proper chord transposition for "chromatically transposing" staves? (but you can do that by going over each part individually! Yes, but then, you can do your parts by copying & pasting from the score. But careful with those woodwinds doubles or you'll screw up the alto part when the player switches to clarinet).

Better support for text inserts, maybe that long-awaited "staff name" insert for parts? User-defined inserts, even? (But you can place an additional title with an ad-hoc option! Yes, but what if I want it in the footer, too?)

I'm not a particularly advanced user, because I very seldom have to do "strange" things, but there are many more features that would make it easier for me--like more (named, please!) staff sets (why do you need those? Because I use Finale as a composer's aid, too!), scripting (but you can do that with quickeys! Nearly, but I can find rhymes or scan scores or auto-harmonize melodies with external proggies, too).

I could go on, but I guess my point is made.

Hearing about a rhyming dictionary being included in Finale 2003 was the drop that overfilled the keg, or the straw that sent the donkey to the hospital. Honestly, I first thought it was a joke! I mean, I can get a couple of excellent rhyming dictionaries (dedicated hardware, i.e., resellable, portable, OS-independent, hardcover or paperback) for much less that that.

The e-mail was addressed to winsupport and it was acknowledged with a mildly gentle reply (like "thanks for your input").

Sorry for the long rant, but I thought I could share my feelings. And besides, I feel lighter now :-)


Riccardo Distasi
Arranging and composing homepage:

Posted By : GT - 6/4/2002 12:25 PM

A couple of nicely mixed metaphors, there!

I just a got a very nice e-mail reply from John Paulson, the president of Coda. A lot of what he said was personal, but I'd like to share a quote that pertains to this thread:

"I understand your frustration with improper accidental placement in multiple layers (it is one of my peeves as well) and I will personally look into getting to it into Finale 2004. I cannot guarantee it will be included, however, because those decisions will not be finalized until fall."

Here's hoping...



PS: At least Italy played a good match yesterday :-)

Posted By : Jari Williamsson - 6/4/2002 12:34 PM
On 6/4/2002 3:30:00 PM, Riccardo Distasi wrote:

>What's been added lately to
>improve or ease up notation?

Although I'm generally confused by the posts here, I simply don't understand your mail at all.
I though that slur shape enhancements, Engraver Slurs, modifyable fonts on noteheads, real TAB notation, controllable stemming on staff basis, the Selection Tool, a document settings interface that actually can be used, multi-document APIs for plug-ins, group optimization, keyboard/metatool support and other UI enhancements for SmartShapes, the 60+ improvements/fixes to built-in plug-ins, better default files, SmartFind & Paint, extra layer options, spacing control toggle on note entries, etc were features that would "improve and ease up notation". But obviously, we have different views.

>Multi-line, multi-font text
>expressions (but you can do it
>with shape expressions! Yes,
>but they show up in the list
>as tiny blobs and can't be
>"indexed" by content in e.g.,
>TGTools expression explorer)

So now it's Coda's "fault" that Tobias has decided to not support shapes in TGTools?

Best regards,

Jari Williamsson

Posted By : Snorlax - 6/4/2002 12:55 PM
On 6/4/2002 4:25:00 PM, Gary Tomassetti wrote:
>A couple of nicely mixed
>metaphors, there!
>I just a got a very nice
>e-mail reply from John
>Paulson, the president of
>Coda. A lot of what he said
>was personal, but I'd like to
>share a quote that pertains to
>this thread:
>"I understand your frustration
>with improper accidental
>placement in multiple layers
>(it is one of my peeves as
>well) and I will personally
>look into getting to it into
>Finale 2004. I cannot
>guarantee it will be included,
>however, because those
>decisions will not be
>finalized until fall."
>Dear Mr. Paulson:
I share everyone's frustration with improper accidental placement in multiple layers. It impedes my work and hence lowers any income I might hope to earn from engraving. Given the level of frustration on the part of the professional or semi-professional user base, I urge you to redirect resources to eliminate this problem BEFORE Finale 2004 reaches the market.

I cannot guarantee that I will buy any more Finale products, however, because my decision to buy upgrades will be based upon your elimination of this problem rather than upon the inclusion of frills such as rhyming dictionaries.

While I understand the need to expand the base of Finale users and get cash flow, as well as the problems involved in marketing a mature (or maturing) product, I also hope that MakeMusic does not choose to ignore the users that have been loyal to the company, regardless of its name, since the days of Wenger and Finale 1.0 or (in my case) 2.2.
Respectfully...Jim Williams
(user # upon request!)

Jim Williams
TubaShop Quartet

Posted By : Oompah - 6/4/2002 2:31 PM
I hope you actually sent this to Mr. Paulson -- I doubt he reads this forum.

Posted By : GT - 6/4/2002 5:56 PM

I'm confused as to why you're generally confused by the posts here. I would think it's plain that there are a lot of users who would like some of Finale's long-standing shortcomings—like accidental spacing, grace note spacing, a buggy lyric tool, et al.—to be addressed.

We're not saying the product is useless, nor are we defecting to other programs. But you make it sound like it's unreasonable for us to expect these issues to be fixed.

Posted By : Snorlax - 6/4/2002 5:57 PM

>Although I'm generally confused by the
>posts here, I simply don't understand
>your mail at all.
>I though that slur shape enhancements,
>Engraver Slurs, modifyable fonts on
>noteheads, real TAB notation,
>controllable stemming on staff basis,
>the Selection Tool, a document settings
>interface that actually can be used,
>multi-document APIs for plug-ins, group
>optimization, keyboard/metatool support
>and other UI enhancements for
>SmartShapes, the 60+ improvements/fixes
>to built-in plug-ins, better default
>files, SmartFind & Paint, extra layer
>options, spacing control toggle on note
>entries, etc were features that would
>"improve and ease up notation". But
>obviously, we have different views.
Yes, Jari, with all due respect to you, I will differ with you [but just this one time ;-)]about 2003. Fin 2002 was an excellent upgrade that contained some of the meaningful features you describe above. As far as I am concerned, the issue is not necessarily what *new* features are added--the issue is what *old problems* do not get fixed, or what dubious features get included. A lot of my current work involves multiple layers of highly chromatic music. The accidental spacing was a minor irritation in the past, about which I raised a small concern, but now it has become unbearable.

While some of the improvements in 2003 may be valuable for notational purposes, part of it is totally unrelated to the principal function of the product: Notation.

I wonder what **market research** led to inclusion of the rhyming dictionary, for example, or was it just a cheap acquisition thrown in as an afterthought? Could the inclusion of the rhyming dictionary, for example, be the result of strong desires expressed in dozens of e-mails to WINSUPPORT? Did I miss a thread here about the need for a rhyming dictionary?

I'm not sure any more if I know what Finale is supposed to do or be, but I do know that products that try to be all things to all people wind up being not much to anybody.

Posted By : duser - 6/4/2002 7:54 PM
I guess Coda must have gotten a lot more e-mail requests for new button colors like 'Cool Grey' and 'Jazz Maroon' than for fixing accidentals and grace notes.

Posted By : Jari Williamsson - 6/5/2002 1:48 AM
On 6/4/2002 3:17:00 AM, Peter Morris wrote:

>As a long term programmer, I
>can confirm that recursive
>pattern placement is a well
>understood problem (try
>figuring out the best result
>when cutting a variety of
>patterns from steel plates).
>This is NOT a difficult

IMHO, Finale has to follow _notation_ rules for accidental placements. Take a look in Gardner Read at some of the accidental placement examples, and you'll see that some examples don't use the "tightest" solution.

Btw, example 9-23 in Read is not recommended by Ross.

Best regards,

Jari Williamsson

Posted By : Jari Williamsson - 6/5/2002 2:01 AM
On 6/4/2002 9:56:00 PM, Anonymous wrote:
>I'm confused as to why you're
>generally confused by the
>posts here. I would think it's
>plain that there are a lot of
>users who would like some of
>Finale's long-standing
>shortcomings?like accidental
>spacing, grace note spacing, a
>buggy lyric tool, et al.?to be

I can understand this, and that's great. It's the arguments for it that confuses me.

Also, on the Finale list on SHSU for example, there are almost _never_ any discussions or complaints about the issues that mentioned above (I think I've read one single thread about accidental placement there), the users there seem to have totally different needs.

And how about MacOSX support? Should Coda stop investing all those resources into the OSX development, just because Jim and Gary don't need it?

Best regards,

Jari Williamsson

Posted By : Ric - 6/5/2002 6:10 AM
Hello Gary,

>Here's hoping...

Here too! I am not even thinking of switching to... well, you-know-what; I am just hoping Finale realizes it just can't compete by adding a symphony wizard [Choose your favorite style: Mozart, "Ludwig Van", Mahler? Pick a key, an initial meter and tempo and... draft of first movement done! Create cool symphonies mixing Bartók and Bernstein!].

Seriously, in order to nip the "me too" wave of feature request in the forums, I think Coda did lose touch with the user base. There are quite a number of features that could make life easier for the engraver/composer/arranger (like printing, for example :-). Go for those first, Coda!

Making life easier for the lyricist or for the uninspired teacher should come later. If I were a music student and my teacher brought in the class an exercise that was obviously generated with the exercise wizard, I'd be at least offended. (Hey, prof, I can generate this myself, thanks).

>PS: At least Italy played a
>good match yesterday :-)

:-)) I'd make a bold supporting statement if that didn't also incidentally happen to be the name of a well-known political party.


Riccardo Distasi
Arranging and composing homepage:

Posted By : Ric - 6/5/2002 6:49 AM

>>What's been added lately to
>>improve or ease up notation?
>I though that slur shape enhancements,
>Engraver Slurs, modifyable fonts on
>noteheads, real TAB notation,
>controllable stemming on staff basis,
>the Selection Tool, a document settings
>interface that actually can be used,

Yeah, right. Perhaps I went a little too far, but many of these improvements were achieved in 2001 or 2002, and mine was supposed to be a rant about 2003 anyway! I always try to be civil and constructive in my criticism, but I do slip once in a while.

My real frustration is not being able to print with 2002 (which I trustfully purchased, even if most of the changes weren't important to me, and Coda's apparently little concern with this issue filled me with disappointment.

>So now it's Coda's "fault" that Tobias
>has decided to not support shapes in

No, but it's Coda's fault not to support newlines and multiple fonts in text expressions, when they already have most of the code for it in the Text Tool. As a cheaper and less than optimal alternative, the display of shape expressions in the selection list could be improved.

Just to exemplify my point of view, some of the missing features that I deem to be "basic" and universally desirable would be

- Seamless transposition of parts, including chord symbols: the generated parts should be reliably correct even if I don't tweak them one by one.

- Seamless, reliable copy and paste between documents (for multi-movement works).

- Seamless, reliable printing, especially on PostScript devices. Perhaps rethinking the way lines and curves are drawn -- presently, thick lines and curves are made by repeatedly drawing partially overlapping shapes. This is inefficient and yelds poor results on low-resolution devices (e.g., the screen when you view a Finale-generated PDF).

- Reliable spacing, even in the presence of grace notes and accidentals on multiple layers.

- A better mechanism for text inserts, with autoincrementing counters beside the page counter (sections, movements, whatever). This would make it easier to have running footers/headers. Perhaps a "total number of pages" counter (trombone part, page 3 of 4, so the player KNOWS he misplaced the last page!) A "Staff name" insert. Other user-definable inserts (lyricist, arranger, engraver... the list depends on the project, so why not make it customizable?). Inserts that can be set up in the score (with reasonable, "wizard-like" default values) and instantiated in the parts. More things like "begin a new staff system on this measure", which really was a step in the right direction. An example: automatic enclosures on selected measure numbers, or a measure number that only gets triggered by some circumstance (e.g., a double barline).

- Professional-looking default files and templates (but I think this has been addressed in Finale 2003).

And this is without even rolling out the very boring list of my personal pet features.


Riccardo Distasi
Arranging and composing homepage:

Posted By : GT - 6/5/2002 8:18 AM

Just for the record, I do use a Mac as well as a PC. But I only began using the Mac last year, with OS 9.2.2.

Finale 2001d and 2002b work just fine in 9.2.2, as do my Adobe applications, and there seem to be no PostScript issues at all. In general, though, I don't know enough about the Mac OS to demand that Finale be carbonized for OS X. In fact, I don't even know what "carbonized" means.

I sure do hate OMS, though.